2013 Green News Archive 2013 Green News Archive

Table of Content

Mexico BK Green Team Retreat

10–13 January 2013 Merida, Yucatan, Mexico Awakening the Dreamer Workshop, Training and Symposium

The Brahma Kumaris and the Pachamama Alliance collaboratively conducted a workshop training and retreat of the Awakening the Dreamer Workshop for BKs in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Brahma Kumaris Sister Yolanda Moreno and Sister Carmen Barbachano hosted the retreat from January 10 – 13, for the BK Mexico Green Team at a beautiful Retreat Beach House on Progreso Beach. The workshop and training was conducted by Sister Elizabeth Padilla, Program Manager of Anubhuti Meditation & Retreat Center in San Francisco, USA and Erik Friend a Facilitator from the Pachamama Alliance of Cuernavaca, Mexico. There were 13 participants who joined together from different parts of Mexico to learn about the Awakening the Dreamer Workshop (aka. Symposium) and take training to facilitate it.
 
Using documentary videos, dialogue, sharing, meditations and exercises participants discover, awaken and moved through four questions: Where are we? How did we get here? What is possible now? Where do we go from here? Our common mission is to create an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just world.
 
The workshop experience was based on Awakening the Dreamer; Changing the Dream Symposium developed by the Pachamama Alliance. It was integrated with Brahma Kumaris meditations, the BK Earth Care Workshop and a BK video on awareness. 
 
In the words of the participants, from their experience of the training: 
"For me it has been a big surprise as the workshop has a spiritual focus. At the core we have an idea of dysfunction as spiritual emptiness. The way I see it is that it is an easy tool and method to put people in touch with themselves. In a friendly and approachable way you realize that none of this dysfunction is going to change unless I do it and that I change."
 
 

"I felt like we are all on this big Titanic
that is going to sink, it is inevitable. We can inspire what is possible. All have to wake up sooner or later."
 

"We all belong to this planet but we have to take responsibility to know and to be connected. What I do affects others. Just because I am on a spiritual journey doesn't mean that my karmic foot print doesn't affect others."

 
"I felt enthusiasm and hope. This can reach a lot of people of all ages. This opens possibility. It embraces all of humanity. In Mexico people are resistant. This program creates a road that reaches the heart."
 
Public Symposium at Tecnologico University of Merida
On Monday, January 13, all trainees attended another Awakening the Dreamer Symposium for the public where 50 staff members of the Tecnologico University of Meridaparticipated. Facilitators were Erik Friend, Elizabeth Padilla, Yolanda Moreno, Jorge Ivich and with participation of new trainees.
 
 
 
For more information and all materials:
 
Link for the photo album:
 
Contact Information:
merida@mx.brahmakumaris.org
Anubhuti@brahmakumaris.org

 

 

Green News, Help Request and Dadis Wisdom

18 December 2013

To Baba's green servers, many greetings. Merry Christmas and Happy New year to all with some news and info.

This old proverb can sometimes be used in service: 

It's impossible, said doubt
It's dangerous, said fear
It's unnecessary, said reason
But try anyway… whispered the Heart

(author unknown).

Before the news – Dadi's wisdom and help needed:

Nature needs our love at this time

Dear Friend, Om shanti.  We see that nature needs our love at this time.  Nature needs good vibrations.  Nature gives us so much pleasure, that we should give the return of it.  Understand that anything you do that is violent will have an effect.  Go into the depth of truth and nonviolence.
Let your thoughts be pure and nonviolent.  Sort your thoughts and keep only what is good.  Don't think about what you like and don't like.  Cure yourself.  As you cure your nature, you will be able to offer a cure to Mother Nature.

Love, Dadi Janki (from Call of Time Messages)

HELP wanted
1. Quite a few people have asked for guidelines for environment friendly management of the centres We have our policy, but this could be some clear and easy tips with pictures suitable for the worldwide BK community. It could be online or maybe even a booklet. Anyone out there who would like to take it on? A small group would be excellent.
2. We are having a short Environment presentation with the RC's in March, anything you want to be addressed?

The Awakening the Dreamer Workshops together with Pachamama Alliance goes on very well in many places. Attached is a newsletter from the UK made by Linda and Gopi.

Our facebook page is now opened from being a closed group,https://www.facebook.com/groups/GreenBK/, meet you there.

The last report from the Australia Green Tour is ready, enjoy, link here:
http://environment.brahmakumaris.org/news/worldwide-news-a-events

COP19 in Warsaw was a huge experience of the need of Baba's pure presence in international gatherings as the hopelessness is increasing also here. The easy-to-read reports, incl. the summary, are all online, in case you want to have a glimpse.
http://environment.brahmakumaris.org/news/cop-19-warsaw-poland

Brother Renaud in France has made a documentary introducing the solar power plant in Abu Road, India One.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-bG2KSzYt0&feature=youtu.be.
A French version is available from the ecoshantifrance.fr web site. Best yaad pyar from Renaud!

