[Suva-GoodNews] A Beautiful Weekend... and more....
Here's some nice news from Maleny.... with photos at the end.
A Beautiful Weekend
Last weekend we had a one day retreat at the jagriti. To our surprise, nearly 40 people attended! It was a
great day, from 9 to 5, including yoga class, Heart Circle and a talk on yoga philosophy of the mind, plus a
beautiful vegetarian lunch. Everyone seemed very inspired, including several very new people, and some
recent initiates. One sister met Dada Krsnapremananda on the train when he was coming from Sydney. She is
from Canada, and decided to make a detour in her Australia tour to attend the seminar. She loved it and took
initiation. Two others took initiation on the weekend, and two more are booked for later in the week.
Because ten Margiis and acharyas came from outside the unit, we also had DC and collective dinner Saturday
night after the seminar and then had a blissful three hour Akhanda Kiirtan on Sunday morning!
Go River School!
The AM River School continues to be so inspiring... Recently we have done amazingly well in interschool
sports competitions. We sent several swimmers to regional competitions and one on to state.... two of our
children made it to the regional level in cross country running... two more went to the regional level in
tennis! (And this is out of only 60 children in years 5 through 7 who are old enough to compete.)
I particularly enjoyed the recent inter-school soccer competitions. We participated along with 11 other
schools (all larger) in our area. Over three weeks our A and B teams played against the other schools in
short games. In the end our A team (the best players) were completely undefeated and won the trophy. Our B
team was also undefeated, but because they tied two games, were runners up. I noticed that River School
children had incredible team work, and seemed to work together almost like dancers in their passing and
coordination. I really think its due to their excellent relationships, and the work we do on
inter-personal relationships at school.
Meanwhile, a lot of construction is going at the school preparing for our new gym/performing arts space,
library and admin buildings. While digging out spaces in the hills for these buildings we were also able to
fill in large new areas in different places that will create two new large play areas, which will be great
for the kids.
Today in year 7 was a special day.... each child now has their own iPad (a macintosh tablet computer newly on
the market) plus the class had four 27" i Macs, and the administration has new iMacs, too. Prabha figured
out it was cheaper to buy the very fun iPads than buy a laptop for each child -- and the kids are appreciative!
(We also have interactive white boards now in every classroom.)
This year at the Maleny High School, both school captains (boys and girls) are River School graduates. That
answers the question people often ask: what happens when the kids go on to other high schools? The answer:
They usually do wonderfully!
We've had five meditation and yoga classes running in Maleny and the Sunshine Coast University, thanks to
various Margiis in the unit making a nice effort. I've noticed that with our constant advertising, we are
starting to get many calls from people, even who may have seen the ad many months ago.
Several weeks ago, the unit worked hard to set up a small somosa and spring roll stand at the Maleny
Sustainable Wood Expo to raise money for repairs at the WWD MU in Gympie. In all, we organised nearly 20
volunteers from our classes and school who worked with the Didis incredibly hard over the weekend. The
food turned out to be very popular and our biggest problem was making it fast enough! We grossed over $3,000
in two days!
We've enjoyed interesting visits from Dada Caetanyananda and Dada Gunamuktananda. Dada Caetanyananda
runs after school Neo Humanist English programs for (I think) 2,000 children in Medan, Indonesia. He came
to visit the River School for ten days, and managed to be here for Baba's Birthday, when we had a beautiful
sunrise kiirtan and meditation on a hilltop overlooking the countryside. (then flew home a few hours later.)
Dada Gunamuktananda is posted in Hong Kong and has been writing a script based on Narada Muni's book,
"Bombs, Bliss and Baba." He came here to work on marketing the film!
The one day retreat...
Dada Rainjeshvarananda and baby Yash.
River School champions! (Manikya was the A-team captain!)