Hari Om!

As a humble offering unto our Pujya Gurudev, Swami Chinmayananda, CHYK West is excited to reintroduce our bimonthly newsletter! Look forward to CHYK group updates, retreat information, Q&As with our CHYK West Acharyas, poems, pictures, exercises, and much more! Please feel free to contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions for us or our Acharyas, comments, or material you would like to submit! We look forward to this journey together with all of our CHYK West members!

Pujya Gurudev, Swami Chinmayananda

Pujya Gurudev, Swami Chinmayananda

Pujya Guruji, Swami Tejomayananda

Pujya Guruji, Swami Tejomayananda
 

Swami Sarveshanandaji CHYK West National Director

Swami Sarveshanandaji
CHYK West National Director

Acharya Vivekji CHYK West Deputy Director

Acharya Vivekji
CHYK West Deputy Director
MY TEACHER
By Sharanya Rao

What did you learn today, young one?

I learnt that the books do not tell me the full story,
And that watching my mind teaches me
more than a 100,000 words ever could.

I realized that richness of a melody has more drama than any plot in a novel,
And that the unison chirping of crickets
can tell me an epic of the greatest proportions.

I understood that the sun can paint the sky with more stunning colors
than my art teacher could show me,
and the bright clear moon can illumine my path
in the darkest of nights.

I discovered I cannot say no to a sincere request,
for a pure heart can remove seemingly insurmountable obstacles,
And a genuine smile, heartfelt encouragement and dedicated work
can bring down walls of cynicism.

I know that the gentle, rhythmic pounding of my feet against the asphalt when I run
can teach me to be still.
When I silence my thoughts, and connect with the present,
With an open mind and heart,
I accept the world as my greatest teacher.

UPCOMING EVENTS

#ChinmayaMissionReads
October 5, 2014 onwards
At a book near you!
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Silence
October 24-26, 2014
Chinmaya Dhara, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
http://chykniagara.wix.com/silence

CHYK GROUP HIGHLIGHTS!

CHYK West Pittsburgh – CHYKsburgh
 

CHYK Pittsburgh is experiencing growth this year with new members from both the CMU and University of Pittsburgh campuses and well as some working professionals. We are also excited to have four CHYKs teaching Bala Vihar this year at the main Pittsburgh location, Chinmaya Sanjeevani, with another two CHYKs teaching at the other locations. 
 
We also just released a new website on which we will post all of our upcoming events and takeaways from our discussions: http://chykpittsburgh.wix.com/chyksburgh

Below are some pictures from Carnegie Melon University’s Student Club Fair!

CHYK West DC – District of CHYK

CHYK West DC (aka the District of CHYK!) has been very busy in the past few months! Below are some of the notable events and happenings in CHYK DC:

 
Guruji’s Visit:
Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayanandaji visited Maryland and Virginia in the month of July this year, in order to celebrate our Pujya Swami Dheeranandaji’s 25th anniversary of being resident acharya of CMWRC, as well as to inaugurate the new Chinmaya Somnath Ashram in Chantilly, VA. At Chinmaya Somnath, Guruji gave a five day Jnana Yajna on the Siva Sankalpa Suktam, a text with the purpose of purifying our minds. CHYK DC performed various seva during Guruji’s visit, and we were truly blessed to have a special CHYK Satsang with Guruji, where Guruji graciously answered many of our questions. It was a truly humbling and inspiring experience for all of us in CHYK DC!
 
Recent Retreats:
This past August we held two retreats: the first-ever Devika retreat and a JCHYK retreat faciltiated by CHYK DC! The Devika Retreat, entitled “We Can Do It! Develop the Devika in You!” was led by Acharya Vilasiniji and Acharya Vivekji.
The JCHYK retreat, entitled “Heroes: Past, Present, and Potential” was also led by Acharya Vivekji. 
Both retreats had the blessings and guidance of Swami Dheeranandaji. During the JCHYK retreat, Acharya Vivekji held special CHYK workshops on the topic of Fear, and conducted a special movie workshop on The Matrix.
 
Bala Vihar:
We now have 11 CHYKs teaching Bala Vihar at both our Maryland and Virginia centers.
 
Discussion Updates:
CHYK DC now has four strong discussions going which cater to both college students and young professionals: one at the University of Maryland-College Park, one in Downtown Washington DC, one at the new Chinmaya Somnath Ashram in Chantilly, VA, and our newest discussion is in Downtown Baltimore! Additionally, we will be looking to start our fifth discussion group at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County in the next few weeks!