News from Saigon: Rain Water Harvesting
In Saigon for the past 4 months we have been harvesting rainwater by collecting all the water from the Centre roof and running it past a checking point and then into our two large water tanks.  This water then directly becomes our tap supply and is used for cooking, showering and purified for drinking.  We have had the quality of the rainwater checked with the Water Purity Centre and it tested higher in quality than our city water supply and of a healthy standard  Within 10 days of setting up the rainwater harvesting system two TV channels came and filmed it and one producer in particular was very touched by our support for the environment.   For the past three months our water bill has been zero.

Finally some Merry Hobbit Christmas and New year Greetings to all!
Om Shanti and Take care
from Green team to Green team

Sonja

We go beyond Darkness and Desolation, Reclaim our Homeland and Slay Dragons, no worries. This will keep you busy, 3 riddles from the Hobbit:

1. What has roots as nobody sees, Is taller than trees, Up, up it goes, And yet never grows?

2. This thing all things devours: Birds, beasts, trees, flowers; Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal; Slays king, ruins town, And beats high mountain down.

3. It cannot be seen, cannot be felt, Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt. It lies behind stars and under hills,
And empty holes it fills. It comes first and follows after, Ends life, kills laughter.

"And why not? Surely you don't disbelieve the prophecies just because you helped them come about. You don't really suppose do you that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck? Just for your sole benefit? You're a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I'm quite fond of you. But you are really just a little fellow, in a wide world after all."

"Thank goodness!"

ADT Workshop Report

 

 

 

Consciousness & Climate Change - The Critical Connection - COP19 (Conference of the Parties 19)

11-22 November2013

Daily reports on this conference are describes below in chronological order from the latest back to the earliest.

 

22 November, 2013

Press Conference "Call to Fast for Climate Justice"
CIDSE (Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité) and LWF (Lutheran World Federation) arranged a press conference called "Call to Fast for Climate Justice". Present were representatives of CIDSE, LWF, WCC (World Council of Churches), Engaged Buddhists, and Sister Jayanti from the Brahma Kumaris. Link to the press conference:

A Two-Minutes Video by Desert Rose
The South African group Desert Rose who had visited COP19 for interfaith programs, has made a short two-minutes video clip of their visit, including meditations with Sister Jayanti. You can see the clip too.

Programs across Poland
Today, members of the delegation are travelling to different cities in Poland (Gdansk, Lodz, Katowice) to share about the news from the COP and the Brahma Kumaris position on the link between spirituality and the environment.

 

21 November 2013

Side Event on Ethics
The World Council of Churches arranged a side event at the COP called "Ethical and religious imperatives for a just climate deal". Valeriane Bernard participated on behalf of the Brahma Kumaris.

 

 

 

Final Feedback Meeting
The BK delegation met the last evening to share highlights, learnings and ideas for the future. What stood out from the feedback was the general successful progress of the BK's participation and engagement in the COP, plus the appreciation of the fantastic hosting Polish team.

 

 

 

20 November 2013

The atmosphere was sizzling with activity everywhere in Warsaw, both in the National Stadium where COP19 was taking place, and at various events over the city. There were many police-escorted cars with ministers going through the city and the traffic was slow. We decided to take the local tram, which was the first time in decades for some of our delegates. In the BK delegation, some went to the one-day business forum at the Intercontinental Hotel, some went to COP for meetings, others to a press conference etc.

India Press Conference
The Indian Minister for Environment and Forest, Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan, gave a press conference on India's position in COP19. Sister Jayanti and Golo Pilz were invited by the Indian Ambassador in Poland, Mrs. Monika Kapil to attend, even though this press conference was for press only. They were accompanied by Aneta Loj and Sonja Ohlsson. Mrs. Kapil introduced Sister Jayanti and Golo Pilz to the minister, who gave good time to Sister Jayanti and Golo to share about India One Solar Power Plant and about the Brahma Kumaris.

Global Justice, Equity and Sustainability – Side Event of the Brahma Kumaris with Partners
More than 110 people gathered for the side event "Global Justice, Equity and Sustainability", co-organized by the Brahma Kumaris on the 20th of November, 2013, together with two other organisations, The International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations (ISMUN), and Global Alert For Defence Of Youth And The Less Privileged (GADYL).
 
Innovation Forum
At the Intercontinental Hotel, Sustainable Innovation Forum 2013 arranged by Climate Action and UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) took place...Sister Jayanti was invited to conduct a meditation during the afternoon break...The Communication Director of Climate Action came up to Sister Jayanti afterwards and said this was one of the most interesting inputs during the day.

