Spiritualtouch Winter Retreat 2019 As adults, we go on retreats to escape from the daily humdrum of our homes and workplaces. For these teenagers, this retreat is like a homecoming. An invitation to explore within¬ – in their spiritual home, Shrimad Rajchandra Ashram, Dharampur It was the season of joy, and the teenagers of Spiritualtouch will certainly attest to that. Hundreds of teenagers from 27 cities across India, USA, UK, UAE and Australia thronged to the Ashram for the winter edition of the eagerly awaited semi-annual gadget-free Retreat. In addition, over 250 children from Dharampur and its surrounding areas also arrived for their Winter Camp. Nurturing Holistic Growth Spiritualtouch Retreats are lauded for nurturing holistic growth. True to this spirit, sessions were designed to develop various facets of the participants’ lives. Inner Blossoming: Spiritual: Insightful sessions on the awe-inspiring life and profound works of Param Krupalu Dev, such as Shri Atmasiddhi Shastra, Hey Prabhu! Hey Prabhu!, Yam Niyam, Kshamapna and more. Devotional: A Treasure Hunt around the Ashram to attain the final goal of ‘Rajipo’ by cultivating virtues like connection, ajnapalan, glad acceptance, seva, friendliness and more. Teenagers also enjoyed connecting to the Divine through ajnabhakti. Motivational: A session by Nipun Mehta, Founder of ServiceSpace, an incubator of projects that support a giving culture. This session opened the teenagers’ hearts and minds to new perspectives of service. Social: The Spiritualtouch teenagers extended themselves to their animal friends at Shrimad Rajchandra Jivamaitridham and connected with nature. They also distributed blankets, winter essentials and footwear to the nearby tribal population and participated in a medical outreach programme. Emotional: The session, Flow with Grace by Anila Gada, a psychotherapist from Mumbai, aimed to help remove deep-rooted stress, pain and negative emotions. Skill-Development: Engineering: Innovative Engineering by Kelly Greene, Chief Operations Officer, Director of Student Success at the SciTech Institute, USA. This session explored a curriculum based on the Engineering Design Process and pushed students a little outside their comfort zone so that they could understand the power of having their own ideas. Cookery: The teenage chefs whipped up batches of holiday cupcakes, complete with a Christmas-cake topping and cookies during their Chocofaction session. Physical: Teenagers improved physical dexterity through Yogfit (dynamic yoga) and the Beyond Barriers obstacle course. Mental: In the session C3: Cubes Creating Connections by Ketan Vira, Founder of Cube Learn, the participants learnt how to solve a Rubik’s Cube. Creative: Teenagers uncovered the beauty of decoupage in the Craftastic sessions by Nehal Damani, Head of the Shrimad Rajchandra Divinetouch Kolkata centre. The participants also unleashed their creativity, using various art and craft forms to design diaries for the New Year. Environmental: Grow It Yourself, a horticulture activity in which the teenagers learnt to make paper from seeds and sowed seeds of vegetables and salad leaves. Fun Galore at the Winter Carnival On Christmas evening, Pujya Gurudevshri accompanied the children to La Fête de Nöel, a winter carnival set up with team, life-size and minute-to-win-it games. Some of the popular ones included zorbing, bowling, bucket pong, and giant versions of Twister and Jenga. Devotional Offerings As a special surprise for their beloved Master, the children placed almost 500 Rubik’s Cubes to create a mosaic of Param Krupalu Dev. Pujya Gurudevshri’s ardent devotion towards Param Krupalu Dev was palpable in His delight on seeing this gift. The evenings witnessed the teenagers revelling in the illuminating presence of Pujya Gurudevshri. Through the medium of dances and skits, the young ones turned their talent into offerings to the Divine. Priceless Moments with the Master Exceptional participants, who learnt eagerly, retained their lessons and participated actively were awarded a Golden Ticket. This award earnt them a picture with Pujya Gurudevshri. Two participants from each grade were given this invaluable opportunity. In addition, students from every Spiritualtouch centre were able to meet Pujya Gurudevshri and spend joyous moments in His divine aura. Giving Back Even when the Spiritualtouch Retreat ends, it stays etched in the hearts of its participants. Evidence of this was its volunteers—the Shrimad Rajchandra Divinetouch Alumni, 150 former students of Shrimad Rajchandra Divinetouch! Guided by their former facilitators, these youngsters carried the retreat from idea to execution. They were deeply involved in all departments, including event management, design, accounting, administration and more. They also co-ordinated with guest speakers and the internal faculty. Thus, the winter edition of the Spiritualtouch Retreat gave its participants and volunteers a chance to revel in the divine aura of the Master and learn values and skills for long-term success.