Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ecology Close to...

As I was walking and enjoying the environment one early morning- a couple of brown feather birds, the size of an average parrot with its sharp yellow beak, often scratches the dried grey ground with its claw and pick for a grain. Through the open space of a court yard, up on a leafless branch of a tall tree, a pigeon perched, scanning its feather with its beak.
Another Pigeon flew through the space of crooked branch and rest near the other. 
Then it takes three to four short steps closer and with swollen feather puts its beak over the neck of other in lovely manner. A pair of little sparrow in a playful manner, from the corner of a red building flew down at an angle of 45 degree on the blue painted wooden railing, that goes higher along the edges of climbing staircase. A squirrel with round bulging eye and a thick bushy tail climbs up the trunk, through the branches and over the leaves. They make sharp cheerful squeak. A lizard crawl down the wall of a building. The other many unrecognisable birds twitter from the corner, top, behind, beside and above. 
At an arm length distance from the wall of class building, from the tall and titling huge rubber tree hangs numerous long roots like silky hair. The early faint light from the sun cast down the dull shadows of leaves and branches on the concrete balcony of class nine. It is an environment that has ecology close to its heart.


There is a majestic and inspiring stupa in the middle of the school building surrounded by ashok and rubber trees. The golden prayer wheels are equally framed around the stupa at the height of a metre from the ground and rotate on its axis with carved mantras on it. Positioned on the wooden table adorned with red artificial flowers and green natural flowers, are seven offering bowels and one butter lamp flickering its light in the gentle breeze, lined up in straight is offered as the morning routine of the students who live in the campus. On the other side of the stupa sheltered under the trees and plants, a line of wooden tables with metal legs and benches are arranged for the students to take meal. It's evening 7 o'clock and time for a dinner. Students sit on the bench with steel plate full of white rice and yellow potato curry over it. The metal spoon are dug into the rice and students salivate while waiting for other friends. Once everybody gathered around the meal table, they stand up from the benches, close their eye, fold their hand into lotus shape and began to offer their food to God.


A story I read in a "Wise Rabbit" book
"In an ancient time, a prince was born to a rich king. Many astrologers forecasted that he would be a great king. The prince grew up. Strangely, one day when the boy was two years old, his maid servants rushed to see something which the prince did not understand. The prince also ran out. He ran and ran. He came to a village of poor peasants.
There, just near a flat land, he fell into a puddle of mud and cow dung and he soiled his clothes. He began to cry. A peasant who was passing by noticed him. He thought he was an abandoned child, so he felt pity on him and decided to take him to his house. The prince's new home was a small shack, located on a farm. The poor peasant did not search for the child's real parents, because he had to toil day and night to maintain his big family. Neither did his family members make any effort to inquire about Ranjeet's origin and they also ignored the king's messenger who informed the people about the missing prince.
Time past and years elapsed. The boy grew up. The boy did not remember his days in the palace. He had adapted himself to the new surrounding and his new parents.
Because his parents were poor on several occasions he had to go hungry and beg. The boy would have grown up without knowing of his Royal origin. He would have lived as the son of a poor peasant, in misery and poverty, begging for food and clothes.

We are like this beggar prince, not knowing our true heritage, we have inadvertently assumed a false-self in a new environment of suffering. The Alice Project, a place nearby beautiful the Buddhist ruin in Sarnath, laden with green trees and plants, provides not only a home for many animals and birds, also a place for young children to discover their royal heritage and to return to the palace of real self."

"Like Alice who embarked on a great adventure and did not lose herself in Wonderland - a place inside-but found an inner guide (in the form of the White Rabbit). In a same way we should guide our students to discover their true self," says Luigina De Biasi, co-founder of Alice Project. "Our students need to be able to find their way in the world around them through understanding their internal world" she added. "Understanding the internal world needs experiences and we are providing those to our children," she added.