On Loving Discipline

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Have you ever thought that “discipline” was invented to put you in a “box”, restrict your freedom(s), prevent you from living the life that you were meant to live? Have you ever met someone who is allergic to, inherently resists the idea of “discipline”?

In my younger (read ‘teenage’) years, discipline was perhaps the last thing that I wanted to be subject to. The very notion that I was expected to make my bed before I went to school seemed like an injustice. And the bus came at 6:30am! In high school, there was no ‘sleeping in’ on weekends. Saturday morning discipline included going shopping for milk, vegetables and groceries. Then there was the choice of dusting the furniture and bookcases, folding the laundry, putting away the washed dishes, setting the table for lunch or dinner, clearing the table after the meals, and much more. There was no escape from the seeming prison of chores and discipline. And I haven’t even talked about the take- no-prisoners attitude of discipline of some of the teachers at school!

But little was I to know that it was all preparation for what was to come my way a few years later. On my arrival as a graduate student in the USA, I realized that the ‘prison of discipline’ in my aunt’s home in India had taught me self-awareness. I was pleasantly surprised that I knew exactly what it would take to thrive on my own in a foreign land. I was able to work out chore-sharing with my roommates, just like I chore-shared with my cousins growing up. I quickly became aware that grocery shopping, laundry, dishes, cleaning, and even cooking, were all things that I was already good at. I actually began to fall in love with the idea of discipline!

After the self-awareness, I began to realize that freedom from the ‘prison of discipline’ had led me to the practice of self-discipline. The more I practiced it, the more my self-respect and self-image grew. With this growth, I found that I was comfortable in reaching out and making friends with all sorts of nationalities, and particularly the Americans. The land that I considered foreign, adopted me over time.

I believe that this two-way adoption happened because self-respect grew into self-love. It took self-love to keep an open mind to learning about western customs and culture, and harmonizing them with my eastern foundations.

As a parent and teacher, I began to consider that most of our parents’ (and teachers’) discipline is perhaps borne out of love for us. By by ‘drawing lines’ for us, they are teaching us self-awareness, self-respect, and self-love. Theirs, and now mine, is evolving into a loving discipline indeed.

Loving discipline manifests because true love takes some discipline, and true discipline takes a lot of love. What’s your take on ‘loving discipline’?

Kumud @AjmaniK

P.S. join us for our weekly #SpiritChat gathering – Sunday, Aug 11 at 9amET – I will bring some questions on discipline – with love 🙂 – Namaste. Kumud.

Nature’s discipline takes many forms – mostly of a loving nature!

The Heart’s Mystical Music

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My very first deep friendship on Twitter was with Wayne Mcevilly. A fascinating gentleman who was as comfortable talking about Sanskrit and chanting SamaVeda shlokas, as he was fluid in playing Bach and Beethoven. It was his direct, honest, authentic as it gets approach to life that kept me around on Twitter when I was barely sure about what I was even doing on the medium. I finally got a hold of his “Bach Preludes and Fugues” on piano, and classical music entered my awareness. Among many phone conversations, I have learnt much from the journey of this musical mystic. (my interview with Wayne)

In his own unique way, Wayne taught me that we are all have a bit of the musical mystic within us. From the very dawn of our awareness in our mother’s wombs, sound is an integral part of our being. When sound find arrangement in pitch, tone, meter and such, it can become music. What are some of your earliest memories of sound or music?

The line between music and noise is often as fine as the tuning of our ears, the state of our mind, and the station of our heart. Indian classical music thus has different classes of musical compositions (called ragas), each of which are best suited to a particular time of the day, or even a particular season. Are there particular genres of music that you tune into, are attuned towards, depending on your mood or the state of your life?

One gift of music that has words attached to it is that we can be influenced by the words as much as we can be moved by the instruments. Some of the earliest mantras and shlokas (Sanskrit collections of syllables, words and hymns) were set to music in the form of meters – the most famous being the eight-step Gayatri. The rhythm of meters enabled for smriti (memorization) , and hence the ancient ‘scriptures’ were preserved through generations. What are some songs, prayers or hymns that were ‘passed on’ to you and have perhaps become an integral part of your life?

Beyond the external sound of music, of nature and the noise of our daily living, there is the incessant internal rhythm within us.

