345am. Awaken to the darkness of night. A time when all else sleeps except the teachers of APV school and the crickets. Sitting in silence with one’s body, breath and thoughts. Some days it feels as though the hour is an eternity. Other days the hour is not long enough and the mind craves more silence.
5am. Our eyes open to the budding light. We take a breath together.
We sit together, study together, eat together, teach together, clean together and trust each other. Mindful living releases one from personal cravings and desires and focuses on creating synchronous collective action. Deeraj Bhai, one of the APV teachers tells me this morning, even if you don’t come to meditation, we will sit for you. We will hold the space for you, just as you would for us.
Walking down the hill to school. The focus is on the breath otherwise falling is inevitable. Every action in the day requires complete one pointed attention. Sitting in morning assembly. The children rush in like a tornado and sit as if they are in the eye of it. Complete quiet, eyes closed, feeling the breath in the body. We all count ten breaths together, listen to the birds outside and the breath inside. We open our eyes and the music begins. The children play instruments and sing songs written by the founder of the school. The words are about meditation, self knowledge and courage from fear. They enter one deeply and the school day begins.