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CHYK camp – Fun and insightful reflections at Chinmaya Mission Houston

CHYK Campers

CHYK Campers

by Satchitananda
Photos and CHYK Camp organized by Jayakrishna Gundamaraju
Carrying the tradition of imparting Vedantic wisdom to the youth, which was very close to the heart of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, Chinmaya Mission Houston(CMH) conducted a power-packed intense summer camp for CHYK. From June 15th to 17th, 35 youngsters aged 17-28 had a reflective weekend guided by the dynamic Acarya Vivek Gupta of CM Niagara Falls and inspiring Brni. Shweta Chaitanya of CMH.
Themed aptly as “Evolution Within – From Prosperity to Peace,” the camp introduced the participants to their own minds. The Acaryas, through interesting exercises, interactive sessions, insightful workshops and enlightening discourses, empowered the participants to observe their own minds. At the end of the camp, all were able to make a paradigm shift in making the normally distracted or even negative mind to be trained as focused, creative and constructive.
Vivekji elaborated on the six sacred verses of the Siva Sankalpa Suktam, the Vedic hymn that highlighted the way toward an auspicious mind. The participants unraveled the ‘What’, ‘Why’ and ‘How’ of their thinking faculty. As the Acaryas distilled the Truth of the text into simple, practicable and easy-to-remember messages, they also guided the attentive youth into deep introspection.
The participants played exciting games like “Ego Erasers” which helped them to see their similarities with others whilst respecting the differences. Every day, each participant completed the “Reflective Activity of the Day” (RAD) which made them examine their own minds deeply. Complementing the talks that raised questions like “What is willpower?,” and “How can you develop willpower?,”the reflective excursions into the mind gave an opportunity to not only apply the wisdom but also internalize it.

Participants during a lecture session from the Acharyas.

Participants during a lecture session from the Acharyas.

More reflective time was interspersed between discourse sessions through mounam (silence) and meditation. While the focus was intense, fun did not take a back seat during the camp. From watching Incredibles 2 movie to building towers of cards, the enjoyment was palpable. Open Mic Night gave the youth a perfect platform to showcase their talents like standup comedy, singing/dancing to bhajans and social commentary. The powerful message of the camp got assimilated into the young minds as they resolved to slow down, step back, see more, and smile more as they take firm steps in their spiritual evolution.
Both the Acaryas helped the youth translate rich ancient philosophy into practice by giving them a variety of tools to transform mindlessness to mindfulness, apathy to empathy, and prosperity to peace. As the attendees left with a firm resolve to work on their self development goals, their subtle minds were naturally filled with gratitude for the countless volunteers behind the scenes and the amazing legacy of Acaryas Gaurang and Darshana Nanavaty. Jayakrishna Gundamaraju’s extraordinary coordination made the camp a real success. This article was sourced with reports from excited camp attendees, Suriya Sharma and Saaketh Rao.
Tradition steeped in wisdom, diffused with fun is the norm at Chinmaya Mission Houston, located at Chinmaya Prabha, 10353, Synott Road, Sugar Land, TX-77498. For more information, visit www.chinmayahouston.org or call Jay Deshmukh 832 541 0059.


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