“Within ourselves is this eternal voice speaking of eternal freedom; its music is always going on!” – Vivekananda in ‘Practical Vedanta’

Our spiritual work, if we so choose to do it, is perhaps to take time, make time, to create a space of silence and stillness so that we can hear the musical rhythm that leads us to freedom. It is often in the company of fellow seekers (satsang) that we can find this space where we can do a ‘group sing-along’ (kirtan) in the presence of sound and light, embracing joy and bliss in our harmonious energies that contribute to the orchestra of community.

And who knows, someday, we may even learn, through sustained (inner) musical practice, we may discover anew some music, and even learn to sing some of the most difficult songs of life. And in the singing, we shall laugh and love life deeply again, as the healing spreads through our heart, and radiates to all who connect with us, in new radiant connections.

Kumud @AjmaniK

P.S. Join us for our weekly twitter chat – Sunday Aug 4 at 9amET in #SpiritChat – bring your favorite music to the kirtan and I will bring the tea and questions – Namaste – Kumud

A location, where my heart often tunes into its inner music…

Celebrating Our Spiritual Cores

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Summer is often a season of travel, of new explorations and discoveries that often lead to further explorations. It is a season of days with long hours of sunlight, of watching fireflies and sunsets and moonrise. Summer brings heat and sweat and thunderstorms and awareness of climate change. It is often in the early morning coolness and long, late evening twilights that I find opportunities to reflect on, to review and renew my cores.

The core components that I find myself focusing on are the physical, the mental, the emotional and the spiritual. While they are all distinct cores, they are also all connected like the members of a multi-dimensional honeycomb. Our mental core affects our psychological core, which in turn affects our physical core, and so on. When the state of any of our cores is less than optimal, all our states suffer, and pain in one core begets in in another.

Self awareness teaches us that it takes a bit of (self) discipline to develop and maintain sustainable, holistic practice for the best health of our cores. Our practices are influenced by our core beliefs, our core values, our core inputs and our core connections. These can be viewed as our four core quadrants. They are like the four legs of the lunar lander – if any of the legs were to be unduly compromised, it could lead to a failure of our spiritual core, our journey and our mission.

Inertia is often what stands between us and the adoption of new disciplines and practices. Our unexamined state of idleness, or even our accepted state of motion, takes a certain amount of ‘force’ to effect internal change of speed or direction. It often takes an (unanticipated) life event to shake us out of our inertia or reverie to ask – what are my core values, beliefs, connections and inputs? How do they influence my daily core practices? How do they affect my spiritual core?

For me, it all began with a simple question – how do I get out of the state of my spiritual inertia? I made small changes in my physical core (waking up rested, walking in nature, eating better), my mental core (guarding my input gates, meditating) and my emotional core (friend and family connections, my reactions, my judgements). Over time and space, every meditation hour, every small nature walk, every new association with fellow travelers, has added up to a perceptible change in my spiritual core.

The result of a renewed spiritual core? I have good quality fuel and oxidant, guidance, and company for the journey ahead. I have appreciation and gratitude for all those who have inspired me, walked with me, celebrated with me, and continue to do so. Awareness, joy, silence, solitude and stillness have become my reservoirs. ‘Thou art That’ has become my internal engine. ‘For the benefit of All’ has become my charioteer. All the quadrants have become focused on the center, where the heart flows love and light abundant, which empowers me to share freely, without hesitation, and with a core spirit of celebration.

Kumud @AjmaniK

P.S. Join us as we gather for our weekly chat, Sunday July 28 at 9amET on Twitter in #SpiritChat – we will celebrate our cores, all of them, as we complete eight years of our journey together – Kumud.

A return to the core space – where the five elements meet for renewal…

Spirituality and Exploration

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Our existence is closely connected with our spirit of exploration. Ever since we were born, or ever since we developed an awareness of our individuality in the universe, exploration has perhaps been an integral part of that which defines us. The inquisitiveness of infants is essential to their learning and education and identity. The discovery of cause and effect, colors, shapes, patterns, textures and the like, become the toddler’s playground.

As we grow a bit older and traverse through grade school, middle school, high school and college education, our desire for exploration of the world around us often expands. The more we know, the more we often want to know, for we discover that we know but little. It is this innate internal programming which is connected to our survival as a species, that inspires us to send probes, robots, and humans to explore space, our own moon, moons on other planets, and the planets themselves.

Fifty years ago, in what was then a ‘race to the moon’, we saw human beings and human teams undertake an exploration journey that still inspires many. The landing of Apollo 11 on the lunar surface was an event that crossed national and continental boundaries in its impact. Humanity at large, believed a bit more in themselves, in their ability to dream big and achieve those big dreams. The event brought us closer to the stars. More importantly, when the lunar explorers looked back at earth from far off distances, their photographs of earth brought us greater awareness of our own planet.

