An Unusual Practice in Issyk-Kul

Необычные упражнения на Иссык-Куле

Old songs often carry a very deep meaning. This morning I by chance happened to hear a song performed by Muslim Magomayev, which contained such lines as: “The speeds around are crazy, we barely restrain ourselves”. And I thought that if people of those times already regarded the times as crazy ones, then what should we say now?! Perhaps just as in all times, a person is drawn so much into the daily routine of endless affairs that a person cannot find the time to stop and do something that would not make him feel to be caught up in an endless pursuit…

Of course, stress should be calmed. There are different tricks for doing this. An unusual proposal was received from our neighbours in Kyrgyzstan for everyone who has a desire to take part in spiritual exercises in silence according to the method of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

This is not the first time these spiritual exercises have been held in a picturesque place on the shores of Lake Issyk-Kul, just 100 meters from the beach and just a few kilometres from the Tien Shan mountains. This time they are planned for March 16 to March 22 of 2020. This year’s theme is “God, guide me on the eternal path!” – Freedom, Thanksgiving, and Mercy.

An Unusual Practice in Issyk-Kul

 As is known, St. Ignatius of Loyola is the founder of the Jesuit Order, so it is not surprising that the Jesuit from Novosibirsk, Father Janez Sever, will lead the spiritual exercises.

The exercise program includes an introduction to Ignatian prayer and Holy Scripture meditation, individual and joint prayer, the Eucharist, Adoration, and the opportunity to speak with a spiritual mentor.

The fee for one participant is 80 euros. This amount covers not only the cost of staying in a double room and meals during the exercises, but also the road trip from Bishkek to the place of exercises – the village of Jenish, which takes about 5 hours.

These spiritual teachings are an excellent opportunity for participants from the CIS countries because they do not need a visa to enter Kyrgyzstan. A good spiritual and bodily rest in the fresh air with clean water and a beach is guaranteed. Nevertheless, this method was developed about 5 centuries ago, and since it is still in demand, it means that it is very effective. And from judging by the reviews on the centre’s website, on the basis of which these spiritual exercises are held, so that’s what it is.

An Unusual Practice in Issyk-Kul

One of the participants named Zulfiya writes: “This is the first time I have participated in such exercises in which I had to remain silent all the time. But I went into silence so quickly, I probably just only needed this”. And another, named Zamira, calls participating in the exercises “a gift that she didn’t ask, but at the same time it came just in time’’.

“This time I arrived in a state of deep, dense, viscous, impenetrable black polar spiritual night, and I left filled with peace, calmness and hope that God will always be there” shares another participant, Angelica.

Anyone can become a participant in these spiritual exercises: a layman, a priest or a nun. To apply for participation, you need to contact one of the organizers at the contacts below: Brother Damian (e-mail: damiansj@wp.pl, tel. +996 773 974 547), Fr. Remigiusz Kalski (tel. +996 556 613 830).

Католическая информационная служба Казахстана

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