Ahimsa continued as the theme for the boys class today-----even though the theme was the same, their ideas of non-violence were quite different than the girls. The girls class focused on self harm, the boys class focused on who has harmed them. It's interesting how our first 5-7 minutes based on the theme becomes a mini-purging of negativity for the kids. The boys focused on who has harmed them by focusing on their parents and the caregivers they have had or lack of care giving they have had. I am forever stunned by how open these kids are even with other kids in the room. One boy talked about his dad and how he wished that his dad would practice Ahimsa because no matter what this boy does his dad is always unhappy and becomes violent. The question was raised today "how do I not have harming feelings towards the one person who shouldn't be harming me and they are?" Wow---I simply explain my story to them and how it's really not magical, but in fact quite amazing how we change our destiny based on the fact that we can make a conscious decision today to not continue the cycle of harm in our lives. I came from crappy parents, I'm a member of the crappy parent club, but I tell myself everyday that I'm worth more than that, and that I am a great parent and that I can control the negative thoughts; of all the things the Divine decided to create, he created me and in honoring that gift, I must not allow negativity to rule my life. They listened, and one boy said, "No matter what I do, I will never ever hit my kids, that's Ahimsa right yoga lady?" I agreed that yes that is Ahimsa. All the boys, every one looked to the floor. I felt like 15 minutes went by before I could speak, because in that one instance I knew every one of these kids have experienced violence in some form---and some of them have not had one day in their entire lives where there was not violence looming over them. I could feel them, and we sat for 3 minutes breathing---after the 3 minutes, we did the opening sequences and we talked more, mostly about how to focus on the positive, and how being open and loving we can change the perception of people around us and how maybe that can help change the perception of ourselves. A few new boys were a little "deer in the headlights", but the boys who have been there, praised them, and the whole class turned into a really fun, everyone supports everyone kindness festival. It never ceases to amaze me how my perception of how life in JDC was supposed to be as to how it is-----there is a genuine kindness in all these kids, a kindness that is bursting to get out.
I believe that Ahimsa is a powerful lesson, and can take a long time to master--but for this class for that one hour, these boys felt they were safe to speak their mind, to feel their heart and to just breathe into the goodness that lives inside them. Maybe tomorrow when I'm not there, when they least expect it, that feeling will creep into them and take up residence.