Table of Content
Happy Diwali Greetings From the Austrian Family
28 October 2019
Happy Diwali from Didi Sudesh & Family in Germany
28 October 2019
Diwali Greetings from Sister Jayanti and UK Family
28 October 2019
Dear Jewels of Light,
Lots and lots of Diwali greetings on this very special day. We wanted to send you greetings on the day itself rather than before or after.
I know that with Baba and the family, each one has a lot of light in their hearts and in their souls and it's going to be a very beautiful, magical New Year in which we will see God's amazing task unfold at Sangam Yuga.
With all good wishes.
In Baba's sweet remembrance,
Sister Jayanti and the UK Family
Emotional Well-Being Program Held at Inner Space, Wembley, 20th September
5 October 2019
This evening event was organized by Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust in collaboration with and hosted by Inner Space, Wembley. There were over 75 present. It included powerpoint presentations from two NHS Talking Therapy CBT practitioners in Brent: Ozkan Gedik and Priya Rajendran, who explained their work and how this supports people with mental health issues. The evening also included some spiritual insights on the theme of how to achieve emotional wellbeing by European Director of the Brahma Kumaris, Sister Jayanti. The panel discussion was facilitated by Ketan Sheth, Councillor for Tokyngton, Wembley Hill & Wembley Park in Brent and Chair of Brent Council’s Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee.
BK Daxa Shah, coordinator of Inner Space, Wembley welcomed everyone to this high street branch of the Brahma Kumaris, UK. A place that has been serving the local multicultural population for over 23 years by teaching Raj Yoga meditation as a way to experience inner peace and develop a positive approach to life.
Sister Daxa welcomed The Mayor of Brent, Cllr Ernest Ezeakughi and everyone present to an evening on this relevant aspect of our lives, emotional wellbeing. The Mayor mentioned that this subject is a ‘dominating discussion in our media and amongst families’ as we live in this fast paced and technological culture, in which there is little time to ‘stop and relax’. He proudly reminded everyone that Brent’s population is made up of over 335,000 people from many cultures, religions and ethnicities with over 149 languages spoken in its schools. ‘Despite the diversity, as a councilor and Mayor what I see is unity’. Yet he also recognized we need to give ourselves time to think about our spiritual and emotional wellbeing.
A lawyer by profession, who also sits on a number of public bodies, including as Lead Governor of the CNWL NHS Foundation Trust, Ketan Sheth facilitated and introduced the panel. In his introduction he reminded everyone that next year, 2020, Brent will be London Borough of Culture. He asked the question .....are Brent’s people happy? He mentioned that the challenges of experiencing good emotional health are different at different stages of life and can be affected by what we do. In Brent’ we are promoting what we can do to feel good at any stage of our life. Be active, take notice, keep learning and give....These are simple steps but they can profoundly affect our wellbeing.’
Ozkan Gedik (senior high Intensity CBT Therapist), with great enthusiasm, led everyone through a presentation to understand the roots of anxiety and how, ‘although it can be a useful feeling, it can cause distress when excessive and get in the way of normal everyday tasks and prevents us from doing what we would like to do’. He explained the vicious cycle of anxiety and suggested some relaxation techniques: involving controlled breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, visualizing a peaceful scene or image, meditation, yoga or gentle exercise, calming music. For the vicious cycle of depression which can also interfere with someone’s life significantly, his work supports by setting up activity schedules, even if the feeling to do is not there. He emphasized that this is the way to reverse the cycle, and to not let ‘low mood’ dictate what we do....to do it anyway and the motivation will follow. He also noted that ‘a balanced life requires the routines, the necessary and the pleasurable’
Priya Rajendran, CBT therapist, working in the community promoting Talking Therapies across Brent then spoke about IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme) and mentioned that in the past year over one million people have access the IAPT services. She also noted how Brent Talking Therapies Service offer a range of support, some of which can be accessed online, over the phone for direct self referral or through a GP. Priya gave an understanding of CBT...’what we think
and do affects the way we feel’... and CBT (Cognitive and Behavioural Therapy) helps people to change their thoughts and behaviours to feel better. She mentioned that counselling is a talking therapy that is reflective and helps to adjust to life changes. She gave the following contact for self referral for people resident in Brent: Telephone 02082063924 or www.cnwltalkingtherapies.org or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sister Jayanti has over 50 year’s meditation experience and is an author and highly respected international speaker, touching the hearts of many around the world with her profound insights on spiritual solutions to everyday problems. She plays a lead role in the Brahm Kumaris Environmental Initiative and assists the overall co-ordination of BK activities in over 100 countries. See points below from her sharing:
- 99% CBT fits in with our thinking of spirituality. The central point I took from these interesting presentations was how thoughts, feelings and emotions impact behaviour and the reverse.
- The focus at the Brahma Kumaris is to help people firstly see what is going on in their minds. It is not so easy to change habits and patterns of behaviour, yet these are all connected.
- We help people see where thoughts are coming from, from the recording of their inner being and where has that come from? From actions. So patterns have been created within the self and out of that comes thinking, feeling etc.
- Another element Raj Yoga meditation looks at is the ‘buddhi’, the intellect, this capacity to direct the mind and has the capacity to hold information and ‘filter’ what is important and the ability to discern what is beneficial or damaging.
- Meditation helps us to be selective with the quality of thought we use and connects them to feeling. We recognize that
the capacity to manage our thinking will determine the quality of our mood.
- In meditation we change the basis of identity away from the ‘external form’ to the ‘inner being’. The being that ‘I am’.
- When we understand we have a separate identity to the physical identity it makes a huge difference.
- We want to focus and concentrate but we get distracted by the past and anxious regarding the future. The intellect
acts as the ‘reins’ with which the ‘wild horse’ of the mind is tamed.
- To tame a horse it is done through loving attention, by whispering sweet things in their ears and then within a short
space of time a horse will do what you are asking of it and become loyal and obedient. The same with the mind. We give it sweet thoughts to think about and it can become our best friend. My mind is part of me and I can choose how to direct and manage it, this is very empowering.
- We recognize that to look at what is going on in the mind is fundamental to wellbeing.
