Thursday, November 14, 2013

Healing Prayers

Towards the end of last week, we talked about the recent typhoon in the Philippines. I shared how we could help with healing energy. They were open and willing so I showed them Yogananda’s healing technique by energizing the arms and hands and then chanting “Om” three times, seeing light flowing through our hands.  We did this for the world and for the Philippines.  They said they could feel the energy in their hands.  

Pine Needle Tea

The girls are very interested in learning about herbs and local plants. So last week, Punya and I had them pick pine needles from a local tree, lemon balm from my yard, and manzanita berries from Manzanita trees.  We went to my home and made pine needle tea, lemon balm tea and manzanita sugar.  They enjoyed the whole experience. Pine needle tea was not liked by all, but one girl said, “It tastes like Christmas.”

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Secret Service

One afternoon, we gathered together in a circle and shared snack.  While we ate I brought up the idea of 'secret service' - helping another without them knowing who had helped them.  This is a really important concept as we often, unconsciously, seek to be rewarded for our actions.  Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong in being praised and recognized for our actions, but when seeking praise becomes the motivating factor, we lose some of the joy that is available to us when we serve because we truly want to help another.  So, with this in mind, I suggested that we find ways to help in the surrounding community without anyone knowing who had helped.  This also has such a huge element of fun, and it is hugely uplifting and exciting to participate in a secret... especially one that brings joy to others!

The girls all decided that they would like to offer their service to the school they attend.  It was a five minute walk away so off we went, with the girls talking excitedly about what they would like to do.  We arrived at the school, and noticed that the cubby area was looking somewhat worse for wear, so some of us started there, sweeping and picking up trash, coats, shoes etc.  Others worked on picking up the bikes and roller blades, and cleaning the bathrooms.  When we had finished, we left a flower outside each classroom door, and beautiful anonymous messages on the noticeboards.

We got together in a circle afterwards and shared with each other what we enjoyed about the experience of serving in secret.  The girls were all feeling really happy with themselves, feeling bubbly and uplifted with the joy of service.  They had shared in a special secret gift-giving ceremony together, and the experience of that sharing and joy was all the reward they needed.

Appreciation Ritual

Every time we take a break for snack, usually in some beautiful place in nature, we sit in a circle together and serve each other food and drink.  One girl will pass the cookies, cheese, nuts or fruit to the girl sitting next to her, and say "I really appreciate you because..." and completes the sentence with a reflection of some of the uplifting and inspiring qualities her friend exudes.  Then this girl will do the same for the girl next to her, and so on until everyone has received food and appreciation.  This ritual is so simple, and yet so beautiful, because we are experiencing not only the gift of serving another with love, but also taking the time to focus on and draw out further the wonderful qualities that make us shine.

Calling in Joy, Peace, Friendship and more

Today my friend Punya and I took the girls on a hike on a newly made trail which goes up to a beautiful pine forest. We found a lovely spot and had a picnic, and then they wrote in their journals 3 qualities they'd like to have more of in their lives.  Each girl then chose one of the qualities, and imagined themselves filled with this quality with their guide standing behind them supporting them in this intention.  I asked them to mentally say, "Thank you for bringing _(the quality)__ into my life, into myself" as if it had already happened.  I spritzed rose spray around them as if to seal in the intention.  And then they all went exploring in the woods!