JULY 18 – 21, 2007 Vrilanie Foundation, Philippines
When Guruji was recently in the Philippines, he gave us his blessings to do Breath Water Sound workshops for disadvantaged teenagers in Manila. We found that the best way to organize these was to work with local NGO’s who provide residential care to “Street Kids”: abandoned kids, juvenile delinquents, abused kids, runaways. All the NGO’s we here approached are interested in Breath Water Sound. Several workshops have been confirmed for the coming few months.
Last Monday morning, the five of us set out to conduct the first BWS for Street Kids in Manila. Denise, Dona, Julie, Luigi and me. We were told that the kids were between the ages of 12 to 17 years. Most of them had been in trouble with the law or had been victims of abuse. All of them had been abandoned by their families.
We arrived at the facility with guitar, percussion instruments, Guruji’s photo, and absolutely no inkling of what lay in store. The kids were guarded, suspicious and uncooperative. The yoga session was utter chaos. The boys were pushing, shoving and shouting. The girls sat listlessly, with jaded, sad little faces. I could only guess at what horrors and depravity they had seen in their young lives. None of the kids were willing to close their eyes for the meditation.
One boy, 17-year-old M., who walked with a limp and had a scarred face, sat staring vacantly. He made no eye-contact with anyone. There was a haunted sorrow in his eyes. What traumas, what pain had robbed these kids of their childhood?
We left them after that first morning feeling a little dazed, but undeterred.
The second day was lighter, more relaxed. They began to close their eyes for the meditation, they enjoyed Dona’s games, and sat quietly around Denise and her guitar, singing sweetly. Our first Satsang with them.
The third day was magic. The kids were at the gate waiting for us to arrive. We were greeted with warm smiles and “High Fives”. They helped us carry our things into the hall, and were eager to get started. The session went like a beautiful dream. The kids called us “Ate” (Big sister) and “Kuya” (Big brother). They listened eagerly and participated enthusiastically. They engaged readily with us, and asked questions about Guruji. “He looks like Jesus!” they said. Their Ram meditation was almost musical. Most amazing of all, the kids all sat silently for 20 minutes of Panchakosha meditation with their eyes closed. Several of them took a long time to open their eyes aftrerwards.
M. was now making eye-contact with all of us, smiling and participating.
Before we left, they sang Guruji’s favourite Tagalog song “Hawak Kamay”. They resembled a choir of angels, with incredibly peaceful faces, as if a huge burden had been lifted off them. Gurji’s presence in that room was palpable. His grace flowed and flowed, and He was holding each kid in His arms.
On the last day, we were greeted with big hugs from the kids. They sat close to us, and asked us if we could come back every day. They spoke openly from their hearts. 16-year-old J, a runaway who had been beaten with sticks by his foster parent, wrote his “promise” in English on a piece of paper and read it out: “I promise to myself that I give my best to all things. Promise. I want to become a successful doctor someday, but I don’t know if I achieve my goal, I hope I can achieve my goal. Thank you !! Love lots. J”
Saying goodbye took ages, as each kid wanted to hug each of us. Needless to say, all of us had tears in our eyes as we drove away.
If anyone ever tells you that Breath Water Sound is a simplified version, a teaser, an appetiser, a reduced course, do not believe it. BWS ranks up there with the best of them. It is complete and whole, with as much power to heal,transform and uplift as any other Art of Living course.
With our beloved Guruji’s grace behind it, how can it be anything else?
Experience it for yourself – join your Seva team and teach BWS – Guruji will raise you onto His shoulders, and you will never be the same again.
SUMMER, 2004 Tin Shui Wai, Hong Kong
in association with Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups and International Social Service Hong Kong Branch
“Now I feel I can breathe in more air and seems to be able to use my lung better. Apart from this, I use the breathing technique to calm down when I deal with my children’s problems …… I will learn to change my egoism and discover my true self.”
“My sleeping quality has improved by using breathing technique. ….. I will do my best in daily life.”
“In the past, I just know what my ego is and now I understand what my true self is. Also, I can have a hearty laugh, it is really good…. No matter when, I will say Hi or “Good Morning” to strangers ”
– Mama Barbie
“I like to do “Meditation” and “Bastrika”, because those techniques can let me breathe out something that I hate, then I can have a peaceful mind. …. I will use the knowledge from this course to help people who are in need, such as my friends.”
“I find out that breathing has its wisdom; I appreciate that Yoga brings me joyfulness. …. I will hug my children more.”
“Breathing makes me more aware of my self. … I will kindly teach the next generation to treasure and to appreciate all the things around them.”
– Lau Chau Sim
“Through smiling and mediation, I feel more joyful. … I will smile more.”
“I like to do “Meditation”, especially the “Ram” exercise. I enjoy the time with myself very much. … I will do more volunteer work to serve people.”
“I don’t know how to say but I know I am very happy……. I will smile more and try my best to help others.”
– Yip Yim Mui
“I like “Meditation” and now I can laugh with joy.”
– Leung Siu Koon