Why is it so important? The life of a child depends so much on his social interactions at their school and relationships with their friends. Finding our place in the world, being accepted and learning to fulfill our potential talents requires that we feel safe enough to take risks. When a teacher creates an atmosphere that is mutually respectful, supportive and encouraging, children can be their authentic selves and ask the questions that puzzle them the most. This requires that learning differences be honored so that elitism doesn’t evolve and crush the participation of children who are less typical learners.
Service provides us with a special kind of freedom. We can detach from the consequences of an action, do our best, perform with attention and love and then release the action back to sumashti. Service requires the unfolding of intelligence, skill and fearlessness. It gives us an opportunity to try new projects, or build pathways into talents and understanding ourselves because as the need presents itself we are invited to develop our capacity for love.
When a class is asked to do a hands on project you can practice an attention exercise such as “listen to the sound where the working surfaces meet” or “watch the hands as they work.” Any physical task can be used as a meditation especially when it requires hand eye co- ordination. Projects such as building a boat, a model, gardening, washing dishes and so on can be done in a contemplative way such as “Doing one thing at a time .”
A sanskrit shruti reflects this principal in the following words.
“Where the hand goes, the eye follows; where the eye goes the mind follows; where the mind goes, the heart follows, and thus is born expression.”
“Where the hand goes, the eye goes
Where the eye goes, there the mind follows
Where the mind is, there the heart is also
Where the heart is, there love arises.”
(Nandikesvara – Abhinayadarpanam)
In experience, one usually finds that with careful attention love arises. I am reminded of Ray Bradbury’s classic short story, The Electric Grandmother who asked, ‘ Love and attention, it’s the same thing isn’t it ? “