Sights so priceless … my heart skipped a beat every time …..
The pure innocence of the faces as they listened attentively to the instructions …
The thorough enjoyment as they brought forth songs of joy as they marched in groups …..
The keen concentration as they carried out every step of planting a tree …..
The happiness on their faces as they savoured the food …..
And the gay abandon with which they ran onto the field, screaming with delight ..
We, the members of the Lotus Healing Seva Group were the blessed ones to be so enriched with the precious gift of witnessing the above.
The day was 28th September, the venue was the Karura Forest in Nairobi. Our guests were, (with the kind permission of their sponsors Satwinder Kaur Syan and Hina Shah) the Headteacher, staff, and children (aged 4 – 15) a total of 157, of Sai Seva School in Kawangare Slums, the Director, staff and children (aged 3 – 12 years and some babies and toddlers) a total of 38, of Makimei Children’s Home, the Manager and 12 girls (young adults) of Hawkers Market Girls Centre. Our special guests were the sponsors of the Sai Seva School: Chandrika Shah, Surbhi Shah, Bina Shah, and Rita Pandit.
The excitement of the children could be felt even as the matatus (buses) carrying them arrived at the venue. After all, it was the first time any of them had been outside the confines of the slums in which they live!
The purpose of the trip was to inculcate values of caring for our environment, and for Mother Earth, and to plant a few trees, in keeping with the ideals expounded by Kenya’s own Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Mathai. As most of the guests were already Reiki 1 or 2 healers, we showed them how to bless water in bottles with good wishes and charge it with Reiki. We explained the steps to be followed for planting a tree the spiritual way with Reiki:
- We must say sorry to Mother Earth for having hurt her as we dug a hole for planting a tree ‘I am sorry, please forgive me, I love you, I thank you’.
- Hold the little tree in our hands and give it Reiki, bless the hole in the ground with Reiki, and pour some blessed water in it.
- Gently remove the tree from the plastic bag and place it in the hole. Gently pack the soil around it, chanting Om Shanti …..
- Pour blessed water into your cupped hands and let it spill onto the tree near its roots, chanting Om Shanti, Sahnti shanti ….
- Finally bless the newly planted seedling with Reiki.
So, armed with the blessed water bottles, they trooped across to the prepared plot. Babies were carried on the back with a sheet of cloth, Kenyan style. Here Joseph, one of the Forest Rangers talked about the importance of conserving the plastic bag for replanting, and showed the practical steps for removing the plastic bag, and for planting the trees in the soil.
After the tree planting exercise, the children and adults started walking towards a stream, where they poured blessed water from their bottles in the stream, with the awareness that what they had wished into the water earlier will spread into all the waters of the world as all water bodies are connected underground. They also asked forgiveness from the waters and chanted Om Shanti ….
After that, it was time to walk back to the tents, but not before hugging as many trees as possible along the way, telling them we love them ….
The lunch finished, quick thank you speeches followed by the Sai Seva School Head teacher Mr. Samuel his deputy Mr Wycliff, Makimei Children’s Home Director Mama Margaret and her deputy Rachel, and a bhajan (devotional song) sung by one of the girls from the Sai Seva School. After that, they were given balls and skipping ropes … and it was playtime …. The children needing no bidding as they ran in every direction … left, right, front, back, … onto the field to skip, play football …. and onto the swings, slides and see saws … climb trees, dance and sing at the top of their voices ….
And so came to an end, the 5th seva of Lotus Healing Seva (International) Group’s 11 th Anniversay celebrations. Our guests left at 3 pm, taking with them memories of an exciting day spent in the open air (a luxury), of having eaten cakes, biscuits, yoghourt, burgers, mandazis (sweet bread), milk, and apples and pears (more luxuries), and taking with them bags containing an excercise book, pens, pencils, sweets, a pot of Vaseline and a comb.
Needless to say we, the sevaks were floating on a High, well past 3 pm, a High created by the intoxication that only comes from giving. Truly, the joy of giving remains unmatched, no other joy comes close. It was time, we knew, to give our gratitude to the Universe for so favouring us with these wonderful opportunities for ‘giving’ in our life.
The sevaks for the day were: Monica, Punita, Mamta, Lata, Srinidhi, Sheela, Anuradha, Nuri, Shariffa, Pratima, Cooky, Rashmeen, Sheela, Shalini, Grace, Neena, Priya, Bubbles, Karima Laveena, Safura and myself, Kamal. We were helped by the girls from Hawker Market Girls Centre.
Pls read the short comments from the members below and watch the photographs and and lovely videos that follow …
Founder Member, LHSG
Srinidhi Rao, LHSG member: Thank you Kamal ji, LHSG -the Mountain Movers and Reiki for giving me and Makimei children home this opportunity…Mama Margaret kept saying, this is my Country and I didn’t know there was a beautiful place like this! Gratitude from the bottom of my heart!
Karima Jiwa, LHSG member: Children are the best gift! Their one smile makes you hypnotized into the world of joy, peace and love!! I experienced this beautiful feeling today, thank you to the Universe, for this opportunity of Seva LnL!
Safura Hussain, LHSG member: It was wonderful event Well organised Well managed full of life and light.so many smiling faces full of joy and happiness.
Priya Sud Chaudhary, LHSG member: Gratitude for a beautiful experience !! We feel we are giving but at times like these we realize how much we are receiving back from these wonderful children
Anuradha Nath, LHSG member: once again feeling so blessed and grateful to spend such an opportunity to spend the day with the children specifically when they are so full of life and eager to learn more. Thanks to all my soul sisters.
Sheela Shah LHSG member: As the saying goes, a picture speaks a thousand words….. So do all the pictures below …. the joy and delight of everyone, young and old, boys and girls , comes through clearly. Full of gratitude for, once again, the opportunity and the team work of my Lotus family for making this a successful seva.
Lata Kanji, LHSG member: So grateful for such seva, there was unconditional love everywhere, all smiling laughing. Even nature was kind to us, lovely experience. Thank you soul sisters. Love you all
Mamta Advani: I am thankful for a very gratifying day today! Feel deep content and joy in my heart which only Sewa can bring! The joy and happiness on the faces of these little children and their tiny hands pouring blessed water on the plants and the stream makes my heart smile! Each child will grow up to be a responsible human being towards mother earth, trees and water ! This is our prayer, hope and belief!
Cooky Vora LHSG member: A special day today…children planted trees to save the world…such happy well behaved children…may they be our inspiration on earth.
Punita Acharya, LHSG Founder member : Blessed are we, who had this opportunity to bring a smile on every child ‘s face today. They have in turn made us learn the meaning of Gratitude! The seva bhav that was oozing out from each and every LHSG member. Feeling blessed today!
Neena Gupta, LHSG member : My gratitude for the beautiful seva opportunity today the joy and happiness on the kids faces was reward for all of us
Shariffa Keshavjee, LHSG member :
Seeing the children hug the trees
Chant and sing as they walk
The joy in their faces as they skip
Made my heart skip
Mother Earth and its children
Came together in harmony.
Thank you LHSG
Grace LHSG member: Gratitude for the wonderful seva opportunity today….we were blessed to be a blessing to others.
Monica Gokaldas, LHSG Founder Member: The Karura event was an excellent way of celebrating LHSG’s Anniversary. It was very humbling to see how precious this outing was to the children whose life was simply restricted to being at The Home and school as explained by Mama Margaret. It felt very good to see them so happy yet maintain their discipline. Love and Light