“The planet does not need more successful people. The planet needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, story-tellers and lovers of all kinds” – Dalai Lama
How to support this enlightened socialization, so we can raise the new generation of non-materialistic but socially oriented inhabitants of this beautiful planet? For ages , people learned principles of life and moral laws through stories and myths. In that case story-telling is an important skill to have. It’s also a forgotten art which has to be restored.
When I was a little girl, my dad used to read me before going to sleep. My favorite books like Winnie the Pooh, Polish fairy tales and beautiful or funny yet educational rhymes by Jan Brzechwa or Julian Tuwim, are warming my heart even now. I found out, that thirty years later, I am still able to recite some of them from memory. Some of them, seem to still have a meaning, a message that I can refer to today. Those stories have built my imagination and my world. And it works both ways; it develops children's creativity and imagination as well as that of the adult who tells the story. How come my dad never made up his own stories? Nobody taught him that!
I was really excited to take the part in the training dedicated to story-telling and Hindu Mythology, as I love stories but was never brave enough to tell one. We spent the whole day just listening to the stories. Laura had chosen some simple stories which were just an excuse to present Asana and Pranayama but also stories that brought deeper, philosophical meaning, explaining moral and philosophical aspects of yoga. Those seriously woke up our brains and imagination! We learned how to keep children in a meditative state by visualizing the story; how to teach the Yamas and Niyamas through traditional stories with a moral; and how to incorporate a vast source of legends in Hindu Mythology.
Then we took turns in story-telling. I end up with the myth of Goddess Durga – the slayer of Mahisha, targeted for teens. The myth became a story about a teenage bad boys’ gang and a female assassin in the manner of Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo and Juliet” with Claire Danes and Leo DiCaprio. How cool is that?! Only the story-teller has to practice a bit more…
And if you would pass by the trainees’ rooms that evening, you would hear the sounds of tales being told… and Star Wars music, and wild horses, victorious warriors and lovers in despair.
P.S. Here is a translation of one of the most popular polish rhymes, as a part of bringing more cultural awareness to our pupils. Enjoy and feel free to use in your children’s classes!
“Glasses” by Julian Tuwim
Mister Hilary runs and screams:
“Where on Earth could my glasses be?”
He checks in his pants and in his frock,
In his shoes, and in his socks.
Closet? Upturned, in a sorry shape,
He pats his robe, already patted his cape.
“A scandal!” he yells, “it’s beyond belief!
To have my glasses—stolen by a thief!”
Under the couch, on top of the seat,
Everywhere he pries: wheezing, beat.
He looks in the oven, and up the chimney,
In mouse holes and between piano keys.
He'll rip up the floor, piece by piece,
Already he wants to call the police.
Then suddenly he peeks into the mirror…
He can’t believe it… He draws nearer.
Eureka! Though who would ever suppose,
His glasses are on his very own nose.
Sometimes you don’t have to look far to find what you need, right?