The ESR18 emphasized meditation, volunteer work and charity activities while the daily schedule satisfied the participants’ needs.
The motto “Caring Hearts, Helping Hands” was carried along by everyone – and imprinted on the welcome gift tote-bags.
People from 23 countries were united by the language of the heart and joined to deliver common services, ensuring a smooth running event.
As every year since 2015 when the first summer retreat was held, preparation and planning had started many months before.
Due to an intensive collaboration of many, everything was ready and set-up in time on the LCP grounds.
The first day, Saturday, July 21, was the peak period of arrivals.
The reception and transportation crews were busy day and night greeting the constant flow of guests.
On Sunday, July 22, the European Summer Retreat 2018 commenced to fantastic weather conditions and a beautifully decorated area.
Many young people attended ESR18. They organized individual “youth” meetings to become better acquainted, preparing songs for the Guru Purnima celebration, and creating marvelous mandalas from colored sand in the meditation tent.
On Tuesday, July 24, the big group activity took place: the annual hay collection…
More than 100 volunteers dragged large plastic canvases filled with hay to a massive compost location, clearing the fields near the LCP grounds within one day.
A participant described the hay collecting as “a game of countless grasshoppers in the wide field of scented hay.”
On Wednesday, July 25, another group activity took place: gifts for the homeless.
Many joined to prepare and decorate small parcels and individual gifts for the inhabitants of the homeless home in the village Lésna.
Creative drawings accompanied each and every package together with heartfelt wishes.
Throughout the days pleasant singing echoed here and there as groups prepared for the Guru Purnima celebration.
The joyful anticipation of Guru Purnima, dedicated to the current and former spiritual Masters grew daily.
In the very early morning of Guru Purnima on July 27, the meditation tent gradually filled with eager ones to meditate. Magnificent rangolis, garlands and bunches of fresh flowers decorated the scene.
Throughout the day people enjoyed satsangs and meditation. The celebration and its festive atmosphere were a uniquely exceptional experience!
The evening of this special day was dedicated to singing performances and meditation.
Different country groups presented a variety of songs with the youth group performing its first self-composed song. It was an enjoyable moment when presenters and audience alike joyfully clapped and sang together.
After a session of meditation the day´s program concluded with everyone singing a devotional song “Kar Kirpa.” During these last moments we were filled with a deep peace and uplifting joy.