Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Beneath the Surface

Our February thematic unit, Life Beneath the Surface, is under way. We're honoring the halfway point through winter by remembering that underneath earth's barren surface, life is preparing to be born.  

Yesterday, we created a new yoga flow where we plough the earth preparing the soil, plant ourselves like little seeds, and, with sunshine and rain, grow into tall, tall trees.  The sequence is demonstrated below.

Throughout the month, we'll hear stories about planting our intentions, watering the seeds in our consciousness that help foster compassion, and how our minds are like a garden where every kind of seed is planted (seeds of  happiness, peace, anger, and fear). The quality of life, as Thich Nhat Hanh writes in Understanding our Mind, depends on the quality of the seeds. By learning how to water seeds of joy, understanding, love, and compassion can flower.
First, in pough pose, we prepare the soil.  Then, with the ground awakened, the seed is planted (child's pose) and nestled snugly in the soft soil.  With sunshine and rain the seed begins to stir, then sprout up from the seemingly barren surface. The little sprout's roots dig deep into the solid earth (mountain pose).  With blessings (prayer pose) the little sprout grows and grows (tree pose 1) and grows (tree pose 2).

Some highlights from our letter P week:
  • Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry Lee MacLean in which two piggies balance stressful, hectic lives with regular meditation
  • Poetry Soup -- a night of candlelight and classic children's poetry while making soup with veggies from our certified organic CSA, Riverdog Farm 
  • Punxsutawney Phil and a lesson on the origin of Groundhog Day (see: Celebrating Candlemas - School of the Seasons)
  • Plough Pose and Prayer Pose
  • Puppet Theatre
  • Piano Practice
  • Playtime with Anchor Stone blocks
  • Letter P Scavenger Hunt (we found persimmon, pine and plum trees, puppies, poles, and people).
  • Still planned is painting with Pablo Picasso, potting plants, and planting peas.  

Anchor Stones were designed by Friedrich Fröbel, the creator of the kindergarten system. They are made of natural stone so precisely cut and polished that they fit together perfectly.

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