Two Day Preksha Meditation Workshop for Oki Yoga Group of Rimini, Italy

Posted: 31.12.2008
Updated on: 29.11.2012

Two Day Preksha Meditation Workshop for Oki Yoga Group of Rimini, Italy

By Rashmi Shah

Samani Prasanna Pragya and Samani Rohit Pragya of Jain Vishva Bharati London (JVBL) conducted a two day Preksha Meditation Workshop on the Sunday 14th and Monday 15th of December 2008 for a group of 13 people from the Oki Yoga Group Rimini, Italy. The group varied in ages from 19 to 55 years and included Yoga practioners and teachers.

One of the group organisers Ms Dianella Loi had visited JVBL centre in July of this year and invited Samanijis to come to Italy to conduct a workshop on Preksha Meditation. Samanijis suggested them to come to London as their programme was already fixed. She together with her partner Antonio had also visited the Jain Vishva Bharati Centre in Ladnun, Rajasthan in 1995 and had met the late Ganadhipati Gurudev Shree Tulsi and Acharya Mahapragyaji.

After the registration (immatricolazione/caffe) of the participators, Samanijis recited Namaskara Mahamantra and Mangal Bhavana.  Shree Balwantji Maru, President of JVBL formally welcomed the group. During the opening introductory session (introduzione) the participants were paired with the volunteers in order to find out their background, hobbies, etc and then each paired group had to relay to the group their insight of the partners.

This was followed by the most important session, which was the Goal-Setting exercise (obeiettivo discussioni), where each of the group participants had to state; “what made you come to the JVBL for the workshop” and state three points on “what do you want to achieve throughout the workshop”. This was summarised to find the key recurring themes and the following key three areas were identified:

  • Meditation
  • Self knowledge
  • Self control and well being

The Samanijis then gave a discourse and an initiation into the Preksha Meditation workshop (Iniziazione Corso). This was followed with an explanation and meaning of Preksha Dhyan/Meditation.  The Samanijis stated that in this workshop they would be concentrating only on the three techniques.

  • Total relaxation with self awareness - KAYOTSARG
  • Perception of deep breathing - DIRGA SWASH PREKSHA
  • Perception of white colour on the centre of enlightment - JYOTI KENDRA PREKSHA

This was followed by a short Practice of Meditation (Practicia/Esercizio Meditazio) in the form of an introduction to relaxation conducted by Samani Prasanna Pragya.

After lunch (Intervalo del Pranzare) Samani Rohit Pragya conducted a workshop in Mantra chanting (Cantilena) by providing an initial explanation of what the mantra meant (Man+tra=mind+protection= protection of the mind) followed by a detailed explanation of the phrases and words in the particular mantra, followed by group chanting of the mantra.

This was followed by a session on the introduction into the Practice of a Total Relaxation (Practicia/Esercizio Rilasamento) - Kayotsarg conducted by Shree Rashmibhai Shah. All the participants enjoyed this and that everyone felt relaxed, calm and peaceful. The difficulty of conveying the instructions in English by words, tone and pitch into Italian was carried out perfectly by the translator Ms Marissa Curro and this was followed by a welcome tea break. As in the lunch break this allowed the participants to discuss their experiences with each other as well as the centre volunteers.

Tea break was followed by the last session of the day - the Practice of Yoga (Practicia/Esercizio Yoga) conducted by the instructor Shreemati Pusphaben Halai, which proved quite popular, as the participants are regular practioners and teachers of Yoga. However the view after the session was that the Yoga session was very much different and gentler and the best audience participant was in the laughter therapy exercise, where all the participators let go of themselves.

After the Yoga session there was a DVD show of Preksha Meditation together with a translation, which was followed by an interesting question and answer session into Jainism and where a review of the first day was also conducted.

The second day of the workshop was much more practical based and started off with a recitation of Mangal Bhavana (Sacro) and Preksha song (Canzone). This was followed by an explanation and practice of meditation conducted by the Samanijis on relaxation, perception of deep breathing and perception of the centre of enlightment, which was followed by a session of Yoga.

After a short break for tea and coffee (Intervallo - Pausa), the Samanijis conducted two sessions on stress.

  • What is stress? (Cosa Anglicismo)
  • How stress hardy am I? (Esercitare La Gestione Dello Stress)

The session on stress was obviously followed by the practice of relaxation conducted by the Samanijis to combat stress and learn the techniques for self-control and for improving physical, emotional and mental stress.  This was followed by a session of Mantra chanting.

Afternoon session was aptly “Art of Eating” (Artigianato Andare) and was well received with a lively debate and thereafter by another practice of the techniques of Preksha Meditation. In the final session a DVD on the lifestyle of Jain nuns, and a DVD on Preksha Meditation International Camp held annually   in India were shown.

In the various sessions the people in the group showed keen interest and asked questions regarding Jainism, including Jain culture and philosophy.

The event ended with a very lively question and answer session together with the pulling together of the objectives identified during the Goal-Setting exercise on day one and the methodology and techniques for achieving them. The Samanijis and their way of life inspired the participants. It was felt that a link should be formed between JVBL and Oki Yoga Group in Rimini to promote Preksha Meditation in Italy.  The Group thanked the Samanijis and the centre for sharing their knowledge and providing a well-conducted workshop as well as the hospitality provided by the centre.

The entire two day workshops could not have been conducted without the excellent translation provided by Ms Marissa Curro who conveyed both the words and the feelings beautifully; all present showed their appreciation. 

This was followed by closing speeches from Ms Dianella Loi and Shree Ashokbhai Gudka.  Shree Dineshbhai Shah on behalf of JVBL thanked the group for their generous donation to the centre. Samanijis recited Mangal Paath as well as a prayer for the group’s safe journey to Italy.

Thereafter, the volunteers took the group on a short tour of the Swaminarayan Hindu Temple in Neasden, London followed by a relaxing dinner at a vegetarian restaurant.


Samanijis conducting workshop for Italian group


Okido Yoga group - Enjoying the Preksha Meditation Workshop


Participants in deep meditation


Participants in deep meditation


Participants in Yoga Session


Practise of Relaxation


Samanijis and JVB Volunteers with Italian group

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