Loss of Hope
The negotiations in the COP were getting more and more stuck, and it showed in the loss of hope in many of our friends and contacts that have been established through the years. The collective vocabularies of frustration and disappointment have differed every COP. This time in Warsaw, the expression "loss of hope" has dominated the collective vocabulary. Sister Jayanti had a private meeting with one of the organizers of the Innovation Forum to give hope and comfort by meditation and spiritual awareness.

Chasing Ice
The day finished with a stunning and dramatic film called Chasing Ice, put on to strengthen the role of  the scientists in the debate on climate change. Sister Jayanti together with a group of BKs from Poland and abroad visited the screening.

Full Report on Days 20-22nd November

 

20 November 2013 - News from Sister Jayanti

20th morning, the Ambassador of India had invited Golo, Aneta and myself to a Press Conference with the Minister of Environment, a very powerful woman. When we arrived, it was clear that they were only inviting Media in, but the Ambassador's Secretary let us in and so we were able to hear the Minister's comments. As she was leaving to go up the stairs of the Auditorium, the Ambassador told her, "I want you to meet sisters from the Brahma Kumaris, who have a very interesting Solar Project", and so at the top of the stairs she found a quiet corner where Golo and I were able to give the Minister materials, have a quick chat, and also give toli. Within a minute, she was again surrounded by Media people who wanted to follow-up from their questions in the Press Conference. The Conference Room only allocates 30 minutes and so time was very strict, but once she was out in the Corridor, they kept her talking for at least 20 minutes.

Immediately after that we went to a side event, organized by the BKs in conjunction with two other NGOs. The theme was ‘Justice, Equity and Sustainability'. It was Golo, myself, three other speakers plus the Moderator on stage. It was perhaps the largest audience of 110 we have had at a side event. There were lively, passionate questions about everything so it was a very good event.

After that, we went to the Sustainable Innovative Business Forum at the Intercontinental Hotel. This was organised by Climate Action in conjunction with the UN Environmental Programme people. We've known them for a while. The lady in-charge of the programme had made friends with us last year, and had given us a slot last year. This year again we had a slot, and though it was just during the Coffee Break, we still had around 50 people from the Forum stay for this. It was well received.

In the evening, we went back again to the Business Forum, this time to watch a documentary called ‘Chasing the Ice', which was about the meltdown of the glaciers, some in Iceland, some Greenland and some in Alaska. It was quite an amazing film, both indicating time is running out in terms of doing something about climate change as the glaciers are melting, but also just in terms of the very personal, emotional way in which the film-maker had made this documentary. It was very, very powerful.

Eva, Aneta and myself went to Baba's new house in Piaseczno. I was remembering Dadi, as Dadi would always want to have Amritvela and Thursday bhog in a new place for Baba, so we went across, stayed the night, had Amritvela, Bhog etc, and are now back in our apartment in the old Town.

22nd morning, when I leave the apartment to go to Smolna for Class at 7am, I'll stay on at the National Stadium to be able to attend a couple of interfaith events, and then go from there to the airport. So it's our last few hours in the apartment here.

Sonja, Golo and Aneta will leave on 22nd for Gdansk as they have programmes there. Julia and Nonie will go in a different direction to the South, and Francois will also leave for Gdansk a little later. So everyone is going off in different directions for service but I'll be going to Oxford.

 

19 November 2013

Interview by a Venezuelan TV
Juan Milling was interviewed in Spanish by Telesur, a Venezuelan TV.

 

Meeting Ms. Christiana Figueres
A private meeting was arranged between Sister Jayanti and Ms. Christiana Figueres, Secretary general of the UNFCCC, together with Sonja Ohlsson. They had a very deep conversation about the whole situation with people, governments, climate. It was a very personal meeting about hope, love and inspirations on how to bring more heart and soul into the negotiation process. At the end, they had a meditation together.
 

Women's Day at COP19
Directly after the meeting with Ms. Figueres, the Gender Day started. Sister Jayanti together with the BKs were sitting in the audience in powerful meditation supporting the women on stage withpeaceful vibrations...During the time for comments and  questions, Sister Jayanti spoke about the dignity of every human being, and how such change can happen very quickly with just a switch of consciousness from the material to spiritual, thus contributing to the creation of a better world.

 

Opening of the High-Level Segment of COP19
The high-level segment was the General Assembly of the ministers who had just arrived for COP19. Many of the BKs in the Stadium watched the opening of the high level segment. Francois Becher and Marek Frydrych had special tickets to come into the main hall.

 

Meeting the Indian Ambassador
After lunch, Sister Jayanti, Aneta, and Asha (Joanna) went to meet the Indian Ambassador, Ms Monika Kapil...Ms Kapil invited the BKs to the Press Conference that the Minister of Environment of India was holding the next day.

