Table of Content
Youth Silence Retreat in Worthing March-April 2017 Summary
10 April 2017
On Friday 31st March to Sunday 2nd April 2017 the London youth had their third Silence retreat at Baba's magical Lighthouse Retreat Centre in Worthing. There were 16 youth present. The weekend went extremely well and all the youth took a lot of benefit. There were a few youth who came for the first time on the retreat.
The silence retreat was called "Be Bold Be Bodiless". The retreat started on Friday with personal sharings and pampering including Bapdada’s voice. Saturday began with an hour of reflection on four deep questions followed by table conversations and sharings. Then everyone had the chance to take part in a creative meditation commentary to experience bodilessness, everyone had to speak a few sentences of what Bapdada was saying to them.
Lunch time until 5pm was the main period of silence for everyone for themselves where everyone could spend time in silence on their own. This time could be used to create something that was experienced during the retreat for the family night of expression. Later there was Med Lab with three set of visualisation mediation on the self, subtle world and soul world. In the first mediation, everyone had the practical experience of being bodiless by letting go of the body by laying down on the floor like they were in a graveyard and had a real experience of just that.
Then we had a bhathi, 1 hour of silence, connecting with the flame and feeling the silence, seeing the first flame as the soul and the other flame as the divine, using the flames as a mirror for the self. A number of commentaries from Bapdada was read during the bhathi to experience bodilessness. After dinner we had an expressive family night where the youth did something out of their comfort zone which was artistic and creative like a song, poem, rap, jokes etc, everyone had fun and laughed and the lighthouse family joined in. On Sunday there was Drishti Circle, reflection on the beach and feedback. It was a busy weekend with lots of variety of activity for the mind and body including space for silence and an experience of true silence.
The retreat enabled people to become light-hearted and remind the self of their real self-respect. There was cleansing, and lots of reflection and realisations allowing a process of churning. It was an opportunity to focus on the self and go deep within and allow clarity and honesty with the self-leading to bodilessness.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and had some experience of silence. Some of the feelings expressed were: Light, rejuvenated, peaceful, inspired, focussed, relaxed, satisfied, content, blessed, clarity and the retreat allowed a shift to happen or the start of newness. Everyone enjoyed all the sessions especially the reflective time with the four questions and the conversations as the questions made an impact and gave a deeper understanding of the self and the creative meditation was very special and allowed the experience bodilessness. They also benefited from the Med Lab and the bhathi. The group want more silence retreats.
Overall the feeling of the whole retreat was of real ease and simplicity, they enjoyed the diversity of reflection, conversations, sharing and the creativity of the sessions and each other as well as each other’s company. Those who came the again felt that this retreat was well structured with variety which allowed the experience of silence to be unique and relevant to the topic. This retreat allowed newness with deep reflection and creativity, now others can practise bodilessness and self-respect. Everyone also felt the love and vibrations of the family.
It truly was a beautiful retreat and another special gift for the Youth from Baba himself.
Much love to all,
In Baba's Sweet remembrance,
GCH Youth Sustenance Group
Jenita, Karishma, Navin, & Minal
Video of Holi Event, Leicester
11 March 2017
Growing into Fullness’ International Women’s Day at GCH
16 March 2017
Growing into Fullness’
Celebrating International Women’s Day 2017
at Global Cooperation House
Sunday 12th March 2017 2-5.30pm
From the rapt attention and hushed tones in the room, The International Women’s Day celebration at Global Cooperation House, kept the audience (approximately 100 in total) fully engaged and mentally stimulated from the beginning to the end. Everyone applauded, laughed, nodded or stood to get better views as the program ensued.
Starting with a slide show showing 66 outstanding women from across continents, professions, arts, feats, and ages from AD to the current epoch. Examples such as Mary Magdalene, AD, follower of Christ; Ida B. Wells, 1862 – 1931, African-American journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, sociologist, feminist and early leader in the Civil Rights Movement; Lee Tai-Young, 1914–98 , Korea’s first female lawyer and first female judge; Dadi Janki, 1916 - ,Administrative Head of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University; Ann Frank, 1929 – 45 , the most discussed Jewish victim of the Jewish Holocaust; Jukuna Mona Chuguna, 1933 – 2011), indigenous Australian artist and writer having first received education when she was in her 50s; and the final slide was of Malala Yousafzai, 1997 –, Pakistani activist for education for women, and the youngest ever Nobel Prize Laureate.
