Educating Young Students From The Inside Out

Educating Preschool students from the "Inside Out"
Showing posts with label Gratitude. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gratitude. Show all posts

Monday, May 26, 2014

Searching within! Finding Happiness Movie

What a whirlwind this spring has been. Since completing my Ananda Yoga Teacher Training this spring, the days were increasing in light, but I have found myself mindfully connecting closer to my heart, and internally slowing down while listening to the inner callings of my soul. Thank you for continuing to read my past entries and sharing this with your friends and colleagues. I find the internet so fascinating and how we can connect globally all around the world with others that I may never have the opportunity to meet personally. I am viewing this blog as a divine service to others in sharing the Education for Life ideals, and Sharing Nature philosophy that I have grown to call my life's dharma. 

I am here to introduce today, a beautiful project that I am asked to get involved by connecting others through social media. This entry today is to invite others to watch the recently produced; Finding Happiness movie.

For the past 20 years I have been apart of a large spiritual community called "Ananda." I found Ananda after developing my intuition through self taught meditation, and deep prayers during a particular challenging transition in my early 40's. I have been so blessed in developing life long friendships, spiritual family along with the benefit of deepening my spiritual longing to find truth and meaning in my life.

Recently in the past two years Ananda has been involved in a more outward ways by sharing the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, and his mission of spiritual communities. They have recently produced a beautiful movie, which I am attaching in the right hand column of this blog. There is a link to the trailer to view, and directions on how to actually host your own gathering of friends and sharing this streaming movie in the privacy of your own home. .

Are you seeking truth and depth in your spiritual life? For connections to other like minded souls to grow in  deeper spiritual understanding?

Please take some time to watch the movie: Finding Happiness, and share it with others.

Any questions that you may have, you may direct them to me on this blog, or contact Ananda.

May your light in this world be every guided from within. 

Blessings, Chandi

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A year in reflection, 2013!

Well this afternoon, I was sipping my lunch soup and wondering how the year has slipped by so quickly.  I had a dear friend remark, that this must be your year of study and introspection. She was totally right! I am in the process of completing my Ananda Yoga Teacher Training as a refresher from the year 2002. It takes quite a bit of study, reflection and physical yoga. I am so enjoying this time to dive deeper in the ancient yogic teachings and taking the time to introspect about what the new year will bring. 

2013, was also another deeply inspiring time to study with my spiritual guides, and be certified as a "Sharing Nature® trainer. With this program, it is taking some time for study and deep reflection as to how I will be applying these deep teachings more fully.  They always say: 'If you want to learn something, it is best to dive deep and teach it." 
So 2014, will bring for me personally a time for deeper attunement by sharing these two streams of inspirational light that seem to be coming my way. 
The future, is in Divine Mother's hands. 

Now to thank all my readers and friends this past year, I want to keep the tradition that I started last year and revisit my most popular blog entries. In case you didn't see them,

In the fifth position this year on "Inside Out":
"Blowing in the wind: a year of crafts in review" 
Who can resist learning more crafts. We all have creativity in our bones and as teachers we love to see what others are doing. Here were my favorites from our last school year, 2011-2012. 

In the number four position: 

My Child, My Very First Spiritual Teacher
The title and photo says it all. This is a guest post from one of our lovely parents at the Living Wisdom School. I am thrilled to see how many of my readers loved her writing and humble account about  her new book and working with her children. Thank you, Nilanjana! 

In the third position most read: 
The very last entry during my school year ending in June 2013. 

This blog entry also began with a shared piece of art from one of my internet friends in Ashland Oregon, Elaine Frenett. It was so magnetic, I know this is how others were drawn to this entry. Thank you again Elaine. 

In the second position for this year:

This was one of my favorite and most meaningful celebrations that we had for our children this past year. 
It surely started our year out in a blaze of magnetism and joy. 

An in our top position this year:

This was such a beautiful inspiring day the words and pictures I believe capture the essence of Mothers Day. 

Thank you all for a wonderful year in reading this blog. I am inspired by so many who I have met, and I will continue to meet in 2014. 

May we all be one in the light some day.  Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Spending time together in gratitude. Activities shared during the month of November.

Where has our month gone? We all had so much fun, this fall that it is hard to let it all go. 

In our classroom at the Living Wisdom School we combined our fall activities with our gratitude month.  Our primary focus for November was on communities, where we live and go to school. Next month we will expand the communities to the world and the many holiday celebrations that happen during this holy season.

