Spiritual Teachers Come In All Forms

Sarah Wolfenberg is an Educational Assistant at Crawford Bay School. She recognizes the importance of her many teachers at the Ashram and now has another spiritual teacher, Jasper, an eight-year-old boy with Down Syndrome whom she is honoured to assist daily.

Beginning in the fall of 1999, I stayed for 10 months of Karma Yoga at the Ashram and learned many skills and tools. The Ashram was very supportive in my pursuit to go back to school which led me on my life path.

I am now an Educational Assistant and I am thrilled to work with Jasper Wilkinson – a boy with Down Syndrome. He is inclusive and cares about people, even strangers; he never wants anyone to hurt and is so kind to everyone. The other kids return his kindness and want to help him. I always feel that Jasper’s natural state is love; everyone feels it. His family also plays a big part in how he interacts because they are so loving and supportive of him. He can let go of his emotions so quickly – it is like he has no ego that obstructs living fully in the moment. Because I had a sister with Down Syndrome with limited speaking ability, I am better equipped to understand Jasper. I’ve learned sign language and we both teach one another. We’ve been together for a year-and-a-half now and the understanding between us has become more acute and fluid.

I have always seen people with Down Syndrome as one step ahead of us – they understand love. They don’t discriminate who they talk to and they transcend their emotions quickly. They get angry and frustrated but they let it go – a place that we all work hard to get to. I feel blessed to hang out with Jasper; he is the coolest guy I know.


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