An Oasis of Love in the Middle of a “Hot” Summer
Whenever people have a common goal to achieve and start working all together for it, some tears climb secretly into my eyes. And if the event lasts long enough, there is a feeling that “I” lose my identity. It may look like something strange, but funny enough, it is something that makes me float in the air, becoming lighter and lighter, as if we all share one person’s weight. So light, without any burden of musts or don’ts. So light, that we all together have the common weight of one person. Or none.

This is exactly what happened when the dates of the AHYMSIN Family Yoga Summer Camp were approaching. One day we were found to serve each other’s needs and all of us the needs of our guests. What a beauty! In that way, we were led to what would make us happy to take on as responsibility and grow through it. Not that we had to do it. Only that it would give us the joy of offering, was the indicative sign. And this is what followed:

A meeting of people who came from 21 countries.
One story composed of 98 stories of peoples’ lives.
All ages, from 11 months old to 79 years old.

How could all match peacefully? How could there be no provocative disagreement? (You know what I mean: “my idea is better than yours, the others are wrong, I am right”.) Or, if there was any, how could it be a disagreement as an aspect added, by which all of us would feel loved and accepted and happy to live in it and at the same time accept both as possibilities?

Well, this is exactly what happened, without trying, without thinking.

There was a blessing that covered the whole Scout Camp, like the loving shawl of the Guru. As if we were swimming in that blessing. As if we were breathing that blessing. As if we had become that blessing, to the point that we did not understand this change. It took us more than a month to put into words what we experienced and take a distance from it to be able now to describe it in an almost understandable way, and express gratitude.

The Scout Camp is a place where children meet with their senior scouts and discuss and put into practice humanistic values. That was one important prerequisite for a peaceful atmosphere, to start with.

The presence of Swami Ritavan Bharati ji brought many to participate and enjoy his humble and loving presence, his calm and helping way, his simplicity and joyful solutions to all events when we asked for consultation.

The organizers’ team, Timi Varga and Csilla Horvath (Holland), Tamara Soru (Italy and Madagascar), Uta Bisseswar (Germany and Holland), Maria Miguel (Portuguese and Switzerland), Athina Papadopoulou and Sofia Foteina (Greece), met every month for a year, to bring into the material world a dream we had since 2019. We all surpassed ourselves, giving the best of what we are. And certainly, we were lucky and happy that Pandit Priyadarshan (Pierre Lefebvre) and Mina Bhatt came to our meetings with their wonderful ideas whenever their program around the world allowed.

The daily program contained: morning and evening classes of yoga in groups for adults and children, karma yoga (I have never seen a happier group of children offering their services to clean the garden from the pine needles), arts and crafts for children (of all ages): painting their family, clay creations, making lotuses, playing non-competitive games, sweet making, the finger painted tree, socker games, by Tamas, swimming time with sea and seaside games, story and tree planting by Tamara and Jef, creating mandala with flowers and collected items from the camp. The day ended with family evening meetings with chanting, singing, non-competitive games (the most impressive game was when playing the non-competitive musical chairs, that we all ended up in Swamiji’s lap instead of having one winner only).

Our bookstore was available with books of the Himalayan Tradition.

On the Sight Seeing Outing Day, we visited the ruins of Thorikon, the most ancient Greek Theater, then went for swimming to the Punta Zeza seaside. The possibility of finding the underwater ruins of an ancient city, as the tourist manual informed us, made some of us search but instead had a big surprise: a meeting with a big sea turtle. We finally ended to the Cape Sounion Temple of Poseidon, where we meditated during the sunset.

Swami Ritavan and Pandit Priyadarsan (Pierre Lefebvre) and many more teachers from the Himalayan Tradition, were present and eager to humbly cover teachings or whatever service was needed: Sonia Van Nispen (Holland), John Sellinger (Australia), Shaillendra Bisseswar (Holland), Laura Linzi (Italy), Anna Mezosi (Hungary), Louise Molenkamp (Holland), Lea Sellinger (Australia and Switzerland), Mina Bhatt (India and Canada), Maria De Vigilli (Italy). And certainly, all organizers were constantly present and offered not only teaching but also their hospitable care to help our guests feel at home.

The most important teachers for children, parents, who decided to make this big trip for the family, were there to translate or enjoy with their children, moments of yoga and moments of sharing, moments of love and moments of gaming, to paraphrase the beautiful song that we sung: “Thank you for sunshine thank you for rain, thank you for love thank you for pain, what a wonderful day!”

Last we left the unlabeled teachers, the children, who were part of this celebration of life, who are the great teachers of all and to whom this family retreat was dedicated. Their laughter and love for life still resonate in our ears and hearts. Was this their unspoken message?

May we be prepared and demise to them a world a little more human than what we receive...

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AHYMSIN FAMILY YOGA SUMMER CAMP in Greece (at St. Andrew Scout Center, Aghios Andreas, New Makri, Municipality of Marathon)
Dear Kalyana Mitras (friends on the Spiritual Path),
Dear Leaders of the AHYMSIN Affiliated Centers,
Dear brothers and sisters,
After several years of meetings and planning, we feel ready to hold the first AHYMSIN FAMILY SUMMER CAMP in Greece, from August 3–10, 2023. This is a project that will be part of "The Seeker’s Village" which is in the process of being created in Greece.
We are a group of kalyana mitras from around the world, who are collaborating and organizing the Ahymsin Family Yoga Summer Camp. The camp takes place in a forested campsite near the beautiful beaches of the Cape Sounion region, Attica. We wish to give families a spiritual summer vacation and make a place for them to spend time together in a mindful and fun way.
Please read the extended letter and in case you are interested in participating, fill up the registration form before March 15, 2023 *. Registrations end on the 30th of June 2023.

* Please note that currently we are full (there are sometimes cancelations) and we cannot answer immediately about our availability for a bed in a room with bathroom, although there are some at this moment (6/6/2023)
A.) non-bed rooms (use sleeping bags on a soft floor) available with their bathroom or
B.) you can bring your own tent and accessories, or
C.) you can use a rented tent for 4 or 8 people.
Please give your name +how many adults, how many children, country, and send this information to Maria Miguel e-mail: . She will be taking care of the waiting list.

We kindly request your help, spreading the word around you. We would be very grateful if you can share our flyer and this invitation with your community. Thank you!

In loving service,

The organizing team,

Csilla Horvath (Hungary)

Timi Varga (Hungary)

Tamara Soru (Italy and Mozambique)

Uta Bisseswar (Germany and the Netherlands)

Maria Miguel Ribeiro (Portugal and Switzerland)

Sofia Foteina (Greece)