MC BK Leza Scott-Riddell welcomed everyone to GCH and introduced the two artists:
BK Madhvi Lamba - a singer who faced many challenges from childhood to be able to sing, and not allowed to until she married. She became the first female singer to lead an Indian pop band in the U.K. in the late 70s, travelled to many countries, and sang and recorded with top singers from India.
BK Maria Arostegu, (Jos) - a self-taught artist originally from Spain, now working with a private company employing the physically and mentally impaired to do commissions. Jos worked throughout the programme first drawing an angel from a charcoal sheet, then another much larger work in colour depicting the three speakers and aspects of their stories they related.
BK Romina Melwani, formerly in the Finance sector and currently a nutritionist, was invited onto stage to introduce and facilitate the panel of three speakers:
Ravinder Kaur Nijjar, Chair of Religions for Peace UK Women of Faith Network, and a member of Religions for Peace European Council of Religious Leaders. Also an experienced educator, having for thirty-two years. She has worked in the interfaith field for over twenty-five years, and awarded the Scottish Asian Women’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.
Yuwa Aghedo, naturopath and experienced lecturer, qualified in Nutrition and Western herbalism, has a clinical practice in Knightsbridge, London. She is committed to helping her clients make sustainable choices. Her interest in feminism has led her to explore topics related to body image and women’s worth in society.
Philippa Blackham, former staff reporter and presenter of Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4, now works as an Interfaith Minister and Independent Celebrant. In addition, she co-ordinates activities for the Brahma Kumaris in the Welsh Borders as well as being part of the team for the national project, “100 Women of Spirit”.
The following three questions were asked by Romina:
Q1: What was the initial quest that led you to where you are today? What became your calling in life? Share some of your challenges, realizations and insights on your journey.
Ravinder: doesn’t think of herself as outstanding but just makes decisions to do or not to do something that impacted her. She was initiated into the Sikh faith aged 18; after marriage, she started classes for children, keeping her children involved in the faith; she studied and became a teacher but was always intent that her spiritual inner mind should be connected to God at all times; she saw an opportunity for community understanding of Sikhs and in 1999, the Scottish interfaith was launched. I believe that we should help at least one person in our lifetime then our presence on earth will have been fruitful.
Yuwa: Her journey started with her family dynamics because she didn’t grow up with either of her parents and had a big question on identity about who she was. So she travelled into world to see whom she could grow into, someone to mirror. What helped, is that she always had a strong connection to God and nature. She now has a passion to support people to regain wholeness, ‘when we are wounded in one area of life this is where we can find our freedom’. Her first degree was in psychology; now as a naturopath she looks at things holistically, mind-body-spirit and the emotional body…an emotional wound needs to be given as much attention as physical wounds because it pulls our attention. The key to growing into that fullness is the heart: our heart is the part that relates to every other human being. It is the part she protects no matter what happens, even when we don’t understand (here she became tearful in memory of her brother who died young). She has a sense of peace as her professional and personal life now complement each other.
Philippa: Growing up in a matriarchal family of women, she comfortably went along until she was hit with what she refers to as a “speed bump”, a life event that feels like a bad event and is a catalyst for change in your life. This happened when she learned at age 16 that she could not bare children. Her life plans to be an actress changed. She bought a ticket and a rucksack and went in search of her “authentic self” and to find God by travelling the world. Then in Kuala Lumpur, while in a store, she saw a jack-in-the box in which a point of light jumped out. On the box, were instructions to attend a free 7-day meditation course with the Brahma Kumaris. Here, she found what she was looking for. She went on to marry and adopt two children. She feels that the world needs us to be fully awake, fully connected to ourselves, and to our spiritual power source. It is the power and wisdom of the feminine qualities, that the world needs, not just women. Our journey as humans is to clear our baggage to be free of these things, which prevent us from feeling free and finding that true authentic voice within. We need to become channels for the way we’d like to see the world going forward and to become the best human being we are capable of becoming at this time. She says we play small, thinking we are not capable. So she quoted Oscar Wilde, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken!
Q2. What is your perception of wholeness? Can we ever regain that sense of wholeness – how would you perceive that?
Ravinder: She sees it as the development of her spiritual path and how she is moving towards the end, i.e., merging with the Lord. You need to move along knowing what is right and wrong. She feels that we won’t realise our potential in this lifetime but must move closer to God; and we mustn’t cause suffering to others in attempting to fulfil our fullness.
Yuwa: It means recognizing all of your being – mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional, ensuring that each day, we water all parts of our being that needs to be nurtured. Her perception of wholeness lies in the smallest particle,each part is everything. It’s about embracing our weaknesses because it’s like nature, we must honour our own rhythm.
