We talk about awareness a lot in our class; awareness of other people’s realities besides our own; awareness of our space when it collides with someone else’s; awareness of how our voices sound and what messages that sends to others, to name a few. We even have a little hand motion we do with sound effects where we raise our hands and circle them around and out from our bodies with a kind of “wow wow wow” sound to signify we are expanding our awareness to include others.
It was the third or fourth day after the big snow in December. The sun had returned and green grass was beginning to peak up between the sled trails on school hill. There’s something a little sad about snow melting and the boys definitely were feeling it. As usual, they had all the sleds out at recess and were doing their usual tricks at less than lightening speed down the hillside, due to the appearance of grass and dirt. There was an aroma of annoyance in the air… with hints of bickering and sour expressions. It was such a beautiful day and it was warm in the sun. I grabbed the harmonium and sat just above where they were sledding in some dry hay under one of the apple trees. I needed to be near by because it just seemed like “something” might happen. There was some quarreling happening over sharing sleds. Voices had an edgey tone to them.
So, I was just playing around on the keys and watching the boys. I started playing a sweet chant that reflected the peace in the blue, cloudless sky. The lyrics are, “I am the sky, Mother, I am the sky. I am the vast blue ocean of sky, I am the little drop of the sky. Frozen, sky.” After several minutes, I looked up to see that the boys had tied all of their sleds together in a long train, and were now cooperating. The entire mood had changed. They were even sharing seats and listening to each others’ ideas. It was very sweet. At the end of recess, I rang the bell. They all came and sat by me in the hay.
“Do we have to go in?” they pleaded.
“No, we can stay here for a few minutes. I loved watching you all play together.” I said.
I said they could lie down and stare at the sky and I kept playing the chant. Some of the boys started singing along. “Pretend, you don’t have a body anymore and you are just part of the sky.” Then I asked all the boys to sit up and notice everything around them silently. Then they shut their eyes and for the first time as a class, we sang “Ocean of Oms” where I play a drone chord and we all sing Om on different notes at different times. We got very quiet doing this until we just om’ed inside our minds. Then I said, “Open your eyes, what do you see?”
“Wow, it’s sooo beautiful and bright! The colors are so much brighter now!” they cried with amazement.
“It was that way before too, it’s just that now your awareness is bigger.”
Om, thank you Divine Mother, for this day.