Table of Content
News from Climate Change Conference in Germany, 12 November
2 December 2017
Sunday for Recreation
On Sunday there was minimal activity at the conference, so we decided to have a day recharging body and soul.
Some went for a boat ride on the river Rhine, whilst others had a walk or just chilled out.
Forest Walk BK Udo Heimermann, an alternative architect living nearby, invited Klaus Peter, Marek and Valériane to walk in the yellow and golden coloured forests and then he explored a famous meteorite crater with them. They had good fun and talked on a wide range of topics from local flowers and raspberries to comets, castles and history. Afterwards they visited Udo ́s fantastic and futuristic house, where they were well treated with coffee and snacks.
Boat Trip on the Rhine
Rita and Bri from Germany joined a boat trip on the river Rhine organised by the Global People Initiative. About 50 people of different cultures and faiths participated in the event, which was dedicated to the element of water, the story of the river and its current pollution. Several faith leaders shared their personal experience of the sacredness of water, its healing capacity and how spirituality can bring back the original capacity and quality of the self. Rita and Bri made many contacts and distributed many BK environment blessing cards.
Honouring the Earth
This beautiful evening was organized by the Global Peace Initiative for Women in the Hotel Collegium Leoninum in
Bonn. Around 100 people from different faiths and indigenous communities gathered in gratitude for the Earth.
Sudesh Didi remarked that early morning meditations can give spiritual energy to all living beings and empower our actions. Ven. Bhante, an African Buddhist, made the interesting observation that lowering our ego, greed and other forms of negativity by 50% by 2030 is what can truly lower our carbon emissions and mitigate climate change.
For the rest of the report with added photos, click here.
News from Climate Change Conference in Germany, 11th November
2 December 2017
Half Way !
We are half way through the climate conference and it's time to give a bit of background on climate change and what has happened so far in the negotiations. This year's COP deals with the implementation of the Paris agreement of 2015. In the so-called rule book, all the details of the rather general Paris agreement, to stay below 2.0 ̊C or even better below 1.5 ̊C are written down. All the nations have pledged theirbnational commitment of CO2 reduction and the issue is to get agreement on the details of how, when and the monitoring procedures etc. All the countries of the world have signed the Paris climate accord. Mr Donald Trump of USA wants to pull out of the agreement, he says it's a hoax. The good news is, the withdrawal comes into effect one day after his presidency ends. Interestingly, there is a very strong presence of American states, municipalities and corporates which already declared that they will follow the Paris agreement, no matter what Mr Trump decides to do. In Bonn, almost 500 mayors of big cities have gathered to discuss their strategies, as 50% of the CO2 is generated in urban areas and this population is among the most affected.
The world climate depends on intact Ice Masses, ocean circulations and ecosystems. This diagram shows that.
Click here for detailed report with more photos.
News from Climate Change Conference in Germany, 10th November
2 December 2017
Multi Faith Rickshaw ride to deliver the Interfaith Declaration
Early this morning, representatives of the faith movements gathered in the St Cyprian Church for a multi-faith prayer. Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist Jewish and Christian priests shared their religious inspirations for the protection of the climate. Afterwards, all went for a bicycle and rickshaw ride towards the COP main building to hand over the interfaith climate declaration to the UNFCCC officials. Rev. Fletcher suggested that Sister Jayanti and Valériane use a rickshaw pulled by Father James, a powerful and inspirational priest from Fiji who bravely and sweetly took the task to heart. Juan was there too, riding a bicycle.
It was a light morning, full of fun, laughter and singing where the delegates of Greenpeace came out to cheer us as we passed by their boat on the river Rhine.
Meeting with UNFCCC Secretary General
Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Secretary General, met a delegation of twelve representatives; including Christians, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Fijian Hindu, youth, Brahma Kumaris and indigenous people. The meeting lasted more than half an hour and Mrs. Espinosa said that that she understands the great importance that faith-based organisations have in tackling the negative effects of climate change at the local level. Governments have only a limited capacity to act so she was glad to meet and interact with us.
Click here for detailed report with more photos.
News from Climate Change Conference in Germany, 9th November
2 December 2017
On the fourth day of COP, the BK activities focused around faith, youth, gender, renewable energy - and yoga!
