Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

Empowering Mobeds Offsite Training Seminar in Sanjan

The first ever off site Mobed Training seminar was organized by the Empowering Mobeds team last weekend in Sanjan, Gujarat, India

Young Binaifer is in a deep dilemma- her first heartbreak has left her shattered and made her completely averse to the idea of love. As she steps into the agiary on Saturday morning, she prays to the Holy Atash wondering who would help her get rid of this heartache.

Could the solution to such problems and many more be given by our Mobeds? Why not ! With that in mind the Empowering Mobeds Programme conducted its first ever off-site training programme at the beautiful and verdant Bai Maneckbai P.B. Jeejebhoy Sanatorium in Sanjan. The goal was simple- to impart basic counselling skills to our young priests and help them develop a strong connect to the laiety. Empowering Mobeds is a joint initiative of the Athornan Mandal and WZO Trust Funds . Having successfully conducted workshops and sessions in the past year, this event was eagerly awaited by the Mobeds who had registered in advance to make the most of this opportunity. The weekend following Valentine’s Day was an exciting one for the group. Mr Dinshaw Tamboly was there to actively support and participate along with the mobeds in the sessions ably handled by Mrs Binaifer Sahukar, Mrs Kashmira Kakalia and Ms Delphi Wadia.

Day 1 was kickstarted with a sumptuous lunch of Chicken curry rice and fried Boi fish, courtesy of the Tavadia family who run the sanatorium very efficiently. A quick introduction about Empowering Mobeds and its objectives was done by Er Sheherazad Pavri. Thereafter the group was split into pairs and Mrs Kashmira initiated a session on Narrative Therapy. The importance of listening and asking the right questions was stressed upon by her. Hearing someone’s story is very important, especially in today’s fast paced world where people are used to comparing each other’s lives on social media and the art of a healthy conversation is dying! A quick tea break filled with intense discussions was taken over by Er Hormuz Dadachanji. He shared his experience and stressed on how a Mobed should be professional and serve the fire with diligence. When pursued with dedication, this is the noblest of professions and prosperity awaits the doer. Food for mind was followed by food for the tummy. Thereafter, Mr Tamboly gave a short yet inspiring talk on what it takes to be successful. The participant Mobeds were encouraged to give their best in every walk of life, to keep learning for a lifetime and to lead by example. The group dispersed for the night for some chatter , getting to know each other better with the cool Sanjan wind blowing in their faces.

What better way to begin your day 2 then visiting the agiary next door! After offering our prayers in the serene atmosphere there and a quick photo stop at the majestic Sanjan Stumbh, a delicious breakfast was served to the entire group- the famous “Doodh-puffs” filled to the top with extra servings of love and care, the Sanatorium is easily a foodie’s haven but surely not one for the “faint-calorie-hearted”! The morning session on self awareness and basic psychotherapy was initiated by Mrs Binaifer . Common cognitive distortions were highlighted and active inputs from the participants made this experience truly fun. It was the perfect environment of understanding the importance of mind over matter and how to understand the opposite person’s perceptions while being an avid listener and asking quality questions. This was coupled by a fluid recitation of the famous poem “Invictus” by Er Firdaus Pavri where the participating Mobeds were inspired to take action and be the makers of their own destiny. Another lipsmacking lunch later , the final session on ‘Understanding Mindsets and Persoanlities’ was conducted by Ms Delphi Wadia. This was done especially to facilitate a healthy workplace environment for the Mobeds where they deal with people from all walks of life. Individual results of a priorly conducted MBTI personality test were shared to enlist the various personality types. From the creative to the judgemental and analytical to the empathetic, the participants shared in good humour their personality types through the collated test scores . On the basis of the same, an interesting activity involving brainstorming to revive a crumbling agiary was carried out. It was heartening to see active participation from the youngest participant aged 17 to 50+ adults hurriedly scribbling and charting out their ideas out of sheer love for the community. More of these ideas will be flowing in the coming weeks and we would also encourage our community members to contribute to this cause.

Safe to say, a young “White Army” was trained at Sanjan and returned back safely, armed with life changing counselling skills. Our religion is a beautiful one and will be nothing without our Mobeds. So will the ‘Keepers of the Flame’ march on? You bet! Make sure you approach your” friendly neighbourhood mobed” and share your problem. Who knows, he could be one of the “White Army” , and if he isn’t , encourage him to sign up!

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