Here is list of some of our classroom activities highlighted from the picture above. 
1.  The children glued tissue paper, using starch on their jars that made gratitude trees for their Thanksgiving tables. Each jar, we added fairy, magic glitter and well, a little plaster of paris. (I kept that part a secret. Then they magically turned into trees.) The children just loved it. 

2. This is one of our classmates. His picture is in our 3D mural in our hallway. The children love to climb in our outdoor natural play-space. The children had an idea to create this mural for our family open house in November. 

3. Each day at our circle time we wrote what we were thankful for on small slips of paper. The children loved this activity adding several a day. They were carefully hung on our classroom gratitude tree. 

4. Our nature altar was changed with a real tree on of the boys found in our tree playground. It had blown over in a storm so we brought it in the classroom. 

5. We are all practicing our cutting and pasting skills this month. We made our community neighborhoods. The children are also practicing for our all school fundraising project that we will be making for February. 

6. This is our 3D mural.  This was a several step process, complete with running paths, leaves glued to the service, trees painted by every child, leaves made from melted crayons, leave block painting and our stumps were made from toilet paper rolls, starch, coffee filters and acrylic paints. 

7. The children love the trees. Their pictures were cut out and put in the 3D mural. 

8. Our community "yogi", fireman came to our classroom. We had a wonderful time with Bryan Dotson. Bryan is a multi-talented fireman and teaches his team of firefighters how to meditate and practice yoga. He was a perfect role model for all our students at our school. 
For our community project we cooked cookies from Bryan and his staff. 

9. Concentration was another one of my sub categories in our curriculum. These were our Thanksgiving trees that each child carefully painted gold along each stem.This was extremely challenging for five year olds and they took great pride in their finished trees. All their daily blessings were then added to their own trees. Each tree was then taken home for their family Thanksgiving table settings. 

It was in gratitude that we were able to spend this joyful time together. A beautiful month indeed was shared by all. 


Friday, November 29, 2013

In Gratitude

We celebrate "gratitude" everyday during our morning circle time in our classroom at the 
I would like to extend my gratitude for my spiritual family and all the beautiful friendships throughout the world, that I have come to know through reading my blog. 
May this day be filled with deep peace as we inwardly thank the one giver behind all our gifts.  

With deepest love during this holiday season,

Friday, November 15, 2013

Peace gave us the seasons

Pictures taken by: Patricia de Anguera 
The fall leaves for most of us are now just a passing memory for this season.
 Each fall brings such a beauty as every tree, branch, and bush displays its own 
unique luminosity.
Every morning on my drive to work, I watched the world change right before me. 
 Around every corner was yet, another tree, of brilliant radiance.

This fall had so many magical moments with my classroom too. The children really opened up to the world of fall and all its beauty. I received comments from my parents about their daily outings with the children and how we were all experiencing this season of beauty together. 

   The thought kept murmuring in my mind;"Surely,the light today in this tree has to be more beautiful than the one I saw yesterday? "

Fall has to be my favorite season of the year?"

The colors are so beautiful. This fall has filled my heart with such deep love, gratitude and with a humble heart I can surrender more easily to that greater power of spirit all around us. 

Or then again, is it winter with the sparkling snow or maybe springtime with the delicate cherry blossoms falling like a delicate floral snow showers. Is this my favorite season?
As I chuckle I can recall so vividly this past summer photo a day project, with large warm beds of lavender aroma that filled my soul to the core?" I just cant make up my mind which season I like the best. . 
I have had the thought that all this beauty is from an astral memory. You may begin to ask, what is an astral memory? "The astral universe, made of various subtle vibrations of light and color, is hundreds of times larger than the material cosmos."
What type of a memory can linger so long in our hearts? What type of memory 
opens up all our senses by looking at these astral colors of leaves? This is beginning to feel like a heavenly memory that can touch us so deeply and we can experience it at any moment during our day.

Several days after meditation, I pondered all these thoughts while having a  
daily shower of beauty opening up every part of my being. 

I am not sure I will ever really know from my rational mind. But I can reveal in sharing 
this deep inner love with my students and all whom I come in contact with. It comes from 
a deeper sense of knowing something that is beyond myself. The deepest longing 
of the soul is to feel that spirit everywhere. 

