All Paths Lead To ONE

The Southwest Region 2019  Unity Retreat “Living in God ~ Day to Day with Sai”, took place on Labor Day weekend, August 31-September 2, 2019, at the beautiful Cathedral Ridge Retreat Center in Woodland Park, Colorado. Guest speakers were Dr. Sunder Iyer and DYA, a Dallas-based Young Adult music group. There were more than 80 people in attendance, including 12 children and 22 Young Adults. The retreat also drew SSIO members from Texas, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and California.

A service project on practicing Unity was also carried out. The retreat center is nestled along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains and surrounded by multiple trails and paths. Retreat attendees were divided into 3 groups. The first group were tasked with clearing a path along a devotional trail up a mountain, along which were marked the 12 Stations of the Cross, which describe Jesus Christ's last journey towards His Crucifixion. The path to the top of the mountain was steep. But it was also a wonderful opportunity for Christian retreat attendees to lead and teach the others about this significant devotional exercise of walking to each of the 12 stations,  while removing rocks, brush and branches to better demarcate the path.

The second group was tasked with clearing many other paths between various areas within the retreat center. They clearly defined a number of paths with stone borders. In one clearing, they laid down stones to create symbols of various faiths, as Dr. Sunder Iyer discussed the meaning of these various faith-symbols.  These stone symbols were then left for future visitors to enjoy and reflect on the message of Unity of Faiths. Finally, the last group carried out the hard work of carrying heavy picnic tables to a different area, and cleaning all the windows throughout the retreat center.

All the participants felt happy and gratified upon the completion of the service projects. The staff of Cathedral Ridge felt astonished at how quickly, thoroughly and efficiently the Sai volunteers were able to accomplish all their tasks. Through the service activities, the retreat attendees experienced firsthand the meaning of Oneness with each other, a deepened understanding Sai Baba’s message of the Unity of Faiths, and how many Paths lead to One Truth.

One Sai Center member reflected on how the clearing of the Paths was symbolic of clearing the obstacles to our understanding of Sathya Sai Baba’s message of Unity in Diversity. Another attendee shared how she was inspired to create a new path leading toward the meditation-reflection outdoor chapel area, which opened new pathways to an inner-view of “work as worship”.