It is human nature to stretch, to go, to see, to understand. Exploration is not a choice, really; it’s an imperative – Michael Collins, Apollo 11 Astronaut

And that is the serendipity of exploration. The lunar missions were primarily focused on going further than humans had ever gone before. They were, in a sense, outwardly directed, away from earth. However, the farther outward they traveled, the greater awareness, appreciation, and reverence they developed for ‘home’. Many an astronaut has often remarked about the sense of Oneness that they feel with Earth when in orbit. This cognitive shift in awareness is called the overview effect. Exploration is perhaps akin to having a spiritual realization, a kind of enlightenment, about the connectedness of it all. It ought to be no surprise that those who have traveled beyond, are often the greatest proponents of exploration.

As we celebrate Apollo 11 fifty years on, it is reasonable to ask – why did we stop? Why haven’t we returned, or even gone beyond? Did we lose our desire, our will to keep exploring? Perhaps it is no different than when we reach a certain ‘milestone’ in our inner exploration. We start thinking that we have ‘arrived’, and that we don’t have much more to discover. Distractions and complacency sets in, hubris grips us, and ‘fifty’ years may go by before we realize that we took just one small step… an important step, but it is time to awaken and take the next giant leap.

Kumud @AjmaniK

P.S. Join us for our weekly gathering on twitter – Sunday, July 21 at 9amET in #spiritchat. We will share stories about exploration, discovery, the explorer’s spirit, and much more. Namaste – Kumud.

Earthrise apollo8 full“We set out to explore the moon and instead discovered the Earth.” – Bill Anders, Apollo 8 Astronaut (‘Earthrise’ photo by Bill Anders)

Common Sense Spirituality

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While preparing for last week’s chat on freedom, I had come across a reference to Thomas Paine’s essay titled “Common Sense” – an essay, written by an Englishman, published anonymously in early 1776, that is said to have greatly influenced and inspired the writers of the American Declaration of Independence. I was intrigued enough to get an electronic copy, and have been reading it this week.

Towards the end of the week, my reading of “Common Sense” was complemented by my (re)reading of “Practical Spirituality” by Swami Vivekananda. I couldn’t help but be struck by the common threads in the two writings, by two people who were so far separated by time, space, and causation. However, as often happens, when East meets West, and the waters of thought and action meet in Oneness, harmony is the result.

So, I paused to consider. What is the message of harmony that I could take away from these two treatises, for the cause of “Common Sense Spirituality”? Let me share with you the four quadrants of the message – I invite you to play in the template of four quadrants and arrive at your own interpretations of “Common Sense”.

Identify, focus on, and devote your best energies to the “big rocks”. How often do we begin the day, the week, the month or the year with good goals and intentions, but tend to “lose our way” among the little pebbles of life? For me, some of the the big rocks are morning meditation, tea and coffee conversations, walking in nature, sitting in evening reflection, and such. What are your “big rocks” and what quality of time, space and energy do you invest in them?

Feeding is important. It sounds simple, but the quality of what we feed our mind, body and spirit greatly influences the quality of creative energy that becomes available to us. Common Sense invites us to evaluate our feeding, our intake through all our senses, and develop awareness of our output. Are we emulating GiGo Garbage in Garbage out) because we are led by FoMo (Fear of Missing our)? If so, we are spirit-bound to course correct and improve the quality of our intake.

Weeding is directly connected to feeding, and the two combine to influence growth. As a gardener, I am well aware that no matter how hard I try, weeds have the propensity to appear “out of the blue” with alacrity and regularity. In order to prevent the mind garden from being overrun by weeds of fear, hate, judgement and the like, regular weeding is common sense. Regular weeding also ensures that our spiritual feeding has the maximum nutritional effect on our subtle body.

In the fourth quadrant, is breathing. Although breathing is an autonomous function, which is a good thing, we do have the ability to develop control over its rhythm. Beyond the purely physical benefits of breath awareness, the art of breathing directly influences our nervous system, its currents and its energies. The common sense way to regulate the perturbations in our emotional state is to watch the state of our breath. Emotions feed our thoughts, which often feed our focus and the actions that we take in the first quadrant of “big rocks”. Harmonize the flow of life-force provided by the breath, develop flexibility and resilience, and all the four quadrants can come into harmony by returning us to the center of wellness.