 

Faith Actors Working towards Climate Justice
Another international conference on climate change, "Faith actors working towards climate justice" took place in Warsaw on the 18th and 19th of November 2013, co-organized by CIDSE (Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité), Caritas Poland and Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski's University in Warsaw...Six representatives of Brahma Kumaris were present during the two-day
event.

 

Public Program Consciousness and Climate Change
"How to connect the power of a pure mind with the present scenario of climate change and extreme weather events" was the content of the presentation made by Golo Pilz in Tuesday's evening program in the Meditation Gallery, the BK centre in Smolna.


Full Report for the 19th November

 

19 November 2013 - News from Sister Jayanti

On 19th, after morning class in Smolna, I went straight to the National Stadium where the Conference is taking pace. We had a meeting with Mrs Christiana Figueres the Executive Secretary for the Secretariat for UNFCCC. She is the person I had gone to meet in Bonn in the month of July. She met us very, very warmly, and got a bit emotional about the fact that time is running out, people are not understanding and not willing to listen, and so we had a very deep conversation about the whole situation with people, governments, climate, and then had a meditation.

After that we went straight into the Gender Meeting. It was a group of very powerful individuals, some who have been former presidents etc, like the former Presidents of Finland and Ireland, the former PM of New Zealand who now heads up UNDP etc. There was also this amazing woman singer. The female Mayor of Warsaw was absent and so Marie Robinson did something interesting. She said that since we have a chair vacant and we have young people in the audience, perhaps we could have a young woman who is brave enough to come and occupy this chair share her thoughts? So this young woman jumped up on the stage very quickly. She is Australian and very articulate, and of course was happy and excited to have had the opportunity but it was interesting…

We also had the female Deputy Executive Director of UN Women in India, Lakshmi Puri. These were the women on the stage. The whole hall was packed, and many people from Media were around. The speakers gave very, very interesting presentations because Christiana asked them, ‘What is your dream and vision for the future?' in terms of Women, and they all gave beautiful answers. She kept using the words ‘heart' and ‘soul' because we had talked about heart and soul in our conversation. At the end, she asked people to stand just for a minute in silence, while we listened to a song. Afterwards, when she met me in the corridor, she gave me a hug and said, ‘We did it, we did it!' because we had suggested to her that she was the person who actually had the creditability of talking about the ‘soul' and so could create that space for silence within the gathering. So she did actually that! She is a very warm, enthusiastic individual.

During the time for comments and questions, I spoke about the dignity of every human being, and how that change can happen very quickly with just a switch of consciousness from the material to spiritual and it can surely create a better world. So that was the contribution there. Other women also spoke up making very, very important points.

After lunch, Aneta, myself and Asha (Joanna) went to meet the Indian Ambassador, who also happens to be a woman. She met us very, very warmly. She had heard about the BKs in London, when she was the Director of the Nehru Centre there and so has heard about our activities but never had an opportunity to actually meet. We also had a meditation together. She invited us to the Press Conference that the Minister of Environment of India will be giving on 20 November. She said she would introduce us to the Minister who also happens to be a woman. So Golo, Aneta and myself will probably go to that on Wednesday.

19th night I was supposed to have another interview, but it got cancelled. I then had a meeting with the BK NCT group of Poland.

 

18 November 2013

Briefing for New Delegates by RINGO
Present in the room were delegates from research institutes, university students, humanitarian organization, think-tanks, barristers, engineers and the Brahma Kumaris. This was the first daily meeting of the second week of the conference for the Research and Independent organizations - RINGO constituents, of which the Brahma Kumaris are a member.

 

On the Road to Lima
The BK international delegation got together in the afternoon in a think-tank format to discuss what is the next step in explaining how inner change creates outer change. A new BK statement under the theme Consciousness and Climate Change is in the pipeline for COP20 in Lima in 2014.


Latin America Youth Meeting for COP20
With a great sense of responsibility and hope, more than thirty Latin American young people met in order to generate ideas and proposals for the coming events of the next year: the Pre-COY (Venezuela) and COY (Peru).

 

Detailed Report for 17 & 18 November

 

17  November 2013

Visit to the New BK Centre
On 17th, the whole BK international group visited the new centre in the outskirts of Warsaw. The area is called Piaseczno and it is beautifully located in a very green area. After morning class, the whole group went for a long walk in the forest.

 

17th Afternoon Conversation with Friends
The Warsaw centre had invited friends and contacts to a very nice afternoon gathering at the Smolna Meditation Gallery located very centrally in Warsaw.

