Elevate to Liberate Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (CHYK) Retreat

Date : 02 Sep 2019

True happiness is a manifestation of infinite, unbridled joy and energy. The idea may seem unattainable, but a three-day summer CHYK retreat, “Elevate to Liberate,” shed extraordinary light on the road to such happiness, purpose, and Vedanta. The retreat was held in Boston, MA, under the guidance of Shri Vivek (Niagara Falls), Shri Shankar (Pittsburgh), and Shrimati Shashi (Boston).

Minutes after the retreat began, everyone began cracking jokes and laughing like family. Such instant acceptance and kindness set the tone for the following days. During discourses,  Vivekji guided CHYKS through the poems of the poet Rumi, which focused on liberation. Finding Vedantic philosophy in the writings of a sufi scholar spoke volumes about the universality of spiritual truth. Rumi’s beautiful self-reflections characterized the inner self as “shafts of light…always changing.”

Later, Shankarji led discussions about how assumptions, personalities, and Vasanas filter human perception, hiding the truth. In addition, he emphasized the constant turmoil of the material world and the limitations of our senses in perceiving reality.

The next day, Shashiji recounted her journey from working as Lowell General Hospital’s Head of Pathology to becoming the spiritual guide of Chinmaya Mission Boston. Afterwards, she shared endearing stories from her time with Gurudev, Swami Chinmayananda. Shashiji’s expression held a lasting delight rarely found in the eyes of an elder, and her infectious enthusiasm for life spread to all.

During conversations with CHYKs, several people contemplated their sincere struggles trying to apply Vedanta. Afterward, engaging with the outdoors by kayaking and hiking was an opportunity to marvel at nature with fresh eyes.

Heartfelt thanks to all the teachers and organizers of the Chinmaya Mission Boston “Elevate to Liberate” CHYK Retreat. It was an experience that offered wisdom, clarity, and a path to peace for those with an open mind and an open heart.