Namaste,

Kumud @AjmaniK

P.S. I am sure that you can think of many different “common sense” ways to fill the four quadrants… share with us your ideas in our weekly gathering, Sunday July 14 at 9amET in #SpiritChat on Twitter. Namaste – Kumud

The “four quadrants” of Common Sense

Gifts of Freedom

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The waxing first quarter moon flirted with me from outside the upstairs window as it emerged briefly from behind the clouds at late twilight. I had just finished my evening meditation, and was slowly emerging from the gift of freedom from being immersed in a deep peace from the stillness beyond light. The gift of the moon made my heart feel like a lotus that opens its petals at the first signs of light.

I needed to see more of her magic, so I walked downstairs, and on to the deck outside, just to catch a few clear glimpses before some dark clouds engulfed her for the night. Just as I was to walk back inside, out of the corner of my eye, I saw yet another gift – the first summer sighting of a firefly in the grass. And as I swept my gaze towards the trees, I saw a forest full of fireworks – hundreds of fireflies silently floating, dancing, sharing their light from within. The Fourth of July fireworks from a distant suburb that sent ‘lightning’ into a clouded sky barely held a candle to this gift of Mother Nature.

So often it is the inclination of our human nature to get focused on, get trapped by, or even become despondent in despair about our lack of freedom, or the state of our independence in the world. When we forget about our gifts, it often takes a few courageous men and women to stand up and say – enough. Inspired by divine providence, they draft a new declaration, and then pledge to it their lives and sacred honor. Then, the battle to reclaim the gift of freedom, truly begins.

Such is often the state of our inner world too, isn’t it? Immersed in fear, doubt, anger, envy, and our desire for likes, we forget the gifts of our truths. It often takes a new declaration, a new resolve, a new inspiration for us to be (re)awakened to walk our path of constant remembrance of the gifts of our freedom. It is when we are awake to our inner gifts of peace, joy, silence, stillness and more, that we can pledge to share the same with our fellow freedom fighters.

That is perhaps the significance of the Fourth of July, Canada Day (and similar ‘Independence Day’ celebrations) to me. In addition to the fireworks, the concerts, the picnics, the road trips – it is the freedom to observe and embrace the gifts of light, however small or slivered they may be, that glow constantly within my reach.

Kumud @AjmaniK

P.S. Join us for a community celebration of our gifts of freedom – Sunday, July 7 at 9amET on Twitter in #SpiritChat – Namaste. – Kumud

A (de)light gift of summer that burst forth this weekend!

On Spiritual Flexibility

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It was a bright, sunny early evening when I left home to head out for the Friday evening lecture hosted by our local Vedanta group. By the time I got to the highway a few minutes later to head east for a few miles, the skies had suddenly darkened. A mile or so later, it was pouring down, torrential downpour – severe enough for me to consider pulling over and let it pass.

I slowed down but decided to keep going, hoping that the thunderstorm would pass through. By the time I arrived at the venue, I realized that I had arrived at the eye of the storm, which included the steady drum-beat of pelting down pea-sized hail. I decided to wait it out in my car, for to step outside would surely mean an instant shower. Maybe I should have stayed home today?

The speaker was a young monk from Hollywood, California, who had arrived in the USA from India, less than two years ago. As he started his lecture, it was apparent that his (very good) English was still heavily tinged with Indian accents. However, his two-part message, of which, “flexibility in spiritual practice” was the second part, was unmistakably clear. With story after story of how to practice spiritual flexibility in life with respect to time, to people and to situations, he held the audience in rapt interest.

The gist of his message was that spiritual flexibility is one of the best ingredients to create inner peace.

Have you ever read or listened to spiritual and religious material(s) (books, essays, lectures, scriptures) and wondered why some of the messages within them seem anachronistic (out of time and place) with modern life? If yes, then his suggestion was to put a ‘time context’ to those material(s), and allow for temporal flexibility of the message(s) contained within them. The message(s) that made ‘sense’ then may not necessarily make ‘sense’ now. We may have to re-visit, re-classify, re-evaluate, and maybe even reject certain old doctrine(s), so that we do not become prisoners of dogma. This is called spiritual flexibility in time.

Have you ever wondered why certain people get attracted to certain spiritual practice(s) while some seem totally disinterested in them? Some may prefer yoga or chanting, others may prefer going to places of worship, while others may choose meditation or something entirely different. To each their own. There are also those who have developed a variety of such practices. Such people have the ability to be flexible in their understanding of, and their response to, different types of people. Diversity of spiritual tools allows us to practices flexibility with people.