- Meditation also takes in aspects of positive psychology. We recognise that the more we generate and sustain positive
thoughts then our experiences and feelings will also be positive. Physlical health then improves with the ‘feel good’ factor and mental capacity is enhanced and relationships improve. When feeling good, our work efficiency is enhanced and concern for community increases and generally the world looks better!
- What happens in meditation to make this happen? Meditation tells me that the inner being has certain natural positive tendencies and if I can connect with the inner being I can experience these in a natural way. When I don’t, I lose touch with that resource within the self.
- To do this we need moments and minutes of silence and stillness for the self . We need ‘me’ time to pause and connect.
- When we take the time to go inside we feel the silence and peace which is within our own inner world. We realise there is a store of love within the inner being.
- When we access this beauty within the self we can take charge of our behaviour and as we begin to do this we begin to see solutions and not just problems.
• The conditions of the world today are very strange. But we can do something about the self and then maybe our contribution to the world will be a positive one.
This was followed by a lively Q&A session with the three panelists before Sister Jayanti led a meditation on Peace (See below) and then thanks were given by Sister Daxa to the speakers and to Ketan’s motivational drive to make the event happen and thoughts for more events to come.
Both feet on the ground so the body is balanced and back straight so alert....Take a deep breath.....I am going to share thoughts and invite you to follow:
I relax my feet, legs, my back, shoulders, arms and hands, my neck, my face and now I go on an inner journey and watch my thoughts......in this atmosphere of calm enquiry and learning...my mind feels calm, my thoughts are not too scattered, moving along quietly....but as I watch my thoughts their speed slows down and now I can select one thought. I select the thought of peace. I hold peace in my mind...I reflect on peace....and begin to feel peaceful...peace feels natural and comfortable...I begin to get a sense that peace is part of me and not separate from me. .....I am peace...peace is my natural state of being and who I am...going within and inside deeper and deeper...I realise that I am a being of peace...and peace radiates out into the room....and out even further beyond...holding peace in my mind....allows my whole body to return to a state of harmony....holding peace in my mind...vibrations of peace reach my family and friends. Peace reaches all forms of life....peace reaches the elements of nature...Enjoying this experience of peace, I resolve to keep this feeling, this inner awareness of peace even as I come back to things I need to do in the here and now....I can stay connected with the self and keep this peace......
Janamashtami with Sudesh Didi at GCH
2 September 2019
With a beautiful set of a young Krishna on a swing and an audience of approx. 280 people
Sister Jaymini introduced this happy celebration of Sri Krishna’s birthday. She reminded everyone how 5,000 years later, this birth is still celebrated with a lot of splendour. We say the birthday of Kirshna is a great day and he embodies the art of happiness and harmony and Sister Sudesh will share the significance of this and why it is Every mother would like a child like him. Everyone would like a relationship with such a being’.
Vasantha performed a Bharatnatyam dance with great joy and intoxication with thoughts of Sri Krishna.
Sister Jaymini introduced Sudesh Didi as a senior teacher of the BK’s who travels and serves tirelessly as a beautiful nightingale, always churning the spiritual knowledge and taking everyone into the experience of her sharings....
Please see points shared by Sudesh Didi below
- Just as a seed is silent it has potential. The seed can give rise to a huge tree that bears fruit. When there is difficulty we say it is the fruit of our actions but when there are elevated actions there is the feeling of success.
- It is remembered the birth of Sri Krishna was in a jail....but what was the power. The father was able to carry him out of the jail to safety.
- The impact of the soul on matter is an internal power that has an effect on matter.
- Light never fights with darkness. On the one hand there is the dark night but then it is a matter of a second that the light comes on with a switch. So is my personal power switched on or is current not able to get
through due to some leakage of waste or negative?
- Religions have become corrupt and the state of the soul has become degraded over time
- God’s great versions come when there is extreme irreligiousness in the ancient land of Bharat, when religion
has lost its power.
- The reality of the soul is living truth. There is fearlessness in living the truth and in this is bliss. This switches us from darkness to light.
- Krishna means...one who attracts the mind, and it was the light of attraction within him that is remembered. The beautiful and benevolent one. The One who attracts our heart through the Murli, the flute.
- One name he has is Shyamsundar, meaning the ugly and the beautiful one and this refers to him as coming into the cycle of day and night.
- The Gita is remembered as the wisdom given by God. Spirituality was imparted when the parents of Krishna were in the jail...the ancestor souls of the deities are remembered.
- The One who gives this knowledge is beyond the corporeal form. He is The Beautiful and Truthful one. The Benevolent one
- The praise of Sri Krishna is sung with many names yet he is the same deity.
- Bharat is remembered as the land of abundance. From plentiful it became empty....loveful and blissful to
miserable. With righteousness again the power of truth is expressed.
- It was fear and attachment that put Krishna’ parents in jail. Attachment doesn’t allow us to move. In the
name of love, attachment and control create problems.
- With the ability to realise the self we can learn about the cycle of time...Where have I come from and what is
my purpose in life. To see the soul in the three aspects of time, to spin the cycle of self realisation is a great
- In the Gita there are the armies of the Kauravs and Pandavs. The births of the kauravs were based on
jealousy. There are many stories around this. Those who are attracted to wealth and possessions, position
and power and don’t want God.
- This is how the story of the Mahabharat and the Gita begins. Duryodan came to Sri Krishna and Arjuna.
Krishna asked Arjuna what is the reason for his visit but Duryodan wanted to speak first and asked for power and wealth. But Arjuna said he wanted God. Amongst the Kauravs and Pandavs there are the Aryans, the civilised. Arjuna didn’t want a battle.
- The Battle between the Kaurav’s and Pandavs is shown as a huge battle. It is the story of the battle on this field of action, on this planet....where both armies are present.
- The knowledge of the Gita is shared on the battlefield. All of us are on this field of battle. Those who simply wish to attain God belong to the Pandav Army. They are ones who take birth through spiritual understanding. There are the two aspects of the soul...the dark side and the light side. Knowledge is called light. Ignorance is called darkness.
- In order to destroy or end darkness God has to come to give us the light of knowledge. When there is this Mahabharat War happening all kinds of souls... There were only a handful of Pandavs.
