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Salesian Brothers of West-zone get Introduced to Neuro Linguistic Programming
By Castilino
Hyderabad, Oct. 26. The Salesian Brothers of the West-zone, comprising of Mumbai, Panjim and Hyderabad, gathered together in Matunga, Mumbai for a five day animation programme on Neuro Linguistic Programming from October 22 to 26, 2012.  This programme, as part of the ongoing formation of the Brothers, was animated by Fr Fermin D'Souza SJ.  The focus was on helping live our prayer life better through a more holistic attitude based on feelings and emotions rather than mind and reason alone. Altogether 16 Brothers attended this refresher programme.
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''We tend to live and are comfortable to operate at our thought-level.  That is what makes us functional; but not necessarily normal. To live a balanced and healthy life, one ought to constantly live in touch also with ones feelings,'' stated Fr Fermin D'Souza repeatedly.  Fr Fermin, through his theoretical and practical sessions, guided the participants in getting in touch with their own feelings. He attributed most of the physical ailments to a lack of concern for the body and a misplaced thrust on rationalisation or unhealthy spiritualization.  He also showed the intricate relationship between physical sensations, psycho-somatic ailments, emotional blocks, intellectual acumen, discerning will and the transcendent spiritual.  He shared quite a few examples from his vast experience, endorsing them with simple exercises, to help the Brothers see the point he was driving at.  

''All of these aspects should help us live a better prayer life,'' was the basic conviction of the animator.  To this end, he personally animated the various moments of prayer and spend two days in addressing issues that block us from living a meaningful prayer life. He patiently led the group through meditation techniques, attitudes and modes of simple contemplative prayer, role of emotions in prayer, perspectives on forgiveness and simplicity of life.  

The Provincial house of Mumbai hosted the meeting and the confreres of the community went out of their way in arranging for the requirements of the programme and making the stay of the participants a pleasant one.  The neighbouring communities of Matunga school, Andheri and Wadala too treated the Brothers royally to a solemn meal each evening.  The logistics of the whole programme was seen to by Br Ramesh Durairaj, the Brothers' delegate of the Mumbai Province.

The last Brothers' Congress was held in Chennai in 2003 and one of the lines of action was to encourage Brothers and facilitate participation in ongoing formation programmes, at least in smaller groups, if not as a whole South-Asian region. The animation programme held in Matunga was precisely in line with this decision arrived at.

A note about the animator: Fr Fermin D'Souza SJ is an acclaimed retreat preacher and a well-known therapist who has to his credit an indepth knowledge and a vast experience of guiding religious and lay people through their difficult phases of life to a better and holistic lifestyle.  He is presently accompanying the scholastics of the Jesuits at Belgaum, in Karnataka.  
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