 

On the Road to Paris 2015
World Climate Ltd arranges a yearly two-day business forum in connection with the Climate Change Conferences. This year's business forum called Climate Solutions was held in the Marriot Hotel in central Warsaw. For the first time they gave five tickets free to selected NGOs in order to fulfil their statement of collaborating with civil society. From the Brahma Kumaris, Francois Becher, Sonja Ohlsson, Nonie Reaño, Aneta Loj and Golo Pilz participated.

 

World Peace Meditation
The monthly BK Word Peace Meditation coincided with the COP19. Sister Jayanti visited the long established BK center in Jasielska for this important meditation event. Desert Rose, the band from South Africa that specializes in Sacred World Music, had been invited to the centre to do their last COP19 performance.

 

Catholic Mass
This cold and winter-like Sunday in Warsaw finished with a Roman Catholic Mass for the climate in the Cathedral Basilica of the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist. It was the first time in the recent Polish history that an orthodox and a protestant priest participated together in a Roman Catholic ecumenical prayer.

 

16  November 2013

The COP19 is divided into 2 weeks, so Saturday is the last day of the first week (there are no UNFCCC negotiations on Sunday). The second week, the ministers from different countries will arrive and the high-level segment will begin.

Delegation Increasing
In the Brahma Kumaris delegation, two new members have arrived - Julia Grindon-Welch from New York and Francois Becher from France. We also received the good news that the BKs got two extra allowances in their delegation to accommodate participation from the Polish group. Aneta Loj and Marek Frydrych were nominated.

Last Day of the Exhibition and of Youth Participation
This year all NGO's only had one week of exhibition space, so the popular BK stand had to be taken down in order to give space to another NGO. It is the last day at the COP for Juan Milling and Nonie Reaño, and it has been very active and successful. The most important news is that Juan has been selected to co-ordinate the COY youth conference in 2014 in Peru!


 

 

 

 

 

 

Midway Briefing
The BK delegation got together Saturday afternoon to debrief. What had been the main experiences the past week? What stood out in terms of activities and what was the main learning or insight? The  rich discussion become a basis for fine-tuning the strategy for the coming week.

Rachmaninoff and Hot Chocolate
Saturday evening was dedicated to some of the many specialites of Poland - family strength and classical music. The international and the Polish BK teams got together in one of the small rented flats for hot chocholate and cake before walking through the misty old town towards the Concert Hall at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music. Extremely talented students performed several pieces by the Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, and the audience was energized by this intense piano music. Read more at www.environment.brahmakumaris.org

 

Full Report on Days 15 and 16

 

15 November 2013

The report from Friday in fact begins with a spontaneous invitation from Polish youth to come to a late evening event Thursday 14th. Nonie Reaño Quinteros from Peru reported:
Underground Youth Invites Interfaith Band:


In a dark, cigarette smell-suffused club in Warsaw, where most of the audience were young adults with different styles (underground, punk etc.), a band of South African musicians played a few songs with spiritual content. This had been organized by the Interfaith team, in which the Brahma Kumaris take part.
Having heard that this young crowd was searching for alternative ways to make this world a better place, two young BKs, Juan and Nonie, decided to give an uplifting message to empower their hearts and dreams....During the speech, one could feel the atmosphere in the club transforming.
     The next day, while on a bus, the two BKs met a girl who was staring at them with a big smile on her face. They decided to approach her just before getting off the bus and she said with a lot of happiness, "I was at the bar last night, keep up with your work!"


Warsaw University of Technology
Golo Pilz was invited to present about India One and the use of solar energy in India.

RINGO (Research & Independent Organizations)
Valeriane Bernard has regularly attended the meetings of RINGO - the group of research and independent organizations, which Brahma Kumaris are affiliated with. The key issues have been compensation for loss and damage, adaptation, equity, and historical responsibility.
..The negotiators are discussing the process of how to reach the final agreement in Paris 2015. The content of the draft is to be prepared for the COP20 in Lima in 2014, in order to allow time for translations.

UNFCCC Secretary Christiana Figueres Meets the Youth
Juan Milling reported from the 6th Annual Intergenerational Inquiry: In an interactive event, youth delegates from around the world discussed the role and importance of young people in the UNFCCC
.

YOUNGO Working Group on Intergenerational Equity (Inteq Group)
More from Juan Milling: The purpose of this group is to bring the youth perspective into the climate change negotiations. I had the opportunity to translate into Spanish an Inteq document in order to help the group to do networking with some of the Latin-American governments.

Meditation with the Indian Delegation
Many countries have their own delegation rooms where they meet. Sonja Ohlsson visited the Indian delegation in their office. It is normally very busy, but this Friday morning it was quiet. Some of the staff knew Brahma Kumaris from before, so they enjoyed their personal blessing cards and a guided meditation.

