Houston JVB Preksha Meditation Center Conducts Family Retreat

By Kuldeep Lunia; Secretary at JVB Houston

AUSTIN: “There is no ENEMY OUT of your SOUL. The real enemies live inside yourself, they are ANGER, PROUD, GREED, ATTACHMENT and HATE.” – Lord Mahavir.

Under the spiritual guidance and presence of Samani Jin Pragyaji and Samani Kshanti Pragyaji, JVB Preksha Meditation Center, Houston conducted its 21st Annual 3-day Family Retreat Camp at Radha Madhav Dham in Austin, TX from April 7-9 2023. More than 125 participants from places like Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, New Jersey, California, Florida, Michigan and Missouri came along to enjoy the calm and scenic surroundings while nurturing their souls through powerful discourses, yoga, meditation, and relaxation techniques.

The camp commenced on Friday with Pramod Bengani, Director of JVB Houston delivering the welcome note. Mukta Jain hosted the “Ice-breaking” session where all the attendees and their families introduced themselves. After the introduction, Samani Jin Pragyaji started the program with the topic “The Greatest Secret on Earth”. Parallel session for youth from ages 12 to 20 yrs. was conducted by Samini Kshanti Pragyaji on the topic “Acceptance of Coexistence Leads to Greatness” and sessions for Kids from 8 to 11 yrs old was conducted by Suman Bhutoria on the topic “Gratitude: A way towards Greatness”. Session for small kids from 3 to 7 yrs was conducted by Garima Jain on the topic “Gratitude Tree”.

First time participants, Manish & Nidhi Gundecha said “Big shout out to all JVB volunteers for planning, coordination and execution of a memorable camp.  Although this was the first time for me and my wife, we felt as if we have been coming here for ages.  Kudos to all JVB family and attendees for driving inclusiveness. We not only bring back great memories from the camp but lifelong associations.  Thank you again for including us.”-

Saturday and Sunday morning sessions started with powerful “Bhaktambar” by Samani Jin Pragyaji followed by Meditation and Yoga Session. After that Samaniji also briefly explained the importance of Meditation and how it can help us in our daily lives. The session indeed recharged and filled everyone with positive energy. A parallel session was conducted for kids as well. The Yoga session was led by Upma Chauhan.

Samani Jin Pragyaji and Samani Kshanti Pragyaji led 7 more interactive and learning sessions throughout the camp which included lectures, presentations and practical experiments on different meaningful topics of Unveil Your Greatness. Samaniji discussed the GIFTS we have within ourselves. She also explained how we can change our life through SUPREME FORGIVENESS, MODESTY, SIMPLICITY and CONTENTMENT.

Further, she explained that we can achieve this by UNMASKING OUR VILLAIN, UNCOVER THE HERO MISSION, UNLEASH YOUR POTENTIAL and BE FIRM. The participants of the camp had already started implementing this in their daily life.

The retreat had concurrent kids programs, where they focused learning on various fun-filled topics such as “Greatness: Easy or Difficult”, “GO be great”, ”Explore Greatness”, “Excellence:  An Essential element for Greatness” and other creative and playing activities conducted by Samini Kshanti Pragyaji along with volunteer teachers.

The youth sessions were conducted by Samani Kshanti Pragyaji on the topics “Don’t impose Greatness, build it”, “Meditation: A way to awaken inner Greatness” and “Greatness: Easy or Difficult”. Pramod Bengani conducted on the topic “Freedom from Reaction”, “Why, What and How to apply Jainism” by Alok Jain and “Traits of Great Personality: Growth Mindset” by Harshad Parakh.

Another participant, Naina, said  “You all did such an excellent job at organizing this wonderful camp and for making sure that all newcomers were taken care of including making sure every time that I got the vegan food and sweets. The place is inspiring too and a perfect setting for the camp. It was truly memorable and definitely considering a return next year!”

Everyone participated in the cultural eve on Saturday, where they expressed and shared their learning. 12 different teams were formed to prepare a 3 to 4 min skit on pre-assigned topics given to each team by Samaniji. Creativity peaked in each of the team skits, and the audience enjoyed the entertaining fun presentations. Nitesh Jain and Shashank Jain played the perfect host for the evening.

All participants applauded the great assemblages of programs, activities, and the way arrangements were handled professionally by the JVB team.  Food arrangements were handled by Anju Bengani, Sarika Gandhi, Mukta Jain, Anusha Jain, Seema Jain and Jigisha Doshi along with the help of other volunteers.