Thursday, 12 May 2011

Sahaja Yoga in Durban, South Africa

We received this project in Divine Cook Breeze - Project 1008 but we are sharing it also on the blog.

Jai Shri Mataji,

We would like to bring to your attention the following Sahaj project that 3 yogis from Durban, South Africa collective initiated late last year.

For most of 2010 Rina, Kasthurie, and myself (Lincoln), had a desire to go out to schools and give students and teachers their self realisation. Because I was busy with completion of my MBA, I could spare very little time. Since the dissertation was progressing quiet well (in fact ahead of where I should actually be), we decided to embark on our school project in August. We decided to first visit the 'poor' suburb of Phoenix. This is a part of Durban where poverty, unemployment, crime, drugs, and prostitution is rampant. The community comprised of pre-dominantly Indians, Blacks, and Coloureds with a population of approximately 400 000 to 500 000 residents. The number of schools in this area totalled 40 comprising primary and high schools.

On the first day, we went wearing our sales hats. The sequence of events when a school was approached are as follows:

  • we requested to speak to a person of authority (a person who could grant permission to speak to students and teachers on the benefits of SY meditation)
  • once we were in this persons office, we apologised for arriving un-announced
  • we introduce ourselves as representatives from SY
  • we continue by saying we are aware of the abject challenges facing both students and teachers i.e. poverty, unemployment, crime, drugs and the effect this has in a learning environment
  • we then say SY school awareness programs have been successfully run in many other countries with positive results and we want to run similar programs in South Africa
  • by now the principal / deputy has wide eyes because they are drowning with problems experienced with running a school and they also just heard that our program is FREE
  • the next question usually asked is: tell me what you will be saying at your awareness program
  • staff at schools have to be on their guard because each school has a governing body comprising of parents and educators for the 'effective running' of the school - principals and deputies do not want students going home saying a religious group came to our school talking about religion!
  • so, Mother made us aware of these concerns and we inform the authoritarian figure that we do not discuss politics, religion, force membership, sell anything .....we stress again that this is an awareness program with benefits of students becoming more calm, having better attention, improvements in marks and teachers having a more caring, nurturing approach
  • by now the person in front of us is won over and the next segment of the conversation focuses on when we can come and present
  • the 3 of us actually request our program to be conducted during assembly time (as that is the time when all students and educators are at a common place); however, there were 3 instances when the principal was so enthusiastic that a special assembly was arranged i.e. our presentation was at the middle of teaching time
  • our Garmin GPS has a neat feature in that it can provide information of all schools in an area (excellent tool in that we save petrol by knowing exactly where to go)

There are advantages of having more than one yogi(ini) visiting the school ...the need to communicate is not left on the shoulders of one yogi, 3 heads and voices are better than one, and there is more fun to share.

On the day of the presentation, Rina goes to Kasthurie's house and they both come in one car to my house. We have to all wake up a little earlier than normal as Kasthurie and I have school going kids and they need to be dropped off at school. There is much commitment and dedication from Rina and Kathurie as they are both house wives! So we all get into my car, drop off my kids and drive really fast to our destination by listening to the prompts from our GPS. We announce ourselves to the principal / deputy and proceed to the assembly area where we setup our 2 meter high chakra chart (2 weeks ago we also received an A frame) and await for assembly to start.

Lincoln is introduced and I talk for 2 / 3 minutes on challenges that students are facing from communities and school life and how this stress results in poor attention, lack of respect, bad grades. The stress that teachers undergo is also mentioned and then the presentation focuses on how Mother Nature is able to continue after an earthquake, flood, global warming, the 5 natural energies in nature is also in our bodies and if these energies are awakened and Sahaj meditation practiced then human beings can also overcome stress. The need to overcome peer pressure is touched on depending on whether it is a high school or not.

Kasthurie is called upon and she goes into the subtle system is greater detail. The difference is that the theme of Mother Nature continues in her presentation. At no stage is GOD or religion ever mentioned is our presentation (as earlier promised). Her entire presentation is the need for us to reconnect to Mother Earth. She then continues by initiating the process of self realisation and she stresses for all students and teachers to participate in the process. At the end there is so much joy to witness students looking at each other in amazement when 'this wind emits from their fontanelles' Her presentation goes on for approximately 6 / 8 minutes and Rina is then introduced.

Rina thanks everyone for being such a great audience, for taking part in the SR process, and the reminds them the need to re-associate with nature through SY meditation. Teachers are encouraged to request students to go into thought-less awareness for 30 seconds before a class begins.

After the presentation, some teachers come around us saying they are really grateful for us coming and they know this will make a difference in the lives of students. Some of them request for more information. There were 3 instances when 'teacher empowerment' classes were requested and followup SY classes was held which Kasthurie and Rina managed. We then say our goodbyes and we 3 head off home (at least I go back to work). 

Since August 2010 until April 2011, we 3 have already visited 19 schools and Mother received almost 9000 newly realised souls. We can say with confidence that due to the success of this initiative other yogis(inis) in South Africa are also conducting similar programs in their neighbourhoods.

Below are links to our programs which you will enjoy ...


Anamika Kundu said...