Have you ever felt that your beliefs, your responses, and your outcomes to seemingly similar life situations have changed over time? An event or situation that would have sent you into a tail-spin a few year ago barely registers a blip on your emotional radar – this is a sign of growth in emotional intelligence. Similarly, our ability to respond with equanimity to ‘good’ and ‘bad’ events in our lives, and keep on doing good for the greater good, is a sign of spiritual flexibility in life situations.

Spiritual resilience is a benefit of developing spiritual flexibility. We learn the art of being flexible, and adapting with time, with people, and with life’s situations. What other pros (and cons) may be the result of practicing spiritual flexibility? I invite you to come and share with us in our weekly gathering. Namaste.

Kumud @AjmaniK

P.S. Join us for our weekly gathering on twitter – Sunday, June 30 at 9amET. I will bring some questions (and answers), and we can help each other build resilience as we walk our paths forward. Namaste – Kumud

The tree trunks, the branches, the leaves, and the not-visible roots… they are flexible, they all bend to the light and the wind… and hence transmit peace

Spirit of Inclusion

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Spirit of Inclusion by Christy Johnson (@Intuitiveheal) 

(for #SpiritChat Sunday June 23rd at 9amET )

In re-reading Pema Chodron’s Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living, I’m struck again by how much of our suffering comes from wanting to exclude or resist certain aspects of ourselves and of others. Our desire to avoid comes from a helpful place since we wish to sidestep pain and thus do our best to stay away from anything that could cause it. Unfortunately this avoidance brings more pain rather than less. Those who hate others or themselves or life suffer deeply.

 

Inclusion extends to all the other people on this planet. When we attempt to “other” people by placing them in groups that are supposedly different than we are, we alienate ourselves in the process. The other is within us, we are within them, and we’re all more the same than different.  

 

From both a Buddhist and Akashic Records perspective, our core goodness is a constant. However, our perception of our fundamental goodness may be clouded during life’s challenges and difficulties. Somehow we have to awaken from the nightmare that we aren’t enough, we don’t have what it takes, as well as the false belief that anyone is “less than” based on race, religion, sexual orientation, degree of consciousness, or any other arbitrary differentiator. We all suffer and we all have difficulties. We also each bring something to the world that’s unique in all time and space, a valuable part of the whole.

 

Consider all the ways we humans exclude. Extreme examples include the Holocaust and slavery but on a much smaller scale it happens within us every day. We exclude what we hate and what we fear. The more we get over our desire to escape the discomfort created by our minds, the more inclusive we can be.

 

Please join us as we explore how we might we grow our willingness and desire to be inclusive of all of life – everyperson, every experience, and every feeling.

 

Note: After I wrote this post, I realized another book I read recently influenced my focus on inclusion. I highly recommend reading Compassionate Counterterrorism – The Power of Inclusion in Fighting Fundamentalism by Leena Al Olaimy, a Muslim woman with an intriguing and hopeful perspective on what may otherwise seem an unsolvable problem.

 

Dr. Christy Johnson quit her decades-long engineering career in 2010 to open her integrative energy healing practice. She helps clients grow and evolve via soul level information and energy work including many self-helps tools. You can connect with her via her website www.intuitiveheal.com or on Twitter @IntuitiveHeal .

On Fathers and Spirituality

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I would like to believe that spirituality is gender neutral. If our spirit – that which is beyond mind and body, beyond the influence of space and time, is gender-neutral, then so is perhaps our ‘spiritual path’ that connects us to It.

This is not to say that we live in a gender-neutral physical world. Our very physical inception as humans required the union of two different genders. For some of us, the propagation of our genetic inheritance leads us to one day inherit society’s label of ‘father’ or ‘mother’. In my case, unprepared as (I thought) I was, on that day when she was born, I said – now what?

Many a ‘Fathers Day’ has passed since that day. In times of totally being at sea as a Dad, I have often searched for calm waters and warm breezes among the wisdom memories of my own fathers (birth Dad, my two uncles) and my grandfathers. I have walked, bhikshu bowl in hand, for morsels of advice at the doorsteps of my peers and friends who have walked the path ahead of me. I have asked for many a blessing, invoked many a fervent prayer, in many a house of worship. I have sung many a song to evoke grace and received many a poem in trail, on many a trail of mother nature’s infinitude.

