15 May The Importance Of Retreats
THIS IS AN ADDRESS TO THE DEVOTEES IN LONDON BY HIS HOLINESS BHAKTI CHARU SWAMI, MAY 2010
Transcription and Editing : Anasuya Dasi
I was also thinking that I spoke for about one hour, but what I really wanted to say I didn’t say that. What I really wanted to say is that I am very happy to be here with you all.
Devotees: “Haribol!” (clapping)
I had been missing you all very much. Actually it has been one of the longest absences from England last twenty five years. I’ve been coming practically every three months or so, but this time I have been away for about nine months. Probably you can understand my difficulties and different responsibilities, different other areas, which didn’t allow me to or enable me to come earlier. But often I thought of you all and I do miss it very much, especially Bhaktivedanta Manor, and I feel very happy to be here with you all and I’m very happy to see you all. Although I couldn’t have much of a personal exchange with most of you but I’m looking forward to more of personal exchanges.
And in this respect I also wanted to mention that, today I was told that this year the participation in the Malaga retreat is even lesser than last year. Whereas last year the feeling actually was that this year there would be more devotees, because devotees were so excited after the retreat that they felt that many more would come. So in this respect I just want to let you know that this retreat actually has been designed simply for the sake of your association. Like, when I had the heart problem two years back I was told by the doctor not to travel so much and I also realized that I cannot possibly travel very much nowadays.
That’s why I thought that I would spend one week in…, just in one place, away from everything, where the devotees come and meet me and we can spend the time together. And I also used to tell them that, all the time, all this years I had been traveling to come to you, now you travel a little to come to me. So, please consider the importance of this retreat. I need to spend time with you. I have taken some responsibility for your spiritual life and I feel very guilty that I am not able to execute it properly; guiding you personally, taking care of your spiritual life personally. So please make it a point to come to the retreat.