April 4th Day 3
Twelve of us had gone off for a concert in Nasushiobara, and at around 10 in the morning, Sheng Chai (China) organized a candle havan at the OYC. We took the names of Shri Ganesha, Ekadasha Rudra, and negativity destroying mantras.
Later, we went to hold a workshop at the OYC from 2-4pm in the Central building. In preparation, we carried flyers to distribute in the area prior to the program. When we arrived at the venue we set up and eagerly waited for seekers to arrive. However, after 20 minutes, no seeker had come.
Tarini stood at the front of the room trying to cheer up our disappointed faces and motivating us to go outside and get people. We all felt tired and strangely less energetic. Finally, a few of us decided to go outside and distribute flyers and bring people in, despite the fact that we didn’t speak Japanese.
When Lukas, Devdut and I stepped out, I looked out the window and asked: “is that the Athletic Building?” Immediately I felt such cool vibrations. We had been looking for it, since people who went there might be going to do yoga, aerobics etc. I asked Lukas and Devdut to head over there and find out if anyone might be interested in coming.
The moment we walked through the front doors, two girls with yoga mats greeted us. We told them about meditation and two more yuvas showed up to guide them to the class. After visiting a few empty floors, we went to the basement level and I had a sudden instinctive urge to open a door we found. Behind the door I found 20 young girls doing gymnastics inside.
“Let’s ask the teacher if we can teach a 5 min meditation at the end of class!” I told Lukas and Devdut. But, we didn’t speak Japanese. Just then, a yogini, Vandana, from the Japan collective arrived outside the building at the perfect time. We pulled her into the gymnastics classroom.
Vandana explained about Sahaja Yoga meditation. The teacher agreed for us to come back at 5:30pm to teach meditation at the end of the class.
We came back again with a larger group and with Makoto (Vandana’s son) to help translate. We did the uppy uppy dance, singing mother energy, instead of mother kundalini, and go up one … two … three … instead of saying the names of the chakras.
We took the affirmations out loud for the guided meditation, and the teacher made sure everyone repeated the affirmations loudly. “Again,” she would instruct.
We asked the children to raise their hands if they felt something. They were very shy, but a few raised their hands. Then the teacher instructed the kids in Japanese and they all put their hands up. “Good job,” she would compliment after, or “pay attention” she would interrupt here and there.
The teacher was very interested and said we could teach the class. She also claimed to have done Peace First meditation under UNESCO, and was very eager to learn about Inner Peace Meditation and Sahaja Yoga. She took our contact information and a beginner’s booklet. She also gave us her contact for follow ups. The girls enjoyed the meditation and followed along beautifully. Everyone felt the vibrations, including the teacher who said she felt all her chakras rotating, especially the agnya.
Sheng Chai organized a puja after dinner. We took the names of Shri Raja Rajeshwari. The names were beautiful and the description was about powers and qualities that weren’t quite familiar to us. For some of us, it was the first time we had taken those names.
— Nasushiobara —
About twelve of us Yuvas travelled to a place three hours outside Tokyo called Nasushiobara where we were met by two smiling politicians from the local area.
The politicians not only picked us up, they had even rented a van to take us around for the day!
Altogether we went to lunch and the two men very kindly took us out for a special lamb barbecue lunch and insisted on treating us. They were so kind and warm, attempting to speak and practice any bit of English they knew as to get to know us better.
After lunch we were off to the mountains to visit a boiling hot spring. In the hot spring, one of the men asked us to sing a song so we sang “Down to the River to Pray” and then in return we asked if he would sing us a traditional Japanese song. In a strong husky voice, he sang a song about the ocean and ended laughing that he had forgotten the words. We enjoyed our time with them immensely and even though there was a language barrier we shared many joyful moments together.
After our scenic tour in the mountains, we went to set up the venue to perform a concert for the locals. Following the rehearsal, the two politicians and their campaign volunteers surprised us with a home cooked meal! We were completely taken aback by their thoughtfulness. They had thought of everything: drinks, different courses, and other snacks.
By the time we returned to the hall, there were sixteen people quietly sitting and eagerly waiting for us to begin. During the concert, the musicians explained their instruments and the audience responded with enthusiastic ohh’s and ahh’s at all the new information they were receiving. It was so heartwarming how interactive and responsive they were to every part of the program.
They listened devoutly and took part in the realization process with complete focus and became very peaceful as we showed them how to balance themselves.The whole evening was extremely joyous and the people were genuinely interested in learning more about continuing meditation. But, the most beautiful part was when some ladies and gentlemen got up from their seats and started dancing to Mere Piya Gari Aya and Ranga de Jhini.
We couldn’t believe our eyes, as we had been told that people in Japan do not express themselves in this way usually.
Our energy level went up ten fold as we witnessed their newfound joy. At the very end they insisted we take a group photo together and that marked the end of a beautiful evening.
“I smile at everything … I smile to trees.” -Anandamai