Through the Eyes of a CHYK
Chinmaya Mission of Orlando held a spiritual family camp at the Wyndham Orlando Resort form June 21st through June 26th, 2011. Over 350 attendees from all over the country attended the camp where lectures, study groups and discussion sessions were held for adults as well as children. The overall theme of the camp was “Meditation”. Swami Tejomayananda, the head of Chinmaya Mission worldwide and other acharyas of Chinmaya Mission conducted the sessions that were specially tailored based on the age of the attendees.
One such group was of college age young adults who call themselves CHYKs, members of Chinmaya Yuva Kendra. Ashish Yamdagni, a bright young Freshman at University of Miami filed the following article about his experience at the camp.
I make my way steadily through the luxurious hallways of Wyndham to the small tea stall just outside of the lecture rooms. I grab my masala chai and ambulate with my fellow CHYKs (Chinmaya Yuva Kendra students). Discussions such as last night’s dreams and the menu for today’s breakfast quickly silence themselves as we near the morning’s meditation class. The tea is gulped down and placed on a round table amid other empty mugs. We began meditating – or rather, trying to meditate. In thirty minutes, a million thoughts boggle my mind, which I try whole-heartedly to suppress. After a few days, I begin to understand how to clear my mind more efficiently, even if only for a few short moments.
Every morning begins itself with the same routine. After meditation, a few lectures are held on various topics – all related to the sixth chapter of the Geeta – The Yoga of Meditation. We are young people, yet we all attempt to find the answer to one of life’s biggest questions: How do we find happiness? SwamiJis all have their wise words to enlighten us, but furthermore we are given an opportunity to discuss, rather than idly listen. We are able to involve ourselves, ask our questions, and figure out what we should do among ourselves. Topics such as “Being aware,” “Following one’s Dharma” and “Figuring out how to change” take up many of our hours as we contemplate how to transcend the mind.
Lunch and dinner conversations often gravitate towards important or interesting points that had arisen in the lectures. Once we have exhausted our mental capacities to think spiritually, we move on to recreational activities and icebreakers. Meeting people was one of the greatest fruits the camp offered. I delighted myself with semi-competitive Frisbee and indoor games like Psychiatrist and The Marble Game.
The Chinmaya Mission Family Camp was an amazing opportunity. Meeting various talented and knowledgeable people and being able to connect with my spiritual side has definitely changed my views on the world, life, and myself – for the better. Leaving my worries and ego behind and treading forward into discussions on how I can better my Self has been the highlight of my summer. If given another opportunity to live it over, I’d do it in a heartbeat. The knowledge gained, ties made, and sense of self-gratification that I felt has been a truly enlightening experience. I thank my GuruJis and peers for a wonderful week from the bottom of my heart. Thank you, and Hari Om.