- It is remembered that Sri Krishna ‘stole’ butter – what is this about assomeone so royal could steal? ..if we through introversion churn spiritual knowledge we experience ‘the essence’, the ‘butter’. God says that He shares the deep significance with those who listen and this happens in an incognito way.....’stealing’ is what is remembered by this.....taking the pure, gentle understanding and bringing pure qualities into life....
- It is the power of purity that attracts. The pure love and feeling and ability to ‘steal’ virtues....to do something quietly and without any show. Those who had power to imbibe virtues (the gopes and gopis), became his companions and played with him.
- As we realise we are the soul we can let go of the old clothes of the body and we become detached from the costume. The Supreme Soul is teaching us to let go of the consciousness of the body.
- God teaches us to focus our attention on light. The soul is light. There are many more stories of Sri Krishna celebrated in the form of rituals.
- We see him on the swing, sweet with all virtues and full with qualities.
- To transform and increase our qualities in life is an art. To become doubly non-violent is to become free
from lust and anger and any violence whatsoever.
- Sri Krishna praise is as the doubly non-violent one.
- Vishnu is remembered as the dual form of Lakshmi and Narayan. Ones who change from ordinary woman
- God comes in an ordinary old body, Brahma, to establish purity again in the world
- He establishes the land of Truth. We need Him at this time, we need power in order to conquer Maya and
learn how to spin the discus of self realisation.
- In order to destroy doubt and ego, Hanuman is remembered with the mace. One who imbibes spiritual qualities and has both authority and humility is like Hanuman. Self realisation is the power that destroys negativity.
- Through ones own powerful existence. When there is a sweet fragrance the bad odour is removed. The mace is a symbol of victory. We are the victorious souls who have come into the rosary of victory and are described as an army.
- To develop our lives spiritually we need first to live like a lotus, in this body conscious world, in the bog in which there are all the vices, the dirt of lust, greed, anger, ego, attachment....
- In every image of the deity they show the image of the lotus flower....the image of detachment. We are becoming conquerors of attachment and doubt also will subside. When there is faith in the intellect it is remembered there isvictory.
- On the battlefield God Himself gives knowledge and at this time there is a need for knowledge. God Himself has to come to bring the day.....when human beings become full with vice the battle happens now. We are battling internally and others for property, authority and power.....Everyone is on some field of battle.
- The aim is to be victorious in the battle by staying in the original religion of the self by listening to His knowledge. Then we can stay in strength whilst coming into interaction with others. It is an internal war.
- When we praise One let us make that praise the decoration of our own lives and then we can swing in the
swing of supersensuous joy, and experience ‘the butter’ of the virtues.
- We need knowledge to remove sorrow. One who listens to knowledge is Arjuna.
- The Supreme Father, the One who is beyond the physical form and is The Being of Light imparts the
knowledge to him.
- Sri Krishna has love for the Shivaling....He became Sri Krishna through his love of The Supreme Father.
- In the scriptures the spirituality was lost as ritual took over. So now God brings the spirituality behind the
stories back. Shiva actually gives knowledge to human souls. We say ‘Manmanabhav’....direct and connect your mind to God and imbibe divine sanskars. So the first knowledge of the Gita is that we are souls.
- When the soul is in the body it is a human being and when it is dead the body becomes a corpse.
- So various names are given to the chariot
- Sister Jaymini thanked Sudesh Didi, as a mine of knowledge and then DADI JANKI graced the stage with her presence, to enjoy the ‘gopis’ dance beautifully performed by students of Raja Yoga, and to share her vibrations of peace with the gathering and give drishti to each one as they took toli and blessings.
Rakhi Greetings from Sister Jayanti and the UK family
19 August 2019
Report from Good Mood Food 28th July 2019 at GCH
2 August 2019
With over 100 present BK Jagruti Patel and BK Minal Patel welcomed and using a skit, explained how complicated life has become with different diets and no definition of ‘normal’. ‘Do we live to eat or eat to live?’ ‘Happiness and smiling is the most important ingredient in our life’. The importance of a sattvic diet, a pure diet was explained. In Ayurveda this sort of diet is used for healthy living and keeping the mind clear and this sort of diet is important for developing a state of higher consciousness. This is not just a vegetarian diet, but food rich in Prana (the universal life-force that gives life to all sentient beings like fresh fruit and veg). They also placed an emphasis in understanding the power of choice and meditation.
To warm the gathering up they asked everyone to consider what fruit or veg that makes them feel good and four aspects why. They were then asked to act as different vegetables! Followed by the consideration as to what they enjoy about cooking. There were 4 short cookery demonstrations throughout the afternoon; first it was BK Rosemary Turbeville-Smith who shared her recipe for HAPPINESS in an apricot slice’ . (Please see link below for recipe details.). ‘Happiness can come from simplicity and this recipe is simple and doesn’t induce any stress, which could affect your cooking’. ‘Happiness is also nourishment’.
BK Matthew Earle shared an inspiring story of how he became a vegetarian aged 30. “Making the decision to become vegetarian is not necessarily a moral decision, but it feels great to eat food that is conducive with peace. Subtle changes in diet can have an effect on our thinking. As we learn to meditate we understand how food can have impact on what we feel”. Accepting or declining food though needs to be done with virtue and good feeling.
BK Manju Patel created UNITY in making a healthy Uppam – a savoury snack, by using a variety of spices and unifying them to create a unique taste. She demonstrated ‘unity’ with BK Laxmi and emphasized understanding peoples' specialties when cooking together. She reminded everyone that ‘cooking our own food is safer because we know what vibrations are going in the food and what ingredients are going in the food’.
After tea there was a meditation in sending good feeling to the body and sharing it with those around, before BK Egils moved with CALM whilst making coconut chutney and sauerkraut. He shared how there is so much misinformation about food, and that fat you eat is the fat you wear. Eating a plant-based diet will see dramatic improvements in health, but also exercising helps as “you can never outrun your mouth”! Potatoes don’t make you fat, it’s the things you put on them that make you fat. So you need to be aware of what you are cooking with to improve your diet. We feel dissatisfied after eating due to not feeding the body the right foods. Aim to avoid oil and sugar. Coconut water is soothing for the gut. Green chilies are good for your digestion. Fermented vegetables are seen as “alchemy foods”, because you get enzymes which are created in the process of fermenting.
