The drastic change in climate for some, from desert sun to a breezy valley, is not the only change experienced by the participants at the Radhadesh Summer camp after their arrival at the chateau in the Belgian Ardennes from the bustling cities of Dubai, Toronto, and Moscow.
The unique environment of an ashram life (temple residence) in the countryside also offered a variety of summer activities, including outdoor sports, horseback riding, and sightseeing. All the while the participants learned devotional skills, such as mrdanga (Indian drum), dancing, devotional songs, garland-making, cooking and other aspects of Vaishnava culture.
The days were divided into two parts: skills workshops in the morning and then sports and other activities in the afternoon; this was followed by evening bhajans (devotional songs), devotional movies or rest. The participants did regulated sadhana (devotional practice) during the temple’s morning program and chanted rounds every day. For some participants, this was the first time they have done a serious exploration of the realms of devotional life, and experienced the juicy flavors of the temple devotees’ life.
By Kumari Sherreitt