Youth and Future Generations Day
The UNFCCC organized a Youth and Future Generations Day (YFGD) to give the youth a platform to highlight their ideas and actions to combat climate change. Juan moderated the opening panel and shared inspirational ideas saying that meditation can help us to get a clearer vision of the future and to be more focused in our actions. Other panellists introduced their projects and emphasized the importance of creating more awareness in our homes and countries about the reality of climate change. It was also interesting to observe that the idea of well-being is been discussed more often in the Youth gatherings.
The Multi-Faith Sustainable Living Initiative
Today, "The Multi-Faith Sustainable Living Initiative" was launched by a number of faith-based leaders. This project took birth in Bonn during the half-term COP in May 2017 and theBK’s have been involved since then.
Diverse organisations and networks came together to discuss lifestyles of compassionate simplicity and how to create a global community of conscience. The movement aims to initiate good practice in the areas of energy use, diet and transportation that will help reduce emissions, so the globe stays below the targeted maximum of 1.5 ̊C temperature rise. Rev. Fletcher Harper, from Green Faith, the organiser of the initiative, talked about sustainable lifestyles, with its associated commitments, and how they fit in the overall landscape of the climate advocacy work.
The panels, in the morning, included:
• Kristina Modee, Director, Sustainable Lifestyles Team, Centre for Sustainable
Consumption and Production (Germany),
• Tomás Insua, Executive Director, The Global Catholic Climate Movement,
• George Marshall, Co-Founder and Director of Projects, Climate Outreach (UK).
Click here for detailed report with more photos.
News from Climate Change Conference in Germany, 8th November
20 November 2017
Daily caucus of the Women and Gender Constituency
This morning, Carolin attended the meetings of the Women and Gender Constituency (WWGC)) which is one of the nine official constituencies of the UNFCCC. Since its beginning , Brahma Kumaris has had a strong focus to support women in leadership roles and a natural interest in climate change and gender related issues.
Participants from the Pacific region shared how they support women and feminists ’ movements to avow their rights. Since the Pacific Islands have a long tradition of patriarchy, it has influenced their culture and religion deeply . Maria Nailevu said : “Whenever you question power,, whenever you try and propose something new and different, as feminists and gender groups have been doing for decades,, there will be a push back . And so , we need to see ourselves as a social movement,, no matter if women are working with in government or in other bodies . We need to raise our voices and stay ambitious for the 1.5 ˚ C target!! ” She was referring to the increase of temperature due to global warming,, which , if exceeded , would result in the Pacific Islands being under water,, as would be many other areas of the globe . After the meeting , several women gathered and sang “Climate justice - NOW!!””
Meeting for the faith based organisations
Rev.. Henrik Grape, Coordinator of the World Council of Churches , invited each participant to introduce themselves by sharing their names and organizations . Valériane provided a brief history of the Interfaith Liaison Committee’s (ILC) work, which began post - Warsaw (22013)), reporting to the UNFCCC about the variety of faith and spiritual - based efforts .
The gathering shared the different faith - based initiatives,, including the launch of "Walk on the earth
social media this year is focused on the theme of “Creation – Not for Sale ” with participation of the youth delegation,, mainly from Asia..
Thorsten from the Brahma Kumaris said that we have completed an ambitious solar project in Abu, India , and the German government is featuring it in their publicity for COP23, all around Germany.
Henrik underlined the importance of sharing our experiences and initiatives. Valériane suggested that we discuss ideas about a shared future for ILC and its common work . She led a guided meditation,, inviting people to create a vision for a sustainable future,, and asked the participants to walk back to the present and see how faith and spiritual communities might contribute to that future.
Climate Action Studio Interview
The annual Climate Change Studio interview took place on a rather grey and rainy day . Sister Jayanti had a nice chat with the interviewer beforehand. I t turned out that he is from Venezuela , a country that is facing many challenges . The interview centered around the idea that i n two years , the next round of nationally determined contributions (NNDCs)) will be submitted. What must be done, outside of the UNFCCC process,, between now and then to raise the ambition s of the Parties?
Sister Jayanti ’s response was that leaders must come together for a collective collaborative approach to deal with the challenges more efficiently . We humans have created the se problems and it is we human s that can resolve them. Changes in consciousness mean we will make changes in lifestyle and diet and that will start reversing the impact of climate change .