Interfaith Concert - South African and Polish Musicians in Fusion
The Interfaith Concert was a beautiful result of the interfaith cooperation, with Valeriane Bernard and Halina Paradela taking the lead. Candles and old lamps were lit in Galeria Freta in the old town, creating a beautiful atmosphere. The concert was very well attended both by people coming from the UNFCCC and by Polish public...Sister Jayanti was invited on stage and shared with the audience a beautiful meditation commentary...Her commentary was followed by silence and OM chanting...In the second part of the concert, the famous Polish musician Josef Skrzek played a few songs.

 

14 November 2013

I care is the Polish slogan for COP19. For the Brahma Kumaris delegation, Thursday the 14th Nov. it became a continuation of the slogan - I care and I shareA press conference took place, along with interviews with the Climate Change Studio, a public talk in the evening, and a number of meetings.

Press Conference

The whole press conference can be viewed here: 
http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop19/templ/play.php?id_kongresssession=6914&theme=unfccc

 

 

 

Interviews with Stephen Leahy of Canada and at the Climate Change Studio:

 

Sister Jayanti's interview at the Climate Change Studio

 

Br. Golo's interview   

 

Public Program "Living in Harmony"

In the evening, everyone gathered at the Polish Teachers' Association, an old building from 1918,  for the open public program entitled Living in Harmony, with the guest speaker being Sister Jayanti...The talk by Sister Jayanti was a crystal clear elucidation of the causal connection between our thoughts and the state of our planet and society.

 

 

 

 

Full November 14th Report

 

12 and 13 November 2013
The second and third day of COP19 proved to be two days of intense networking, especially for the two best networkers in our delegation - Juan Milling and Valeriane Bernard. The youth group and interfaith group are very active, they share very strong hopes for the future. Our press release got ready and there were some very interesting interviews.

Full news for 12th and 13th November

 

11 November 2013 - Opening Day
The opening day of COP19 has been one of great concern in that the typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines has devastated the country. The lead negotiator from the Philippines gave a passionate, emotional speech at the beginning of the 19th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP19) on Monday. After his speech, Mr. Sano said: "It is always hard to attribute a single weather event to climate change, but we know that the science is also clear that climate change will mean more intense typhoons, potentially. And even if we cannot attribute Haiyan to climate change directly, my country refuses to accept a future where super-typhoons become a regular fixture.

News in Detail

Press Release

 

Updates from Sr Jayanti, Poland

The Polish family have gone out of their way to arrange 6 lovely apartments, which are right in the centre of the Old Town, the Walled City. These have been created as Holiday Homes, I think, but everything has been done very, very well.

The Conference is in a Stadium and arrangements have been made beautifully. On 11th, after attending a session on ‘Third World Hopes' for this particular Conference, which was fascinating, we came back to the apartments and then had a meeting with the Youth Group in the evening. They were leaving on 12th morning very early, so they shared their experiences. 

12th morning we had class at the Meditation Gallery in the City and that was also full house. All the BKs came for Class.

 

Report of Preparations to Climate Change Conference - COP 19

United Nations 19th Conference on Climate Change is taking place in Warsaw Poland from Monday 11th to Friday 22nd November 2013. For the Brahma Kumaris it is the 6th COP (Conference of the Parties) to participate in as an observer organization. At this Warsaw gathering, world leaders will work towards developing a climate initiative to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Participants intend for the new plan to be operational by 2020.

The urgency of these Climate Change negotiations in November 2013 requires our most profound vision and selfless action. The position paper of the Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative states, "What is needed now is a profound shift in global awareness ...we have to include the inner dimension if we want to transform the quality of the conversation and the agenda for action among stakeholders". 

This year the Brahma Kumaris have a delegation of 8 individuals from all over the world - 
 - Sister Jayanti Kirpalani, UK/India – Head of Delegation, Main Representative at the UN, Geneva for the Brahma Kumaris and Director of Brahma Kumaris, Europe & Middle East
 - Francois Becher, France - Director of Brahma Kumaris, France
 - Golo Pilz, Germany/India - Director of Solar Research Institute and Energy Advisor for the Brahma Kumaris
 - Juan Milling, Canada - Head of Brahma Kumaris Youth delegation
 - Julia Grindon-Welch, USA - NGO Representative at the UN, New York for the Brahma Kumaris
 - Nonie Reano Quinteros, Peru - Psychologist and Consultant for Business and Corporate Universities
 - Sonja Ohlsson, Denmark  - Designated Contact Point to the UNFCCC and Co-ordinator of the Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative
 - Valeriane Bernard, Switzerland - NGO Representative at the UN, Geneva for the Brahma Kumaris 

The COP19 is preceded by an international youth forum of Climate Change (COY) and a separate report will be sent for the 4 days long conference. 

