Nalanda Hemanta Retreat 2013

Nalandian officers and members in our traditional uniforms on Hemanta Retreat at the Chin Swee Caves Temple, Genting Highlands, Selangor.

Text by Faith Teh  |  Photographs by Fam Sok May & Gan Jia Cheng

‘Hemanta’ is the Pāli term for “winter”.  During the cool wintry season in India, families huddle close together in their homes for warmth.  When in such close proximity for a prolonged period of time, it becomes vital for family members to learn to live together peacefully and harmoniously.

‘Sāmaggī’ in Pāli, means “concord, unity, and harmony”.  Indeed, this was the atmosphere that permeated throughout the five-day Nalanda Hemanta Retreat, conducted at Chin Swee Caves Temple in Genting Highlands from 24 – 28 January. 60 Nalandians comprising our key drivers, divisional and departmental heads, and core members, came together to celebrate team-work and co-operation. Amidst much learning, laughter and joy, new friendships were forged, and old ties fortified.

Bro.Tan showing an interesting feature at the Chin Swee Caves Temple on our morning walk during the Retreat.

The focus of this year’s Hemanta Retreat was on mindful personal conduct to effect peaceful communal living. There were also many opportunities for Dhamma discovery, meditation and reflection.  In this spirit, the daily programme consisted of morning, afternoon and evening meditation, pūja and chanting, as well as group discussions to facilitate fellowship, the exchange of ideas, and to foster mutual understanding.