Didi Ananda Devapriya's Meditation and Yoga Blog

Uprooted

A healing story I wrote for Syrian refugee children coming to the Child Friendly Space that AMURT runs in Lebanon for the second training I was asked to lead – 9 months after the project launched. The story offers  a metaphorical mirror for these children whose lives have been uprooted into a new country. They have experienced interruptions in their schooling and must struggle to catch up again in a new, strange environment. 
A tiny tomato seed was planted in the warm, dark earth inside of a safe greenhouse. Soon, a tiny green shoot had sprouted through the earth, and began reaching up towards the sunlight. It grew, and grew…And then one day, a shovel came, and roughly dug into the earth next to her and in one sudden lurching movement, the tomato plant was dizzily free of its familiar bed of earth. A small chunk of earth clung to her tiny hair like roots. Several of the roots stung as they had been severed when the plant had been torn from the ground.

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The Nest Builders

AMURT CFS training
Staff training for AMURT’s Child Friendly Space for Syrian refugee children

This is a story I wrote for Syrian refugee children. I was invited to Lebanon in the spring of 2014 to give a training for the staff of a “Child Friendly Space” program that AMURT was initiating. It was my first trip to the Middle East and we were staying in an area that was predominantly run by people from the “Dru” religion. It was beautiful and I was very impressed – by the warmth of the people, beauty of the landscape, history and culture…not to mention the wonderful food…But I was also deeply touched by the plight of the Syrian refugees – most of whom were middle class business owners, or even rich landowners that now found themselves displaced and in atrociously impoverished, overcrowded, unheated conditions.  I wrote this story while on the trip to Lebanon – I missed a connecting flight and spent about 12 hours in the Istanbul airport.  At that point, I hadn’t yet met any of the refugees – I was just researching and reading everything I could find online about their situation. So the next day, when I began the workshop – I wasn’t sure if the story would resonate…but by the time the birds squeeze into the crack in the building – several of the Syrian participants started to say excitedly “Oh – it’s just like what happened to us!! What will happen now?”. The story is one that is designed both to reflect, using metaphor, the situation of having to leave a dangerous place (the bombing in Syria) and also one of hope….and nest building…
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Juniper the Rabbit – a healing story for children’s home children

Ionut from Familia AMURTEL with “Juniper”

I wrote this children’s story for our smaller children from FAMILIA AMURTEL. Many of them have certain behaviors – such as hoarding food, that stem from their traumatic history of neglect during critical developmental stages in infancy. This story uses metaphor to communicate compassion and understanding, and at the same time show a healthy way through the distressful behavior:


Juniper was a white baby rabbit. She lived with 27 other baby rabbits inside of a small cage. It was very crowded and uncomfortable. When the farmer came with food, all of the rabbits scrambled on top of each other fighting for their share. Juniper was small and not very fast, and the others climbed over her and ate up most of the food before her. She was always still hungry when the food was finished, and cried for more, but nobody listened. They were too busy trying to get food for themselves too.

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