Philippa: Wholeness…fake it until you make it; because your failings are self-evident and evident to others…it’s not a moment in time, it’s a journey.
Q3. How can we allow ourselves to feel that fullness when at times we are not feeling wholeness? What do we do at that point?
Ravinder: You need the suffering to remain connected to God. Those are the wobbly bits…You need the suffering to recognize what happiness is and to make the connection to God, to experience fullness.
Yuwa: It is having a sense of community...as women are gatekeepers…they inform each step of the cycle. Connection for her is dance…just movement, looking at the sky or being by the sea, and her women friends are important because they are supportive and natural.
Philippa: The thing, which means the most to me, is my connection to spirit. This is our original wound…the fall from God. We need to incorporate some practise in our life which helps bring back that connection. It is twofold: knowing myself so that I can know that connection to spirit, to the divine.
Question 4: Give one feminine quality you would like to share and take away?
Ravinder: An abundance of love!
Philippa: Think about the whole and think of “we”...how are we going to move forward? Women hold this quality of being able to see the whole.
Yuwa: We have to nurture. We need to keep the heart open to love, protect it and nurture it. It requires forgiveness…this is the key to being able to keep on loving.
After Tea Madhvi captivated the audience with a Hindi song, Na Tum Hame Jano. A workshop followed led by Philippa and Reena and asking the group:
- What have my main challenges been so far [in life]? How have I overcome them?
- If I were to dream into a sense of myself living my full potential, how might that be?
- What steps might I take to reach my fuller potential?
The following points arose in the feedback:
- Forgiveness for self and others helps on our journey to overcome challenges.
- Unconditional love is needed and the realization of old habits so that when we realise something that doesn’t serve us, to be able to address it and change it.
- To achieve full potential we want to practise soul consciousness and do more meditation.
- I realise today that I need to free myself for “me-time” to do things I have always wanted to do…
- As an honorary man here today, I recognize that to be more complete as men, we have to be in touch with our feminine side. An insight I gained, is to be still and allow the magic to manifest.
- I was inspired by the singing because I was silenced as a child. I am now only really learning to own my own voice. I found today really inspiring. I survived against very high odds as child, and I am taking courage to own my unique singing voice.
Philippa closed this phase with a beautiful meditation to link with all women around the world.
Joss shared about her charcoal pictures, and the symbolism of the characters in charcoal would not last, but the soul and the Supreme Soul depicted in the medium of acrylic would.
MC Leza appreciated all those on the team. Finally, the enriching and empowering afternoon ended first with a rousing song by Sister Madhvi, that got everyone to their feet and clapping to: “I am What I Am”; this was followed with toli and blessings distributed by Sister Jasu, one of the Senior sisters in-house.
Video of International Women's Day Event, UK
9 March 2017
In Photos: Shivratri Public Programme at Harmony House, Leicester on 8th February
22 Febuary 2017
One Earth, One Humanity and One Future held at Gokaldham Center, Wembley - Report
30 January 2017
‘This is the first spiritual programme held in newly build hall, the Gokaldham Centre, so you are making the start!’ welcomed Mahendrabhai Patel of the Sri Vallabh Nidhi UK (Sanatan Hindu temple) to an audience of approx. 150 people.
Gil Fernandes played beautiful music on the violin as everyone entered the Hall, before Master of Ceremonies Benn Abdy Collins introduced a dance by Jayany followed by greetings and good wishes from The Deputy Mayor of Brent, Cllr Bhagwanji Chohan; The Mayor of Harrow, Cllr Rekha Shah and Minister Coordination, Indian High Commission, Mr A Sarma Rajan, who all expressed gratitude for the work that the Brahma Kumaris does. The Deputy Mayor of Brent: It is a feeling that I am also a part of this’; The Mayor of Harrow: The message of spirituality and unity is very powerful: The theme of One World, One Humanity, One Future is very close to my heart and I am looking forward to hearing Sister Jayanti share her thoughts with us. Mr A Sarma Rajan from Indian High Commission: I have been practising Raj Yoga for a few years and the deeper we go within Raj Yoga meditation the more guidance is required….I am looking eagerly to get clarity on the doubts I have in my mind during meditation. This title is very appropriate in this globalized world. Now meditation is very attractive to developing inner strength and it is our duty to reach out to the younger generation. This is my wish and I hope much more happens in this direction.
Karishma Patel sung John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ striking a chord with the evening’s topic…..’Imagine all people living life in peace…You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one…perhaps someday you will join us and the world will be as one….’