The BK COY Youth Delegation - Juan Milling (Canada), Ash Patel (UK), Romina Melwani (UK), Nonie Reaño Quinteros (Peru),Gaby Havard (UK) 

News in Detail 

 

 

 

Powershift 2013 - 9th Global Climate Conference of Youth

7 - 11 November 2013

This year Poland hosted the 9th Conference of Youth (COY), a 4 day conference held in Warsaw. 350 youth from over 20 countries participated to share stories, learn skills, per-form solidarity acts and sharpen strategies. COY's focus has always been to unite youth all over the world in order to strengthen their voice towards global climate change.

Following the success of Powershift events all over the world, COY9 renamed itself Pow-er shift Central and Eastern Europe ( PS CEE—http://www.powershift-cee.org) to at-tract attention towards climate change within Poland.

Green Team Youth Service Full Report

 

 

 

Brahma Kumaris - Panchamama Alliance Partnership

10 November 2013

 

Together We Are Transforming the Dream of the Modern World Expansion
Since The Pachamama Alliance and the Brahma Kumaris started our journey together 2 years ago, the Awakening the Dreamer Workshop has been presented in 21 countries across the globe. The presenters of this workshop are Brahma Kumaris champions who adopted these materials to awaken others into a new way of dreaming; a new way of relating to people and to the planet, understanding the interconnectedness of all. This partnership proves on the importance of working together as a coalition to create a sustainable, just and fulfilling world.

An Opportunity for You
You too can play an important role in the creation of a human presence that is environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling. Become a Workshop Facilitator and experience the joy of seeing workshop participants find a sense of possibility for themselves and for the world. The workshop materials have been designed to support 
anyone -experienced or not-  in discovering the power of their own voices, so we invite you to join the many who are already empowering others to transform the dream.  

To get started, please Download the workshop here
To connect with other active Facilitators, please create a login here
For questions, please email arnold@theproperway.com

Read More

 

 

 

International Brahma Kumaris Green Team in Australia

October 2013 Report

Eight members of the International Brahma Kumaris (BK) Green team toured Australia to meet with the Australian Green team, conduct retreats and give talks in several cities from 17 Sep to 13 Oct 2013. The tour comprised of almost 50 programs including three retreats, a radio interview and a magazine interview. There were many talks including three in Spanish, two in Portuguese and one in French. Most events were on the theme of spirituality and the environment. For several of the visitors (see list of names above) it was their first trip to Australia and everyone had a lot of new experiences.

The two main retreats during the tour were a meeting of the International and Australian Green teams at the Aravali Meditation Sanctuary in northern New South Wales from 18-22 Sep and "Spirituality – the Heart of Sustainability" for sustainability professionals at the BK retreat centre in the Blue Mountains near Sydney from 27-29 Sep. Details of those events follow below in separate reports.

Full Report on the Tour

International Green Team Tour Participants:

 

Blue Mountains - "Spirituality - the Heart of Sustainability" retreat
27-29 September 2013

The BK International Green Team and some of the Australian Green Team gathered in Blue Mountains Retreat Centre near Sydney, Australia from 27-29 Sep for "Spirituality-the Heart of Sustainability", a retreat for sustainability and environmental professionals. Charlie Hogg from Sydney was the host and special guests were Joachim (Golo) Pilz from India and Germany, Sonja Ohlsson from Denmark , Haydn Washington, an environmental scientist and author and Julian Crawford, a corporate sustainability consultant.

The retreat was held in the beautiful Stone Cottage for 40 participants of whom 24 were professionals in the environment field and 15 from the BK community with an interest in the environment. Discussion sessions flowed out into the garden which was full of spring flowers and noisy cicadas.

On Friday night guests were engaged with Golo's talk on BK renewable energy projects. On Saturday morning Haydn, Julian and Sonja set the scene by sharing how they see spirituality to be connected to sustainability. Haydn said he felt that humans have lost their "sense of wonder" for nature so no longer respect it. Sonja shared how love is the foundation for sustainability. 

The weekend involved a panel discussion, talks on "sustainable self/sustainable world" and "the power of silence". There were small group discussions on topics such as "what gives you the strength to maintain your commitment to what you do". All the participants appreciated the simple program which allowed plenty of time to share with others. Robin Ramsay, host of the international guests, showed a film of the Aravali Meditation Sanctuary in northern NSW where the BK Green Teams had convened the previous weekend.

Everyone left the retreat uplifted and happy. One participant offered to coordinate further discussion on spirituality and sustainability.