Please find below some pictures from CHYK West DC–

AN ODE TO THE LONG RUN
By Sharanya Rao

In the long run, the fog settles,
And you begin to see things for what they are.

In the long run, doubts clear
And you realize worrying is an unproductive task.

In the long run, your friends and competitors become apparent,
And you wonder how you ever confused the two.

In the long-run, you and your partner do your best
And wait for each other at the crossroads so you don’t lose way.

In the long run, you challenge yourself
To do more than you thought you could do, and try for more than you imagined.

In the long run, you begin to understand
That getting lost helped you find yourself.

In the long run, you detach from
And dissolve your expectations of what should be and what could be.

In the long run, you stop resisting
And accept the strange rhythm of the Universe, uncertain yet beautiful is its melody.

In the long run, you are happy
And realize you always were and always will be.

In the long run, you let go
And just be.

Satsang in the Caribbean – CMSC 2014 Trinidad
Sumedha Rao
 

            July 27, 2014: The moment my family and I walked out into the hot, humid air of Trinidad around 8:30 pm local time, we were welcomed by a volunteer who had waited over an hour for us. He held up his “Chinmaya Mission” placard– we knew that we had arrived home. His name was Hariji, and without a word of complaint or dissatisfaction about our late arrival, he warmly welcomed us and hoisted our suitcases into the back of his car. Once we climbed into his car, we were pleasantly surprised to be greeted by a Tulsi Ramayan discourse on the radio! As we made our way to the hotel, Hariji explained that Trinidad has a high percentage of Indians. Accordingly, as I peered out of the window, it seemed to me as if I was in some small mountainous town on the coast of India.

           We then reached the luxurious Hyatt Regency where the 21st Annual Mahasamadhi camp was to be conducted. In our room overlooking the calm sea, I fell asleep a victim to jetlag not quite sure that I had been awake; everything seemed so lovely and serene.

            July 28, 2014: But I had definitely been awake – I woke up tired from yesterday’s journey, but buzzing with excitement. Today’s tour was to the Asa Wright Nature Center and afterwards, the Maracas beach. Unexpectedly, we were able to board a bus with a few close friends from different places in the US, which turned an initially calm ride into a rowdy drive full of jokes and laughter. The mountainous roads were a little scary at first, and I caught myself unconsciously chanting Hanuman Chalisa under my breath during some particularly sharp turns on the narrow roads, but all of that was soon forgotten as I looked out the window. The lush vegetation of the tropical rainforest, full of the rich colors of exotic fruits and vegetables had my eyes glued to the window, so much so that I completely forgot to take pictures! We finally made our way up the hilly roads to the Nature Center, where our tour began almost immediately. Our tour guide was an energetic man named Mukesh (he said he was named after the famous Hindi singer) whose passion for Nature was both palpable and contagious. The scenery was too great not to capture and we soon used up all of our camera’s data and had to resort to using our phones to continue documenting the unbelievable beauty of the diverse rainforest.

           The tour ended too soon. We all climbed back into our buses and drove back down the hilly paths to Maracas beach. Since I currently live in Houston, Texas, close to the Gulf of Mexico, beaches were nothing new to me. I wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary, but “unexpected” seemed to be the theme of the day. As I hopped off the bus, what met my eyes was a beach unlike any I had previously seen or could have dreamed. Pale yellow sand met rich, blue water. In the distance, one could see ships as if they were painted on the horizon, and the whole beach was nestled between the green mountains of teeming rainforest.

            By that time, the sounds from my hungry stomach had overtaken the sound of the waves and, under a tent on the beach, we were treated to what one might call Trinidad’s signature delicacy: doubles, comparable to channa batura!

            My initial plan, after that tasty snack, had been to simply drink in the scenery and maybe get my ankles wet, but the water pulled me in like nectar attracts a hummingbird. I found myself wading in deeper and deeper until a fellow tourist decided that I needed a little friendly push. Before I could blink, I found myself completely drenched under the force of his splash. And I suppose he accomplished his goal, because, after that, I threw my inhibitions (and the fact that I had no spare clothes or towel) to the sea breeze and thoroughly enjoyed myself. The ride back wasn’t as comfortable, as I was shivering in the air-conditioned bus with sand squelching in my shoes and salt crystallizing all over my hair, but it was more than worth it. Plus, I barely paid that any attention – over the course of that day, my eyes seemed to develop an intimate relationship with the window.