Another inspiring story from BK Ami Patel, who shared how people opt to eat food that is readily available to them, because it is simply easier. It is really important to find a balance in life, especially in family life. A great tip is to plan your meals in advance, because if you don’t it may result in you becoming demotivated and affect your food whilst cooking. She could see an improvement in her son’s outlook on life when there was a shift in his diet!
BK Afsoon Parsi demonstrated LOVE with an Iranian stew and says she holds the question ‘ who am I cooking for’ as she prepares her food with love and care. The MCs shared more considerations to those gathererd: What is the kindest thing I can do for myself today that makes me feel good? And What is the kindest thing I can do for myself in regards to my cooking and eating routine?
BK Jaymini Patel offered her thoughts and how what is happening in the mind is very closely connected to the food we eat. She explained the importance of meditation in our routine ‘as meditation allows the thoughts in the mind to really focus on the powerful Source, The Divine. Happiness is something that everyone wants and cooking can bring us happiness, as we cook with happiness it is put into the food and those who receive it will feel it. Food binds us, “when we eat together, we stay together’. She encouraged everyone to implement the practice of using virtues in cooking, to improve wellbeing. She explained ‘traffic control’ and pausing in silence to choose benevolent thoughts that creates power in the mind. This discipline of the mind is known as meditation. The mind is constantly at work, so choose the thoughts you feed your mind. As you look inwards, find the best energy and abundance of powers you can use in your cooking. We give “drishti, good feelings, to the water and food we eat and this energises the molecules and we feel this after. It is like grace in Christianity and people invoke the divine, higher energy to thank Him for the food that we eat.
She explained how to offer food- a practice that many spiritual places follow is blessing food before eating it. When you eat sattvic food (energy of truth) it will have an impact on your mind and your body and you will experience the vibrations of happiness and love.
Sister Jaymini then offered food ‘ bhog’ together and shared a meditation commentary.
The MC’s closed the afternoon with thanks and appreciation to those who participated and those who came.
Report and Video from Spirituality in Society: A Conversation between Christiana Figueres and Sister Jayanti, 6.7.2019
14 July 2019
Click on video image to play
This special event was to mark the Mayor of London’s first Climate Action Week. Sonja Ohlssen, who had come from Denmark to MC the event, welcomed everyone warmly. Sonja introduced Christiana Figueres and Sister Jayanti as two natural leaders in inner and outer transformation and change. She emphasised how important it was to have such events that have the potential to ignite both our capacity to dream but also our capacity to “get things done”. Sister Shivangi then sang a song: Together We Can Change the World which provided a very upbeat and inspirational start to the evening.
Next Sonja invited Christiana and Sister Jayanti to take the stage and begin their 40 minute dialogue. Friends since 2013 when they met at a Climate change Conference in Bonn, it was very striking to see the very warm and respectful relationship that so obviously existed between the two speakers.
Responding to Sister Jayanti’s opening question about how the inner and outer worlds connect and work together, Christiana felt that climate change was “the best crisis we have created” in terms of the potential for inner learning. “And the best way not to waste it is to take on the challenge of going inside and discovering who we truly are”. So the learning has to do with regenerating the idea of we are and the way we ‘turn-up’ in the world. Quoting Einstein, Christiana suggested we cannot solve the crisis if we are stuck in the same mindset that created it in the first place. Sister Jayanti also emphasised the opportunities inherent in the current situation by likening it to when a person develops a physical illness and how it can make them look inside to see if there is a connection between their mental or spiritual state and what is manifesting in the body. Sister Jayanti felt that the “inner battery” of the soul has become discharged and that this was being reflected in the world around us. To remedy this we need not only to co-operate together but also to take the help of the Divine. When we connect with the Divine then regeneration can happen through our own personal transformation which increases our capacity and energy to take positive action in the world.
Christiana then quoted David Attenborough who recently announced that “the Garden of Eden is no more”. She therefore stressed our responsibility to create a new vision of the planet and to clarify how we want to be in relation to this new vision. Christiana emphasized that we need to create “a garden of intention”. Then we have the responsibility to co-create the next chapter of that garden. Although we need to honour our grief for what we have done to the planet, it is important to move on from that and use it as ‘fertiliser’ to generate a new attitude or response. Christiana had once been staying on a farm and had gone outside to take a break from some difficult issues only to be faced with a large pile of manure! However she then noticed that at the top of this pile, a beautiful sunflower was growing out of it. This she felt gave a wonderful message: that with intentionality we can coax the sunflower and understand the pile of manure is the means by which the sunflower can grow.
Sister Jayanti also emphasised the importance of being clear about the intention behind any action as this is a key concept in the law of karma. By creating a pure, positive elevated intention she felt that we can recreate the Garden of Eden.
Sister Jayanti stressed the cyclical nature of life and how after the darkness comes the light. So it was important for us to have the intention not just to save the planet but to co-create the Garden through our everyday attitudes and actions towards ourselves, our neighbours and the natural world. Christiana echoed that when we change our attitudes in a deep way, the “impossible becomes possible, likely and even unstoppable!” She defined optimism as the capacity to see beyond what is physically visible to us right now and to be ‘stubborn’ in the face of obstacles. “If the door closes then where is the window?” In this way we can find the next step forward. “If it’s for the common good, then we’d better be stubborn!” Sister Jayanti also felt that in order to see beyond the limited we needed to step into our spiritual identity and then we can hold the vision of a new reality and begin to create it.
Indeed, Christiana felt that part of our job is to help people get out of ‘the box’ of limited vision. She gave a wonderful analogy of when a child is learning to walk, it can get very frustrated because it cannot envision what is beyond the current reality (or the box) of only being able to crawl. But the parent is able to stand outside ‘the box’ and hold the vision of the inevitable transition. So it is important for us to hold our mind open to what is possible. Sister Jayanti agreed that by being in the stage of the observer, I become the script writer of the role I’m playing. Then I can detach, expand my perspective and see the bigger picture. With this expanded vision of reality, I can make the best choices.
