Everyday School Life in Berlin

Still looking at The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 54, Fall 2006, we find this article by Ingrid Veit – Berlin, Germany as translated by Ina Seidel:

“Just hold your middle finger,” my pupils cheer me, when I get annoyed with them again, and grumble because they are chatting or don’t pay attention. For me this is at least a stop, a suggestion to stop, to breathe and think. Of course, I have to cope with this kind of feedback, if I introduce something like finger-holding in a classroom. The pupils from class 7 to 13, ages 13 to 22, whom I teach, don’t know anything about Jin Shin Jyutsu. For them it is an unwanted confrontation with an unusual way of thinking. “If I am ill, I have to see the doctor, and I have to take medication,” is the usual way of thinking.

When I suggested making a big hug, I heard statements like, “Yuck, touching those sweaty armpits!” On my suggestion that they sit on their hands, commented that the hands would then smell of their farts. In groups with adults I have never heard comments like these! Did they want to test me, provoke me to find out if they could talk me out of it? Is it their usual way of relating to their bodies, which does not show in “normal” lessons? Are they expressing their adolescent view or uncertainty about their bodies, which adults do not dare to mention? What does that mean to me? Do I want to introduce further elements into my lessons? Or should I, rather, jumper cable myself quietly, to be able to cope better with the permanent excessive demand and the stress? …45-minute school lessons which are ended by the bell plus Jin Shin Jyutsu? This does not match at all.

Actually it would be a pity to do without. For me it is such a benefit. And in my lessons I create space for the students to find themselves. They feel themselves more and there is a peaceful silence that lasts at least 30 minutes. While I was still pondering, a mother asked me what I was doing with the kids. When I explained Jin Shin Jyutsu to her, her 14-year-old son commented, “Just do go on! It makes me quiet and peaceful!” That’s a request!

“Maybe you think I am absolutely crazy with my Jin Shin Jyutsu exercises,” are my first words in a seventh grade class. Yes, that’s what they think. Some of them saw me doing Qi Gong near the river once, and since them I am regarded as crazy. My introduction took the wind out of their sails, and for 20 minutes I could explain the beginnings of finger-holding. They took notes and drew hands readily.

It isn’t really cool to do Jin Shin Jyutsu, even less to admit it. By the by, I heard from a school graduate that she had sat on her hands frequently before exams. One student excused his frequent absence saying: “You aren’t ill so frequently, because you give yourself big hugs (unlike him).” Is this an earnest joke or unintended irony?

One colleague whispered to me during a break: “For me it works (holding the ring finger)! You can’t tell anybody else, but I can breathe better!”

It even helps to get to school in time. Once I met a student some minutes before 8:00 (when school starts) at the underground station: “I suppose we’ll be late,” she said adding, “I have always been so tired recently.” I noticed her tired, arduous steps. She seems to have given up the notion of arriving in time. I had not! Therefore, I suggested she put her thumbs on the nails of her ring fingers and start walking speedily. “Mrs. Veit, what are you doing?” she asked. I showed my hands with the mudras to her. Now she does the same, and we hurry to school together. It did not take 8 or 10 minutes as usual, but 5 to 6 minutes at most. “I don’t feel as worn out any more,” she now says at the gate, when we both go to our classes….

Thank you, Ingrid.

Thank you, Mary.

Thank you, David.

Gassho, Namaste, Blessings

All issues of The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter are available at http://www.jsjinc.net.

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