            July 29, 2014: The Trinidad coordinators (with special mention to Nadiaji) worked tirelessly to make our temple tour happen at short notice, since some of us had flown in a day after the scheduled tour. Thanks to their selfless enthusiasm, my family and friends piled into a van to visit the Temple on the Sea and the Hanuman – Dattatreya temple. Personally, the Temple on the Sea was the most enchanting. It is also said to be the only monument in the world built to honor the contributions of Hindus – it was a little saddening to think that such a monument does not exist even in India, but I am glad it was so beautifully erected here.

To be continued…

CHYK West Dallas/Fort Worth

Hari Om! The annual Dallas Labor Day Camp was another exciting event with over one hundred and ten 5th-12th graders and ten CHYKs exploring the verses of Bhaja Govindam in a dynamic and innovative manner. This camp included not only Ganesha Chaturthi Celebrations and satsang with Swami Sarveshanandaji, but also, yoga, arts & crafts, sports, Vedic chanting, interactive bhajans, workshops & discussion groups by CHYKs, and  various cultural events! All of the camp participants returned home with a deeper understanding of Bhaja Govindam and how to apply it to our daily lives, and a greater interest in the Hindu culture and rituals. Many parents reached out to CHYKs about next year’s camp and we look forward to providing a bigger and better camp experience with each coming year!

Everyday, we are surrounded by and immersed in noise. Noise from work, from our surroundings, from other people, and even from within ourselves. With so much noise within and without, how can we effectively introspect and reflect, let alone develop a quiet mind? Led by Acharya Vivekji, this retreat will consist of approximately 40 hours of minimal to no communication of any kind, in an effort to “cut the noise” and help all seekers introspect at greater heights than ever before!

If you’re interested in more information and registering for the retreat, please visit the camp website at: http://chykniagara.wix.com/silence to register ASAP!

DROP – A Yuva Veer Initiative

Introduction:
A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected that they would be asked the typical “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?” Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz. She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. If you pay attention to it for a while then nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.” It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the day as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!

What is DROP?
No matter who you are, whether a student, a business owner, an athlete, or in another field, there is an ideal you strive towards- a perfect or ideal version of yourself. Though we may strive for this ideal, there are many negative qualities that we may possess which hinder our journies forward. It may be difficult for us to let go but should we just give up? NO! We keep trying to become better. How you may ask?….enter DROP! A Yuva Veer initiative under the guidance of Swami Mitrananda designed to help people like you and I let go of all our negative qualities and become our perfect selves. Just like the glass of water in the story, we all have things which we are holding on to unaware that they are holding us back; and that’s where Drop comes in, to creatively show you qualities about yourself. So, are you ready to Drop?

Practice Exercise
In order to drop our negative qualities, we must first know what these qualities are. A simple way to do so is to compare who we are now to who we want to be. All you need for this is a sheet of paper and a pen. Fold it in half and then fold a small piece at the top downwards. It should look like a table once opened. Label the left side as the current self and the right as the ideal self. Under current self, write down things about who you are now for example, student, sleeps late, always angry and under ideal self, write down who you want to be for example, run a marathon, start a business and so forth. Look at both sides and think what is needed to get to you ideal and what qualities you possess which hold you back such as laziness, procrastination and so forth. Write at the top a motivational line to push you to strive for that goal. For example:

– Don’t be afraid to give up on the good and go for the great!
– Those who are humble and ambitious are destines for success…
– The greater the struggle the more glorious the triumph.

Stick the paper somewhere you will always see it so you will always be reminded of what you are working towards. Take any of the qualities listed on the current self and compare it to the ideal self. Make a vow to push you the ideal quality you want to achieve. Make it simple because you don’t want to over-do it on the first day for example; If laziness is a quality you want to get rid of, make a vow to get up 10 minutes earlier each day.

Also, using the virtues and vices log begin to monitor yourself each day and see where you will stumble, where you need to improve but when we see our faults don’t let them deter us from wanting to succeed, don’t begin to think that it can’t be done as Christopher Reeve once said, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”

Even the tallest Oak tree started off as a seed.

Want more? Visit Chinmaya Publications online or your nearest Chinmaya Mission bookstore for the following books:

Drop: A Novel, A Yuvaveer Initiative
Drop: It’s Easy, A Yuvaveer Initiative