In my classroom this month,  I have been teaching one of the original 
One of the little boys in our class was outside under the large maple trees. 
He gently, looked up to the sky, the meadow, and began to chant:"I get it now,"as if 
light-bulb, went off in his mind. 
"God is everywhere. Everywhere you look." How profound this statement
for a four year old. How long did it take all of us to realize this?
I know for me, it took a very long time. 

I leave you with that thought of inspiration and I hope that 
your experience of Divine Mothers presence this fall was as angelic as
ours was in the Pacific Northwest. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tree and leaves in the autumn

Leaves in the autumn came tumbling down,
Scarlet and yellow, russet and brown,
Leaves in the garden were swept in a heap
To jump up and down in,
with our two tiny feet.

Red leaves and yellow leaves,
Orange leaves and brown.
Leaves are everywhere,
Happily dancing down. 

I believe every school classroom all over the northern hemisphere is celebrating the seasonal changes now as we celebrate autumn. Our classroom at the Living Wisdom School of Seattle, is no exception. Our focus this month have been the beauty of trees. I like to build on the spiritual experiences for young children through the study of our earth's natural rhythms. 

What do the trees teach us?
  Just to name a few qualities that I focus on: inner power, strength, calmness, beauty. and stability. Tree medicine comes through many experiences in the classroom.  We can share a powerful story from nature, a song, interwoven bark textures, and though a multitude of visual art creations.    
I love the fall and all the many ways it can open the heart in nature.
 As we all know the projects are endless. 

Our class plays daily in our natural playground filled with Cedar, Douglas Fir, Maple, Alder and Hemlock trees. Is is a joyous sight to behold.  The children and I love to bath in this carefree childlike setting, filled with make believe bears, gnomes and fairies. The children are transported to a magical wonderland of their make believe worlds and story telling. 

We end each morning with a gathering together at the base of our trees. Here, we do an exercise called: "Reciprocal Breathing". We offer thanks to our trees at the conclusion of our morning in the playground. 

It is the highlight for many of us. 

May this fall be full of many blessings to your family and loved ones. May we all share in the inner  peace the leaves, and trees bring to us in this autumn season.  

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Stepping into the light

I have just recently returned from my annual silent retreat that I take each summer. A great Indian saint said: "Seclusion is the price of greatness."  So it is with this spirit I packed up all my belongings, left my natural surroundings, and began to quiet the murmur of my soul.  

My days were spent in meditation, yoga, chanting, spiritual journaling, praying for my loved ones, reading spiritual literature, and for the first time in many years, I'm rekindling my practice of drawing and painting. 

This year was a beautiful time of solitude. I bundled up all my camping gear and headed to a nearby lavender farm.  My heart really wanted to be close to the trees. 

I spent six nights in a small tent underneath large cedar and pine trees. I awoke each morning to nearby forest birds singing a boisterous symphony chorus of various songs. Their methodical melodies joyfully awoke my senses. Each sound was in continuous harmony, gently reminding me that I was Only a visitor to their natural setting.   

 During the school year, I like to teach my students about becoming a part nature's existence. I found it deeply inspiring this year to become so still in nature. So this was a profound journey into the heart of nature each day.  

Now, I am back home into my natural rhythm of daily life in the Ananda Community with a harmonious spiritual family and deep soul friendships. 

 Re-entry from not talking for 6 days can be a little challenging at first. You just want to hold onto the inner silence and peace for as long as you can. 

Next year my goal is try and take two weeks of seclusion. The main point in taking a seclusion though is to draw in the deep inspirations of God's infinite light and his daily presence. 

I have found each summer day upon my return refreshing, and my energy is recharged. 

I would like to leave you with some lovely photos I took during my seclusion and inspire your thoughts of experimenting and trying to take a seclusion for yourself.

The light beckons all of us a home to his guiding presence.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

" Blowing in the Wind", a year of crafts in review.

This is the time of year when teachers begin to look back, reflect and gather their experiences together through out this past year.   

Just as a dandelion germinates from a tiny seed, the dandelion forms a long hollow stalk with its flower on top. The dandelion flowers change and develop into tiny seeds. The seeds are attached to structures that are shaped like parachutes called pappuses. When the wind blows the pappuses carry the seeds for miles. Then the seeds land and the cycle begins all over again under the right conditions.  

