Empowered through Experiences

Empowered with Clarity

by Ulla Bernholdt, Denmark

I am happy that I got the opportunity to attend Empowered 5 in Mumbai. Having experienced the first E5 with Mohanji in Serbia in 2022, I thought I knew what I could expect, but this time, we would sit in silence for ten days instead of 5. I looked forward to diving deeper into meditation and silence this time. 

There was this need to reconnect with myself after a long period where I didn’t feel well physically and emotionally. I was unhappy and frustrated as everything was moving very slowly, workwise, even though I put a lot of attention and energy into it. It was as if nothing was working, and I became more upset by the day, asking myself, what did I do wrong? I started blaming myself and others in the team for not being responsive and taking any initiative to do seva when we had so many opportunities. This I did despite Mohanji always telling us to have fewer expectations and to have patience. 

I joined a small group of E5 participants in the Silent Hill Resort venue in Mumbai, and I felt this would be ideal for meditation. In the first satsang with Mohanji, a question to him was: What if we cannot meditate? Mohanji answered that it is fine, and we should go into the current situation and experience it fully, concentrating without involving the mind. 

This statement became very useful to me in time. I felt very high during the first Empowered, meditating for 5 to 7 hours daily. This time, if I meditated at all, 2 hours of the whole retreat would have been the maximum. But believe me, I gained so much.

Mohanji in Mumbai during Empowered 5.0

As the first few days went by, I started feeling negative and irritated. We had a lot of opportunities to face and cleanse our deepest impressions with four fantastic group Mai-Tri sessions led by Preeti Duggal. I felt even more negative and asked for a personal Mai-Tri. The practitioner was right when she mentioned that I carried many insecurities and self-doubt. I had not felt this for some time, but now the skeletons came out of the closet. 

It was hard for me to accept the feelings without judging myself. I kept thinking that I was useless and not good enough because whatever I did, I did not believe in myself fully. How could I be of service then? My mind became very turbulent; I was feeling helpless, drowning in emotions, and I called Mohanji internally to please help me. 

After a few days of feeling like that, I slowly regained my senses. Mohanji’s presence and the Mai-Tri worked wonders, and awareness settled in. I told myself that Mohanji has always been with me as a mirror of acceptance. He knew every one of my weaknesses, and still, he keeps loving me and everyone else unconditionally. Despite karmic patterns and heaviness, I must start afresh and be positive against all odds. It is either do or die. I felt my body begin to walk confidently, and my mind was suddenly filled with a sense of purpose and new clarity. Looking back, I did not do anything wrong in the past period, but I did not believe fully in myself. This is not a catastrophe but a pattern to work on, work to do. 

I feel lighter and brighter now. Although I was not able to meditate much, I felt happy that I was able to face some of my lower emotions and overcome them. 

Mohanji mentioned that he missed seeing all the people who did Empowered 1-4 on the retreat; he felt there was a lack of consistency in people. Many of us may have a misconception and compare Empowered and our spiritual evolution with mundane education where there is no need to do 5th class again once we finish. Actually, it does not happen in a straight line or a journey from A to B but is more of a process with interchanging setbacks and progress. 

I realized that whatever happened or not, it was indeed very beneficial, and I am sure there is a lot more to come in my Empowered journey toward mastery. I will do my best to prioritize the golden opportunity of being in Mohanji’s transformative presence and grace. 

I want to thank all who have supported me, my dear Guru Mohanji, the organizing team, and all the participants for the best retreat I have ever attended. Everything worked smoothly and elegantly, giving us the best conditions to go within ourselves without too many distractions from outside.

At the silent hill of the Master

By Mahantesh Math, India

When it was announced that the Empowered 5.0 retreat would happen offline for the first time in India at the Silent Hill Resort near Mumbai, I was excited. That I could not attend the previous course, even online, increased my eagerness. But as the date came closer, I had some work-related constraints, and I doubted whether I would be able to attend at all. I kept the cards open till the last moment and finally decided to join, inspired by some members of the M – family.

The Empowered series is quite unique in that, on the one hand, it is a condensation of all the teachings of Mohanji – ‘to be you,’ superadded with some techniques and on the other, the physical presence of the Master himself for the entire retreat that makes it a serious affair.

 As the retreat began, with a recap of the previous series on the first day, with moderate food, sleep, and restriction of movements to minimal and being devoid of all the gadgets, the mind started militating against it. It was hard to get used to the ways of the retreat in the initial days. The days were power-packed with Mai-Tri sessions and Satsangs with Mohanji. 

One day, Mohanji asked the participants to come closer to him as he expanded his consciousness to give them a glimpse of it. I felt it as an expansion of my heart center for a few minutes, and it was so powerful that I thought my heart might tear away. Yes, one could get a glimpse of it.

The next day, after the pranayam, as the Mai-Tri session began, ‘the silence’ started pervading, and as Preetiji began the session, it felt like we were in a different world. The next few days were ‘uneventful’, and I was getting a little impatient that nothing was happening. There were moments of despair.

During those powerful group Mai-Tri sessions, I felt I was not releasing enough and that I was being too rigid. The next day, I prayed to Baba and Mohanji to enable me to release the trapped emotions and impressions as much as possible and express myself freely, overcoming my self-imposed inhibitions. 

On that particular morning, there was no Mai-Tri session, and a feeling of despair began. I took a tea break and then decided to learn the art of watching my thoughts, at least before the retreat concluded. As I sat trying to watch my thoughts, the thoughts seemed more troublesome than the things that the thoughts were about. 

What happened after a while is difficult to put into words. I felt like a small bird flying above a deep, silent valley. It was so vast, magnificent, and palpable that my heart began screaming. I just sat glued to my chair. When the experience ended, I wondered how such vastness could exist in me.

The entire retreat was quite memorable, and no words can express gratitude to the Master for having granted such an invaluable thing in such an easy and casual manner. 


Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 11th February 2024


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