I So what happened at NGG this year? by Rosie Waygood
“Imagine there are no countries, it isn’t hard to do….” wrote John Lennon in the midst of the Cold War, “Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too”, “Imagine all the people, living life in peace, you…”
Just as simple as Lennon’s vision, the Next Generation Gathering at the Centre of Unity at Schweibenalp was an event of country-less bonding and connecting. This was an extra bonus on top of a week filled with an incredible range of physical and psychological life skills and spirituality.
If there was one thing that I took back home from the NGG and our group of 22 young people, was a sense of ‘we are not alone’ in this sometimes so crazy world, with its pressures and demands that we all try to meet somehow, while at the same time trying to figure out our own way.
What the facilitators prepared were concrete tools for life. We learnt how to ground ourselves in our bodies through Qi Gong exercises and received a new vocabulary to understand relationships via the Chinese nature philosophy of the Five Elements. We were given a guidebook from the world of coaching and psychotherapy techniques to observe our body, mind and emotions and learn about our tendencies. And we were reminded of how to connect to our soul, draw from a well or a warm fire and write a love letter to ourselves. Havan and Aarti began and finished the day. And then there were the majestic mountains and the vitality of the nature around us. After a day of stimulating workshops, it was the debrief sharing circles where we listened to each other… that maybe gave the greatest benefit, where we were able to connect heart to heart.
Over the five days, each person was asked to bring a gift. We had poems, little performances, songs and stories. One person shared a transparent mountain crystal, bringing this resting object to life. Another person performed a pantomime dance, which had a very amusing finale. A thank you goes to the facilitators for the special gift of the Bhagavad Gita that we all received, on top of everything else!
It would have been valuable to go deeper into some of the tools that were offered. But that would have been at the expense of the sheer variety. My sister Usha went on to visit the Black Forest after the event and led a group of women through the soul-finding love letter that Sundar had led us into. And I shared Jamuna’s Qi Gong body exercises with a whole bunch of international students at a summer school in Oxford: on top of improving their English, they now also had a taster of how to release stress, calm and boost their nervous system, and keep their joints mobile. These are just small examples. The main purpose of this is to say a big thank you. The workshops brought by the facilitators nurtured us and are rippling out into the world. Thank you to Jai HO for funding this event! I was so glad I was able to come.
I THE SECRET GIANT
by Sarah Dreyfus
You were young when it started off as game
No need to worry about a single flame
Now I hold the ball in my shivering hand
It’s burning and there’s no place to put it in cooling sand
Your heritage was simple and clear
Still you felt like there was no one to hear
Your thirsting soul – your desperate cry
For Love and Peace – no one to tell you why, oh why
You were searching your whole life for open ears and eyes
To create awareness for the most common lies
But know now: we are here
And we don’t live in the fear that ‘they are there’ and ‘we are here’
We stand for a new generation that knows
The game is over and the truth shows
We ARE one, we don’t preach it around
As arrogant as this may sound
We know you did your best to flee from your parents prisons of war
Still your generation has created a bigger mess than any generation ever has before
I see you try but not try hard enough
To let go of the old structures – I know it’s tough
But we need you to trust us on this, even though we seem naive
We are so different from you, but still we hold the keys
The keys to the doors that were never really closed
But somehow no one dared to look to what’s beyond…
Now we do and you know what we find?
Spiritual awakening of the sweetest kind
We know how to go with the flow – it takes so much effort though
To shut up the lurking gremlin ego
We respect and love you so much for the steps you have built
The challenge now is to take them with no guilt
Everything and everyone around me is whole
Not perfect though
Everything that happens is happening for me
Still I miss out on almost every chance to really be free
I am desperate too you want to know why?
I have to learn from scratch to love myself and I cry…
I cry for every child that starves within me
Because I tend to shut my true voice down so afraid of letting it be,
Hand us over your burning balls
We will learn to play with them without hurting our souls
Your job now – as hard as it sounds
Is the most simple of all and it will heal all our wounds…
Sit at the fire and tell us stories
There’s no need for any sorrys
Take my children in your comforting arms
Touch their faces with your warm hands
And let them know that you are here
And that they have nothing at all to fear
Our challenges are huge but so are we
The secret giant in all of us is meant to be FREE….