Meeting with the Gender and Climate Change group
Sister Jayanti at the WRST stand
News from Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, 7th November 2017
20 November 2017
Morning program in the Indonesian Pavilion
Tuesday started with an interfaith program called “Sustainable Living”” arranged by Green Faith . Gopal Patel,, the Hindu representative,, shared the original meaning of the sanskrit word “ dharma ” , which is often wrongly translated as “religion””,, but actually means “that which is sustainable,, that which sustains you”” . Juan spoke as the representative of the Youth Constituency and the Brahma Kumaris . H e shared his experience from the peoples ’ climate march in 2015 in Manhattan NY where 400 , 000 people demonstrate d against climate change . There , he met Professor Marianne Talker from Yale University who told him,, that we need to change our consciousness and open up to spirituality....click here for detailed report with more photos.
News from Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, 2-5 November 2017
15 November 2017
Click below links to download conference report in PDF formats.
Follow the BK Team's Preparation and Participation in COP 23, the next climate change conference taking place in Bonn, Germany.....and Green News from Russia
8 November 2017
Greetings from the COP23 team. Next climate change conference starts on Monday 6th Nov. in Bonn, Germany. The preparations are intense.
The international team is Sister Jayanti, Golo, Valeriane, Juan and Sonja. We are very happy to experience the big interest, support and participation by the German family and Sudesh Didi. Delegates from Germany are Gopi, Carolin, Hilde, Thorsten, Klaus Peter, Almut, Bri and Dagmar. The host team with Gopi, Heidi, Antje and Simone have been just great. Marek from Poland will come to start networking for next years COP in Poland. The kitchen and transport team are on their way, big thanks to them.
The Youth team are already there, as the youth conference has already started. Juan is leading the team with Steffi (Austria), Christophe ( France), Diana, Daksh and Manish. (Germany).
We have many programs lines up, eight of them in COP itself. You can see more in attached calendar. The German Environment Ministry has choosen India One as part of their campaign"Ready for the Future".
You also find news from Russia below, plus on this link you can read on an event in Geneva on "The Extractive Industry and Human Dignity: Ethical Perspectives"
Sonja and the COP team
Eco-week in Moscow
Manezh Square, Moscow
The 3rd Russian Ecological Week, a programme organised near the Kremlin from 18th to 22nd October, became one of the major events of the Year of Ecology in Russia. The big event was launched by the Ecological Chamber of Russia under the aegis of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Russian Federation.
Manezh Square, a popular place among the Muscovites and the guests of the city, transformed into a real 'green' oasis.
All the visitors of the event could learn about different aspects of ecological life style through variety of exhibition stalls, podiums and tents. Modern samples of eco-art, fashion, cinema, architecture, and goods from eco-producers were exhibited.
Mrs. Irina Novizhilova, head of the VITA Animal Rights Centre, a professional journalist, a person who is popular as a real enthusiast approached Brahma Kumaris centre in Moscow and offered to participate in the eco-concert. The concert was supported by many Russian musicians and singers.
BK students, members of BK cultural group ' Harmony' sang two beautiful songs - " With hope towards the New Age" and
"God has descended on the Earth" accompanied by beautiful video clips. On the large screen, there was the wonderful image of the Supreme Soul shining among the lights and the stars of the Moscow Kremlin near Red Square.
BK Irina Lemberg, coordinator of the ecological programs of Brahma Kumaris in Moscow, introduced to the gathered public the ideas of the Spirutual University and the programs which the University organises on ecological themes. She told the audience that the main aim is to develop a positive eco-character when we emerge our best inner qualities in life and have ecological life style, thus cooperating with the Supreme Father in the great task of World Transformation.
In Baba's yaad,
on request of Didi Sudha
Sacred Activism, sacred waters, and sacred labyrinths and more
29 September 2017
Dear friends and servers
Greetings of peace. With care and compassion we continue to co-create the future world
of beauty and balance. Please find some news from people who have shared what they do.
World Environment Day was celebrated by 300 centers in India in June!
If you are in Madhuban on 12 October 2017, you are most welcome to attend the Green Day - Your day with Mother Earth. Info is already sent to the centers together with the seminar schedule.
Preparations for next Climate Change Conference COP23 in Bonn, Germany is going on with full speed. Here you have a pre-glimpse of the first draft of the calendar of events.
You can also read the statement "Empowering People" made for COP23.
