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Spiritualtouch Summer Retreat 2024

The eagerly awaited Spiritualtouch Summer Retreat this time celebrated the rich cultural tapestry of India under the theme, ‘The Symphony of India.’ Between May 1 and 5, the atmosphere was brimming with excitement; with over 1,000 teenagers in attendance, including 450 young hearts experiencing the Ashram for the first time! The festivities commenced with a grand flag-off, marking the beginning of four days filled with engaging activities.

Mornings were filled with exhilaration, beginning with a visit to Shrimad Rajchandra Jivamaitridham. Here, teenagers delved into traditional Indian activities – churning butter and making rotlas in the old-fashioned way, experiencing the simplicity of rural life first-hand. Another interesting activity that filled their mornings was a thrilling scavenger hunt across the Ashram grounds.

“Little Hands, Big Hearts” was a mega distribution drive conducted in collaboration with Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care. During this initiative, the teenagers visited nearby schools for the underprivileged, distributing educational aids, toys and sweets that they had themselves collected, spreading joy among those less fortunate. They also made and gifted special tote bags, brightening not only the recipients’ day but also leaving a lasting impact on the teenagers, fostering empathy, gratitude and a deeper understanding of the power of kindness.

Interactive sessions on Param Krupalu Dev’s literary masterpiece, Mokshmala, were conducted during late mornings. This sacred text was composed by Param Krupalu Dev at the tender age of 16 years and 5 months – similar age to the teenagers attending the Retreat. Led by the Atmarpits, the sessions covered various topics such as compassion in action, the power of alliance, journey to forgiveness, cultivating happiness and transforming the mind. Not only did these sessions deepen the teenagers’ spiritual understanding, but they also fostered essential soft skills, empowering young minds to navigate life’s challenges and broaden their horizons.

The older kids got to interact with Steve Pratt, a very senior executive from the corporate world, who offered the teenagers tips to flourish inthe big world. He spoke about the importanceof communication, discipline, responsibility and passion.

Afternoons celebrated India’s diverse cultural landscape. India is a melting pot of diversity, with unique geography, splendid architecture, fantastic food and some of the greatest saints and leaders the world has seen. From learning the spirited Punjabi bhangra dance and cheraw dance from Mizoram, rigorous boot camps teaching discipline and strength, classes in culinary delights and innovative meditation practices, each activity provided a distinct immersion into Indian culture. The beat of Nashik dhol and lezim dance filled the air and teenagers explored creative arts like puppetry and the traditional Lippan art – a testament to India’s rich artistic heritage. As the teenagers explored these diverse experiences, they imbibed core values such as discipline, creativity and perseverance.

An array of specialists from diverse fields lent their expertise to guide and inspire the teenagers in uncovering their creative potential. Among them was Shweta Doshi, a seasoned dance choreographer and movement therapy practitioner from Twins Dance Art Studio. With her expert guidance, the teenagers delved into the intricacies of various dance forms originating from different regions across the country. A garba workshop by Suhrad Soni, co-founder of Soni’s School of Garba Dance, ensured all the teenagers had a devotional garba experience. Kavya Narasimhan provided an invaluable insight into the innovative world of banofi leather – a vegan alternative crafted from recycled banana fibres.

In addition to the cultural extravaganza, teenagers learned the significance of teamwork, effective communication and problem-solving through an engaging and challenging Escape Room activity based on themes and concepts from Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes, Superheroes and football.

Each night of the retreat was a jubilant occasion, marked by the presence of Pujya Gurudevshri, providing a platform for the teenagers to express their heartfelt gratitude through celebrations and dedications. They celebrated the birthday of Atmarpit Nemiji with a special dance dedication. A musical orchestra by the teenagers enthralled the audience with their talent and devotion. The teenagers were spellbound by the enchanting talents of Mentalist Pritesh, who mesmerised them with his captivating illusions and performed awe-inspiring magic tricks.

A collective of over 450 teenagers from centres across India united their talents to stage a magnificent musical production titled, ‘The Symphony of India.’ This grand showcase of Indian heritage and culture seamlessly blended inspiring songs with captivating narratives, breathing life into the tales of revered saints and iconic personalities. The dedicated efforts of the young performers transformed into a stellar performance that left the audience spellbound. A perfect blend of humour and emotion, patriotism and profound gratitude, the musical resonated deeply with all those who witnessed it.

The highlight of the Retreat was the convocation ceremony, where the outgoing Spiritualtouch students graduated the four-year curriculum. They staged a performance centred on the practical wisdom from chess, echoing teachings from Pujya Gurudevshri. Emotional accounts by Samarpits Adi and Veer Shah left the audience teary-eyed. The teenagers pledged allegiance to their beloved mentor Pujya Gurudevshri, promising to prioritise His teachings above all else.

Over the course of the four days, the teenagers were blessed with abundant personal time with Pujya Gurudevshri. He graced them with His presence during afternoon activities, spent evenings with them, blessed them with personal autographs and clicked photographs with them that will serve as lifetime memories! The Retreat stood as a testament to the boundless grace bestowed upon us by Param Krupalu Dev and the unwavering love of Pujya Gurudevshri. With hearts brimming with gratitude and minds filled with unforgettable memories, the teenagers departed, eagerly anticipating the next winter edition of the Retreat!

#SadguruWhispers Sanyas is to accept the Lord's invitation to go within.