It’s been about 4 months since my son Narayan Singh left home on an his spiritual/educational adventure of boarding school at Miri Piri Academy (Amritsar, India). Counting the months since he has left, it seems like he has been gone for much longer. Has it only been four months?? We all miss him, but I take comfort in knowing how good he is doing at school. It would be selfish for me to keep him with me at home knowing how much more he will grow and change at MPA than at home or a regular local school.
I thought it might be hard for him to adjust to boarding school away from us but I was quite surprised how easily he adjusted. He has his own cell phone which he can use on the weekends to talk to us. This past week he said, "I don’t miss you guys anymore, so we don’t have to talk all the time every weekend". It reminded me of a metaphor that Guruka Singh used when talking about how it felt sending his kids to India, and the cycle of coming and going. He explained it like two magnets (your child and you). As your child is leaving it is like pulling two strong magnets apart. The pull is so strong at first, but as they get further away the pull is less. Then as the time gets closer for you to see your child again (magnets getting closer again) you start to feel the "magnet" pull more and more. Then when you finally see your child the magnets just "Snap" back and lock together.
The time that these kids spend in India at Miri Piri Academy together is priceless. They get an experience that the wouldn’t get in America or most other western countries. Every time I talk to Narayan I can hear in his voice how he is growing and changing in so many ways. He just keeps telling me how much fun he is having and how much he likes it. There are other schools that Sikh kids could go to, but MPA is unique and has the balance of education and spirituality that I relate to. I remember Narayan being excited when he was getting ready to go to MPA and wanting to meet the new "Tibetan" kid who was also starting school that year. There are many different kids from different parts of the world and religious backgrounds.
This year a new junior program was started with Amrit Kaur (Virginia) heading that up, and I think it is going quite well! I hope that more parents consider sending their kids to Miri Piri Academy. It can be expensive, but compared to private school in USA it’s not much different, and worth every penny!
I wish I had more pictures to share with you of Narayan’s "Adventures" but the reality is that even I haven’t seen that much. Just a few pictures here and there as well as phone conversations.
I recently god a video from Siri Ved Singh of a class that SSS Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji taught in Los Angeles February 20th, 1984. What was particularly unique for me about this video was that I was in the video! I have never seen video of myself during my India school days so it was interesting to see. Seeing a mini-me reminded me of my kids.
In the video he called me up to the front after the class and asks me questions about going to school in India (it’s embarrassing watching myself!). This video was during my first winter break (just as this is Narayan’s first break coming up) after my first year in India (1983). I was 8 years old (almost 9). He then talks about being educated and how that is not enough for a child. After I sit down he refers to my mother "red head" and starts to talk about the importance of the mother. How the strength that his mother gave him allowed him to deal with all the hate/slander/anger over the years. I can totally agree with this since I have gone through this myself. Having a good eduction is one thing, but being a child of God, a person with a strong spiritual base is very valuable as well. These days I think worldly education is given too much attention and the spiritual side is left in the dust.
Ultimately we are only here on this earth for a short period, and when we die all this"educational", wealth, property, etc will be gone, so if we don’t spend time to devote to seeing the God in all and mastering ourselves as spiritual people then it is all a waste.
On a light note, I’m excited to be seeing my son Narayan very soon! I packed up my bags yesterday, weighing them carefully to make sure they don’t go above 50 pounds. On Thursday I fly off to India and then will meet my son in Delhi to then travel down to Kerala for a little family vacation on the beach. After-wards I head back up to Amritsar and spend a week in the Guru’s land before returning home. I know it will blaze by so fast!
Ps. If you are in Delhi on Dec 27th then come join me and others at the Sikh "Tweetup".