OR Sometimes You Gotta Fart.
This is the continuation of last week's post on my lecture:
"Moving Meditation for Mental Health in Juvenile Justice."
"Let's look at the second overriding principle for teaching in the Academy.
Regardless of where they are and what they have done, they deserve respect.
Respect is a two-way street.
You cannot demand respect, nor can they demand respect.
If you talk down to the students, aren’t your most genuine self or dismiss them, things will NOT go well.
BUT if you give them the opportunity to feel they are heard, cared about, that their lives have meaning, and show you have faith in them…you see miraculous things happen.
I start and end every class with a circle of respect.
Here is how the circle works:
We gather into a circle in the center of the room.
We put our hands in prayer position, namaste, or what I like to call balance position, at our hearts.
We bow to the center of the circle in respect for the space in which we practice.
We bow to each other.
We bow to the teacher and the teachings.
We bow to ourselves.
At the end of each class we do the same circle of respect but the last bow is:
We place the left hand over the right fist and we step back.
In the words of Lao Tze " do your work, then step back."
They remind me if I forget the circle.
They like the ritual and the opportunity to show respect and be respected.
This is how respectful one of my students was in class one day:
I do a couple of one-on-one classes for students who really, for whatever reason, cannot handle being in a group class. It could be peer pressure, intimidation, or insecurity. Whatever it is, it doesn't matter.
I was in a one-on-one session with a student. We were sitting across from each other working on a breathing technique.
Our eyes were closed, but at one point I could feel that he was no longer sitting across from me.
I opened my eyes and he was standing across the room in a corner. (He had gotten up SO quietly that I had not heard him. I just sensed him.)
I asked him if he was all right.
He said "I gotta fart."
For a little reference: My class takes place in the evenings, after recreation, dinner and showers. So things will happen after a meal.
After I quickly composed myself, I told him that was ok.
He said "It's a biological function, right? Better than holding it in."
That reminded me of the scene in the movie Shrek where he farts and then Fiona farts.
"Better out than in I always say, right Fiona?"
He was waving his hands behind him. He said he didn't want it to smell.
I told him not to worry about it and when he was ready just to come back to his seat.
He did and we carried on as usual,
It happened again at the end of the class.
We both handled it like it was nothing.
AND IT WASN'T!
He had respect for me, more than he was embarrassed to fart.
It's normal biology.
Just perfect...and classic.
Some teachers at the Academy work together. We nurture and support one another and exchange invaluable information.
The work can be stressful and demanding and rarely, if ever, the same from one class to the next.
Anyone can have a challenging class, or more than one, and it helps to be able to bounce things off of each other.
I have collaborated with the mindfulness, manners and civility and the rhythm and drumming teachers.
It takes a village.
And in that village no one cares if you fart."
Come back next week for Part III of this 3 part series.
Thanks for reading.
If you would like me to train staff at your facility, or present my lecture on Moving Meditation for Mental Health in Juvenile Justice for your group or organization:
Contribute my writing to your publication:
KaZ is a self-proclaimed "thought provocateur". SO what does that mean? She has been in many facets of entertainment, plus the co-owner of two restaurants, a fitness center, a television production company and the owner of a cinema. She did a stint in politics, and in veterinary medicine, KaZ has done A LOT of thinking. To utilize all that thinking in a productive way she feels the importance of addressing thinking as a huge asset. Provoking contemplation AND creativity with writing.
In addition to the above, KaZ is an award-winning vocalist, a former dancer, stunt actor, circus artist, & professional water skier. She has also worked as a theater artistic director & writer.
KaZ has been a published writer in magazines & books since the age of 15. She has written plays that have been produced in New York, Florida & New Orleans. She has a featured chapter in the book How To Survive A Move. (Up-to-date she has moved 45 times!) She wrote an article for Organic Wine Journal, and also wrote an article featured at the Ground Zero Memorial.
KaZ co-wrote 2 television informational series & 3 television pilots. One of the pilots, a comedy, she originally wrote as a sit-com, but it was produced as a reality pilot. KaZ has turned it into the hilarious screenplay
“(And ) Then This Happened.” based on life, love, and everything in between in the mid- life years. It’s loosely based on her life and the life of two of her best girlfriends.
KaZ's many high pressure pursuits led her to meditation.
She began studying meditation in 1991. Her initial training focused on Kundalini Yoga with Yogi Bhajan and his teachers. Her love of meditation led her to become a certified Master Meditation and Qigong Instructor.
She has taught meditation in-person throughout California, Florida, New York & British Columbia, Canada and online worldwide.
Her signature moving meditation technique includes a unique playing of Tibetan & Crystal Singing Bowls.
Most recently KaZ taught in a juvenile justice facility, and lectured on mental health in juvenile justice for Compassion in Action.
With writing being her first love, look for KaZ's upcoming books:
"Moving Meditation for Mental Health:"
-Active Military and Veterans
Plus, a play is in the works based on letters from her two great uncles during the Second World War.