This month one of our sangha families from Portland came for an extended visit to the Big Island, where our Hawai’i center is located. Their older son, Mikah, has been taking classes for a couple years in Portland, and got to have classes at the Hawaii center too. The first class, after a little puja with flower and food offerings, focused on Om, or more precisely, AUM.
Mikah learned that the three letters of AUM stand for our waking, dreaming, and deep sleep states:
But then we begin to dream and all those seeds start to sprout, and when we wake, they are all on the outside again.
SRV Kid's Focus in Hawaii
Over the Easter Weekend a Children’s puja for Jesus Christ was held with our one little student. Together we prepared the garland (lei), polished the vessels, and made cookies. These activities are fun and interesting for children and provide a perfect opportunity to practice concentration on the Deity in the midst of action. It also provides experience in making one’s actions an offering to God. One of the ways we maintained our focus was by chanting the name of Christ in Sanskrit in a traditional kirtan melody. Om namah Ishaya Chaitanya (Om, Salutations to Jesus the Christ).
A few of Jesus’ teachings were selected for study over the next few weeks (and for all of one’s life!)
Wisdom Teachings show us the difference between what is Eternal and what is always changing. They teach us about God, about the birthless, deathless Soul, and the oneness of God and our Soul. People suffer and are unhappy because their attention is on changing things instead of our oneness with God, who never changes. The Incarnations of God (like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Ramakrishna, and more) and other illumined beings want us to realize God within us so that we will be free from fear, full of peace and bliss, and able to see and serve God in everyone and everything.
❖ The Kingdom of God is within.
To know God, we must “tuck” our senses back into the mind, then train our mind to look inside very quietly and patiently. The Kingdom of God is not matter, energy, or thought. It is Existence, Awareness, and Bliss.