Thus too, are the children in our classrooms. As tiny seeds they begin to form beautiful flowers and then as the winds of the spring approach, the children like seeds float into the their new schools and classrooms. 
As I have grown accustomed to saying good bye each year, I know these little seeds will be nourished in their new garden classrooms by the deep foundations that were planted at the Living Wisdom School.

This entry today is about remembering all the many great projects, and crafts over this past year.
I am not sure who all my readers are on this blog, but I can only guess that you are early childhood educators, parents, and grandparents. 

There are so many great activities it was hard to edit, but I will do my best to share the most meaningful.

We start every year with the "All the World is my Friend Unit."
These are our very first self portraits that hang above their cubbies in the hallway. 
These are globes that are made with form, tape and then art plaster added to each round ball. These are  then dried and painted. The process above is the first stage before plastering.  The children take them home for their home altars or nature tables. 
I wish I could take the credit, but this came from our Kindergarten/1st grade class. I love it.  So great for birthday displays in the classroom setting.
This was the world and our hands. I love murals and how they immediately invite all to work cooperatively. These are their hands that were traced and displayed for our first curriculum night. The children loved this. 
This was our community map. The children worked  together mapping the direction of their homes to the school.  I have found  it is a very usual tool for the parents . This allows the parents to see where their classmates live. Small houses were attached to their 3-D structure. It was displayed flat on a table in the main hallway

We began our fall tree unit.This is our 3-D forest in the hallway.
 Each child painted their version of a fall tree from looking outside our classroom window.
What beautiful memories in Nature.

From the apples we picked we made fun fruit pies for a birthday party. I love to cook in my classroom. Each child selects a card and that is their contribution to the day's cooking project.
These were our alphabet  pretzels. We made these several times. Yum.

This was one of the simplest projects but to a young child so fascinating. This was a very simple paper plate folded into four parts. Small dots of paint were added to one side/ or around the plate. The children then folded them and what a surprise it was when they re- opened their plate. These simple mandalas were decorations for our all school fundraiser.

These were our Thanksgiving gratitude pots.

The holidays were upon us.

 We started the journey of the"Tomten" to all the far away counties and farms.

Each day we traveled to a new country which was our theme for the day. We enjoyed many celebrations.
The children reflected on the deeper meaning of the holidays. 

Celebration of Saint Lucia day 

 Our  New Years boats and setting off our wishes for the New Year. 
Making our boats
Wishing stones from our blessing New Year's cake. Each rock is wrapped individually and baked in a cake. 
I paint rocks in the classroom frequently for teaching all types of  inner qualities. 

Queen of Tarts day on Valentines Day. What a fun game this is. Giving tarts to all the students at Living Wisdom School. The queen never knew what happened. 

100 day activities were a highlight in our classroom. 

Getting ready for our art show. Georgia O'Keeffe. These were made by making a petals from cardboard. The children then added their petals around the paper by tracing. Then black sharpie was used. The next stage was water-coloring in the background, then the foreground. These will be memorable for our families.  
Our watercolor portraits added to jewels with ModPodge. 

Our Monet garden bridge for our art show. One of our fathers gave us a hand with making this beautiful structure for our art show. 
 Here it is at the Art Show, with the pond, willow tree, fish and lily pads. This was the all school project. Each class added to the exhibit at Monet's Garden. 

More flowers for the art show garden. I wrote about this on a previous blog post. 

What would our class be without celebrating the full moon each month. This is from our Equinox celebration. Sun and Moon are equal, happy spring. 

 Equinox Cards made for their bedrooms.

We make crowns for all our celebrations or something for our heads. 
All the children made their own birthday crowns to wear on their special day. 

This was a wonderful week on healing. 

This year our children made Mother's Day statues of their favorite thing they like to do with their mom. 

 I know I got this from Pinterst so I cant take credit for it. Each paper was water-colored with the moon shaded with another piece of cardboard. When the picture was dry the cardboard was removed.  In order for children to get the stars very small I had an idea to take a small piece of cardboard and hole punch a small hole in it. Several holes were actually cut in the cardboard. Then the children could draw through the hole a small star onto their picture. The ladders were made from small sticks from Starbucks. I took a picture of each child climbing a small ladder. I  printed the picture and cut them small to fit the ladder. 
They love their "Moms" to the moon and back. 

This has been a very meaningful year and I am filled with the seeds of gratitude as these little ones float to their new homes.