An Interview with Chai Lai Siong (Malaysia)
I think this has already been sitting inside my mind for quite some time. I always wanted to do something like this. Even during my school time, when I watched programs on volunteering and showing doctors going everywhere, even into war zones to help people, this was always in my mind.
So, when the Mohanji UK group posted a message to everyone, saying that ACT UKRAINE had been set up, that was a quite long message, and I didn’t even read everything, just the bottom part where it said that there is a possibility for people who would like to, to join this mission. I just saw that, I did not even understand the situation. I knew that Ukraine is going through a war. When I read it I messaged the leader of ACT UK, and I said that I would like to know more about ACT UKRAINE.
The next day he called me to tell me that in 30 minutes they will have a meeting about ACT UKRAINE. At that time I did not know much about it. I joined the meeting, and they were discussing how the mission is going to be, and I must admit I did not understand most of it. My focus was on: “Can I volunteer?” That was the only thing in my mind. I did not bother with other things. The only thought I had was that I must go.
When I watched the news on BBC, CNBC, and social media it brought fear into me. I realized that if I’m going into this war zone, it can be dangerous. But the pull to go was way stronger, so I said to myself, “I’m going.”
After the meeting, they decided to take a few of us to follow the group to Ukraine. I think ten vehicles, eight trucks, two vans, and a couple of us, that was the first work we did.
We met Mirche from Serbia in Jash, Romania, and from the UK there was Preeti, and this young doctor Pratik. So, there were only four of us, and we met Jay and Vijay later that day in the hotel. They were travelling together, and they had a problem with one of the trucks, they needed to stop and repair it, so they reached Jash at midnight.
The first seva we did was in Moldova. There are three camps for Ukrainian people there and in one of them, there are 35 families living, mostly mothers with children. That area is within walking distance from Ukraine, and Ukrainian ladies showed us that if you cross the river and walk across a little hill that was in front of us, you can go to a small town in Ukraine.
We heard a lot of sad stories there. One mother told us about her son who went to fight the war, and his three children that stay with her without knowing whether he will be back and ever see the children again.
I felt a lot of heavy and sad energy within her, and she did not know how to express it. Everyone living there is Ukrainian, and they don’t get a chance to meet other people that much. So, when we went there to bring food, a refrigerator, and a washing machine, when I heard her story, I spontaneously asked can I put my hand on her heart. I did not know the language, I just showed her, using sign language, that I will put one palm on her heart and the other one on her head. She just nodded her head and permitted me to do it.
In that minute, she began to cry. I think the moment she felt the love that we pass on, she was not able to hold her tears, and she just cried. Just that one Mohanji Energy Transfer, helped her relieve the sadness and worry that were trapped inside of her. This was the first Mai-Tri that I did spontaneously at that time.
After, she told it to other ladies, and I did Mai-Tri for them as well. In the end, she hugged us and told me that she feels much better and that her heart is not a heavy any more. She told me that it helped her feel hope again.
I also explained to her how to send love to her son, and how he will feel it every time. We used sign language in the beginning, but it did not stop us.
That was a very important experience for me, because I realized how much importance lies in just one touch, and how we must always give love, even if it is with one touch or smile.
I felt a lot of sadness in the people there, and I also saw that anger and hatred had started to build up, and it made me worry because when this starts happening, when those emotions start to grow inside our hearts, it gets carried to our children, and then they pass it to their children. This is how the separation between people starts happening. With this, I realized that Mai-Tri in this area is very important and needed. We must try and stop this process, we must transform this anger and hatred.
I welcome all Mai-Tri practitioners to come here and give Mai-Tri in this region. We must go and give love. We don’t need to explain the whole process in this kind of situation, we can just help them relieve emotions.
In the beginning, Casa Karuna was planned as storage. We needed a place where we could store all the necessities and help brought in from the UK. We had 30 tons of food and supplies and we needed a place for it.
Now, we have found a suitable place, we have a house with storage in it there is already 60-80 tons of food, and two apartments where volunteers can live. Initially, we only planned to have storage and a place for volunteers, but it turned out that the Mohanji Romania group already started some activities, so we decided to grow Mohanji Romania and Act Romania together with this mission.
That is why we came up with the name Casa Karuna, which means House of compassion. We started doing meditations, yoga, and other activities, and many people joined us.