In this course, we were not only exposed to many famous texts, but we were also taught various life skills necessary to translate this knowledge into dynamic spirituality in action.  We learned life lessons on the sports fields and how to communicate effectively in our workshops.  We learned to work as a team in our seva assignments and we learned patience to accept others’ weaknesses.  We learned that we can thrive despite our circumstances when we fasted while chanting the Hanuman Chalisa for twenty four hours straight.   We learned how to serve food in the presence of acharyas.  We learned to throw a Frisbee and how to pass a basketball. We learned to read Devanagari and to construct sentences in Sanksrit.  We learned to sit straight and motionless for extended periods of time.  We learned about each other’s quirks and how to maximize each other’s strengths to accomplish a task. We learned how to plan and execute a camp and how to relate to people of all age groups.  We learned how to live an inspired life and to follow our true passion.  We learned to quieten the mind so we can turn our thoughts inwards.  Most importantly, we learned about ourselves and how to sharpen the faculties of our body, mind, and intellect to become positive contributors to society.

           The reason I came to the YEP course is to gain a sense of focus, discipline, and inspiration in my life.  I feel that the door has been opened as to how to accomplish these objectives.  The knowledge has been provided.  It is now a matter of practicing and assimilating this knowledge to become a strong and dynamic contributor to society as a whole.  Through the YEP course, we have been giving the tools to do so.  Leaving the ashram was a bittersweet experience.  It was bitter in that I may never again see some my fellow YEPsters, with whom I have developed such strong relationships with.   Leaving the ashram was also sweet in that I looked forward to the challenge of applying what I had learned while being surrounded by the distractions of our materialistic world (samsara).  The YEP course has given me the confidence in knowing that I will grow spiritually and serve selflessly despite the challenges I will face in the world.

-Ramesh Cheruvu, YEP America Batch #1