From May 22-24 about 40 children, age 5-13, with their parents, from Germany and Switzerland came together at the M.A. Center, Germany, to spend a children-retreat together.
The motto of the weekend was “Nature- we enjoy our planet earth!” With a playful and humorous approach it was made possible for the kids to dive into the themes about nature and also about human values. During the afternoon the children gathered in smaller groups to deepen the knowledge about human values.
The children had the opportunity to choose different workshops concerning “experiencing nature”. Under beautiful spring weather they build little hotels for wild bees, constructed nature-art-pieces and planted vegetables and flowers. In the water-laboratory they experimented with water, others learned a lot about taking care of horses. The older kids had the opportunity to learn meditation. The youngest met on the green to do yoga and play a lot of games.
The singing of bhajans in the evening was fully managed by the children.
It was an impressing experience for many adults to see and hear the children sing, drum and perform with such joy and devotion. The program also had theatre performances and a puppet show based on the native American wisdom, which enthralled the children. The day ended with an introduction into the life of bats and an observation of their flights in the night.
On Monday morning an ecological tour was organized in the woods and a the children collected things from the woods. And they decide to create a giant Mala (rosary). Every kid and every adult could create a bead with wood which was then put on a string. The beads were of different shapes and sizes, with beautiful decorations on them and even prayers. Forming a circle, the kids held the giant Mala with the prayer ” Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu”, which was led by Br. Shubamrita. As each mantra was chanted, one bead after the other was moved. It was indeed a very moving experience.
It was a true gift for the children, which will surely stay in their hearts for a long time.