Namah Te from Los Angeles!
i hope this message finds all my fellow seekers infinitely, constantly and unconditionally Joyous!
When i was growing up my parents would take my sisters and i to Mandir-s inside and outside of Niagara. As a child i noted that the average age of those at these Mandir-s was ~ 50. Fast forward 25 years, i now speak at Mandir-s around the World. As a young adult i note that the average age of those at these Mandir-s is now ~ 55.
Does this mean if we fast forward another 25 years the average age of Mandir goers will be ~ 60? Are Mandir-s just for the ‘retired’…?
i am sure the same trend is manifesting in churches, mosques and temples. In fact the area of Chinmaya Mission demanding the most strengthening is our Youth and Young Adult programs.
On January 13, 2008 i began serving Sanatana Dharma through Advaita Vedanta through Chinmaya Mission. i was 26 and empathized with the young, hence i focused most of my efforts on working with them, working on them. Over the years responsibilities with marriage / parents, Niagara / London and Pittsburgh / Cleveland has pulled my efforts towards adults and administration.
Pujya Swami Chinmayananda believed in the youth, had faith in the youth, trusted the youth. And so on His 100th Jayanti i resolved to rededicate myself to working with youth, working on youth. What will this rededication look like? Let’s see through our E-Vichara…
E-Vichara (May 16, 2016) — Youth Alone Can
- Page – thousands of our youth are dependent on Facebook which often is a catalyst to being distracted, suffering from the fear of missing out (FOMO), etc. – i am in the process of creating a Junior Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (JCHYK) Facebook Page which will be filled with regular inspiration and insight i hopes to make this powerful online forum less social and more spiritual (the link will be shared in the next E-Vichara)
- Camps – thousands of our youth are enrolled in religious classes yet too many of them have become desensitized to the classes and / or newcomers are intimidated by their lack of understanding, lack of experience, etc. – every August in Washington DC i will facilitate a week long Youth (ages 13-17) Camp focused on understanding and experiencing Sanatana Dharma (2014 – Heroes: Past, Present and Potential / 2015 – Decoding Dharma / 2016 (August 22-26) – CONFIDENCE: In One Self, In One’s Faith)
- Yatra-s - thousands of our youth travel to Bharat, to the Caribbean, to their home countries as tourists engaging in pleasures / possessions thereby missing out on exploring simple living, high thinking – a yatra is an outward expression of an inward journey and there are many opportunities to be part of The Chinmaya Inspiration Yatra-s (VI to Canada from September 9-18 [poster] for ages 17-40 / VII to Trinidad from November 18-27 [poster below] for ages 17-40 / VIII to America from December 16-25 [poster to be released] for ages 17 and older)
- Course – thousands of our youth do not have access to authentic opportunities to study our scriptures and / or want to study more than they are on ‘Sundays’ and if there is a No Child Left Behind Act for secular schooling even more important is a No Child Left Behind Plan for sacred schooling – if the young are not coming to religion then religion must be brought to the young hence the aspiration to create a virtual gurukula (the Moha Mudgara [The Hammer to Fear] Course will commence on September 1 from 07.30p-09.00p EST and registration details will be shared in July [with the following disciplines])
- Groups who have been given permission by their local Centre can be part of our Course
- Groups need a minimum 5 students to be part of our Course — anyone high school aged and older can be part of a Group
- Groups need to have their audio and video working and on — everyone seeing everyone is inspiring and creates a sense of equality
- Every student should have their own copy of the text — by reading ahead and making notes mananam is encouraged
- Pets, laptops, tablets, phones, eating, any potential distraction will not be tolerated — to engage in a subjective science demands a higher dimension of focus
- The only connection to the Class should be through our Coordinator/me via Zoom — alternative connections are lower in quality and lower the incentive to attend the class live
- The only condition for which a Class can be recorded is if the student does so while present in Class and does not share this with anyone — to study a subjective science, context is important and shared recordings does not account for this
- If a student misses a Class, the content is still in the text — request other students to make notes for you
- The maximum number of Groups that will be part of our Course is 40
- Study Group Coordinators discuss these disciplines with your Group — clarity creates conviction and conviction creates confidence
- Satsanga-s – thousands of our youth do not have access to role-models who not only guide them from above as teachers but also guide them close by as friends – every month i visit Cleveland/London/Niagara/Pittsburgh i will create time to interact with the youth in those Centres and am imposing the same requirement for any Centre wishing to invite me to engage adults
- Training – thousands of our youth are taught by teachers who do not have the same traditions and this gap inhibits relationship building, a decisive factor for learning a faith based subject – every August in Pittsburgh i will facilitate a weekend Seva Training with the Saturday focused on working with Kids Teachers / Adult Coordinators and the Sunday focused on working with Youth Teachers / Young-Adult Coordinators (August 13-14 [the Sunday training is open to ALL youth / young-adults in addition to Teachers / Coordinators to make the training more thorough and comprehensive as the longer term plan is to develop a youth based Curriculum / Guide for Teachers / Parents])
Please join me in supporting those who are not careless rather are cared less. We need this…for youth alone can…
Reflection Adventure of the Week (RAW): Reflect on one personality who believed in you the most when you were young. Now step away from the screen you are looking at and go and meet them, go and call them, go and share with them how grateful you are for them…
Laughing Adventure of the Week (LAW): What did the Hindu say to the veggie-dog vendor? Make me ‘one’ with everything.
Satsanga Adventure of the Week (SAW): Do you really need more than the above!
"Catch them young, and give them your love. Inspire them to lead a higher life of noble values and self-dedicated service. You can then be sure of the nation’s glorious present and a brighter future." ~ Swami Chinmayananda
(each of the below links are forums for further reflection)
Chinmaya Mission Niagara
Chinmaya Mission London
Chinmaya Mission Pittsburgh
Chinmaya Mission Cleveland
Chinmaya Yuva Kendra West
Chinmaya International Foundation