Working through the Earth. Air, Fire, and Water elements you learned about how the avatar relates and interacts with each tribe. Let's take a look at the avatar as an individual.
BECOMING THE AVATAR
Aang is a member of the Air Nation, a nation of self-sustaining monks who live in a mystical ancient temple complex. This image of an ancient land of harmony has a lot in common with the myth of Shambala. The myth of Shambala originally comes from both Hindu and Buddhist sources. The Vishnu Purana, from the 4th century CE speaks about the different ages, the four ages of the world system, ending with the kaliyuga (“age of disputes”). And it says that the eighth avatar, or incarnation, of Vishnu will be born in a city called Shambhala. He’s called Kalki and he will destroy an invading group that are bent on destruction. And after he destroys them, then there will be a new golden age; that will be the end of the kaliyuga.
*Learn more about the Myth of Shambala and compare and contrast to the story of Avatar Aang.*
Aang’s dedication to solving problems in non-violent ways parallels the Buddhist and Hindu ideal of ahimsa Ahimsa is a Sanskrit word meaning "non-violence." The term is derived from the root word himsa, meaning "to cause pain," and the prefix - ‘a’ means "not." Himsa (physical violence) arises out of fear, and fear leads to insecurity, which causes us to feel separate from others— alone and misunderstood. *Learn more about the principal of Ahimsa. Think about and discuss instances where Aang chose non-violence to resolve his problems. Think about and discuss a few instances when characters chose violence and ended up feeling separated from others and alone* AANG’S EATS It will appear that Aang follows the Buddhist adaption of a lacto- vegetarian diet. One of the teachings prohibits taking the life of any person or animal. Many Buddhists interpret this to mean that you should not consume animals, as doing so would require killing.This means they consume dairy products but exclude eggs, poultry, fish, and meat from their diet. However, modern day Tibetan Buddhist philosophy holds that there are many exceptions to this guideline. Some Buddhists consume meat and other animal products, as long as the animals aren’t slaughtered specifically for them. Others feel that one should do what they can to reduce suffering. This includes, when possible, not eating meat, But, to not refuse a meal (if you need to eat) when it is offered to you.
*Try adapting your favorite recipe to be vegetarian or lacto-vegetarian. What ingredients will you need to remove? What ingredients will you need to add? What is the difference in prep time for your recipes? How about the difference in cooking time? Is there a difference in taste, smell, texture? Together with your group have a pot luck or have a virtual exchange of recipes. Do others in your group have the same options as you did while prepping, cooking, and eating your recipe?*
The word chakra means wheel in Sanskrit. Chakras play a key role in Tibetan Buddhism. Chakras are places throughout your body that hold energy Within the human body are seven main chakras. Each chakra has an attachment to separate body areas including glands and organs. Many Indian religions believe in the idea that everyone has “Chakras”. and that Hindu’s are able to open their chakras through yoga.
*TRY THESE YOGA POSES TO HELP ALIGN YOUR CHAKRAS*
*The Earth Chakra at the base of the spine governs Survival. Try Mountain pose, warrior pose, and bridge pose *The Water Chakra governs Pleasure. Try child pose, cat pose, and downward dog
*The Fire Chakra in the stomach governs Willpower. Try chair pose, boat pose, and forearm plank
*The Heart Chakra governs Love. Try sphinx pose, cobra pose, and dancer pose
*The Sound Chakra in the throat governs Truth. Try fish pose and plow pose
*The Light Chakra in the center of the forehead governs Insight. Try dolphin pose, puppy pose, and lizard pose *The Thought Chakra at the crown of the head is where pure cosmic energy enters the body. Try rabbit pose, tree pose, and half lotus pose.
*Discuss with your group how you felt before and after your yoga.
* AANG FUN FACTS
1) Chronologically, Aang has the second-longest lifespan of any known Avatar, dying 165 years after his birth; he is beaten by Kyoshi, who lived to the age of 230.
2) Aang's stature and bodily proportions were inspired conceptually by the forms and Gung Fu movements of a young boy named Arjuna. This is a good refrence for those pictures The Harmonious Fist Chinese Athletic Assocation : Multimedia (archive.org)
3) Aang is written 安昂 in Chinese, meaning "peaceful soaring” Try to find the Chinese writings and meanings of the names of other main characters
4) Aang choosing four toys out of thousands – to identify him as the Avatar as these four toys were the same ones that past Avatars had chosen for generations when they were children– was the same procedure used by the Tibetan Buddhist monks to recognize the next reincarnation of the Tulku Lama. According to the book Magic and Mystery in Tibet by Alexandra David-Néel, "a number of objects such as rosaries, ritualistic implements, books, tea�cups, etc., are placed together, and the child must pick out those which belonged to the late Tulku, thus showing that he recognizes the things which were in his previous life.
5) Aang was left-handed in one of his past lives
6) Aang has met the original source of every bending art: a flying bison for air, the Moon Spirit for water, badgermoles for earth, and two dragons, for fire