On July 10-12, CHYK DC and CSK DC hosted its first virtual retreat for seekers between the ages of 17 – 40. This retreat, given the theme of “Empowered: Channeling the Divya Shakti within us all,” was conducted by Shri Vivek Gupta of CM Niagara. In this retreat, Vivekji gave a series of lectures on the Durga Chalisa, a text that glorifies the Divine Mother as the creator, preserver, and destroyer of the three worlds, as well as the Supreme Self Herself.
Outside of lecture periods, the 77 retreat attendees engaged in a series of fun activities that applied lessons learned in Vivekji’s lectures. These activities included a nature walk period that encouraged seekers to see Devi in all forms and shapes, a dance activity that asked participants to push past their inhibitions, and a series of Fireside Chats, where discussion groups shared their reflections on a collection of themed prompts. The retreat also included a series of fun events, including cooking lessons taught by Sriram Hariharan, the Executive Chef of the Ritz Carlton in Virginia, as well as a fun game of Rakshasa, an appropriately themed variation on the party game Mafia.
Even in these odd times, this virtual retreat showed that all of us in the Chinmaya family can continue our spiritual studies together and come together as a community to connect with like minded peers. With Gurudev’s Grace and Blessings, the retreat was a great success.