Chinmaya Mission San Diego – Guidelines & Etiquette

Revised August 2022

What can participating families expect?

  • A very well-established, structured program for the growth of individuals from all backgrounds, as part of the larger Chinmaya Mission organization whose purpose is spreading the wisdom of Vedanta.
  • Active leadership from our chief sevaks and dedicated volunteers to assist with questions and concerns.
  • Efficient, on-time operations of all classes.
  • Dissemination of pertinent information about programs via email, website (www.chinmayajyoti.org), social media, Chinmaya Pradipika (quarterly newsletter) and weekly announcements.
  • Availability of essential books and related items in the bookstore.
  • Celebration of selected traditional Hindu Festivals and other events.
  • Periodic seminars, workshops, yajna-s and camps to support and supplement BV and Adult classes.
  • Language classes, Cultural classes and programs for adults and children.
  • A beautiful, serene ashram environment to facilitate the spiritual growth of all aspirants.
  • During the session Chinmaya Mission San Diego conveys information to registered families through Weekly Communicator that is sent out every Thursday before noon.
  • Sevaks’ training is provided each year to those who are willing to serve.

General expectations from adults and children:

  • Arrive on-time (i.e.10 minutes before class start time) to attend the classes.
  • Absolutely no use of cell phones on the ashram premises during CMSD classes and programs!
  • Make every effort to attend all CMSD programs with family.
  • Maintain the sanctity of the ashram by being quiet, treating property with care and keeping it clean.
  • Chewing gum, candy, cards, toy games, food and drinks are not permitted in the classrooms and on the ashram premises.
  • Follow all safety guidelines as instructed by the CMSD safety committee.
  • Follow all instructions from CMSD sevaks related to media recording. No audio/video
    recording of any programs is permitted except by assigned sevaks.
  • All family registrations must include a recent family photo taken since May 1st of the
    year, including all adults responsible for the children, showing clearly visible and
    identifiable faces. Adult registrations without any children must include their photo taken
    within the last 5 years.
  • CMSD reserves the right to decline/rescind registration if guidelines set forth are
    not followed.

Dress Code

  • Boys: Kurta Pajama or full pants with kurta. No hats, jeans, shorts or tank tops.
  • Girls: Salwar Kameez or long skirt with blouse. No shorts, tank tops, bare backs, spaghetti straps, tight jeans, tights etc.
  • Please have the hair groomed neatly and tied away from face. Wear a bindi.
    Adults are requested to set an example by dressing in simple, modest, Indian clothes (no shorts).

Media recording and distribution:

  • CMSD may record activities using various formats (e.g., still/video camera, etc.) for the purpose of promoting its programs. Some of these may be published on our website, social media or during events.
  • Any request to decline participation in CMSD’s efforts to record its programs must be made in writing with explanation provided for consideration.

Eligibility for adults’ program

  • All adults in the same household of registered families are eligible to attend CMSD adult classes and programs. But they must be enrolled in our system.
  • Adult visitors may join them after notification to [email protected]

What is expected of all adults?

  • All adults must attend the mandatory orientation at the beginning of the CMSD session which will include classroom and ashram etiquette, safety guidelines and emergency procedures. Adults should share these with the visitors from their family.
  • Adults must attend adult classes only and cannot attend children’s classes.
  • All must update CMSD of any changes to family information including medical information for children.
  • Please discuss any concerns or suggested improvements to the program with the program coordinator.
  • Please check the web site (www.chinmayajyoti.org) regularly for program information.
  • No food or drinks in the ashram at any time except when designated. Absolutely no non-vegetarian food, outside food, onions, garlic, egg, cheese, etc. in the ashram.
  • Please serve in your area of interest/expertise in the many programs/activities of CMSD.

Eligibility for Children’s program: Shishu Vihar

  • To be eligible for Shishu Vihar class admission, a student must be of age 3 or 4 years as of Sept. 1 of the academic year. Every child must be accompanied by their mother as this is a “Mommy & Me” program newly started as of Sept. 2020.

What is expected of mothers in Shishu Vihar program?

  • Mothers must ensure that the chants/songs/practices taught on Sunday are incorporated in the daily life of the child to ensure a healthy, spiritual upbringing.
  • All other etiquette for adults and children must be followed.

Eligibility for Children’s program: Bala Vihar

  • To be eligible for Bala Vihar class admission, a student must be enrolled in Grade K or higher in a regular school. Students are placed in Bala Vihar in the same grade as in their schools. No exceptions.
  • Children not registered in the Bala Vihar program will not be allowed in the BV classrooms without prior permission.
  • Language classes are offered only to students in grades 1 through 8 and are already enrolled in and attending Bala Vihar.

What is expected of the Bala Vihar children?

  • Regular attendance at the Assembly and Bala Vihar class to ensure continuity and ease in learning. Teachers keep records on attendance, behavior, and punctuality of the students.
  • Participation in CMSD programs, festivals and Annual Program is required.
  • All children should be well rested and have a nourishing breakfast before attending Bala Vihar. This makes learning easier.
  • Children must come prepared with a BV notebook, Chinmaya Book of Hymns (grades 2 & up), any other books in their syllabus, pencil/pen, colored pencils/pens (up to Grade 6) in their BV bags. All children’s bags must have their names on it.
  • Active and attentive participation in class as well as during scheduled events and class programs.
  • Minimum basic preparation for upcoming class or event. (This will be limited so that there is no conflict with regular academic commitments). Most of the homework is thinking homework. However, projects may be assigned from time to time to supplement the lessons taught.
  • Respectful behavior and following instructions of the teachers.

What is expected of all parents with child/children in the Bala Vihar program?

  • Attend adult classes taking place concurrently. Dropping off and picking up of children without a responsible adult on premises requires written consent from CMSD. Any/all such requests must be explained to CMSD. An adult guardian must be assigned in such cases.
  • At all times, except in the classroom, children attending Bala Vihar are the responsibility of their parents or the emergency contact listed with CMSD.
  • Parents should escort their children to the ashram building and not drop them off in the parking lot.
  • Please take an active interest in your children’s classes and support their participation in all programs and special events.

Eligibility for differently abled:

  • CMSD will make every reasonable effort to work with families to try and accommodate adults and children with special needs. However, if a mutually acceptable solution cannot be reached, CMSD reserves the right to decline/rescind registration.