Meditation Programme for Ex-Cadres – Life is a JOURNEY and Not a destination

The Bureau of the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation(BCGR) organized a meditation programme for the ex-combatants residing in the rehabilitation centres. The programme was conducted in Maruthamadu in Anuradhapura, Poonthottam in Vavuniya and Senapura in Welikantha over a period of 3 months. Around 645 participants attended the programme. The beneficiaries of the BCGR undergoing rehabilitation are offered a wide range of skills development programmes including Plumbing workshops, Electrical courses, Masonry programmes and Carpentry courses. These courses enable them to learn skills in preparation for livelihood initiatives. The BCGR also co-ordinates with other institutions to secure loans for small businesses. The Meditation program was headed by Ms Suhila Raja who is a counseling specialist and has been working with the BCGR in conducting psychosocial programs for ex-combatants. The programme include a wide range of meditation techniques which enable the participants to focus their minds on positive, happy and peaceful situations. They also learn sun prayer and deep breathing. Participants are encouraged to utilize peer counselling techniques to discuss their experiences with other beneficiaries and anchor them within themselves. They engage in soul dance, music and art activities. Participants say that the programme helps them to “develop meditation skills” , “learn to be happy and peaceful” , “accept life and move forward”, “heal and move away from pain” and “find a balance within themselves”. The programme puts forward the concept LIFE IS A JOURNEY and NOT A DESTINATION. Participants learn to accept this philosophical concept and are able to deal with their emotional side and seek balance and contentment in life.

By Dr.A.S.A.Safras

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