Our Morning Assembly

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What is most loudly heard at APV is our morning assembly’s. It represents everything APV stands for – mindfulness, creativity, and love. It has been a true pleasure to be able to participate in them 6 days a week; I have so much joy in seeing children meditate, master the tabla, and sing their hearts out. Each time I feel such a tremendous positive energy vibrating throughout the entire assembly hall.

Yet at first I was a bit hesitant to believe in the power of this morning assembly. Although mostly everyone genuinely sings and participates in the music whole heartedly, it seemed at first glance a bit routine. Every day the same thing? Shouldn’t we mix it up to keep ourselves and the children fresh, curious every morning as to what may happen in school that day?

But after these months here, I now know that however many times we sing the same song, each time is different, new, filled with its own life-energy. It is never routine, always a new experience, and every assembly I believe awakens and cultivates an alertness, an emptiness in our minds, along with generating positive plasticity in our brains.

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There is one student that I’ve grown particularly close with, and that is Kritika, pictured here with me. I noticed in the first few days of being at APV that she did not smile a whole lot, never sang, and could not keep still or close her eyes for more than 5 seconds. Yet what these morning assembly’s do for children like Kritikia, children who are not as actively involved in the assembly, is impress the mind with a feeling of calm, togetherness, happiness, and being-here-now that I believe she absorbs at least on a subconscious level. We all do. And I believe that in these assembly’s both teacher and student are in a way healing, remembering their wholeness through harmony, and giving us a way of being – mindfulness – that is so necessary to learn. This time for meditation and music opens us up to see ourselves and others as we really are because it calls forth from within such great peace and feelings of love. And it is peace and love that I believe are the most transformative powers of human being, the two most essential things in education.

Please visit our website, www.apvschool.org, or visit our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/apvcommunity, to watch and enjoy the music and life of our morning assembly.

My passions for education, rural livelihood, and meditation come from my experiences working in Kenya and Thailand. My time with the Maasai American Organization in Losho, Kenya, inspired me to dedicate myself to service and to work for educational opportunities in poor, marginalized communities. This commitment led me to Thailand on a Fulbright fellowship, where I taught English at a small government school in Chiang Mai province and worked with refugee and migrant women from Myanmar. I hope to use these past experiences this year to learn more about myself, holistic education in rural communities, and self-sufficient development. I come to AIF honored and excited for the chance to immerse myself in Garhwali culture, practice mindfulness and yoga, and make friendships with the people and community of Ashram Paryavaran Vidyalaya.

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