     

 

Events in the Blue Mountains after the retreat
30 September 2013

Radio program
From 10-11am Ms Shirley Lewis from As Sustainable As Possible (ASAP) invited Golo Pilz and Sonja Ohlsson to speak during their weekly hour at Radio Blue Mountains 89.1 FM. They met in the studio in Katoomba, 10 mins drive from the retreat centre, with others from the local community. Golo and Sonja had the opportunity to share about the retreat at Leura that just happened and about how there is an increasing need for spirituality for environmentalists. Golo also spoke about the need for renewable energies and how rich Australia is in natural resources for alternative energy - sun, ocean, wind and land. At the end of the session everyone shared a meditation and it was the first time the radio station had done a live meditation in the ether.

Presentation on Solar Energy Installations for Large Communities
From 7.30-8.30pm at the Leura Retreat Centre, Golo Pilz the director of Brahma Kumaris solar installations in India, presented a slideshow and talk on how the Brahma Kumaris are moving into alternative energy supply in India. The BKs' spiritual headquarters in Rajasthan is using solar energy to create steam used to cook meals for thousands of people on one of the world's largest solar cooking systems.

Golo is now directing the construction of a 1 MW solar thermal power plant which will generate enough heat and power for 20,000 people. The Global Hospital in Mount Abu is using solar energy for sterilisation.

Golo believes his daily meditation practise is a major foundation for the success of these projects. He says: "We have forgotten the common good. On the deepest level, it could be said the desertification of the planet is a reflection of the human spirit. The technology for renewable energy is there, but the human will and motivation is missing. Daily meditation provides the missing motivation and essential vision of the common good."

BK Green activities focus on educating Brahma Kumaris centres about eco-friendly management, UN Conferences on Climate Change and creating partnerships with other organizations. Read more at www.environment.brahmakumaris.org

     

Details of these events

 

Retreat with Australian BK Green Team, Aravali Meditation Sanctuary
20-22 September 2013

Eight members of the International BK Green Team arrived in Brisbane, Australia and were taken to the Aravali Meditation Sanctuary, approximately five hours south of Brisbane on Wednesday 18 Sep where they were able to relax into the silent ambience of the Sanctuary for a couple of days before the Australian BK Green Team joined them on Friday 20 September.

  

     

The Aravali Meditation Sanctuary is coordinated by BKs Robin Ramsay and Michael Murphy. It is situated at the top of the Great Divide in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, in a 200 acre forest with World Heritage National Parks as neighbours. The Sanctuary is grid free and runs totally on solar and wood fire energy and can very comfortably accommodate around 20 guests. The buildings are nestled in the bush which is also home to kangaroos, wallabies, platypus, possums and kookaburras.

Aravali Retreat full Report

The film about the retreat in the sanctuary made by the host, Robin Ramsay, is at http://vimeo.com/76248960.

 

 

 

Green News in Athens

After there has been a wider interest within the BK family to make Baba's centers more ‘green', that is environmental friendly, the Green Angel Initiative, the environmental initiative that is running in Greece, came up with a full list of recipes for producing natural cleaning solutions as an alternative to chemical products. In the BK center in Athens, all chemical detergents have already been replaced with these natural cleaning products. We encourage all centers to experiment with those. 

For more info, the full list of recipes, plus cleaning tips & suggestions, please visit:

http://www.greenangelinitiative.org/2013/07/homemade-alternative-cleaning-solutions.html

 

 

 

One Question and One Meal
BK Environment Initiative for 2013

Dear Centre Co-ordinators, many Greetings from the Green Team,

We have good news to share that in the National Coordinators meeting in Shantivan October 2012 there was a unanimous positive response on an environmental commitment for the Brahma Kumaris worldwide 2013. We thank the RCs for their support on this.

All NGOs who participated in the UN conference on sustainability Rio + 20 in June 2012, were asked to make a commitment. What should the BKs commitment be? After many sharing's in the Green Team, the RCs and NCs, the following has been decided:

ONE MEAL

We encourage all Brahma Kumaris students and teachers to "skip a meal" per week, or for those who can't due to health reason, to keep a non-dairy day per week.
 
It was suggested that the money saved from this, can be collected in a box at the centre for the solar energy development in the organisation.  For 2013 it will go the Solar Power Plant in Shantivan "India-One".

Each centre posts the Brahma Kumaris Environmental Commitment on their notice board. It will encourage everyone to reflect and act upon the five main attitudes that support an environmentally friendly management of the centres:
Living with Simplicity - Buying Compassionately – Using Economically – Learning Continuously – Sharing Generously.

The designed poster for the notice board and the full policy can be downloaded from our webpage; it has been put at the first opening page to make it easy to find:
www.environment.brahmakumaris.org

ONE QUESTION

What should we be doing for the next phase of the BK Environment Initiative?

We would like to ask all of you, our large BK community, for your ideas and suggestions. And we will share the results with you,

Please send your answer to:
environmentblog@bkwsu.org

Many thanks for your commitment and co-operation,

BK Green Team