Green is indeed Baba’s colour for service
best of all
Sonja, Arnold, Peter on behalf of all of you
World Environment Day was celebrated in a grand way in India in June this year. 300 BK centers did programs under the canopy of the Rural Wing. It is 100 more center compared to 2016. Sumanth bhai has collected photos and we would like to share some
if the wonderful images with you. Please enjoy the picture report.
3 interesting links from Arnold:
The Scientific Secret to Permanent Stress Reduction - Interesting findings about the benefits of veganism.
Sacred Activism - Healing the Split
Why is it important for us spiritual people to care for political activism? Article and news by Patrizia Heise, Freiburg, Germany
Juan Milling from Canada wanted to shared with you the mini documentary that was made from the Sacred Waters interfaith convergence in Rio. Sr. Mariana from Brazil and Juan had the chance to participate in the event last may 2017, it is in Spanish/Portuguese with English subtitles. Om & Eco Shanti
Morocco September 2017 - Climate Chance
Here is a report on the Aqadir Climate Chance Conference e vent sent by Valeriane.
Philippines July 2017 - BK Golos visit
Sister Rajni writes: Baba, Ocean of Yuktis, constantly inspires His children of different skills and capacities to use everything in a worthwhile way. He considers them His stewards for Mother Earth, the corporeal world, in practical ways. One of them is BK Brother Golo. His recent visit to the Philippines was very timely, the country being among the most vulnerable to future foreseeable calamities, and with programs that presented subjects on Disaster Consciousness. More service news
Labyrinth Experience from Leura Retreat Centre, Australia
Sometimes you need to get lost in order to find yourself ...After a brief introduction to the ancient practice of labyrinth walking we proceed into its actual creation, all carried out in silence. .... After a few years of our self constructed labyrinths we moved to a more permanent construction in the heart of the bushland. Read more and see pictures
Dadi on Nature 24.8.17:
This word ‘nature’... We are creating our nature. The nature of having God by our side. The nature where God is inseparable. Sanskars and nature are different. The mind and intellect is in the soul. With our mind, we have to stay in remembrance. Through remembrance I can change my attitude, vision and awareness. When there is remembrance in my awareness, that influences my attitude, and that will show in my eyes. Baba is the Bestower of Fortune.
New interview - Caring for a World in Transition, interview by Golo during Spirit of Humanity Forum, Iceland April 2017.
Dadi Janki Message for Environment, Green Angel Meditations and much more
10 August 2017
Dear servers and creators
This is an incredible mail to share with you all. There are 4 new publications to enjoy:
Our dearest Dadi's beautiful message for the environment
New section on renewable energy on our BK International website
New collection of Green Angel meditation commentaries
New BK statement for next climate change conference.
We also have great news from all over the world from our fantastic community -the Caribbean, Brazil, UK, USA, EU; China. We finish with Eco-friendly tips for cleaning your home. And finally your riddle - Why are dogs happier than humans?
Thanks for the nice replies on celebrating being an earth loving organization. Maybe above publications is a way to celebrate?
best of all
Arnold, Peter, Sonja
on behalf of all of you
1. Dadi Janki: Message for the environment.
This is a beautiful video clip of Dadis deep reflections and message for the environment. It was filmed by Denise in 2013 and a group had worked together to prepare the questions etc. Most welcome to use it.Direct Youtube Link
2. New section on renewable energy on our BK International website.
Great news -in the main menu under HOPE you can now read on BK’s work on Renewable Energy.
There is also a section on Environment. Enjoy!
3. Green Angel Guided meditations
Eight Green Angel commentaries are recorded. The concept is that the commentaries
are short 1-2 min, and then we leave space for the meditations to reflect with music only.
Thanks to Brother Mauricio from Chile for the Dilaram music.
You can hear and download them here, for example Tree of Life, Being Connected, Angel Wings.etc.
4. Empowering People for a World in Transition
With input from the climate change team, sister Rachel from UK has written this deep and easy
to read BK statement for next climate change conference in Bonn, Germany. Enjoy reading and churning. It can also be used for background material when giving workshop and presentations. And it is already translated to German language.
Caribbean Green Awareness Tour
Brother Golo was invited to the Caribbean region to share about the link between the environment and our state of mind. It became a full service tour meeting many individuals who are concerned about the climate change, deterioration of sensitive coral reefs and increased hurricanes. It was new for many that we can influence the world with our attitudes and power of thoughts.
Read reports with beautiful pictures from Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad, Barbados, St Martin.
