Sevikas: Mamtha Rao and Jacqueline Gaines
Home Fun Work:
• Print out this Shiva Lingam Mandala and have your child color it and then do their likhita japa around the border. They can write"ऊँ", "ऊँ नमः शिवाय" or "om namaḥ śivāya" — their choice! Please make sure, however, that your child brings this page to our next class so we can put them in our journals.
• Click here for the next drawing page in our animal series.
• Click here for our Flashcard set of Animals (in Sanskrit) — with pictures
Extra Home Fun Work:
• Print out this Tracing Sheet of ऊँ नमः शिवाय (om namah shivaaya) and have your child practice writing this mantra.
• Om Saha Nāvavatu (click here for text)
• Vakratunḍa Mahākāya (click here for text)
• Sarasvati Namastubhyam (click here for text)
• śrī Hanumān (click here for text)
• śrĩ Krishnaḥ (click here for text)
Quiet Time: 1 minute of silence (click here for game instructions)
Geeta Chanting: Shlokas 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 (click here for audio and text)
Letter of the Week: R is for Right
Story/Activity: Right or Wrong?
Likhita Japa: Finished our mandalas from our last class and practiced drawing a Lord Shiva Lingam Mandala in our journals.
Ending Prayers: Prayers and Aarti were conducted in the auditorium.
Comments: We missed a lot of our young friends today ... hope everyone hasn't come down with the nasty bug who seems be making the circuit. Today's class was a bit abbreviated due to the 6th grade performance and aarti in the auditorium. But all that aside, we sure accomplished alot!!
After our prayers and Geeta chanting, we decided to do our silence activity and shell counting game. We haven't done this in the past few classes, so we thought it would be good to put our focus to the test. Boy, were we a little "off" — we all all agreed that our attention kept wanting to be on the chanting that was being done in the next room :-)
Geeta Chanting is going fantastically well — congratulations to all of you!!! Most everyone is right up to speed and has shlokas 1-6 completely memorized. We will start shloka 7 in our next class (March 6) and have all agreed that we will now begin to focus some attention on our posture. We told the children that even though pronunciation is most crucial in the competition, so, too, is their posture and facial expressions important. Hands folded in prayer, legs criss-crossed, back straight, and love pouring from their expression — after all, we are chanting the Lord's Divine Song!!
Today's letter was "R is for Right." This definitely threw everyone off course :-) The kids were certain that we were on the letter "P", because this is the letter that comes after "O." Well, true .... but not in the Vedanta Alphabet. P and Q come after Z. Seeing that P stands for Prayer and Q stands for Quiet — these qualities come only after we have practiced and perfected all the other letters. How's that for a twist?!!
After reviewing our alphabet we spent a few minutes talking about Shivaratri (March 2) and how this is Lord Shiva's most favorite day. On this day, adults will be fasting, chanting, performing pujas, and staying awake all night dedicating all sorts of activities to the Lord. We shared a rudraksha mala with the children and talked about how this seed is Lord Shiva's favorite, and in fact, originated from the Lord's tears. Each child has a rudraksha seed to treasure and care for. (I think Auntie put them in his/her coat pocket — so check there :-)
We then settled down into our likhita japa journal segment where the children learned to draw a Shiva Lingam Mandala. Their assignment for Wednesday is to color in a Lingam Mandala (see above Home Fun Work) and then perform likhita japa on the border. Please, please, have your child bring their drawing to our next class so we can put this in our journals.
Well, the weather is truly amazing. Spring is clearly around the corner ... we saw some green poking up from the ground on the way to Balavihar this morning :-) Hope you all have a wonderful week — and may the blessings of Lord Shiva bring all of you much peace, happiness and good health!
See you next Sunday ...