Arriving back at the OYC after the Puja weekend, floating Sakura petals greeted us in the air. The trees had finally reached their full bloom. It was just like the song Sakura that the Japan Collective sang at the evening program: “there is a breeze that blows the Sakura petals and they fall at Mother’s lotus feet.”
Our ninth day started differently for some of us. A group of eighteen left the OYC at 7am to be at the Tokyo International School for 8am. We were scheduled to teach several classes about meditation and give a concert. We had separated into groups and each was assigned three classes. We had K1 and 2, Grade 1 and 2 before the concert, and Grades 3 and 4 afterwards. Here are a few personal experiences from some of the groups.
Katherine from Canada:
We entered K1A filled with 4 year-old children. We sat down in a circle on the carpet and did a name game.
“Does anyone know what meditation is?” I asked.
A few children put their hands up. “Have you done meditation before?” They put their hands down. “Do you know what meditation means?”
“You sit like this,” one boy explained, imitating Kung Fu panda. “and… and… it makes you relaxed.”
We talked about how we are a group called Inner Peace Meditation, and had the kids explain what inner peace means. We also talked about the energy within us and how it takes care of us like a mother. One girl began to cry: “I miss my mommy.” Her name was Sydney. Sanjivani from Italy scooped her up and made her feel all better.
We used the uppy uppy dance to raise their kundalini, clapping as we do the rainbow and singing “uppy uppy uppy, mother energy go up, one…. two… three …” we sang for the three channels. “Go up one, go up two etc.” we sang for the rainbow (bandhan), our right hand clapping against our left after each bandhan was done.
With our hand on our forehead, we sang: “I forgive, I forgive, my brother today. I forgive, I forgive, my sister today. I forgive, I forgive, everyone, and I also forgive myself.”
With our hands open on our lap we sang: “Open up your hands … and feel the cool vibrations …”
We did the affirmations for each chakra starting with the mooladhara and up: “I am innocence … I am creativity…” it was very similar to the inner peace meditation done on the Eiffel tower in Paris 2015.
We finished the class with making a lotus flower from paper and balancing it on our heads while Amar played the Bansuri. We also finished the meditation with the uppy uppy dance again but this time with the lotus flower on our heads.
We followed the same structure in our next two classes: 1A and 3A.
In 1A, the teachers also meditated with us and felt very good. The children checked the vibes over our heads including their friends’ and their teachers’. The students were asked to give a special thank you to us.
“Thank you for taking the time to come and teach us how to meditate.”
“Thank you for teaching us to do new things,” another said.
3A was a bit tough because the children were very hyperactive and chatty. They were finishing our sentences and interrupting us with phrases like: “and then it exploded into a million pieces …” We noticed they used words like explosion, or broken a lot when we tried to talk about the mother earth, or mother energy. Amar worked on a very naughty and chatty boy in the class. He used him as an example to show the class how to balance the channels. The boy settled down, and we felt cool vibrations from him.
Lakshmi from Switzerland:
Group two started with K1b and then Grade 1b. The children in Grade 1b were already in a circle on the carpet so we joined them immediately, introduced ourselves and started with asking them if they knew anything about meditation. Quite a few of them did, we had answers explaining that it brings us peace, calmness and silence, one said it helps us connect to God, to which one asked if it mattered that he didn’t believe in God. This really surprised me as he was only 7 years old and already knew that he didn’t believe in God.
We had them all draw a face of how they were feeling on a piece of paper before Emma led the meditation. I was sitting next to the child who asked:
“Is it necessary to believe in God?”
I could see he was struggling with something within so I put my attention on him to hopefully help soothe his mind a little. After the meditation, we asked them to draw a face of how they felt and talk about it with their neighbour. We then asked if anyone wanted to share how they felt with the group and ended up having everyone share. The boy who didn’t believe in God said:
“Before the meditation I felt extremely angry and very sad, and after the meditation, I only feel sad.”
We were very touched to see this change in him as the anger was visible on his face before the mediation. He also struggled during the meditation.
We ended the class using the imitation game to raise their Kundalini and give themselves a bandhan.
Concert at the School during the Assembly
We started with a bhangra dance on stage to hype up the children from k1 to Grade 3. We wore our shining punjabis and jumped on stage.
Rohan, from Malaysia, was the MC, and he took the mic and talked about meditation as well as the qualities of the three channels.
Amar played his flute next while the children and teachers sat in meditation. We saw the faces of children from all around the world, some mixed between Japanese and another country. There was even a student whose parents were American but she was born in Hong Kong and was living in Tokyo now.
Madhavai took the mic next and sang:
“We feel the joy, joy, joy, joy in our hearts, joy in our hearts …. I feel so happy, so very happy …”
She then asked the students to stand up and get ready for the Hyda Dance. We started slow and gradually increased the speed. Madhavi made it challenging by singing the song slow and then fast every few seconds. So everyone would dance really fast, then slow, then fast again, then medium-slow/medium fast.
The laughing faces of children and teachers warmed our hearts. We ended the concert by singing and doing the uppy uppy dance: raising our kundalini and doing a bandhan.
The principle came and informed us that we were very professional, and he thanked us for making everyone happy today. After lunch, he said he will write us a recommendation letter to go to more schools in Japan and teach meditation to children.
OYC Evening Concert
Over twenty Yogis from the Shri Rama Puja joined the audience. Some pretended to be beginners. We had three new Japanese seekers receive their realization. They all stuck around at the end talking with Hitoshi and his wife Vandana about the Japan collective.
Anandamay from Italy lead the meditation. She gave a very nice introduction and shared some quotes from Dante related to what we feel when we meditate. The seekers were very interested in learning about the instruments and their eyes glimmered when the musicians gave an introduction. Devdut, also a flute player, explained how in India, Shri Krishna is portrayed as playing the flute, and how the flute is an old instrument. The seekers nodded with curiosity.
We finished with qawwalis and everyone got up and danced.