Christiana went on to say that feeling like I’m stuck in the box and that someone is to blame for that can also lead to playing a victim role, which can end up as a never ending victim-perpetrator dynamic. The only way to stop this, she said, is to take a step back and take full responsibility to recognise that I do not have to participate in that anymore. Then Christiana shared a very personal story demonstrating how what’s going on in our personal lives inevitably spills into other contexts. The setting was the negotiations for the Paris Agreement in 1992 and the proceedings had reached a stalemate. After a meditation, Christiana had seen clearly how she had been perceiving herself as a victim of the breakdown of her marriage and that she was carrying that dynamic into her work role. Once she was able to extract herself from the victim role then she was able to recognise that she had the power to define her own reality. Interestingly not long after, a solution was found that led to the historic agreement.
After a very lively and engaging discussion, Sister Jayanti suggested a pause for meditation and spoke a commentary reflecting on many of the themes that had emerged. Afterwards, Sonja thanked the speakers for their inspiring conversation and then opened up for questions. The evening closed with a very moving violin solo and another beautiful commentary from Sister Jayanti in which she asked us to create a vision of a world of truth, justice and joy in which all beings are safe, secure and have a life of love and beauty. She left the audience to reflect on what we would need to do inside in order to help create such a world.
BKs Attend the 36th Anniversary of the Peace Pagoda in Vienna
14 July 2019
Dearest Divine Brothers and Sisters, Greetings of Peace from Vienna.
Please find below a short report about our attendance the 36th anniversary of the Peace Pagoda in Vienna by Japanese Buddhist Society. The event was a very good chance to meet with spiritually interested souls and friends. We also connected to a Buddhist munch again of the Buddhist Society who cooperated in 1986 at Million Minutes of Peace Project.
With all our love and good wishes from Vienna,
In Baba’s sweetest Yaad Pyar,
Rikki, Rainer, Stephi & Baba’s family in Austria
FEELING SAFE with Sister Jayanti, June 29, GCH
25 June 2019
Opening with an echo from last Sunday’s event at Wembley Arena, Sister Claudia danced and demonstrated the power of the wings of faith and peace to Lucinda Drayton’s ‘Tiny Flower’ song, beautifully setting the scene for the evening’s exploration of ‘Feeling Safe’ with Sister Jayanti.
MC BK Nik welcomed and introduced the evening with 300 present and a further 200 joining online. Nik first mentioned how we ‘live in turbulent times, with a lot of anxiety and apprehension and so how do we create a life ‘feeling safe’. He invited everyone to turn their neighbour and to ask each other what pulled them to come to this event.
Nik invited Sister Jayanti to the stage. Below are some points from her talk on this subject so relevant to everyone’s lives today. Answering such questions as: ‘Where is a ‘safe’ place today?’, ‘ How can we feel safe?’, ‘Is it possible to create a safe place for the self by simply using the power of the mind?’, Sister Jayanti also shared reflections throughout the evening to take people into their ‘inner sanctuary’, their ‘safe space’ within themselves.
- • The opposite of fear is love, not just safety. It can change a situation from danger to safety.
- • Positive psychology has been a subject of a lot of research in recent years. Before that psychology, for over 100 years, dealt with negative feelings and anger issues etc. When these feelings come, they feel like a sledge hammer and we lose touch with what we are saying and doing. These feelings are strong and last for a period of time. Yet often the experiences of happiness, joy and love are very transient.
- • The memory track carries our experiences and holds deep imprints within the self. Memories of pain, fear and trauma are not just in the mind and memory but also registered in the physical body, our physiology. Memories of fear are carried within the physical cells and can be activated when there is a trigger. Often this happens in a subconscious way - flight or fight reflexes show us this.
- • The subject of fear and insecurity is a huge subject. We are all exposed daily to bad news flashing around the world that are magnified by the media and the fastest growing business in London is security.
- • What can we do? Take practical precautions: What am I watching and what am I ‘consuming’ and exposing myself to? What is going to nourish the mind? What is going to help us feel secure and safe and warm inside?
- • A plant based diet is non-violent and safe. When we eat meat, we consume the antibiotics and the fear of that animal.
- • It all depends on our thoughts. And it starts with a few steps… we can create feelings of warmth and safety by directing our thoughts to the ‘sacred space within’ that only the self has access to.It can be difficult to keep the mind quiet and still and it is a reality that it takes training and consistent practise. We can start by returning to this centre point of our existence and by taking pauses to allow the mind to slow down.
- • An African philosopher recently shared: ‘When there is an emergency, a crisis, slow down’! People are often hurt by panic more than by the situation itself. When we allow the mind to slow down we are allowing the possibility of clarity in our thinking. When the mind is having many thoughts in different directions there can be confusion. We have to tone up the muscles of the mind just as we exercise the muscles of the body, in order for it to work well. So we have to practise this ‘slowing down’.
It takes attention and effort to ‘climb up’ in our thoughts. It is easier to slide down and not even realise it. It has to be a conscious thought to elevate my thinking and go beyond fear. For example, maybe I am given a diagnosis of a disease, I can choose my response to this. I can get scared or I can calmly say: ‘It is going to be....click here for full report.
Click on above image to play the video
Event Report for SSE Wembley Arena 23.6.2019 - Fast Forward to New Possibilities with BK SHIVANI
25 June 2019
Fast Forward to New Possibilities
An Evening with BK Shivani
The SSE Arena, Wembley, London 23rd June 2019 6-8pm
Held at London’s iconic Wembley Arena, this was BK Shivani’s second large event, after Morningside Arena,
Leicester, in the UK part of her Awakening Tour, which sees her travel to many European cities.