In the process of doing ‘fatherhood’, I have unfolded a ‘becoming a father’. It has slowly dawned on me that the greatest legacy of my ‘fathers’ was their dedication and devotion to their practice. They did not shy away from prayer, from honoring the divine, from practicing their faith, from singing the songs of their mothers and fathers. They subscribed to the practice of silence and stillness as a love-form, speaking soft yet weighty words with lovingly measured tones, and looking me in the eye with tenderness when they deemed that I was in veering towards being lost at sea.

As I reflected on the spirituality of my fathers this week, I realized that I have much to learn and practice. I have discovered that I am fortunate to have a wisdom treasury to draw upon when needed – for they all conspired, in their own way, by their own spiritual walk, to connect me to the treasury of the Infinite.

Kumud

P.S. This is not an eulogy to my fathers, or fatherhood in general. I realize that your experience(s) as fathers, with your father(s) and those that played such role(s) in your lives, may be far from, or totally opposite of what I have described. No matter your experience(s), I hope that you will choose to reflect a bit, and join us Sunday June 16 at 9amET in our weekly twitter chat in #SpiritChat – Namaste. Kumud.

Spiritual Summer Camp

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The outage started at about 10pm on Thursday evening. It was at about that time when we pulled into the parking lot of the camp ‘in the middle of nowhere” where the eastern and western branches of the historic Delaware river meet. The seven hour drive across rivers, valleys and through the mountains of the lower tier of upstate New York had been scenic and educational.

We arrived to pitch-black darkness under crystal-clear skies with the sliver of a new-moon slowly rising into wispy clouds and the brightest carpet of star-studded diamonds I had seen in a long time. My daughter announced – “there’s no signal, Dad” – a sign that cellular coverage had been reduced to zero. “I am sure they have Wi-Fi” was my palliative response, to instill some hope, even though I knew fully well that that was not to be the case (at for her).

Ten weeks of ‘summer break’ from school usually include at least a few weeks of ‘camp’ for most families, and ours is no different. This year, she decided that she was ready to try ‘sleepaway camp’. So, here we were, to begin three weeks of a journey into a new paradigm without internet, to be (hopefully) replaced with all kinds of activities including outdoor activities and water sports, theater, magic, music, art, and much more. Her ‘device’ is loaded with music and books, but I have a feeling that she will be hard-pressed to find time for any of that.

During the drive out, I couldn’t help but wonder – what were my ‘summer breaks’ like growing up? They were mostly spent visiting family, and traveling around in the areas where my Dad was stationed. Multiple summers were spent in Kashmir, Assam, Arunachal – the far North and Northeastern states of India were my playgrounds. And how about you – what were your ‘summer breaks’ like? Did they include any ‘summer camps’? If so, how did they influence your ‘education’ outside of formal schooling?

As adults, it is perhaps in summer-time that we feel a little bit of extra freedom to take time out for ourselves. As a society, it is a season where it is ‘acceptable’ to take time to be on family vacations, retreats and related travel. ‘Summer-camps’ for adults may look a bit different than those for kids, but the intent is perhaps the same – disconnect from the everyday routine, experience a new (unfamiliar) environment, try some new activities, learn some new skills, make some new friends, and emerge with energy, enthusiasm, and excitement about ‘back to school’ at summer’s end.

So, what would ‘Spiritual summer-camp’ look like for you? Have you ever been to one in the form of a ‘spiritual retreat’ away from home? If so, would you do it again? Have you ever experimented with an ‘in-home’ spiritual summer-camp which involved a new routine, new skills, new connections, internet disconnect, and more?

The outage (for me) lasted well after lunch on the next day. In the morning, it did feel a bit strange to pick up the phone, only to find out that I was still ‘lost’ to the outside world. I will admit that I suddenly ‘found’ a lot more hours in the day… to take a long walk by the lake after breakfast, to sit in an adirondack chair in the sunshine after lunch and doze off into day-dreams, to sit on the hill before dinner and watch the sunlight filtering through the tall trees creating musical patterns on the water…

Total disconnection from the internet, forced upon me as it was, even though it lasted less than a day, allowed me to get a wonderful glimpse of what I had been missing by not ‘going to camp’ as an adult. I was glad to ‘return’, but I secretly wished that my camping adventure had lasted a bit longer…

Kumud @AjmaniK

P.A. Join us Sunday, June 9th at 9amET and share some of your “summer camp” experiences. I will bring some questions, some lemonade and watermelon. You can bring a camp chair and some marshmallows – Kumud

A ‘slice of heaven’ in the Catskills