A conversation about a Sikh camp was spoken about in the Langar hall one day and like many other conversations or fleeting moments it contained magic and meaning. It planted a seed that they next time admissions were open I applied.
I really enjoy going to camps, one time I was questioned on the point of them, that people may just adhere to a practicing Sikh lifestyle for a few days then forget it. I don’t see it that way, some people might but I’m pretty committed in my journey and as Singh likes to remind me – to be steadfast, not lazy.
Sikhi camps give you an immersive experience of Sangat, Simran, Seva and Gurbani and each one is slightly different making it interesting too.
Sikh 2 inspire’s camp has been the first I’ve been to that people have traveled to via plane to get to and they’ve never visited the UK previously. That is some Sikhi commitment and determination right there. I just had a long coach trip from London.
I caught up with people I had been to other camps with and had some beautiful conversations with new people too, I can’t even type the gratitude I feel for them let alone share our words yet.
To put it simply, without getting all sentimental and romantic, here are 5 takeaways from my time at camp:
- Amrit Vela hours – Experiencing Amrit Vela with a group of others, that time before dawn where you meditate, read Bani and listen to Kirtan with Maharaj present is for most people outside of what is done on a regular day. A few days away experiencing full on Amrit Vela, worth the trip.
- Break time – This is an obvious one, who doesn’t like a break? We got two hours each morning and an hour in the evening to nap, chat, do seva or whatever else took our fancy. I experimented and did different things, lying flat resting with the breeze coming through the window, drawing in my journal on a sofa in the spare room, reading and listening to more Bani.
- Talks from speakers – Talks where a major highlight for me as they were inspiring and insightful. They showed me a deeper look into Gurbani I know well, I felt inspired by the stories shared and they planted little spiritual seeds. If I go back in the future it will be for the talks alone.
- Sangat – Being in a camp you get what you call an ‘immersive experience’ that is you find Sikhi all around. Through conversations in your room, the corridors on the way to an activity or Darbar or doing Seva with people, in the Langar hall, you connect. You talk openly as you may share your journeys, resources you like, lines of Gurbani and so on.
- Inspiration – Overall you get an encouraging boost of inspiration at whatever stage of Sikhi you find yourself at, I think it brings forward calling of sorts to what you can do next on your path. For me personally it was a push to to do active Seva more within a Gurdwara, to get out of my comfort zone in terms of creative life goals and to engage more with Sangat.
Our group time ended with the question that you too can ponder – In what ways can continue after camp/ you do Seva (selfless service)?