Benn Abdy Collins invited Sister Jayanti and interviewee Sister Rachel Priestman and they acknowledged January as an important month and a time to take stock and perhaps take courage to do things we think are worthwhile. Also it is a significant month for the Brahma Kumaris, because it was the month in which in 1969 Brahma Baba, founder of Brahma Kumaris passed away and we give time in this month to personal reflection and silence. Rachel first asked Sister Jayanti what was Brahma’s Baba’s vision for the world and for humanity and many more questions. Some of the main points are listed below:
Click here for detailed report.
In Photos: Sister Jayanti at Harmony House, Leicester with Raj-Yogi Families from Midlands and the North on 22nd Jan
28 January 2017
In photos: Sudesh Didi from Germany speaks on "Investing in Self" and Shares Stories of Brahma Baba at Harmony House on Friday 20 Jan
28 January 2017
The Day of Remembrance of Pita Shriji Prajapita Brahma GCH, London
23 January 2017
Walking into GCH, we were all transported to the pilgrimage places of Madhuban. Baba’s Room was transformed into The Founder’s Room, with Baba’s bed with a single pillow and rose petals next to the translight. The Seminar Room was the Hall of History - a gallery of photos of Baba transporting everyone to Sakar Days. In the Quiet Room each one was encouraged to experience the power of promise to Baba. And the Conference Hall was transformed into the Tower of Peace, which was centrally positioned, with chairs all around. Each room was beautifully decorated with flowers, created in unique ways.
Amrit Vela was conducted by Sister Jayanti, Sister Maureen and Brother Balwant and over 250 souls came to experience Baba’s avyakt presence. Toli was shared at 4.45am.
BK’s new and old, from close and far, joined the gathering at GCH for this day of powerful silence and sharings, before Baba’s meeting in the afternoon…
After listening to the Murli in various languages, everyone (approx. 450) gathered in the auditorium gathered first of all to see and hear Dadi Janki’s video message, as she shared special greetings and love on this auspicious day.
Bhog was offered and afterwards Sister Jayanti reminded everyone that when we are offering bhog we create the subtle region and are with Baba in our subtle form. And the signal at this time is that now we have to learn to go up and be with Baba there and we can create the subtle region here. Sister Jayanti also noted how Brahma Baba was very much the teacher through his personal example and demonstration. She gave as an example the tolerance that Baba spoke of in today’s Murli is what Baba continually demonstrated. He was with Shiv Baba and there was no appearance of effort. Tests came to him constantly and he passed the papers instantly. He didn’t take time to keep his stage stable. So we can see......click here for detailed report.
Latest Goings On in Bosnia & Herzagovina from November, December and January
10 January 2017
Christmas Day at GCH and Boxing Day at Oxford - Latest news from Sr Jayanti
29 December 2016
News by Jayantiben in London (26 Dec): On Christmas Eve, we had a spiritual conversation between Sister Masana and Sister Jayanti.
On Christmas Day, we had various options for those who don’t have lokik families and live around Global House, so they were invited to a walk or could join in games in the afternoon, or do both. We had a very beautiful sit-down lunch for around 120 people in Baba’s house. In the evening, several people went to see the lights in Central London, which this year seem to be particularly beautiful.
On Christmas night, we had uplifting, inspiring readings from several people.
On 26th, Boxing Day, we had a traditional outing to Oxford. This time, apart from the welcome with hot punch and snacks, there was also a collage that everyone was invited to participate in with their vision of service in 2017. It turned out to be a huge piece of very colourful and attractive work, and was laid out in the Anteroom for everyone to see.
Br Anthony Phelips conducted an interview with Sister Maureen, Sistr Manda and myself, and this was both entertaining as well as profound with lessons learned from 2016, the most memorable moments of 2016, and the vision for 2017. Then of course we had a sumptuous banquet for lunch. Many stayed to have a walk in the gardens, since it was a wonderful sunny day - amazingly warm for December - before returning back to London.
Merry X'mas & New Year Greetings from Team Brahma Kumaris Rotterdam
29 December 2016
Photo Album from the Performance of "Ray-The Story Book That Came to Life" held at GCH on 2nd December
13 December 2016
‘RAY - The Storybook That Came to Life' was performed on Friday 2nd December at Global Co-operation House.
The play turns the pages of a surprising storybook to meet a wicked Duke, a plucky young girl and a curious pair of 'identical' twins; the audience discovered who, if anyone, had the power to bring back the magic of stories.
Here is an album of photos of this unique event: http://bit.ly/2g50odY