Tahir Sharief and Mutsa Remba ( BWS Teachers) say this course was Guruji’s personal gift to them after all the work they did for MGESUTA.
“A Breath Water Sound Course at Emerald Hill School for the deaf was initially oh so exciting. I hadn’t taught a breath water sound course in ages and the thought of doing one was so exciting. After having arranged all the details with the headmaster of the school we were allocated our 4 days with the high school children. Day one of the course arrived and I met up with Mutsa at her place to arrange the details of the course. And only then is when it hit us and it hit us hard. We were teaching a breath water sound course to deaf children. How on earth were we going to teach them to meditate? How on earth were we going to talk to them and explain everything to them? We were getting ready to teach a breath water sound course without sound..!!
But then something happened and the fear of it all suddenly changed to excitement. Excitement to be creative and imaginative. Excitement to think outside the box and truly create a unique and special course for these kids. For as Prof. Kalangu once said these children are not disabled, but differently abled. We challenged ourselves to the task, said Jai Gurudev and went on our way.
Day one was quite difficult getting through to the kids, and having them keep their concentration to some of the stories proved to be a mission.
We realized that not only were they deaf but they were just teenagers, plain, simple ordinary teenagers full of life, full of stories, very concerned about what was cool and hip and how everyone else was doing the techniques. Halfway through the class on day 1, I remember thinking to myself what have I gotten myself into. There was no way these guys are going to understand all the stuff we want to tell them. I mean imagine telling a 15-16 year old boy about taking on responsibility in school. I was so scared these guys would just end up laughing at us. We tried to teach them bhastrika which they did understand but now the problem was how do they do it together as a group with their eyes closed. But anyway we were a bit consoled as to the fact that they at least understood how to do bhastrika.
Then came time for satsung!! I looked at Mutsa and Mutsa looked at me and we just laughed.
Then Mutsa came up with an idea that everyone just get up and dance. And that is exactly what everyone did and though there was no music, though there was no singing it was powerful. The smiles on the kids faces were so beautiful. We left day 1somewhat happy that at least the kids were enjoying themselves. From then onwards everyday the kids really impressed us with their attitude towards the course. They would be ready sitting in the school hall waiting for us as we got to the school. We agreed that we would try and play more games and do more processes than talk stories with them and that is what I think made the rest of the course so magical.
We would start off each session with about 30mins of yoga and were shocked as to how well they would manage each and every posture. We even ended up doing some sun salutations and they just loved it. This was followed by bhastrika, om and then a few mins of silent meditation, and then followed by many games with a few knowledge points here and there and then finally satsung. Seeing as they found it difficult to do bhastrika with their eyes closed and as a group we allowed them to open their eyes every now and then so that they could see what we were doing and then they would copy us. By the end of the course they were very good in keeping synch as a group. I must admit I did not think that they would be able to say much as individuals but I was completely blown away with the way each and everyone of them could say om and not just say om but chant it together as a group. One would not think for a second that these are deaf children who cannot speak. It truly was amazing. We played many games with them. Musical chairs, tug of war, role playing to name but a few and each time they would here that we are going to play a game their faces would just light up with joy and their smiles would automatically turn into laughter. I was really impressed by their enthusiasm for each and every process. Not just a few people but literally the whole class.
And then finally satsung. No music, no singing, no instruments, just dancing satsung. I so looked forward to the end of each day because of the satsung. The smiles, the laughter, the joy in their hearts could very easily be seen on their angel faces. Just to be a part of that I believe was truly a blessing. And even though I was the teacher I too learnt so much from these kids. Their enthusiasm was truly amazing. When it came to playing games and many of the processes you could very easily see that this is what it means to give 100%.
On the last day I was really touched when almost every participant stood up at the end of the course and would say just about the same thing we are really going to miss you so much, please can you promise to come back soon. That statement was all the thanks that I needed. I truly felt blessed to haven taken a course like this with such amazing children, such blessed children, children who are not disabled but differently abled”.
“My memory of the course was when we asked them for feedback after a particularly beautiful meditation, and someone said, “I can hear singing in my head. The thoughts are all gone, only music.” My small mind asked, “huh? Does she even know music?”, but of course she does, doesn’t she? So blessed we are”.