Do you believe that there are no coincidences in life and that everything happens for a reason? I do and that belief was reaffirmed quite recently. Some of you who are reading this blog follow me on social media, have known me for years and I think I know the perception that you have of me. You probably think of me as someone who is a carefree, happy-go-lucky soul who enjoys life to the fullest. 90% of the time I am that person but there are times when I am not. There are times when I constantly worry, I am anxious, I feel dejected, I hate everything about myself and my life. I was going through that phase couple of months ago. I wanted some answers but I felt like I was staring into a black hole. That is when an invite came in. An invite from Ranu for the newly opened Purnam Meditation Center & Retreat in Chennai.
When I heard the term meditation retreat, I must confess I was slightly skeptical. I imagined a weekend where I would have to wear flowing robes and meditate the entire day without speaking or going anywhere. Ranu assured that was not the case. Purnam was created to act as a space for anyone looking to spend some quiet time amidst nature, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Guests can choose to participate in meditation sessions or just enjoy the peace and tranquil environment. After hearing the description, there were no more doubts and I packed my bags to head to Chennai to spend a weekend at Purnam.
About Purnam Meditation Center & Retreat
Purnam is located in Olive Sands layout which is about an hour’s drive from Chennai airport. I reached the place quite late at night and what struck me immediately was the peaceful environment of the locality. The sea is a 5 minute walk from the villa and if you listen closely, you can actually hear the sound of the waves crashing from the rooms. The building itself is very spacious and has a beautiful garden and a pool in front. There are three rooms – Anahata, Muladhara and Vishudhi, each designed to focus on particular attributes. Incidentally, the room where I was staying was designed to bring forth the attributes of certainty and stability, ideal for those looking to be decisive and clear. Now do you get why I said in the beginning that I truly believe everything happens for a reason?
The next morning, while at breakfast, I got to know more about Purnam from Senthil and Ranu, the people behind the retreat and also got a better view of the property. Ranu mentioned that when they came across the villa, they immediately knew that this was the one and I could imagine why. Surrounded by trees, with birds chirping and butterflies flying around, the villa is the ideal place to rejuvenate the body and mind. Apart from the rooms, there are also three meditation halls, each designed to enable one to slip into meditative tranquility. There is a common kitchen and dining area and Ranu informed that if guests want, they can also cook their own meals.
I asked what their vision was when they opened Purnam and they said that they want to facilitate guests to experience life in fullness – both materially and spiritually. Guests can select from different meditation programs specifically designed to meet one’s needs. There are programs that help to get clarity, be calm, live a guilt-free life etc. 1-1 personal sessions are also available if one does not want to participate in a group. If guests just want to spend some time in a peaceful and stress-free environment, Purnam caters to that need also. One can choose to relax by the swimming pool or garden, read in the cozy library or the open terrace or verandah, paint, write, unwind in the beautiful, spacious rooms or even work, if that is what they want to do. For people who need some activities along with the peace and solitude, Purnam also offers yoga classes, organises outdoor activities in the vicinity like surfing, adventure sports and even day trips to nearby destinations like Mahabalipuram which is 45 mins away and Pondicherry which is around 2 hours away. For organizations, Purnam can be an ideal place to hold workshops/weekend retreats for their employees.
Meditation Programs at Purnam Meditation Center & Retreat
I wanted to know more about the meditation programs and asked Senthil, who conducts the programs to explain what he does. He explained that meditation is not just about closing the eyes and chanting mantras. Meditation makes the mind calm and has the potential to make one successful and happy if done the right way. He mentioned that the quality of life one lives depends on the well-being of the mind. “Mind is nourished by meditation that works-like using the right manure ensures the blooming of flowers in a plant”. The meditation programs at Purnam are designed to help nourish the mind and enable one to live fully. Senthil asked if I would be willing to participate in a session and I immediately said yes. The time was fixed in the evening, just before sunset.
At the start of the session, Senthil asked me if I had any questions that I wanted answers to or if I wanted to know anything about life or just share what was going on inside my mind. I will not write details of what I spoke because that is personal but all I can say is that after that one hour of guided meditation, I felt so much at peace. I somehow felt that a big burden was lifted off my mind. I felt a strange lightness. I felt rejuvenated and relaxed.
It has been a while since I’m back from Purnam butI have noticed major improvements in my overall well-being. I feel confident again. And I am back to being the strong, happy, carefree person that you all know. I now know why Purnam happened and I thank the supreme power for sending me. I would encourage all of you to go there and experience the retreat. It is not an ashram. There are no Godmen. It is a place that will give you peace. It is a place that will stimulate your mind. It is a place where you can learn how to live a fulfilling life. If you want to know how it works, Purnam Meditation Center & Retreat is now offering a free meditation session that can be done either in person or on Skype. Click here to know more.
Purnam Meditation Center & Retreat
Phone: +91 9789997878
Location: Uthandi on ECR, Chennai 600119