Baan Unrak 31st Anniversary

We celebrated our 31st Anniversary.

The children received beautiful presents, of things we know they like:
some beautiful clothes, made by our mothers at Baan Unrak weaving and sewing center, and also some sweets.

But our celebration was more than that!

Former children of Baan Unrak, now grownups, came back to join the program… with their babies!

We connected online with former volunteers, sponsors and friends.

Everybody enjoyed our children’s performances of dances and songs.

Watch the video, here!

We shared our Love to all the Universe,
singing Baba Nam Kevalam, which in Sanskrit means…

Love is All


Children and moms were moving, imitating the rotation of the universe…

We created a living Mandala!

Then, we sat in meditation.

Hopefully, this feeling of Love will touch the heart of those who need it, no matter who they are or where they are…

Here is the video on YouTube. Enjoy!

Relief into the Jungle

We feel for the people that have been isolated in the jungle, due to the flood and heavy rain of this monsoon season.

We made a team with our teenagers and our maintenance workers, staff, farmers, security, and whoever had energy and power to go.

There were so many of us! Our teenagers were eager to walk in the jungle to help these people…

The harder the task, the eager are our teenagers to take the challenge.

It was so slippery and we had to carry heavy sacks full of food supplies.

When we reached the village…

We could see from their faces how sad their condition is.

…and how important it is our effort.

Tiredness didn’t bother us. We felt happy to be able to help them.

Goodbye Ceremony for a Child Leaving Baan Unrak

Fon came 7 years ago, when she was 11 years old.

She came to us with a bad story…

In the photos below,
She is with her mother before she passed away.

Fon lived with us and she grew up, through the ups and downs of teenagers’ life.

She made many connections with the children here.
She made friends.

Growing up, she contributed to take care of the little children.

Now the time has come for her to move on…

A social worker from the village found her a job in a safe place, where people will still look after her. She will still be protected.
She can continue to study, and she can work.

And so,

We had a Goodbye ceremony for Fon!

Fon received a special present…

She left with all the good wishes and blessings from each one of us…

Good Luck, Health, Peace,
Love… and lot of Happiness in your life!

Our First Steps Back into the Community

We are good now, so we need to do something good as well!

We resumed our duty to serve our neighbors.
As we have faced hardship, our neighbors too.
We know what it means not to have what we need…
So, we went to bring rice and food items to as many poor families as possible.

As soon as our quarantine was over, our teenagers were eager to be useful and be back into the society. 

Our child Boat joined the Relief expedition…
It was important for him to go along, to do something good and worthwhile.

Boat was proudly wearing the headband “I am a child of Baan Unrak”
…to confirm to himself and to the community that now he accepted Baan Unrak as his own family.

Happy Birthday Dear Pumpkin!

We planted pumpkins so many times… but we could never harvest one!

This is our first pumpkin!

So we gathered to sing together:

“Happy Birthday Dear Pumpkin!”

Then we shared sweets…

Every little thing is occasion for celebration in Baan Unrak!

The children were wearing headbands saying:

“We are the children of Baan Unrak”

…and so was the pumpkin, proudly declaring:

“I am Baan Unrak Pumpkin!”

Our Way Back to Health

We have been touched by several storms recently…
The main switch of our electric system exploded and we had a total black-out. Now it is only temporarily fixed.

Then, COVID-19 came to Baan Unrak.

This is the photo diary of the 2 weeks that lead to our full recovery.

As we took care of the emergency by ourselves, while suffering from Covid we realized that…

We can’t stop seeing the Beauty of Life!

The Wonder of Life is, always, all around us.

The sun rising, a gentle breeze, flowers blossoming , the children’s smiles, the kindness of people…

As the days passed, some children started to get better.

The healthy ones took good care of cooking, cleaning and all the basic needs.

Even in this time of quarantine…

Everything was exciting for the children!

The children couldn’t wait to go back to normal…

The little ones even tried to drive themselves to school!

We also had a Pizza Party that uplifted everybody’s mood!

Another little step to improve our health was…

A special day with lot of fruit and milk.

Thanks to our kind sponsors…

The flow of fruit continued in the next days…

Many children gradually recovered. But at the same time, those who didn’t get the virus at first, tested positive days later…

Nobody escaped from Covid, except… him!

Tainaso! He is one of our physically weak children. We were so worried for him when Covid spread into our home. But now, he is the only child who didn’t get sick! So he may actually be the stronger of us..!

As we started to feel stronger, we started to meet again up the hill, to sing together and meditate on Love.

We managed to recover just in time to celebrate our 31st Anniversary.

…in the next blog!

COVID-19 has come to Baan Unrak

Covid was all around us. In the villages bordering our home, and all over Sangkhlaburi. So we knew that it was only a matter of time… that Covid would reach us too.

We have made efforts to build a Clinic inside our Home…

…in order to isolate sick children in case of pandemic. 
The Clinic is still under construction. The project includes two floors, but at the moment only the first floor is completed. And that’s not enough to face this emergency.

Our children started to feel sick, one after the other…

They started to have a severe headache and fever.
Then sore throat and pain in the body,
cough and running nose.
Some also lost taste and smell.

We promptly reported, and they came from the hospital to test us all.

Children were frightened… by the swab, and by those people wearing white coveralls.

The results of the COVID-19 test:

80 positive

59 negative

Now we are dealing very carefully with the emergency.

The children positive to Covid have been moved to separate rooms. They are in complete isolation. They cannot leave the room for the next 2 weeks… and that’s not easy at all for children.

We leave them food outside the door, and only the nurse go inside to check the sick children, taking all the necessary precautions.