As The SSE Arena, Wembley, filled with 7,500 people and multi-thousands more joining online, an atmosphere of quiet anticipation built up. The stage was projected through huge screens and, as everyone entered, powerful images of our beautiful planet were shown with slogans to quieten everyone’s minds as they settled into their seats: ’The power of silence is the way to extinguish the fire of anger’…
There was a palpable feeling that something new and fresh had arrived in the hall and Clarke Peters brought everyone in to listen as his powerful bass voice sounded out ‘Om’ and he masterfully intertwined it with the song Amazing Grace ‘I once was lost and now I am found’ Om ….was blind but now I see….Om ….’Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home…Om’. Thiru Seelan danced and weaved harmonious loops with ribbons behind him and a beautiful fusion of culture was created. There was a fluid transition into an angelic dance and Lucinda Drayton then moved to the stage in front of a screen of butterflies and continued the contemplation singing : ‘It’s not my mistakes that tell you who I am, but what I do with them that I will become….I will rise’ Again she took the audience into ‘Om’ before beckoning Sister Jayanti to centre stage. Sister Jayanti welcomed the gathering – ‘The invitation is to move together into a higher dimension… a space in which we can imagine and visualise; experience a world of peace, truth, dignity and beauty….is it possible?
Sister Jayanti lovingly introduced BK Shivani as ‘the pilot who is going to carry us from this space to that other dimension and show us how we can create that world and make it a reality. We can all be co-creators of that new reality with the power and amazing grace that comes from the Divine. We are going to experience that world here tonight. We are going to take away tips and tools to make it a daily reality in our lives.’
Sister Shivani is in the UK! GCH Webcast of her classes and events: Thursday, 20th - Monday, 24th June
21 June 2019
Om Shanti and greetings!
Thursday, 20th June evening, 7-9pm
Public event: Leicester, Morningside Arena - 'Think Right...no matter what'
Saturday, 22nd June morning, 7.15am
Class in English
Sunday, 23rd June morning, 7.15am
Class in English
Sunday, 23rd June evening, 6-8pm
Public event: London, The SSE Arena, Wembley - 'Fast forward to new possibilities'
Monday, 24th June evening, 7.30-9.30pm
Public event: Manchester, The Lowry - 'Be calm Be kind Be happy'
Below are some useful links:
The public events can also be viewed on https://www.brahmakumaris.uk/live
Sunday, 19th May UK BK Gathering with Dadi Janki
27 May 2019
Please see below Sister Jayanti's words on last Sunday and the link and doc to the official report with photos.
"Sunday, 19 May, programme with the UK BK family was spectacular. The official report has been circulated, (is in the link and doc below) but just to add that as soon as Dadi entered the Hall, and saw the gathering of over 1000 BKs, she started smiling and beaming. Sister Lucinda sang as Dadi came down the aisle with many Brahmins sharing rose petals in front of her, so it was literally a carpet of rose petals for Dadi. Mandaben was the MC for the event. After Dadi sat down, a video was played of the Dadis in celebration, exchanging a lot of love with each other, and so Dadi’s smile continued to broaden.
Sisters then came onto the stage to do a dance with upbeat music, and it was amazing to see Dadi tap her feet and start moving her hands. Hansaben then got her up and she was dancing in front of the whole gathering. Her sharing was of pure love and joy. Everyone was so happy seeing Dadi so happy, so it was really a spectacular afternoon."
Click here to download full report.
Dadi Janki Ji Meets the BK family at Grand Meridian, North London on 19 May
22 May 2019
UK BK Family gathering to meet DADI JANKIJI at MERIDIAN GRAND, LONDON
Unity and Love
19th MAY 2019 2-4pm
The UK family and guests from overseas gathered together at the Meridian Grand venue in North London. The hall was transformed into a subtle space lit up with glass chandeliers and the stage beautifully decorated with large sprays of spring flowers in purples/lilacs, reds, whites and green and a large backdrop of a photo of Sakar Baba and Dadi Janki exuding joy
‘Can you feel the love tonight?’ played on the saxophone, by Emilio Cara pulled everyone’s attention after Brahma bhojan had been served and enjoyed. Master of Ceremonies, Sister Manda, welcomed the gathering: ‘ is there anywhere else you would rather be? This is the place, and this is the time and these are the people… with family and gathered to be with Dadi’ who is like an innocent child making us like she is: gentle, sweet simple, light and lovely!’
The warm welcome and atmosphere of silence and love drew everyone in,with over 1,000 present and with over 200 joining the live webcast from GCH and another 200 from around the UK and the world. ‘
Sister Suman presented the BK Shivani European tour, sharing that this project has two aims 1) to reach out to people to come and fill the venues and 2) ‘to get the buzz of the BK’s out to the country through the media: There are events in Leicester, Manchester and London in the UK. She reminded everyone that Shivaniben has become Baba’s instrument to benefit so many and she provides a message of hope and what she shares empowers people to deal with today’s world that is full of challenge. https://brahmakumaris.uk/Shivani
Dadi Janki made her way through the hall greeting and meeting many old friends and new. She was accompanied by Sister Jayanti and Hansaben, Deviben, Kumarbhai and Sachinbhai. Lucinda Drayton sang ‘tiny flower’ as Dadi reached the stage and Liuba Doga performed the angel dance to celestial sounds followed by Dipti Khatry and a group of 3 dancers welcomed Dadi with a vibrant medley of East and West music.
Sister Manda exclaimed with great appreciation: ‘Dadi how many times can we salute you? A million salutes to you’
Where have I arrived! Where has everyone come from? I am seeing everyone and I am dancing! My sweet Baba. I am Baba’s sweet baby. My heart has become so happy seeing everyone and everyone is going to receive Sindhi toli.
Om Shanti, Om Shanti, Om Shanti. What else is there to say: truth, purity, patience. When we have patience, there will be humility and sweetness. And we have 8 powers. What wonderful sisters and brothers! I am dancing and do I think about my heart and head! It is the heart that comes first, then the head and then the drishti. Once again, Om Shanti. Let there be soul consciousness. Everyone is good when there is soul consciousness. All here remain detached like lotus flowers. My job is to give drishti and yours (Jayantiben’s) is to give toli.
Now listen very carefully and peacefully. In the kalpa, this is a very beautiful scene. I am so happy to see this. You are obedient, faithful, trustworthy. We have come to Baba’s home. What is the promise we have made? That we will stay belonging to Baba. You are already Baba’s. We are Yours so where else are we going to go? Wherever I go, Baba will stay with me.
Sister Jayanti: Dadi you were asking: Who is more happy? We are - as you have left Madhuban and come to us. At this age you have taken this journey and come here. We give thanks to Baba, Dadi and Hansaben! They tell us in India that whenever Dadi returns from abroad, she comes back 10 years younger! She is saying that when she walks out she will dance down the aisle!
