Creating a culture of soul consciousness and self awareness
Saanjh – meaning ‘partnering, sharing, connecting’ in Punjabi – is a community based organization that focuses on inspiring the next generation to be a force for positive social change. Saanjh’s programming includes leadership retreats, school scholarships and service projects. Saanjh initiates and encourages programming that fosters social activism towards collective empowerment.
Inspiration is hard to come by, but at Saanjh it is almost a guarantee. I have been a participant in the retreat for two years and both times I was inspired and re-inspired to improve myself and my community. Through Saanjh, I now better understand my relationship with the Guru and what it means to be a Sikh – physically, socially, and spiritually.
I was worried I’d be one of the older ones, in my late thirties, and not sure how the ‘kids’ would react. Saanjh surprisingly managed to create a non-judgmental environment for all…the young college students and professionals younger and older than me, looking to re-connect with the energy of the Sikh dream. The organizers put in immense hard work to make this meaningful and inspirational. I went home motivated and am working on a Saanjh seva project now.
Going to Saanjh helped push me forward in my spiritual journey. I loved it there. We got a chance to learn so much more about ourselves … I found myself challenged to look inward, and confronted some of my own assumptions about our faith. I reached new depths of self- awareness. One of the keys of the retreat was the sangat. Meeting so many other young Sikhs from across the country filled me with joy. I also felt humbled by how much seva they performed in their own lives and at the retreat. Speaking with them armed me with tools for further self-development. Another aspect of the retreat I loved was the balance between spiritual exploration and social justice. I came away with more tools to improve my day-to-day life. We also found ways to make a difference in the lives of others by working to assist and connect with farmers in Punjab. The retreat was also hella fun. We played different games, organized and unorganized. Some of the best memories came from discussions with the sangat there. Overall, Saanjh was an amazing experience that definitely contributed to who I am today.
I loved taking a step back and thinking about the role Sikhi plays in my life and in my goals for my future. For me, it wasn’t just looking at what Gurbani says, which we did and which is crucial, but it was thinking about how Sikhi really is a way of life and a mindset. I do my paath and I explore Gurbani on a regular basis but it was priceless to be in the physical environment of the site while almost being able to look at my life and my goals from out of my body. Saanjh was a life-changing experience for me.
I had an amazing weekend at Saanjh East Coast with incredible individuals. It was very inspirational. I’ve learned so much and realized that we have so much more to accomplish. Throughout history, we have faced many obstacles. Those obstacles have continued to strengthen us. Now is our time to unite and turn our dream of a flourishing, colorful, and thriving Punjab, into a reality. To keep in touch with the Saanjh Community, I decided to participate in one of the projects. I chose to be part of the “Living Our History 1984 Project”. The reason why I chose this particular project was because of what I learned in Saanjh. The community has faced many hardships in our history, and we have survived a lot, for example in 1984. I wasn’t present at that time, but I want to hear from those who were. It’s very important to preserve and learn from our past.
We attended our first Saanjh in August 2009, and it was one of the best decisions we ever made. The initial goal was simple – learn about Sikhi and meet new sangat – but we quickly discovered there was much more for us to experience. Each day was an exciting journey of the mind and spirit. We as a sangat were motivated by world-class speakers; inspired to action through workshops and group discussion; and blessed to start and end each day with diwans. What sets the Saanjh retreat apart from the rest is the firm dedication to ongoing seva projects that connect the sangat throughout the year. Most importantly, we both returned home stronger, wiser, and more committed than ever to our Guru, our Panth, and each other.
Saanjh was a terrific experience. The workshops and discussions were very informative and insightful, and helped me understand the relevance of a number of issues facing Sikhs both in India and the U.S. Saanjh also enabled to me to meet so many young professional Sikhs from all over the country, and build my personal sangat of individuals who continue to inspire me to new heights and levels of understanding of Sikhi. The keertan is so amazing and inspiring to be part of during the diwans – the passion and love for Sikhi and the Gurbani is almost tangible, and leaves everyone with such a great feeling of strength and community. And last but not least, the Saanjh retreat is a 4-day event of fun – new friends and fun events, in a beautiful natural setting. See you in October!
The Saanjh Leadership Retreat is open to all above the age of 18 and features interactive workshops and discussions that explore subjects like an individual’s personal relationship with the Divine, identity and culture issues, history ,literature and present day challenges before the community. We utilize an interdisciplinary approach featuring spiritual, philosophical, cultural, historical, political, and activist angles to explore these diverse topics. And we enjoy the magic of morning and evening divans in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib.
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There is often a romanticized notion of Punjab villages as affluent,
The Saanjh Sikh Scholarship was launched at the Saanjh retreat in 2009
College Prep and Alternative Careers
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“ Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights. But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart’s knowledge.You would know in words that which you have always known in thought. You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams. ”
– The Prophet’ by Khalil Gibran