Celebrate Earth: Sustainable Living, Meditation and Yoga From New York:
Yoga and the UN Culture of Peace annual program was extra special this year as the Brahma Kumaris was invited to speak on the panel. Julia Grindon-Welch, representative of the Brahma Kumaris to the UN, shared about what the BKs are doing to support climate change using the method of
Raj Yoga Meditation. Link for more news and presentation
International Vegetarian Forum - Beijing
On June 28th, 2017, the first “International Vegetarian Forum” was held in the Big Health Life Driving School Research Base in Miyun District of Beijing, which has taken the lead of world’s healthy eating habits
Mombasa Interfaith waste management
The Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA) conducted a training on waste management and disposal, at Reef Hotel in Mombasa from 1st to 2nd July 2017. Sister Pratibha and Dorcas from Nairobi supported and contributed to this event, read more.
For a World of Peace - Salvador, Brazil
This event was held by Brahma Kumaris in Salvador, Brazil on 15th June to celebrate 2017 Environment Day
and International Yoga Day. It was a joyous day filled with dancing, lectures and various meditation exercises.
They also had a public talk on the "Spiritual dimensions of ecology", read more and see pics.
Invitation: Dear eco friends of the UK, Om shanti. A slot has been booked for our second UK BK Eco retreat
at Worthing on the weekend of 10th to 12th November. This is for BKs who are actively engaged in projects
relating to caring for the environment whether it is in your local community, your centre or in your own home.
It will be for sharing ideas, news and workshops, for nature walks (weather permitting!) and for planning new initiatives. Please let me know if you would like to attend. Joanna, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
From Arnold: The Eco-Friendly Guide to Cleaning Your Home
And now the answer to your riddle:
Green News Letter - An Earth Loving Organization
1 August 2017
Dear all yogis and servers
Greetings from green newsletter team. Please enjoy below news. We look forward hearing from you.
An Earth Loving organization
From Sonja: After the last newsletter, Sister Wendy from the UK wrote to me saying that she feels that now we have become an earth loving organization. She suggested we celebrate that! Great idea.
Do you have any idea how to celebrate that we have become an earth loving organization?
Please send your ideas.
Any celebration we decide to do, can start with kindness and an open heart - what a fantastic party that can become! Wendy has sent us some great meditations to celebrate with, you can reflect on this beautiful illustrated booklet:
How to send love to the Earth and all its inhabitants
We two had our own celebration on Skype - sharing that what everyone needs, including the earth, is kindness and a big heart. How to make our BK life such that kindness and an open heart is at the core of everything we do; and think; and feel. We can reach the whole world only with pure thoughts. For that, the heart needs to be put right; it takes love and forgiveness.
World Environment Day
We heard from many places all over the world. You can see pictures from China and Munich in Germany here: Still waiting to hear from India, who again celebrated in a grand way.
BK Ecological Retreat in Moringen
The retreat "Now is the Time" was a great experience for the participants, you can see that here
We are happy to see that many more people are contributing, from different nationalities. Currently we have 6111 members.
We wish you a wonderful summer/Winter.
You can look forward to next newsletter with news from the Caribbean Green Awareness Tour and EU Energy Days in Brussels and BK Energy Days in Belgium.
In Remembrance of the Divine Gardener
Arnold, Peter and Sonja
on behalf of all of you
Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative
Now is the time: Report of the BK Ecological Retreat for Europe and Middle East held in Germany from 15th to 19th June
1 August 2017
On Thursday 15 June 16 people from Germany, Russia, Scotland, England, Holland and Switzerland gathered in our beautiful new retreat center in Moringen for the green retreat. It was a wonderful and appropriate home for the retreat, in the middle of the forest and the hospitality of our host was fabulous.
During the retreat, we had the opportunity for early walks to serve the elements.
On the first day the retreat was dedicated to the spiritual aspect of our relationship with nature. We looked at the nature of the elements and examined the aspects of gyan relating to nature and to Baba’s recommendations on how to connect and how to create a new relationship and the consequences it will have in the future.
In the later part of the morning we were able to reflect in groups regarding these
spiritual aspects and the way to apply them in life, in relationships, in our teaching, personal effort and understanding.
In order to go deeper into this investigation we remained in silence and used art and writing to share our experiences and reflections and gave feedback on this process and then had a long meditation to serve mother earth in the evening.