Is this what I should do? Leave the room dancing! Where do I take power from? From up above. What more can I tell you? Everyone is a family member. Baba, Murli and Madhuban. Have patience, oh mind. See your face in the mirror of your heart. My photo here is with Baba! We were very happy. I will tell you something in secret: when I first went out on service I had the thought that everyone should know what my Baba is like – they didn’t know and He is very sweet and lovely. UK is OK. Have patience, oh mind, your days of happiness are about to come. We have received so much happiness and bliss, Baba, by belonging to you. We have met the brothers and sisters of the whole world.
Sister Manda conducted a gift ceremony honouring Dadi and celebrating 45 years of Dadi’s service outside of Bharat and reminding everyone, ‘If Dadi wasn’t here we would not be here. Because you came to London in 1974 we are here. Dadi, you have served each one of us in our hearts, minds and intellects and you knew what we needed. You saw what we didn’t see and that is why we are here today.’ Sister Jaymini presented a glass angel symbolic of the clean, clear and sparkling angel Dadi is teaching everyone to be.
Brother Nick then presented Sister Jayanti with a gift to honour her 70th birthday and for so many years dedicated to spirituality and Baba. ‘Her sweetness, commitment, and dedication to Baba has been phenomenal. Sister Farah then presented Hansaben with a gift too, as, in Manda’s words’ ‘if it wasn’t for you, Dadi would not be here. How you manage is incredible! Imagine being Dadi’s mother! Catch the love and appreciation we all feel.
Dadi then shared silence and drishti whilst Sister Jayanti and Sister Jaymini shared toli with everyone. Lucinda sang ‘I will rise’ followed by a short video and Ratanbhai’s explanation the GRC project so far. (Here are the link and password. It can be viewed until 26.5.2019: https://vimeo.com/337120156 password: grc)
Click here to download full report.
Update on the Global Retreat Center (Oxford) Refurbishment Project
6 May 2019
Click here to download full report.
Sister Jayanti Speaks at the House of Commons London for the Launch of Dynamic Women's Foundation, 24th April
29 April 2019
Sister Jayanti was Chief Guest at the launch of the Dynamic Women's Foundation at the House of Commons, London on Wednesday 24th April. The event was organised by Sarah Jones MP for Central Croydon and Mayura Patel, Chairperson of the Croydon Hindu Council. Around 90 people attended and some key themes that emerged were:
- the need to include, consult and empower women,
- the impact of the emotions on the body,
- mental health and making time for the self and
- IT and women's leadership roles.
There was a Bharatnatyam presentation about expressing emotions and feelings through dance and five young women were honoured for their special services to the community.
(Left to right): Lade Olugbemi, Head and Convenor of NOUS Organisation (mental health), Charlotte Davies, Director of Fit 2 Learn, Sarah Jones MP for Central Croydon, Mayura Patel, Chairperson of Croydon Hindu Council, Sister Jayanti (3rd from right), Shubha Rao, Organisational Consultant and Ragusudha, Bharatnatyam performer.
Shiva Ratri – A Glimpse into God’s Personality: GCH, February 23
28 February 2019
MC Siddarth welcomed all to the great night of Lord Shiva as a celebration of welcoming God into our lives by knowing Him and drawing from His virtues and powers.
Shambhu – The Benevolent One
God the Father makes the children valuable and the Mother sustains them.
BK Paras (14) and BK Nicole (9) shared about God coming at the time of darkness to remove the unhappiness from His children. Paras saw God the Father as his Hero and once after repeating to himself, “I am a child of God and I am powerful,” he was able to hold on at a testing time and won a competition. Nicole called on God as Mother and was able to resolve tricky issues at school.
Somnath – the Lord of Nectar.
The Divine is the Ocean and yet the seed. Within the seed is merged the ocean, the total knowledge, the virtues and the powers.
BK Leza shared about God being as boundless as the ocean yet contained in a point that can easily be held in her thoughts bringing her back to her original self of peace and love.
BK Mira (who has performed around the world and who teaches the classical dance called Kathak) did a blissful dance between God the Point, and God the Ocean to the song: Ishwar se humne mulaqat ki hai
Bhagwan: The one who opens fortune (bhagya), the One who gives Life.
God is the Truth, the Living Being and the Embodiment of Bliss.
BK Nehulbhai told of a time of intense loneliness and extreme discomfort near the top of Mt Kilimanjaro in freezing conditions, thinking he would never make it to the top. In desperation he tapped into om shanti, shifting from the pain of the body to awareness of the soul. He was then able to connect to God’s strength, and enjoyed the exhilaration of reaching the top,
Amarnath: The Lord of Immortality
Dilaram – The Comforter of Hearts; the One who wins everyone’s heart.
BK Jayney sees God as her Hero, Guardian Angel and Best Friend who guides her on the right path to take, leaving her feeling calm, carefree and highly valued.
By recorded video, Sr Jayanti shared the significance of the widely celebrated sacred festival of Shiv Ratri. Shiva means the Benefactor, the Being of light, the Point and the Seed, but what is the significance of Ratri, the night?
The best way to express eternity graphically is through the traditionally understood cycle of the Golden, Silver, Copper and Iron ages. But the end of the Iron Age can’t just be the end. Because we believe in eternity, we know that the cycle moves back into the light of the Golden Age. How this happens is the secret of Shiv Ratri. God incarnates at a time of darkness, bringing light into the world. He enters the human world cycle, the drama, to play His role of liberating us from our sorrow, suffering, toil and trouble, which feels to us like the night.
When God brings the light back into the world, we have an awakening of ourselves as souls of light and, by using God’s light, we can prepare for the transformation of moving back into the Golden Age. At the beautiful festival of Shiv Ratri we honour this awakening. We feel that this is the 84th anniversary of Shiva’s incarnation into the world to transform it and so carry us to the Golden Age. It is a message hope, joy and great celebration.
Sr Indu, from Leicester, shared on the title: A Glimpse into God’s Personality. Are we to be satisfied with just a glimpse? Surly we would want more. And what about personality? Since God is not a person, where does He get a personality from? What are his qualifications and qualities that show his personality?
