Epping and Mill Park Education Wing observed Education Week (17-23 AUGUST 2015) as a gift for Sathya Sai Baba on occasion of His 90th birthday. The Education Week theme for 2015 was Our Gifts – Our Lives! We all know Swami lays a lot of emphasis on practice! You will find below some of the gifts that a SSE student, parents and teacher can commit to give to Swami. We will all be making a commitment to practice them daily. This can and should be a simple change that we can keep, that is sustainable over the long term. Any action done consistently for a number of days becomes a habit.”
SWAMI’S 90TH BIRTHDAY GIFT REGISTRY: Beginners, Groups 1 & 2:
- Say “Om” three times a day.
- Thank parents once a week
- Say Gayatri mantra 3 times a day.
- Speak only kind words to a sibling for 1 hour a week
- Help some -one at school once a week (within safe boundaries)
- Do not waste food on any day during the week
- Sit down and pray with the family on all days in the week. Choose 2, 5, 7 minutes.
- Water the plants everyday / Switch off power for an hour every day
- Chant a prayer or sing a devotional song (bhajan) every time you feel like using the iPad/tablet/Wifi.
SWAMI’S 90TH BIRTHDAY GIFT REGISTRY: Groups 3 & 4:
- Do light meditation every day
- Read a Sai spiritual scripture/literature for 10minutes every day
- Recite Gayatri mantra before you leave home every day
- 15 minutes to one hour – take a vow to keep silent. (not just talking but essentially to wind down all the chatter in our minds)
- Give up your favourite “something” for a day!
- Do not waste food /money on any day during the week.
- Sit down and pray with the family on all the days in the week. Choose 2/5/7 minutes
- Do not post, ping, tweet, chat or Skype for an hour in a day
- Likhit Japa – repetition writing of God’s name
SWAMI’S 90TH BIRTHDAY GIFT REGISTRY: Teachers and Parents:
- Recite Gayatri mantra before you leave home every day
- Surrender all actions to God every day of the week
- Practice not speaking ill of any one during all the 7days
- Switch off power for an hour every day
- Speak only kind words for 1 hour every day or 2 hours once a week
- Read spiritual literature for 10 minutes every day
- Recite food prayer before you eat
- Sit down and pray with the family once a week.
- Meditate for 2 minutes once a day
Friday 4th of September marked the first Children’s Day Program after Education Week. Aunty Anjana shared some insights on Education Week and encouraged all to continue their gift for Swami. To conclude the First Friday Presentation, some of the children were prompted by Uncle Rama to share their experiences and thoughts on practising a gift for Swami.
Introduction to Education Week
By Uncle Laven, Education Wing
Swamis says – “What the head thinks, should be examined critically in the heart and this right decision should be carried out by the hands. This should be the primary product of the educational process.”
All of mankind knowingly or unknowingly strive to improve themselves through spiritual practice. So ask yourself whether the foundation principles are clear and strong?
Sai Spiritual Education through a focused plan and the experience of the teachers aims to provide a structured approach to building the foundation for our spiritual journey and practical ways to apply our knowledge. The basis of the SSE classes is the five human values, namely Love, Truth, Peace, Non-Violence and Right Conduct. During class various topics relating to the above values are explored.
The Sai Spiritual Education classes provide a fun and friendly learning environment for both the children and the teachers. The children and parents share this learning at home and further develop the child’s understanding. Parents play an important part in their child’s ongoing spiritual development, being a role model, monitor and mentor.
To show our gratitude, the education wing would like each of the beneficiaries of the knowledge gained to offer a gift to our beloved Swami on His 90th Birthday.
The initial focus over the education week is to sow the seeds for the long term change. In this week all the resources are available to help us focus and structure the gift we are willing to offer.
The gift is a personal offering of a positive change a in our spiritual journey. The improvement is a small sustained change that will benefit us and the spark within us. To be a worthy gift to Swami, the change needs commitment, perseverance, determination and Love. These have been some of the topics covered in the SSE classes, so it will be a good opportunity for the children to practice what they have learnt.
Education Week: Reflections
“My activity was to not waste food. I feel very proud not to waste food because God is in everything and if you throw out food it’s like throwing away God. In some countries there are people who are suffering without food. That is why it is important not to waste food.” ~Narmatha, Group 1 SSE Student
“Education Week for me was a wonderful experience for my family and I. Working together with my children daily gave all of us immense joy. It helped us to realise that we can work together as a family and make a significant contribution. We didn’t always have to do it by ourselves and Siya especially benefited from doing it together. I do believe that all the children and also parents/teachers got enjoyment out of the activity days. I sure did!! I am looking forward to more fun activities with our children in the future.” ~ Aunty Priscilla, Parent
“Overall I think it was an innovative way to implement a practical change. The gifts offered were at a right level for the children to understand and for them to want to do. Including the parents in the activity days brought about greater support for the children and a more inclusive atmosphere. I think that the changes were good and regular follow up sessions over the next few months will help sustain the changes. To continue with the change requires perseverance and a point to get help if they are struggling.” Uncle Laven, SSE Teacher