Merging Mind & Heart

We are gathered around in the upstairs classroom in the SRV San Francisco Ashram with three children. Today is February 14th and we are blessed with Babaji’s presence on this visit.  Let me share with you the exciting breakthroughs and highlights of the divine lesson of today’s Children’s Spiritual class.

Asana/Meditation Pose – Meditation with Guruji

We have taken into practice a meditation asana at the beginning of each class. Through this practice the children begin to become more familiar with the pose and become more comfortable within the pose.  Three eager faces are looking toward me as I begin to explain and demonstrate: “Please sit with legs crossed one over each other, back straight, eyes gently closed, tail bone curled in, neck pushed slightly back, chin slanted towards chest, tongue resting on the roof of the mouth, hands resting in lap one over the other with palms facing upward as if cupping a pool of water.” Sebastian wants his hands resting on his knees with thumb touching and meeting middle finger.

I do not correct him, if this is what he is comfortable with then so be it.  It is with heartfelt love that I see how much they want to please and get the pose right. They glance at each other as if comparing themselves in a mirror. These are light moments where one can make mistakes and we all can laugh a bit at ourselves.  However, they quickly fell into a focus that was profound to witness.  You just had to see it for yourself. If you were sitting in the room you would have experienced it as I had. They were all in pose with eyes closed and a pervasive peace filled the room. Annapurna knew how ready they were to now receive meditation instruction from Babaji and she sprang to her feet quickly and quietly to fetch our beloved Guru in anticipation of his meditation instruction for them.  He came into the room and proceeded to talk in regard to the five senses of Touch, Taste, Smell, Seeing and Hearing. He asks a few questions and they answered with child-like wisdom.  Babaji led them into a 5-minute meditation and they did beautifully. In closing all bowed down to the Altar.

Garland-making 101

They are now ready to jump up and run downstairs for today’s activity. Movement and fun are on their mind; after all, they are children. Annapurna has promised to teach them how to make a Garland and they are excited at the prospect. They made the longest open-ended Garland I have seen. They worked with the longer needles for this with care, precision, and our close supervision.  We then headed for the shrine room with our Blessed Garland in tow along with today’s food offering.

Children’s Puja and Offering of Garland

San Francisco altarThe Shrine room is electrified with Divine Love. The prior evening Babaji led us in the most auspicious Puja, in celebration of Sri Ramakrishna’s Birthday. The Altar was adorned with Garlands and the children were able to witness the beauty. Annapurna then led us into a beautiful Children’s Puja and offered the Garland the children had made in front of Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother, and Swamiji. She offered a beautiful song to Sri Ramakrishna too, and the Children gathered around her as if she held a sweet in her hand. They wanted to be close to the music and to her. “Do you know this song?” They did not, but were singing along in no time at all. After the Puja, Annapurna continued with the day’s lesson: “Taste, Touch, Smell, Hearing, Seeing, comes out of OM/God and goes back to Him, and when we meditate, everything goes back to Him. Offering to God all that we See, Taste, Touch, Smell and Hear is wise and proper sacrifice.”

Taking Today’s Lesson Home

We ended with Prasad and laughter in the dining room. The children were sent home with today’s lesson in their heart to arise at a later time, and also with homework, flower buds (so they could make their own Garland for their shrine at home), and an awesome comic book “The Story of Sri Ramakrishna”.

May all of the Children know and Love God and learn to follow their own path for the highest good of all.

Peace, Bharati