We started our 2018 beautifully. The three Didis (the house leaders) woke up much earlier than the sun to make sure that everything would be perfect before the children came.In fact, they meditated for two hours before the children joined in for another hour. Everyone else rose with the morning sun; the staff, the volunteers, the big kids, and even the little ones.
As they entered the meditation room, they all shone like little drops of dew on the garden plants in the morning. It is the most beautiful place of the home, the meditation room. Decorations made by the children the night before were simple but exquisitely beautiful. In the room, we sang and we meditated together, welcoming the New Year in the most simple and sentient way.The three-hour special walking meditation started with chanting Baba Nam Kevalam (Love is all), in the warmth of the candlelight. The community created two rings, holding hands to show our bonds of love and care for each other. In these circles, we walked while singing in unison. Then in complete silence we sat and meditated.
When the meditation finished, the sun was shining through the window. Everyone listened as Didi shared a beautiful message from 60 years ago:
“Don’t compare life to a pool of muddy, stagnant water. Life resembles an ever-flowing spring. Pushing aside the stones of obstructions and difficulties, marching on with vigorous speed is its Dharma. Hence it is clear that those who want to keep away from obstacles have lost the Dharma of life – verily they are dead. The graveyard, not society, should be their abode.”
-ShravaniiPurnima January 1, 1958
Then all the children performed a yogic dance, Koshiki, where they move their arms like lotus flowers. Next, everybody encircled the boys who performed a very vigorous dance. The boys were accompanied by hand clapping and cheering. It all created a very strong sense of strength and it enhanced the festive mood. It was peaceful and harmonious.
With that, everyone walked down for the first meal of the year. The children ate until they were content before playing with the volunteers in order to enjoy the holiday to the fullest. Even though it was lively, there was still a sense of serenity lingering throughout Baan Unrak. It was as if the children were indeed springs that had come together to create a brilliant river, to clear out all the problems and difficulty. The strong bonds among the children and the vitality of their young life was indeed pushing away the difficulties and the pain of their past. Baan Unrak children are full of happiness because of their combined strength pale their suffering. We were together marching towards a glorious future. It was a wonderful way to start 2018 and it will never be forgotten by the community and volunteers alike.