The children negative to Covid are helping in any way they can. And they are working hard. The same group of healthy children has to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for all Baan Unrak.

Our nurse Tang Mo (who grew up in Baan Unrak and recently graduated in Nursing) is very busy, but she has the situation under control.

So we are taking care of our sick children by ourselves.
According to instructions from the hospital, only if some child get very sick, we will call them and they will come to bring the sick child to the hospital.

They will come to test us all again in 14 days.

Our NEW LAND Song, Video & Painting

THE STORY

Long time ago, a child of Baan Unrak had a dream.
She dreamed of this land, where our Home currently lies.

At that time, our Home was somewhere else, and we were looking to move to a new place, in order to accommodate the growing number of children.

In her dream, the little girl saw Baba, our spiritual master, sitting on this land.
In her words, “Baba was the divine. And the divine was Baba.”

So we knew, that this was the right place to build our new Home…

In the book “Namah Shiváya Shántáya”, Baba writes about dreams, and the New Land. The words of Baba became our New Land song.
Didi Ananda Anuraga put it into music, and Baan Unrak musical group sang it and performed it.

THE VIDEOCLIP

Watch it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/r2bDmR4HLzE

THE PAINTING

This mystical experience sparked the imagination of our young artist Latika. She got to work on it, and this is her creation:

In her vision… our Home lies on top of a lotus flower, under a shiny full moon, surrounded by little fairies.

THE SONG LYRICS

Last night in the dream 
I saw a new land.
In the half-dim light of the moon
a solitary realm.
I wonder what flowers bloom there
and what moon glows in the sky.
There the buds never wither,
the life’s flow has no ebb.
There the flowers have no thorns,
I had a dream of such a solitary land. 

I saw You in my dream,
In dream I made your acquaintance.
In dream I called You,
In dream I saw You, Lord full of love.

Merciful Lord, Lord full of love
Merciful Lord, Lord full of love 
Merciful Lord, Lord full of love 

I do not see You with my eyes,
I see You in my mind.
In that beautiful meeting,
all sorrow disappear.

In dream I am alive
In wakening, I forget. 
If the dream is so sweet, then let it be
just a false imagination.

Don’t awaken me,
Don’t awaken me,
Don’t awaken me. 

Children Cooking!

In this time of Covid, we cannot have helpers from outside.

We are on our own, and we have to do all by ourselves!

And we are pleased to do it. We are happy to do it!

Our children have taken responsibility of all the housework…

A group of children cooks for all their brothers and sisters.

They also get some pocket money, so they can buy things they like… like sweets!

Our little Chefs always add the secret ingredient…

…LOVE!

Cooking joyfully is a great secret to prepare sentient & delicious food.

The children know it… And in our kitchen there is always a happy mood.

We are trying to become, as much as possible, self-sufficient. At least regarding the food supply. Therefore, we are putting lot of effort in our vegetable garden.

Meanwhile, we feel lucky…

In our land grows plenty of bamboo…
…that we can cook and eat!

In the past few weeks Covid has spread all around us, with cases in the neighboring villages.
Even though we are still in quarantine, now we have to wear a mask at Home at all times.

It is not easy to always wear a mask… (especially when eating)
but we try our best!

Competitions & More Online Shows

In the occasion of an Online Yoga Conference, our children performed the yogic dances of Kaoshiiki and Tandava… with full uniform!

We also had Kaoshiiki and Tandava online competition throughout South-East Asia!

Kaoshiiki Competition

This yogic dance was invented by our spiritual master, Baba (“Father”), in September 1978.
For the anniversary this year, a competition was held across South-East Asia.

Our children competed with peers from other countries, enduring it for 20 minutes!

Gracefully bending to the sides, forwards and backwards, Kaoshiiki opens up the major meridians of the body, increasing circulation and energy flow.

This yogic dance develops all the layers of the mind. It is based on mudras, with deeper spiritual meanings.

After our teenagers, it was the turn of our little girls to virtually compete with children from all over South-East Asia.

Tandava Competition

The dancers competed for 10 endless minutes of vigorous jumping, raising from the ground while keeping the arms as straight as possible.

This is the ancient dance of Shiva, known as Nataraja, Lord of the Dance.
(…see this previous post about Tandava)

Then it was the turn of the younger boys to compete…

Meet the winners!

Our Dharma is the best of South-East Asia in the category 12 to 20 years old.

Our Yogesh is the best in the category 2 to 11 years old.

They endured the exhausting dance for 10 minutes in perfect style.
It seemed that they could go on forever..!

Prabhat Samgiita Day

On this special day, our music group virtually joined people from all over South-East Asia to sing songs from the immense collection of 5018 devotional songs composed by Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, known as Prabhat Samgiita.

Here, the lyrics of one of the songs performed by our children:

I love this tiny green island, surrounded by the sea.
Touched by the sea, decorated by the sea.
I love this tiny green island, surrounded by the sea.

Am I a secluded figure, in the vast a little, a meager?
No, no, no, no, I’m not alone. Great is with me.
The Great is with me.

For the Online Yoga Conference,
our children also prepared new artistic performances:

“Mora Mukta Bhumir Meye”

In the beautiful setting of our organic farm, where we grow vegetables and fruit by the lake, our little girls performed this joyful song that goes…
“On mountains and hills, beside rapids and rills, in song and dance we whirl… we are blessed girls!”

Shiva Song

Performed by our girls Rochana and Praipana, this is a tribute to Lord Shiva, the great yogi who lived 7000 years ago and gave so many contributions to society, such as music, dance, mantra, meditation, yoga…

The song goes… “Vajra Kathora… ” (You are as strong as a thunderbolt) “Kusuma Koraka… ” (yet you are as tender as a flower bud)

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