Strengthening the Bonds that Free Us

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By Mantrini devi dasi

The North American Grihastha Vision Team (GVT) announces the next presentation of the VTE (Vaisnava Training and Education) Grihastha Training Course I to be held in Alachua, Florida, July 13, 14, and 15, 2007, at the Alachua Charter School. This three-day, comprehensive marriage and family training course entitled, ‚ÄúStrengthening the Bonds that Free Us‚ÄĚ ¬© is aligned with shastra and Srila Prabhupada‚Äôs precepts. This course includes in-depth exploration, interactive exercises, role plays, journaling, and practical training in the following areas:

12 Principles and Values
Alignment with Srila Prabhupada and the shastras
Roles of Husband and wife
Gender roles and cultural norms
Understanding differences and expectations
Role definition and character
Readiness for marriage, expectations, and compatibility
Preparation for marriage
Areas to consider for compatibility
Communication Training and Managing conflict
Healthy communication: speaking, listening, negotiating, and conflict resolution
Saboteurs of healthy communication
Three empowering communication skills
Making win-win decisions
Financial responsibility
Prosperity and poverty
Identifying financial challenges
A powerful financial strategy
Affection and Intimacy
Krishna conscious perspectives on sex life
Communication and loving exchanges
Serious conflict, separation and divorce
Danger signs in marriage
Signs of abusive relationships
Conflict resolution styles: matrix
Legitimate reasons for divorce
The consequences of divorce
Sustaining family relationships
Children and Parenting
Notions of parenting
Patterns and skills of a healthy family
Children’s needs
Good discipline: Teaching versus punishment: clarity, appropriateness and consistency.
Making routines and rules
Parenting Styles
Resources for Parents
Balanced Lifestyle 1: Personal development/spirituality
Balanced Lifestyle 2: Making a social contribution

The course will be presented by two couples: Tamohara das and Mantrini devi dasi; and Karnamrta das and Arcana Siddhi devi dasi. Tamohara das has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, is a trained marriage educator through the PREP program (, and has counseled devotees for the past 15 years along with his wife, Mantrini devi dasi. He is also the Director of the ISKCON Child Protection Office. Mantrini devi dasi has a B.S. in Child and Family Studies, and is a trained marriage educator through the PREP program, and also works with the Child Protection Office. They have been married 37 years. Arcana Siddhi devi dasi has a Master’s degree in Social Work, is a Licensed Certified Social Worker and has Family Therapy and Children and Adolescents Certification. She is a professional therapist and works with her husband Karnamrta das counseling devotees. They have been married 17 years. All presenters are members of the North American Grihastha Vision Team. ( )

The VTE Grihastha Training Course I, ‚ÄúStrengthening the Bonds that Free us‚ÄĚ was authored by members of the North American Grihastha Vision Team with final editing by the VTE. All Grihastha Vision Team Members are either professional, experienced counselors, marriage educators, or therapists. The Grihastha Vision Team is one of the North American Spiritual Strategic Planning Team (SSPT) initiatives and is supported by North American ISKCON leadership.

In the past, the VTE Grihastha Training Course I has been presented in New York City, New York; Toronto, Winnipeg, and Vancouver, Canada; Washington D.C.; and Durban, Capetown, Johannesburg, and Pretoria, South Africa. Future plans for 2007-2008 include presenting the course in Toronto, Canada; Argentina; Portland, Oregon; and Mayapur, India.

The course fees are $108 for couples and $75 for singles, which includes a course manual and lunches for the three days. To register for the course , please contact Mantrini devi dasi,

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