28 of us from the Realize America Tour arrived at the North Penn YMCA in Lansdale at 10am Tuesday morning to set up for the Sahaja program, organized by the Lansdale collective. Our theme was 'universal culture of joy'. We wanted the children to experience Sahaja culture through our music and dance. We hoped to present an entertainment program that not only celebrated our diversity but one that also included the children.
We started with a bang! The first act was a Hip Hop dance to Scott Gady's 'The Announcement' performed by Fabrizio from Italy. Once we got the children's attention they were willing to pay attention to what we had to share with them.
Shalini from Geneva acted as MC and welcomed the 150 children and staff. She introduced the Realize America team and explained that meditation was the one thing we had in common; it connected us with one another and to the all pervading power. She then explained that through meditation, we achieve feelings of peace, balance and joy.
We used music to raise the kundalini. All the children joined us in singing Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa, putting their hands on the respective chakras. The vibrations really started flowing. The vibrations grew even stronger as Madhu and Jenny performed a dance to the Three Great Mantras. The children responded really well. Some of them sat ever so still, with their eyes closed and their hands palm up on their laps.
Jason and Saraswati fused Indian and western music playing a duet with the Sitar and Flute. Before they started, they both talked about the significance of their instruments.
To provide a variety and to involve the children, we sang 2 bhajans. Ganesha Ganesha was the first and the children joined us for the chorus. The highlight, however, was Jogawa. Eero maximized on audience participation getting the kids to sing 'ude bai, ude bai, ude bai, ude!' By the end they were all up and dancing with us.
The dancing continued with some Salsa taught by Shalini. Then to resettle the attention Uri's wife Barbara played a beautiful classical guitar piece. As we listened, we raised our kundalinis with our right hand and the children followed.
Samina , from Toronto, performed a Cranberry song 'Zombie' accompanied by Eero from Finland. The final item of the program was a Bhangra dance to 'Darshan' choreographed by Jenny and performed by Shanti, Madhu, and Jenny. Everyone enjoyed the beat and joined in at the end. We had to play the song 2 more times because the children and the staff wanted to continue dancing.
12 pm arrived and the children had to leave for lunch. As they filed out of the room they all received a Sahaja Yoga pamphlet.
It was such a joyous experience for us! After the program one man from a local elementary school approached Brian about doing a similar program at his school for 600 kids in September.
The YMCA coordinators also told us they would be happy to give us recommendation letters with which we could approach other schools and the YMCA branches. So a lot of doors opened for future Sahaja programs after the phenomenal success of this event.
Jai Shri Mataji