EMBRACING REGENERATIVE LIVING EVENT, Updated September 2022
- What is this event about?
This event is designed for families who are seeking alternative ways of learning, living, and deepening networks of like-hearted families. This event allows families to come together as a unit, reflect on a few critical questions, and deepen their connection with one another and themselves.
- What does Embracing Regenerative Living mean?
Regenerative living is the idea of leaving things in a better place. Be it our health, wellbeing, habits, communication patterns, rituals – what does it take for us to assess how we are doing and how could we make it better as per our definitions – are the two ways in which we try to embrace regenerative living.
- Is this event mainly about climate change or sustainable lifestyle?
No. However, the need to adopt a regenerative mindset is pronounced in the face of the effects of the climate crisis we are part of. So we do acknowledge it during the retreat.
- Why are you doing this?
We are a young family trying to lead intentional lives in an authentic manner. In this long and arduous journey, we find ourselves oscillating between the states of being lost, confused, frustrated, successful, and happy. More importantly, the sense of loneliness we feel pushes us to seek community. We could not find such places.
So we decided to hold space for other families who might be seeking alternatives and companionship. Thus this retreat offering was born.
- How do I prepare myself and my family to attend this retreat?
- Be open and flexible – while we will go in with a plan, we also allow for flow. We make the plan knowing we might not follow through.
- Leave things behind – We all have multiple things hanging in the air. We are taking the time out to participate in this retreat despite many impediments. Still, when you arrive, bring your whole self, available for new experiences. Be here in this moment through the three days.
- Make time – if you want to explore Tiruvannamalai and the surrounding areas, do arrive early or stay behind. During the retreat time, we may not have adequate time for sightseeing.
- Build new connections – In place of wi-fi and 5G, we will aspire to make new people connections. Connections with our own self, our family, and the nature around us intentionally and mindfully.
- What can I expect during the 2 days?
We tailor each retreat based on the kind of families who come. We also try to align the flow based on their expectations. However, here are a few sacred aspects we continue as a tradition. We offer activities which would help
- cultivate habits of reflective practice
- To discover patterns of thinking, acting as individuals and as family
- Assess existing rituals and beliefs as individuals and family
In terms of energy levels, we balance it between a few intense sessions, circle times, me time, couple time, family time, and do-nothing times.
- How will the event flow?
Day 1 (check-in noon)
Welcome and Introductions
Getting to know each other
Quick intro/practice to building self-awareness
Intro to Regenerative Living
– Understanding the regenerative mindset
Circling back to self-awareness
Deconstructing common words and their meanings (ex: Family, Education, Success)
Open forum for QnA
Day 3 (Check-out 5 pm)
Rituals and us
Actions and Prototypes to take the ideas forward
Closing the loops
- What will we get out of it?
You will be able to manifest the intentions you set forth when you come. We invite families and individuals to contribute to the whole experience. We will get as much as we are willing to give.
A family handbook which will help us continue our conversations beyond the retreat. And, an invitation to join our alumni network.
- Will there be any activity?
We will use a balance between activities, discussions, reflections, and play times.
- How will you engage our children?
Since it’s a family retreat we want to include children as much as possible in all activities. In cases when they feel a need to step out we have a team who will take care of them. We have specific activities designed for them which are aligned to topics we discuss with adults. There will be plenty of time for free play and doing nothing as well.
- Who are the facilitators?
Jayashree and Arasu will be the primary facilitators. We have a volunteer team who support us with childcare, setting up, and documentation purposes.
- What is the contribution?
Rs 3200 per Adult || Rs 2200 Per child (3 years to 10 years) Plus Facilitation Charge Rs 2000 per family. This offering doesn’t have a price tag. Your contribution will help us cover basic charges for the venue and operational expenses.
- Where is the venue?
We will stay at Sri Anantha Niketan, a retreat and ashram center in Tiruvannamalai. It is about 10 kms from Sri Ramana Ashram, in Bangalore Road. Please check out the venue website for detailed directions and guidelines about your accommodation.
- What about food and accommodation?
Food and accommodation is provided at the venue. Local vegetarian food, served at specific times of the day.
Breakfast 830am – 9 am with tea/herbal tea | 11 am Tea break | 12.30 – 1.30 lunch | 3.30 – Tea break | 6.30 pm dinner.
Accommodation is simple, ashram style cottages per family. Some have attached bathrooms. Some don’t. Families who come with elders and infants are given higher preference for the rooms with bathrooms.
- How many families will come?
It depends on how many sign up. Our maximum intake capacity is 10 families (2 adults, 2 children).
- Can I bring my toddler?
Yes, you can. Request another adult to join you, if you want to give your full participation at the retreat.
- Can I bring my teenager?
Yes, you can. Please ensure they are able to find activities that work best for them, in cases when the discussions adults have become less interesting for them. They can also choose to be volunteers helping our team work with children.
- Can I bring the grandparents?
Absolutely. They can help our team work with children, share their stories, and life experiences. They may also enjoy the serene environment.
- Will I have time to go to temple or girivalam or sight seeing?
We suggest you arrive early or stay back after the retreat to see more of the town. During the retreat days we discourage families from stepping out.
- What is the language?
Unless it is stated, we use English for most communication. In case Tamil speaking families come, we sometimes alter between English and Tamil.
- Is there any discount?
Our charges help us cover the cost for the facilitators’ and volunteers’ food, accommodation, materials, and time spent in preparation. We are unable to offer any discounts at this point. Additionally, we encourage families to donate in kind or money for our volunteers.
- When is the last date to register?
Ideally we close registrations 2 weeks prior to the event. Email us to check if we can make exceptions for you.
- What is your refund policy?
We won’t be able to issue any refunds. We recommend families who find themselves stuck in emergencies to reserve a spot in future gatherings.
- When should I arrive? When can I leave?
We suggest you come around noon on the day of the retreat. You can leave the campus around 5pm on the closing day.
- Can I come before or extend my stay?
Yes. We suggest you work with the venue manager to arrange for your stay beyond the retreat days. Contact info on the venue website.
- How do I sign up?
Kindly fill the application form to sign up. This is non-negotiable.
- What is the dress code?
The space we use will have people from the neighbouring villages. We suggest people wear conservative clothes.
- What are the things I need to pack?
- An object that symbolises your family/something important for all of you
- A journal / writing instrument / colouring instruments
- Mosquito repellent that works for you
- Torch (to navigate the campus after sunset)
- Snacks – between meal times if children get hungry, it is a good idea to have some comfort foods
- Clothes you don’t mind getting dirty
- Pullovers or something to keep you warm at night
- Bedspread and Bed Sheets if you want to have your own (please note – blankets, beds, and pillows with covers are provided at the ashram)
- Costume – Please do bring a costume of the character you deeply resonate with. WE encourage you to get creative about the costume – create the costume from your existing wardrobe. Improvise.
- Optional: Games for the community, hiking gear, walking shoes.
- Any recommendations for sightseeing?
Sri Ramana Ashram, Skandashram, Virupaksha Cave, Yogiram Surat kumar ashram, Annamalaiyar temple, Girivalam / giri pradikshna, Premalaya Crafts shop, Children’s park, Sathanur Dam, Cuckoo Forest, Javadhu Hills, Paruvatha malai hike. More visitor’s info here.