Every year I conduct a Summer Camp at Hindu Center for children aged 6-12. Our specialty or USP is “A Samvit Perspective”.
The most popular feature of our Camp is “The Discussion Session”. Every camp we pick a subject and every day of that camp we discuss it.
Last year’s subject was Happiness. We talked about how can we be happy? We talked about all things that take away from our happiness – fear, greed, envy, selfishness, self centered attitude…..
It was a major hit!
A mother came to me and shared her experience-
Mom and daughter had been arguing about something for few days. One evening on her way back from the camp daughter says “Maa I am sorry for our argument. I was not looking at how my decisions affect you. I feel I have been making myself and you unhappy for days for no reason!”
Often parents come up to me and say this camp has made our children think in ways we have never seen them think!
Success story right?
Today I am not so sure.
In one of Swamiji’s pravachans he said something to the effect that as long as we live in the illusion of lacking, everything we produce will be lacking.
Past few weeks I have felt depleted. It’s not a welcome feeling. I think I would prefer sadness! Anyways, it got me thinking ……. how to be happy became serious business! I was looking for practical tips. I started with eating healthy, sleeping better, being active ….. it helped …. but not really. Then suddenly something just clicked. All those discussions I had with the kids last year were rubbish. The answer is so simple ! Daily Gratitude. Thanking Bhagwati for everyday moments of joy, beauty and comfort is the simplest road to happiness.
This is what I am thankful for today:
1) We woke up early
2) Unmukt got ready without a fuss
3) I had a delicious Peanut Butter Sandwich for breakfast
4) I was able to get not 1 but 2 coffees in the morning from 2 different places
5) Papaji had his cataract surgery and he is doing well
6) Unmukt wanted to go visit his grandfather in the hospital
7) We were able to see papaji in the morning at his office
8) Unmukt was able to spend time with Alina (cousin sister)
9) I got to spend time with Alina
10) At the coffee shop Unmukt offered to wait for me in the car while I got my coffee
11) My to go salad I bought in the morning was tasty and not at all soggy when I had it for lunch
12) Munmun is making dinner tonight
13) Sachin Ji was able to get a ball autographed by Cam Newton to help raise money for my favorite cause “Project Alive”
14) I am writing a post on my blog!
15) I watched a movie today!
16) There is a good chance that I will be able to finish a writing assignment I have been working on!
17) I feel better than I have felt in weeks!
18) 18 reasons to be grateful and it’s only 4:40 pm
You see, everything we create is a reflection of the distance between our Maya shrouded thought and our Sanatan reality. Last year’s camp discussion on happiness reflected that distance in me. This year’s discussion on gratitude will also reflect that distance. My only hope is that the movement is continually inwards to a place of stillness.
Please click on “Project Alive” to donate. Every penny, every paisa counts and every Rupee or dollar gets us that much closer to saving my Buddy Finn’s life