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Thought Provoking Jain Workshop

Monday, May 10, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Pooja Jain
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Thought Provoking Jain Workshop

Jaina Education Committee now offers a thought provoking Jain Workshop on "How to apply Jain principles in all walks of life in the Western world” This includes social, business, family, ethical, religious, ritual, and spiritual environment. Also throughout the workshop several practical examples will be examined.

This workshop will also help parents to effectively communicate with their teenager or young adult in their discussion of religious matter.

Workshop detail – provided below
Attendees - Adults and Youth (Over 15 years)
Duration of Workshop – 2 days (total 16 hours)
Workshop Moderator – Pravin K. Shah (Jaina Education Committee)
Financial obligation – Transportation cost of the moderator
Food – Jain Vegan food to be served during the workshop

History of the Workshop
In the past this type of the workshop of short duration was offered by Jugna Shah – Atlanta GA and Maneesh Kenya (Dallas TX) during several YJA conventions. Recently the workshop is offered in Chicago and Raleigh NC.

If any Jain organization of North America would like to organize such a workshop, please contact Pravin K. Shah ( – 919 859 4994)

Workshop Title
STRIKING A BALANCE: - EXAMINING Social, Cultural, and Spiritual environment that our youth face while growing up in North America

After a brief session on Jain axioms and fundamental principles, the workshop delves into the brain storming and discussion on powerful and thought provoking questions, that have no absolute (right or wrong) answers. It includes the social and cultural perceptions surrounding as well as stereotypes and generalizations from both youth and adult's perspective.
The discussion will provide the group with questions that are important to our youth in order to develop them spiritually, ethically, and socially in the western world.
While often difficult to reconcile divergent influences, it is critical to understand the distinctions and strike a balance amongst Indian heritage, Jain religion, spirituality and Western lifestyle.

Discussion Topics
Examine the social constructions of culture, religion, and the traditional expectations which our youth as Indian Americans encounter growing up in North America.

Focus on issues which have to do with understanding and balancing the parent's view of the world, the way our youths are raised, and how our youth plan on living their adult and family lives.

How do the youth balance more modern views as they influence their career choices and family life desires, in relation to the different set of circumstances generated for both men and women?.

Explore the incongruous nature between what we teach our youth to practice from a religious/philosophical perspective, and the actions which are promoted by our social community.

There are many dimensions to our culture and sometimes culture and religion are treated like they are interchangeable, particularly by the adults. Do our youth believe that they have to be culturally rich in order to be spiritually rich?

Do our youth feel that our religious functions (holidays, conferences, temple openings, daily rituals, pujäs etc.) mix with the social and religious aspects in a way that undermines core principles; Ahimsa, Anekäntaväda and Aparigraha (non-possession) of our religion?

Are there different expectations for males and females in our society? Is there a different set of ‘rules' for each? How do we deal with gender bias and gender inequity in our society and in religious ritual practices?

Do our youth feel that our social communities promote actions which are incongruous with what we are taught to practice from a religious / philosophical / spiritual perspective?

How do we practice Aparigraha in the Western society?

How difficult do our youth find it to fulfill social expectations (career choices, family life, salary expectations, acquiring wealth and property) while fulfilling the tenants of Jainism in thought, speech, and action?

Do our youth think that the parents and the society believe that when they (youth) choose to step outside of what is traditionally expected and the accepted norm, that they are rejecting a Jain way of life or are ‘unreligious'?

Is the society and religion so intertwined that our communities cannot differentiate between the two?

What can we do to foster an understanding between parents and youth?

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