We ended the day with Informal conversations in which people shared their stories
On the Saturday we looked at consciousness and action and observed the impacts of our actions on the mind and the environment.
In the later part of the morning we shared the work the BKs do at the UN.
In the afternoon after lunch some the participants went for a beautiful long walk in the forest near the retreat house.
Later in the afternoon there was a panel on the spiritual and practical understanding of our relationship with nature. Gopi had collected questions from a previous service meeting regarding the COP 23 which take place in Germany in November 2017. Denise and Valeriane answered these questions and other questions from the participants of the retreat on the topic.
We ended the day by participants sharing news of green service happening in their place
On the Sunday, we looked more at how retreat participants would like to engage in serving nature. We also looked at how each could imagine changing his or her lifestyle
Group reflection: How best to communicate the link between spirituality and the environment to BKs and others? What’s next? What’s needed? In the afternoon, our hosts had organised their first public program, taking the opportunity of the 3rd Sunday international meditation for peace and the presence of our brother David from Gyan Sarovar, they organised a coffee and jazz in the afternoon and a concert cum international meditation. In the evening the group met for the last time to share their experience of the retreat
Green Newsletter for June - World Environment Day and Growing Angels
1 June 2017
Om Shanti to all angels in all colour
We keep growing spirituality but did you know that we also grow green angels?
And do you know about the 5 keys to sustainable happiness?
We hope that you will enjoy this BK Green Newsletter with happy small and big news.
World Environment Day is coming soon - big plans for India! Enjoy below picture from last year -
our BK mothers sitting in the desert meditating on a green future -it capture it all.
More inspiring news from Madhuban below
Coming Up: World Environment Day 5th of June.
The theme this year is Reconnecting You to Nature. You can arrange you own program,
very easy with a few clicks. Rural Wing is planning a maximum activity - see below description
sent by Raju bhai and Sumanth bhai in Madhuban. You can also post your photos in the world biggest nature photo album!
Theme of the Program: I am with Nature
Expected no. of Programs: Minimum of 300 to a max. 500+
Devised Programs: Programs at BK Centers, Schools, Colleges, Government offices, Public Programs,
Plantation Programs, Peace March, forming Human Chains, cleanliness programs, Sloganeering,
Mass Meditation for Environment etc.,
Involvement of Officials from various departments: Local Government officials serving Forestry, Rural Development,
Agriculture, Horticulture, Irrigation, Animal Husbandry, Panchayatraj, Welfare, Environment NGO's: Associations,
Clubs, Self Help Groups, Corporates
Place: Almost all states in India
Main Motive: Environmental Awareness & Conservation of Natural Resources
Innovative Aspect: Meditation for Environment
More from Madhuban:
Radio Madhuban 90.4 FM celebrated Earth Day on 22nd April 2017 with the community in Abu, Rajasthan.
Community Services - Together Towards Sustainable development
Our "Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability Initiatives" team in Madhuban has created a beautiful and
informative booklet called "Cultivating Values - Nurturing Livelihoods". You can read about Holistic Health,
Environment, Yogic agriculture, Education, Renewable Energy etc. Very useful for community contact.
In April you received a special India-One Newsletter. We mentioned that Prime Minister Narendra Modi honouring
India-One and the BK's use of renewable energy in his video address to the BK 80th year celebration.
If you like to read the whole speech, you can see it here.
Here comes the sun...
Interesting article about India-One in the Speaking Tree - Times of India Blog
More from around the World
In last newsletter we forgot to mention the extensive green activities in Brazil. They also had a poster on
Sustainable activities in the green Booth at NC/CCs retreat in Shantivan. A whole section on their webpage is
dedicated to the environment - here it is in Portugese!
The theme for the BK Australia Environmental Group Annual Retreat 10 -12 February 2017
APPRECIATING AND GIVING - appreciating the colours of nature and giving to the 5 elements of nature.
Enjoy the newsletter called Growing Angels.
The first solar powered bus in the UK has been launched in Brighton - it is called Om Shanti .
The 3rd Spirit of Humanity Forum in Reykjavik, Iceland brought up the topic of environment this year.
The panel was called: Caring for a World in Transition, Building Foundation for a Loving and Peaceful World.
Golo participated on behalf of the BK's and Maureen facilitated. The BK center arranged a public talk
called Green Angel with Sonja.