He is all knowing, the Ocean of Knowledge and He is the Benefactor, in His presence there is nothing but benefit.
When asked for blessings, God gives three things equally to all: Knowledge, Virtues and Powers, and when we use these three things, they work as blessings for us, so it is up to us to experience them.
A personality can only be experienced when it is in a body, just as a CD can only be played when in a CD player. So, God Shiva comes from above and enters the physical body of Brahma and uses it as an instrument to get the work done.
Here are some expressions of God’s personality:
Satyam – Truth; Shivam - his name, the Benefactor; Sundaram – Beautiful
Sat – the Truth; Chit – the Living Being; Anand – the Blissful One
Sat Shri Akal – Truth, Honour, Timeless One
In each of them the first word is Truth. His truth means that He is unchanging. Throughout the whole cycle He remains as He is. He doesn’t change. I the soul change. But God’s personality is completely unchanging.
We want to come into God’s light because it works like a laser and it burns away our negativity.
My physical body is made of the elements and so it demands these elements – water, air, minerals from the earth and the fire of energy. Just so, the soul demands – longs for – the virtues it is made from: love, peace, wisdom, truth, purity, power and bliss. We go to God for these virtues because, as the Ocean of Virtues, they flow freely from His abundance.
Someone wanted water in his little pot. The well was too small, as was the pond so he went to the lake, but he still wanted more, so he went to the ocean. However, his pot was the same size no matter how big was the water he filled up from. So even though God is the Ocean, what is my capacity to take? I need to work on my capacity to receive, to absorb and when I am full, I am able to give to others.
The main qualities of God’s personality are benefactor, bestower, truth and purifier. This is what He does all day long.
Sr Meera gave another celebration dance and the event ended with a guided meditation.
From Powerless to Powerful - Sunday, January 20 at GCH Program Report
27 January 2019
The evening then proceeded with an hour of silence from 6:30 pm. The silence was interspersed with meditation commentaries guided by Sister Jayanti and, also by music. There was ‘pin-drop’ silence in the hall throughout the hour as Sister Jayanti took the audience into the depth of peace, love and truth.
Approximately 150 people were present for this message of hope and to experience an hour of calm.
Arnold Desser introduced the evening by firstly telling a bit about himself as a meditator at Global House for over 20 years. He stressed that the world is “warming up” and it is not just what is happening in UK (referring to BREXIT). In introducing the topic – from Powerless to Powerful, Arnold took the audience through a visualisation exercise, asking them ‘to imagine a Cadbury’s Chocolate Orange and its segments and imagine 90 countries around the world at 6:30 pm local time, starting from India, that a light begins to shine; and zone after zone each is lit up with the power of meditation. Soon in our gathering, here in London we will add to the powerful radiation of light of peace to the world’, as he completed the visualisation. He introduced and invited Sister Jayanti on stage, stating that the evening event is made more special as it marks the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Founder, Brahma Baba.
Sister Jayanti has dedicated the last 50 years of her life to meditation, spiritual study, self-transformation and service to humanity. She is a pioneer advocate for the spiritual basis of caring for the earth and has been a presenter at the UN Climate Change Conferences since 2009.
Sister Jayanti greeted everyone with Om Shanti, the greeting of peace. She introduced the need for this hour of meditation for the world by stating that “our inner state impacts our outer state” and this does not just apply to our personal world but also collectively: ‘if a group of people can come together and hold the vibration of peace and love, then that vibration can benefit the world. This is really “expanding silence. In that silence connecting with the Divine, we will inevitably connect with the original qualities of the soul. She explained the term ‘drishti’ and how making eye contact has now become a popular activity, although it is something the BK’s have practised for 83 years.
On the Theme Powerless to Powerful, Sister Jayanti gave two reasons why many find it difficult to have powerful meditation. Both reasons relate to a lack in the capacity to discipline the mind in a way we would like to; and so, difficulty comes in our ability to focus and secondly to concentrate. We need a new vision/reality... an understanding of what needs to be done in the world. Negativity surrounds us in the form of anger, aggression, greed, ego. These drain us, leaving us powerless. She explained the idea of detachment and how through connecting with the Divine power, we can return to our own situation using the power of love and truth to deal with whatever comes in the way.
The evening then proceeded with an hour of silence from 6:30 pm. The silence was interspersed with meditation commentaries guided by Sister Jayanti and, also by music. There was ‘pin-drop’ silence in the hall throughout the hour as Sister Jayanti took the audience into the depth of peace, love and truth............ click here for full report with photos.
Baba's Remembrance Day at Global Cooperation House, London - report and photos
22 January 2019
The Golden Thread - 50 Years of Avyakt Sustenance
Yoga started at 3am in Baba’s room, transformed into the light of the subtle regions, and then Amrit Vela moved to the Auditorium, conducted by Brother Balwant, Sister Jayanti and Sister Maureen, with over 200 present. Toli and blessings were shared.
Murli was read by Sister Jayanti and in the combined, with translation on headphones, which gave everyone the feeling of Madhuban and everyone listening to Baba’s words together....in a surge of love...
Dadi’s video message followed and she shared her enthusiasm and thanks for 50 years of avyakt sustenance and Baba’s instrument for this, Dadi Gulzar. We are being moved forward with the attainments from the Father. We have received such a wonderful study and there is so much benefit through this and the sustenance of sweet Baba The vibrations are making everyone move ahead. When the heart is honest, the Lord is pleased and we are happy and prosper. Nothing is remembered, not even yesterday, just what we need to do right now. Keep emerging the power that comes from silence, as power that inspires is born through silence. Baba made me belong to Him. Baba has inspired me to be free from unnecessary things. The treasure of the Murli is in our hands. Baba’s words are wonderful and the heart is the box to keep these words safe. The comforter of Hearts is in our Heart....
Then a photographic tour of the four pilgrimage places in Madhuban from this morning was shared – showing the beautiful adornments of flowers, and the huge gathering at the Tower of Peace.
Download full report here.
Please visit this link to enjoy the photos:
Happy New Year from the French Family
2 January 2019