From July 8th-12th 2019, 84 high school students from seven states, gathered at Chinmaya Somnath (Chantilly, VA, USA) for the largest high school camp in Chinmaya Mission West. The camp’s theme was “The Life Examined: From Asana to Attitude.”
Through engaging exercises and discussions using Sri Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Vivekji and Shankarji taught the students how to respond to challenges including social media use, comparison between peers, and high expectations. The students learned how to cultivate qualities of a pure mind while recognizing and overcoming impure qualities. From each chapter, the students received practical tools, which they applied during meals. For example, the students identified that carelessness stems from lack of motivation and directionless thoughts. In Chapter 3 of the Yoga Sutras, the students found that concentration can overcome carelessness; therefore, they practiced “unitasking” by eating their food with different senses blocked at mealtimes.
Further, the students engaged in painting and dance classes, through which they expressed their creativity. Many students’ highlight was athletics with Vivekji.
They also performed seva by cleaning and preparing the Ashram for the Chinmaya Summer Immersion Camp. On Wednesday, the students travelled to Silver Spring, MD to serve at A Wider Circle. A Wider Circle helps people transitioning out of extreme poverty by providing household essentials and encouraging self-sufficiency. The campers helped organize household items, clothing, and children’s items, followed by a field day at Arrowbrook Park.
Through the camp, the students learned how to use every moment in their lives as an opportunity to purify their minds.