For the third year running, Buddhist Gem Fellowship and gloWithin collaborated to organise a unique retreat for families, one in which both parent(s) and teen(s) must attend together – with the objective of developing better understanding and forging closer bonds in each family. The environment at the resort was lovely, and organisers and participants were all blessed with the good company and enriching learning from the three-day retreat.

A total of 10 families attended the retreat, and apart from gloWithin facilitators (gloWithin is an initiative dedicated to encourage the practice of mindfulness among adults, youth and children), we were grateful to have Bhante Kumara to be present as a speaker too.

Below is the sharing from one of the families – father, mother and two sons participated in the retreat:

“The overall retreat was educational to both the children and parents. It was good to recall and express our childhood feeling….. Sharing the good and bad times bring back fond memories.”

Kingsley (Father)

“It was a wonderful and fun 3 days 2 night camp. Learning how to be closer and understanding toward one another. Accommodation was an amazing choice with beautiful sceneries and fresh cooling air. Activities were fun and educational that does not bored both adults and teen. Overall was a good and wonderful experience for both adults and teenagers.

Ivan (Elder son)

“The 3 days 2 nights retreat was a great and fun experience. As everyone got the chance to express their feelings to their family that they had been keeping to themselves deep down; managed to build a better bonding and trust with their family; built the confidence to tell their family their difficulties. Moreover, activities were really fun and educational which taught both adults and children how to get along well and understand each other.

Ian (Youngest son)

“This is the 1st family retreat joined by my family. It was really good time spend without having our hand phones. Every meal was so romantic with eye to eye connection amongst the family members. We spend quality family time every moment: sleeping, eating, meditate, exercise and doing art & craft.
The parent group shared their experiences in bringing up children while the children were taught to voice out their wishes to their parents confidently.
This retreat not only bridged our minds but truly joined our hearts to solve whatever problems we are facing as a family. After attending this family retreat, my family is planning our future ahead together by spending as much time as possible through eating, travelling, watching movies and regular family meetings. I hope this family retreat continues to be organised to benefit more families and I encourage every family to join this family retreat at least once in their lifetime. Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu.”

Fei (Mother)

Our utmost gratitude to everyone who participated, to the organisers and facilitators, to Bhante Kumara and to the venue owner for kindly allowing us to use the beautiful place. May the seeds planted continue to be watered so that they will grow into its fullest potential.