Biocultura is a large annual ecological fair that takes place in many big cities in Spain. Brahma Kumaris and Marta
hosted a panel called “Conscience and sustainability” with Valeriane as panelist amongst others.
Valeriane also gave a talk on "5 Keys to Sustainable Happiness" at the fair.
The UN climate change conference held their annual mid-term meeting in Bonn in May.
Maureen, Valeriane, Gopi, Dagmar, Heidi, Antje and other were part of the delegation.
You can read more about a successful side event called "A Negotiators Tool Kit".
Arnold recommend this TED talk : His Holiness Pope Francis: Why the only future worth building includes everyone
Environment Retreat, Moringen Germany 15th- 19th June
EU Sustainable Energy Month in June - now 7 programs in different BK venues
COP23 in Bonn, Germany in November
Do you have any news, good ideas, pictures to share with us?
Please mail or post on facebook.
Om Shanti and Green Angels greetings
Sonja & Arnold & Peter & and all of you
BK Green Inspirations and News
24 April 2017
Dear BK Green Network
In Madhuban this season we got many clear signals that the environment service has arrived at the place where it belongs. It has become a natural consideration and part of our service and lifestyle with green regional co-ordinators, green angels in the centers, green retreats, environment related topics in other retreats, green workshops offered in the centers, many presentations and talks in the centers, huge number of invitations from other organizations, exhibitions in Madhuban, new articles being frequently produced, our solar installation
recognized nationally in India, vegan BK community growing and so on. And we have an engaged community (6050 members) in our Facebook group. One full cycle of 7 years since the environment initiative started and it flourishes beautifully.
Please enjoy this following rich mail with snippets, info, pictures and reports or follow us on facebook
Earth Day, 22 April
Greetings from Earth Day Network inviting us to participate. The theme for Earth Day 2017 is Environmental and Climate Literacy. If you like to organise an event it can be registered on the Earth Day webpage
Biodiversity Day 22 May
Biodiversity or "biological diversity," refers to the variety and variability of life on Earth. It is define in terms of the variability within species, between species, and between ecosystems. It is a measure of the variety of organisms present in different ecosystems. The number and variety of plants, animals and other organisms that exist is known as biodiversity. It is an essential component of nature and it ensures the survival of human species by providing food, fuel, shelter, medicines and other resources to mankind. UN has proclaimed May 22 The International Day for Biological Diversity to increase understanding of biodiversity issues.
World Environment Day 5th June
The wonderful theme of Connecting People to Nature is given by Canada, the host of environment day 2017. Welcome to organise an event, you can read more and register your event here. Last year Rural Wing in BK India did a fantastic celebration in a vast number of centers in India.
Green Retreat in Moringen, Germany
“Recreating our relationship with nature” for Europe and Middle East in the new retreat center Moringen in Germany. The retreat is conducted by Valeriane (Geneve) and Joanna (Isle of Man) from Thursday 15th June until Monday 19th June 2017. Registration at email@example.com
EU Sustainable Energy Days in the month of June. Most welcome to participate! Read more here:http://eusew.eu/
Green News: The Sustainable Development Goals Exhibition in Shantivan
A rich expo during NC meeting with news from all sectors of society. From the environment side there was exhibition from Solar, BioClick, Australia retreats, Madhuban Radio and the BK Environment Initiative. At the bottom of this mail you find an unusual and happy way to sort the Development Goals.
The Environment Stall at the 'Journey of Brahma Kumaris' Exhibition -80th Anniversary- Shantivan (26 -30 March 2017) - Two links - A-Z Values in Nature and Overview
Radio Madhuban celebrated the Water day and Forest day
The day was packed with activities, both on air and in villages and schools around Abu, which were designed to spread awareness about water conservation, water security and water pollution. Read more and see pictures
How to best advance energy access in India
Golo presented in the One For All campaign Consultation in Mumbai discussing what the energy access movement in India needs from global and local partners -Faith, Philanthropy, and NGOs. Read more
Climate Ethics in Genève
“Perspectives on Climate Ethics: from COP22 Marrakesh onward”. The panel was held in the UN Palais des Nations in Geneva and focussed particularly on ethics, climate justice and human rights. Valériane was the moderator. Read more
Green Power Events London
Please find interesting report from the Green Power events held in London in January.
