16G in Sri Lanka
Last month, Lorena Adame, one of our facilitators of the 16 Guidelines program, visited a women’s shelter in Sri Lanka. She worked in coordination with the Tara Lanka study group, led by Venerable Lekdron. The refuge is for fifteen girls between 14 and 18 years old who have experienced severe trauma.
The teenage girls came from very rural and poor backgrounds, where access to education is very limited. Most have been sexually abused, often by a family member. Some became pregnant and had to give their babies away. Lorena offered trauma-sensitive yoga, heart-mind reflections, and art activities based on the 16 Guidelines program.
I’m profoundly touched by this experience. It was amazing to see all these teenagers opening up little by little. They expressed how they feel much stronger and ready to confront the difficulties in life. How the self-care tools have already made a difference on their day-to day; and how they found the motivation to do something useful with their lives.
For example, one of the most amazing Guidelines to explore was Aspiration. They had never thought they could contribute to the world, no one had ever asked them what they don’t like about the world and what they could do about it. It was something completely new for them. All of a sudden, so many windows opened up in their minds. I was completely blown away.
For some of the girls, this was an opportunity to explore self-love, self-care and trust. Unfortunately, due to the trauma they had experienced, they had lost the ability to love and nurture themselves and found it difficult to trust others. The workshop helped provide a safe place for them to confront their past and open feelings that had been bottled up for years. They learned how relationships with others can be loving, happy and full of support.
Some feed back from the teenagers:-
The very first thing I learned was how to listen to others. It will be very helpful for me in my life. Secondly, I heard about self love and self care. I had never heard this before. I thought others had to always look after me. How to trust people and how I can become a trustworthy person was another important and valuable thing I learned.
I like to apply the breathing in and breathing out technique when I am feeling distressed or angry. I feel more free since the program and I feel more hopeful about my life and future.
Please don't forget about me. Come back again.
I was very lazy at first when I heard there was going to be a yoga workshop. I had no idea that so many useful topics would be discussed. Especially, I learned that the idea of love is not to control someone. I really thought love was about control, just about controlling and possessing another. I really appreciate everything I have learned here as it was all about how I can build a happy life for myself.
I would like you to comeback and share this knowledge with other girls as well next time.
You taught me so many things. I really appreciate learning about trauma. Many traumas I had suppressed I feel like I was able to talk about. I am happy you gave me an answer about my inattention and memory loss. At least now I understand a little. I thought love was a joke until you explained it was something that should make people happy and supported and not sad and frightened. Good to know we build love. It can be learned.
I love you for teaching me many new facts about life. I am very happy to have finished this program and thank you both from the bottom of my heart. This is by far the best workshop I have attended. I am so very happy to learn new skills to be a happy person. This was amazing.
Please come back sister.
We are deeply moved by the work done by Lorena, Venerable Lekdron and the Tara Lanka study group in Sri Lanka. The teenage girls have had some difficult time in the past and to see the impact of the workshop on them is simply incredible.