RAPHAEL – A HEART MEDITATION FOR CHILDREN
By Gabrielle von Redding
Raphael lives on a little island in Indonesia in the Indian Ocean, called Java.
Day in, day out, Raphael observes a beautiful sailing boat leaving Java's port in direction of Bali, daily transporting very joyful passengers. "I want to go there, escape from this island which I get to know a bit too well. It gets boring here really", says Raphael to himself assertively, and returns to his family to share his plans with them enthusiastically.
His papa deems, "What a great idea you are having, aiming to sail along with the boat to Bali, son! I have done this, years back. The best way to sail along is to sneak into one of the boxes of oranges at the port at sunrise. These boxes will be carried on board by the pirates and unloaded at the hotel welcome in Bali upon arrival."
Raphael's little sister "Esther" adds, "How exciting, I would love to sail along too!!" ... but mama of Raphael rejects, "Little Esther, you are still too young for such adventures", and turns her head to Raphael and adds, "I agree you are allowed to go - but promise Mama to take very good care of yourself and please be back in 4 days, there are duties awaiting you as you know!"
"Promise", says Raphael and a half hour later, lies into his bed with a big smile of pleasant anticipation!
The next day before sunrise Raphael packs his backpack and makes himself on the way. As suggested by his father, Raphael sneaks into one of the boxes of oranges standing ready at the port, which promptly is carried on board by the pirates.
The first passengers board the sailing boat and very soon the captain gives the departure signal with a loud whistle, "Drrhh Drrrhhh!". Raphael giggles and stretches himself out off the oranges and happily is rocking with each wave ...
The journey is very amusing, a group of passengers is playing the guitar and singing along, another group watches the dolphins jumping in and out of the water and another group of passengers sleep under deck as the sun starts shining brightly. Navigating towards arriving in Bali, Raphael already spots the hotel welcome, as described by his father. The hotel is located beautifully at the footsteps of a volcano and surrounded by lush green rainforest.
... And whooops, Raphael crawls past all the passengers, with only one goal: The Rainforest!!
Raphael thinks out loudly: "This journey is already worth it. It smells interestingly different on this island," and he very specially enjoys the colorful flowers which wave at the forest seam. The vegetation looks so differently. "Let's start the adventure" he tells himself.
Arriving in the rainforest, Raphael spots a waterfall and plunges himself into it. He nurtures himself on passion fruit blossoms and juicy plants. There are beautiful flowers and fruits he has never seen before. "How beautiful", he screams. "This is exactly the way I imagine paradise!Interesting tasting flowers, soft plants, sweet temptations!"
"I am so happy and don't want time to ever elapse." Raphael makes new friends, listens to new music chimes, and hears the plash of rain drops on the star formed leaves which don't grow on his island.
After 3 full days and nights Raphael takes a rest and sits down on a leaf of an old banyan tree and starts thinking of his home. He thinks of his duties of attending school, to take over the business of his parents one day, his responsibilities as a son and brother, and soon a very queasy feeling evolved in the region of his belly. He feels like being pulled into 2 pieces.
On one hand he enjoys Bali so much and never wants to leave going back home. On the other hand he knows he needs to return back home the very next day.
In this moment, as he sinks his head contemplatively into his hands, a stunning butterfly fish, from which he has already heard of before, flatters passed him. "Its Deva ", the unmistakable wise beauty... Raphael thinks for himself. Wow, he further thinks, how have I deserved to spot Deva once in my lifetime.. 'Cause he knows Deva is the world famous for her deep wise knowledge, which she brings into action with all living beings on this earth comparable to a key to eternal bliss.
Raphael has heard so much about Deva, especially from his beloved mother. Everyone on this earth knows, "if you spot Diva, a fairy will bring the solution to your problem the next day." "Well, in my case it’s obvious what problem I am currently facing. I want to stay here but deep inside I know I have to leave! "
Raphael does not realize that Deva is listening to him over his shoulders ... until he hears a beautiful slow soft voice. "You are doing a real great job to speak out your troubles and thoughts which are nagging you! I can very easily help you so you can help yourself!"
"Can you see that your problems are actually your own thoughts, they are all stories?! Created by your mind!"
Raphael takes some time to think about it and then gently nods. "You see, Raphael", says Deva and adds "In life, we need to fulfill our duties: learning a decent job, working hard to earn our livings, serving our families, and many more. But for today, please go and enjoy your day fully in every way possible."
"And with each adventure this afternoon, breathe deeply, like you are memorizing each adventure in yourself deep down."
"Be happy and when you are happy you make our surrounding happy too", she adds.
"So I must leave now, Rafael " .. And off she flies with her team of butterflies, in all colors, surrounded by big and small birds... and various beautiful shiny fire flies.
Off she goes Raphael, too, and enjoys the day as much as any other day before in his life. He followed Deva's advice to fully enjoy each activity without the nagging thoughts. To fully laugh, feel, smell, taste, see and listen. And with each adventure, he breathes deeply and stores them in his heart. He can't get enough of it.
Totally exhausted, Raphael sits down at dawn on a stone at the mouth of the Rainforest River. He hopes Deva to check back on him one more time.
The very next day, as Deva has promised, she returns at sunrise and finds Raphael sleeping on the stone he fell asleep the night before.
"What was your most beautiful adventure today?", Deva asks Raphael.
Raphael reflects for a moment and answers, "Actually it was when I was swimming at the waterfall lake with my Balinese caterpillar friends and the sun was shining so brightly I could only see crystal purple color and kept breathing it in."
"Yes Raphael, well done!" and she continues whispering: "I am now teaching you the key to the happiness! From today onwards, ...before falling asleep each night, place your hands onto your heart and with a big smile on your face recall your beautiful adventures of the day and associate them with a color! Then breathe in the beautiful colors, smile and think of nothing else than the beauty of life, the gifts God gave you, and how grateful you are for all you have. Fall asleep with a soft smile in love and peace"
Raphael follows Deva's recommendations and falls asleep tight and firm and awakes the next morning as fresh and energized as ever...