Thursday, 22 September 2016

Dedicating Peace to Special Children - Radhika Ram Narayan

As part of the ongoing Peace Day celebrations (21st Sep - 5th Oct), Shri Ram Chandra Mission and the Heartfulness team extends its hands of compassion to special children and their care givers. Today, we, the Heartfulness team - Trichy, invited children with autism, studying at Maharishi Vidhya Mandhir to our Vadugapati ashram.

Various  competitions were organized for these kids in order to encourage them to display their talents. The participants were not just kids with autism and but also kids with impaired hearing. It was heart warming to see these innocent kids participate enthusiastically in dance and fancy dress competitions.

While the kids were engaged in these competitions, their parents and their school staff participated in the introductory session of Heartfulness meditation. This was followed by an orientation programme on Brighter Minds.

Few Facts About Autism
Autism is a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain. As a result, people with autism fail to develop essential skills like communication and social interaction. Such children have trouble understanding other people's thoughts and feelings. Moreover, they find it hard to express themselves in the usual way: words, gestures, facial expressions and touch. Often, they don't respond to the people, objects, or the environment around them. They may however develop an attachment to certain objects, show unusual behavior towards people, turn aggressive, or exhibit self-destructive behavior. They may get too attached to the primary care giver.

Symptoms of Autism
Symptoms of autism reveal themselves within the first three years of life.  Autism is more common in boys than in girls.  The normal baby at the age of 2 to 3 months gazes at faces, tries to grasp our fingers, responds to voice stimulus. But children with autism don't always respond this way. By the time they are 8 to 10 months old, their lack of response to the all the usual stimulus becomes very obvious; unless the people around them are in denial. By the time they are toddlers, they prefer to be alone and don't indulge in the usual social responses that keeps normal toddlers occupied.

Why Heartfulness for the Parents of Special Children
Becoming a parent is a profound experience and the event is a moment of happiness and gives a
person a sense of completion. However, when parents realise that all is not right with their child, this sense of completion is tinged with sadness. They often become disheartened. The purpose of introducing the Heartfulness relaxation technique to these parents is to help them find and feel the peace within their hearts, and to help them extend that sense of peace and calm into all the areas of their lives. Once they shed the burden of stress, they are fully equipped to take care of their kids with more compassion, empathy, and patience.

Special children are really special and deserve to be handled like fragile treasures. What they need more than medication is tender loving care, garnished with oodles of empathy and understanding.

Offering Nourishment for the Heart and the Body at the Girls Blind School - Trichy

The day was the 21st of September-the day the UN has designated as the 'International Peace Day'.  The place - Higher Secondary School for Blind girl students, Puthur, Trichy.

With prior permission from the principal and the warden of the school, we the Heartfulness team, Trichy chapter, offered to provide the 115 + kids with lunch and a 10 minute relaxation session. We arrived at the school at 12 noon.

While waiting for the caterers to arrive with the lunch, we watched some of the girls sitting around and preparing for their afternoon exams. They sat around in groups. In one of the groups, there was a girl with partial vision.  She read out from the text book and the others repeated after her. It was heart warming to watch them help each through their struggles with their vision.

We facilitated a 10 minute relaxation session for the students and the staff. This was followed by  a simple South Indian lunch for all of them.

·    Our volunteer, Sr. Lalitha, sensitive to the fact that these children were blind, chose her words with great care as she walked them through the Relaxation session.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

International Day of Peace

This year, Shri Ram Chandra Mission (SRCM), Trichy has decided to organize a 'Walk for Peace' event to commemorate The International Day of Peace.

A Brief History of the International Day of Peace
On November the 13th, 1981, the United Nations General Assembly (GA) adopted resolution 36/67. This resolution declared that each year the opening day of the GA session (3rd Tuesday of Sep) will be observed as 'International Day of Peace'.

However, in 2001, the GA decided that
  1. Thereafter, the 21st Sep would be observed as 'The International Day of Peace'.
  2. All hostilities would cease; if only for the duration of the day.
  3. All member nations would celebrate the day in order steer the public towards the goal of a global cease fire.
Since then, the 21st of Sep is observed as "World Peace Day". It is important for us to remember that the goal of bringing about 'world peace' is a 'work in progress'. We should work towards that goal every single day of the year.  The World Peace Day is the day we can use to look back, to see how far we have come, to celebrate small victories and to set future goals.

The Role of SRCM Towards This Goal
The association of SRCM with the UN towards the goal of Global Peace started as early as 1957. Here's an excerpt of the letter, our revered Master Babuji wrote to the UN on the 8th July 1957.

" I am glad to receive your bulletin and I pour forth my warm thanks for the awakening for peace created among our brethren of the world.  The idea of peace common in all minds, though shattered by the self of the individual mind, is working on individualistic basis to gain one's own end on account of the narrow mindedness of people. To dissipate the idea of individual self and to work harmoniously for the common good is the demand of the time.  The conferences and meetings held for the purpose may only be like spark to offer a temporary glow to the scattered fragment of agony of faith working at the bottom.

What we, therefore, require at present is only to improve the morals and to discipline the mind.  We must learn how to create within the heart a feeling of universal love, which is surest remedy of all evils and can help to free us from the horrors of war. I perfectly agree with our friend late Mr. Bernard Malan when he expresses his faith to unite in the common search for happiness.  Happiness, of course, is necessary to end all grief.  But it is like the Black wall of the scientists, which does not allow them to proceed further towards universal love.  To come up to the level of real happiness we must necessarily rise above ourselves, which is essential for the creation of atmosphere of universal love."

You can read the letter in its entirety here.

Ever since its inception, the SRCM has been trying its utmost to spread the message of peace through meditation. In the recent past, SRCM, under the able guidance of the current Master, Daji, has been using The Heartfulness Institute as a platform to spread the message of Peace.