Growing up enlightened in a Uganda orphanage

This story starts darkly.

At first, we felt surrounded by despair. The organizers of the orphanage in Uganda had invited Leanne, my wife, and me to a celebration. Their adult supporters had assembled in a barn-like theater.

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At the back, and spilling outside, were children, everywhere. You knew because you saw them, not because there was any childish energy. They were just there. Because they had to be. Not because they had any delight in it. At the same time, they were not anxious to leave. It seemed there was nowhere to go. No expectation, no joy.

 

The group had its own cultural dance troupe of young adults. They performed traditional dances and played traditional instruments. That was interesting. In another atmosphere it might have been absorbing. But the weight of the children’s presence was heavy.

Dances and skits about AIDS

The children themselves came on stage and presented well-rehearsed songs, dances and skits. All were about AIDS. All serious, all expressing the grim reality of AIDS orphans — the disease that took their families away might well be lurking in their bodies too, and there was no escaping it.

This occasion was a long, painful way from our experience as parents at a school in well-to-do America. There, the children and parents celebrated with joy in all the children’s achievements in school.

In that darkness in Uganda, our one consolation was that we we had some light to offer. We knew we could bring real joy to the children, and to everyone. The only issue was how to convince the adults to accept it…

Five years later..dancing with joy and abandon

Screenshot 2016-02-04 15.46.30Five years later, we find ourselves once more the guests of honor at a celebration of this group in Uganda. This time, the children are singing and dancing with joy and abandon. It is spontaneous and infectious. This time there is no need for a professional dance group to raise our spirits. The leaders’ speeches express their happiness. They point to all the progress they are seeing in the children and in the whole environment.

The orphanage has started a school. It is a simple place under a metal shelter with partial walls that barely keep out the rain. But it is calm and happy there. The children play and do not fight, even in the line for food. And, unusually for a rural primary school in Uganda, the children all pass their exams. Some are already in secondary school.

What has happened? 

Picture 10 This is a story repeated thousands of times by now in different schools and communities around the world. First the adults, then the children, started the Transcendental Meditation program. This simple, systematic method of quieting the mind twice a day allowed each of them to begin to live with more calmness and balance.

EDAPO WOW 5 Even the children under ten now enjoyed a walking meditation technique. They would walk quietly in line around the school yard twice day. The school became so quiet that the neighbors wondered if it had closed or moved away!

Innate creativity and joy

As stresses and tensions have been released from peoples’ lives, the whole community has begun to rise above its problems and to enjoy life more and more. The innate creativity in everyone is now released more and more into growth, health and progress.

HIV/AIDS naturally remains an issue for many of the children and for the whole community. There are still challenges in health and in wealth, for many. The challenges seem to be less overwhelming now that there is more positivity and less stress and fear in each mind and in the whole community.

Self-sufficiency

The organization itself has now begun to think less about survival and more about self-sufficiency. It now grows some of its own food, although it still needs support each month. In addition to money for food, they need salaries for teachers and for permanent buildings for the primary school. And there is a pressing need for school fees for the older children at secondary school – where they are shining  at the top of every class.

SSA44433These fortunate children in Uganda, who had such troubles in their younger years, can see a brighter future. They are more and more self-assured. Through their meditation they are growing in knowledge and experience of their Self. They are growing up enlightened.

 

 

For more on this orphan group, or to support, see:

Primary School    http://bit.ly/1SqUbHe

Secondary School  http://bit.ly/20zlzG7

Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAR0z_SVFyo

Why, what and who.

This is to explain the blog, its name, and me.

early rays of smile (alloneword) is URL-speak for some other names I had in mind for the blog, such as “glimpses of smiles and hopes “.

Thai schoolgirl

Thai schoolgirl

I am optimistic by nature. I work with, and live among, a very optimistic group of people. We are optimistic because we all know we are moving rapidly to a beautiful time in the world – world of peace, harmony and happiness.

How do we know this is all happening?
We know this because we have the technology do produce the effect of peace and harmony on every level of society – family, city, nation and globally. (There are dozens of peer-reviewed studies to validate these claims for the technology). All this wonderful material will eventually become clearer as I add more posts. I will put some more links in the “About” page.

I do not plan to be preaching or teaching in this blog. I am hoping to focus more on reacting to my role in this huge process of positive transformation, expressing the joys and other feelings that I go through. (I may sometimes be shameless in appealing for help – because we need far more resources than we have to pull this off).

Who am I?
In 2005 I retired from teaching at a small college in Iowa, to help to bring this peace technology to the world, specifically to ten countries, including seven in Africa. I spent some happy years in Africa when I was young.

Ugandan orphan

Ugandan orphan

It is an amazing opportunity to help to bring relief from stress and to produce genuine peace and contentment in African communities. There are plenty of challenges too. But the “early rays” of the sunshine of peace illuminate many lovely smiles and it is time to record them here.

I hope you come back for more soon to earlyraysofsmile. If I figure out how to capture emails before you see this, I can email future posts to you directly.

Graham

A song of thanks that made my life.

I spend much of my time thinking about how to support a school for girls in Uganda. Ideal Girls High School is a special place, designed for success based on happiness.

Recently, my wife Leanne and I were able to visit the school. The girls were waiting for us, lining along the driveway in their red skirts and blue skirts. We got out of the car and walked along in front of them. There were some shouts of welcome and familiar faces to greet. Then, spontaneously, a group started to sing “if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands”. There was clapping and laughter: so much joy on display in the sweetest Ugandan way. I was already melting inside.

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We were met by Grant and Barbrah, the Directors of the School, garlanded and led to an empty classroom for a welcome ceremony. That is where I lost it completely.

The girls introduced themselves with songs of welcome. Then one girl, Sara, who was new to us, and it turned out, also new to the school, stepped out confidently and sang a solo.

Wow! What a solo! In a strong voice and with the presence of a much older woman, Sara sang her thanks to the sponsors of the school, which she took to be us. “Without your support I would be on the street. Without your support I would be desperate, I would be married. Now I can grow to be a woman…”

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choked up with emotion. Years of work, and years more to come, were justified and fulfilled in the two minutes of this powerful song. You can see for yourselves here:

Some of you who are reading this have been generous donors to the school. I hope that many more will join us and create a lasting institution delivering quality education — true education based on the development of the Self — for girls in Uganda.

Find out more here