On Tuesday April 30th, Mindful in May and Arts in Action collaborated to promote the 2013 Mindful in May meditation challenge with a documentary screening, poetry and a group meditation. http://artsinaction.com.au/la-source/
Mindful in May is a month-long meditation challenge. The idea is simple. In the month of May, you set aside ten minutes per day. You use this time to meditate. When you register with Mindful in May, you also receive tips and advice on meditation and mindfulness practices.
If you missed the registration date this year, you can still participate. How? Well, you can sponsor any of the 2000 participants who have registered for the 2013 challenge. So, your sponsorship dollars will encourage your mates to complete the challenge but there is more. The Mindful in May meditation challenge comes with a lovely and heart-warming twist.
Yes, your sponsorship dollars will encourage your mates to finish the Mindful in May challenge. By finishing the challenge, our mates will create a great habit. In a nutshell, consistent meditation can bring greater inner peace into our daily lives. If we are not stressing out our friends with our stress, then it means individual inner peace can extend outwards to encompass our friends, family and community. That is definitely a worthwhile cause to support … but the benefits of this challenge get even lovelier.
You see, each year Mindful in May channels those sponsorship dollars into a worthy project. In 2013, your money will go to Charity Water, which is solving the water crisis in communities in Rwanda (Central Africa). So, the social impact of the cash you donate for your friends to complete this challenge actually reaches far beyond your immediate friendship circle. Yes, by acting locally you can have a global impact.
The Majority World live in situations where there is little to no reliable access to fresh and clean water. This means that the Majority World live with the stresses associated with contaminated water sources. People who live with the constant knowledge that their water supplies are contaminated are always worried about illness and disease that is caused by consuming contaminated water. For those with limited access to fresh water, getting water for cooking or drinking is actually a life or death mission. They sometimes have to trek up steep, narrow and dangerously slippery mountain tracks to reach the water source. If that is not stressful enough, once they collect the water, they have to climb back down again, carrying a heavy load and increasing the risk of slipping and dying. It sounds dramatic but it is a reality in the Majority World.
Imagine, if you will, a community that has successfully met the challenge of providing every individual with access to clean and fresh water. This community can celebrate. This community can rest assured that the most basic source of life and vitality is now secured. With this peace of mind, this community can now turn its attention to other pressing problems that only keep people trapped in the poverty cycle.
Until we effectively deal with the water crisis in the Majority World, there is little point in building hospitals, roads and schools. If we place a priority on ensuring easy access to good quality healthcare and good quality education in a community that only has access to contaminated water, then illness and disease will wipe away any benefits. If water makes people ill, the hospitals and medical centres would constantly be stretched beyond capacity and children who are constantly at home and sick would miss several days of school and perhaps not be able to complete their education. Without access to a clean and reliable source of water as a top priority, each step forward out of the poverty trap could mean five steps back into the poverty trap.
In the spirit of Mindful in May, I urge you to close your eyes for a minute and imagine water prosperity spreading across the world. Hold that image in your mind and that feeling in your body. Why? Well, because once the Mindful in May 2013 challenge is all over, you can bask in the warm glow that your sponsorship dollars are still hard at work bringing long lasting peace and prosperity to Rwandese communities.
Maybe it is hard to hold this image in your mind? If so, I would highly recommend that you watch the documentary La Source. In that documentary we hear about the water crisis from the perspective of a man who was born and raised in Haiti, which gained independence in the early 1800s but still struggles because of centuries of impoverishment. JosuePrinceton University. His lifelong dream, which Josue Lajeunesse inherited from his father who has since passed on and which is passionately still shared by his brother who still lives in the village in Haiti, is to provide their village and the surrounding communities with Lajeunesse, a Haitian immigrant now living in the United States, works as a lead janitor at access to clean and fresh water.
In this documentary, we see the journey that Josue Lajeunesse has to make in order to make this dream a reality. The villagers have already laid the groundwork for creating a pipeline from the source right into their village. Yet, as is the problem in so many developing countries, lack of access to credit means that the project stopped short many decades before. It is through Josue Lajeunesse’s friendship with students at Princeton that the funding can flow into the project and make it possible for the villagers to finish the construction of their very own reliable water source.
The documentary is very moving. Josue Lajeunesse is a typical migrant father – completely devoted to the health and prosperity of his children and his entire community in Haiti. He works hard so that he can provide for them and he does his best on a small salary. In his home village, Josue Lajeunesse is seen and treated as an elder – one who knows that an individual cannot prosper without a community and nothing destroys a community faster than lack of access to clean water. Arts in Action has DVDs of this documentary for sale. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy. It might be something to show your mates and encourage them to sponsor a team for the Mindful in May challenge.
Basking mindfully in the joy of water,
Fadzai Jaravaza aka Sista Zai
Stillwaters! Storytelling Collective
Check out the event photos