Inspirations from the internet:
Website For the Love of the Earth - sent by Sheffield Center
Era of ownership is ending, article sent by Marie Edery and Sister Jayanti
Animal Communication - Interspecies Communication by Anna Breuytenbach sent by Maciek, Poland
Om Shanti in Baba's remembrance.
Today ( and always) we especially send good wishes to Gulzar Dadiji.
Below you find a beautiful poem written by Valeriane
Sonja & Arnold on behalf of all of you
Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative
SONG OF MOTHER EARTH
From under your feet I hear you
in your pace, I can read your inner world
When it becomes light, I enjoy that,
I love the bouncing energy of your pure happiness
Of course, I do hear the heavy steps of your discouragement,
The shuffling of heavy heartedness
The loud stride of your determination
Children of God,
You will be the Angels
you will bring joy and bliss
Through the breath you exhale,
I can read your inner thoughts of love
Your pure desires, your good wishes, your feelings
All are expanding in the atmosphere,
In the air others breathe and my skies
And I can stroke your faces with the breeze
Shuffle your hair with the winds
Children of God,
You will be the angels
you will bring joy and bliss
The plants you eat are also my children,
All made of earth, fire, water and air
I am in the food you create with so much purity
And when you eat, and it gently dissolves in your bodies
I strengthen your life force
and love you in all ways
Children of God,
You will be the angels
you will bring joy and bliss
Go on blowing your magic in the air
So it soothes the pain of the sorrowful ones
Go on spreading your sparkling vision of the future
Weaving the threads for tomorrow
Singing the songs of the new day
Children of God,
You will be the angels
you will bring joy and bliss
Article on Solar Published in Times of India
14 April 2017
Download article here as pdf.
Exploring Green Power - Making the Dream Come True
7 Febuary 2017
Exploring Green Power: Making the Dream Come True
Sunday 29th January 2 - 5.30pm · Conference Hall, Diamond House, London
On the last Sunday of January, Green Power, a new series of workshops led by the Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative (BKEI) was launched at GCH. This was just a few days after ecologist and editor Satish Kumar had joined Sister Jayanti there in a lively conversation on the topic Now is the Hour.
Br Navin welcomed the audience of around 25 people and started by asking what they hoped to find in today’s event. ‘I’m trying to live better,’ said one. Another was interested in the advance of the sand in the Southern Sahara. Br Navin shared how it’s about striking the balance: what we want for ourselves in our own lives and making this world a better place to live in - and a good way to start is to ask, ‘Am I looking after my inner environment?’
Sr Leza explaining how the aim of GREEN POWER series is to offer an 'inside-out' approach to green issues, giving the understanding that by changing our consciousness and re-connecting with our inner spirit we will naturally want to make the world a cleaner, greener place. Also, it gives people who are interested in green issues spiritual tools and insights to change their way of thinking, living and being to enhance their relationship with Nature and improve the global environment.
Sr Leza pointed to a beautiful, giant visual of the Earth, our home, where each one of us tiny specks is special. She invited everyone to imagine, to feel, what the Earth is feeling at this time in history and then to write a letter from the Earth to you personally.
Br Thiru performed a dance to the song True Colours. ‘It’s hard to take courage in a world full of people…I see your true colours shining through… Your true colours are beautiful… So don’t be afraid to let them show - your true colours…’
Sr Nirmala shared about her journey in exploring her own inner ‘green space’ and the tools she uses to help others - staff and patients - relax and make better sense of their lives. She started by raising the ultimate first question: who am I? Explaining that she’s spiritual energy, consciousness, light - a flawless diamond, just like the one everyone was handed as they walked in. If we want to fix the world we have to start with ‘fixing’ ourselves’. She took the audience through a slide show on the BKEI and its approach of seeing ourselves as ‘guardians of the Earth’. She talked through the five main attitudes that are core to BKEI:
1. Living with simplicity
2. Buying compassionately
3. Using Economically
4. Learning continuously - from each other and from nature, and then giving back
5. Sharing generously
Sr Nirmala highlighted the ‘green’ meditation commentaries offered on the website, the BK’s active participation in the United Nations COP Climate Change conferences since 1990 and, in particular, described with enthusiasm two major, practical BK green initiatives: India One, the BK’s Solar Thermal Power Plant, and also their Yogic Farming project. She then asked us to ask ourselves: what am I doing personally? There are initiatives here in the UK to encourage us to be ‘more green’. Do I recycle rubbish, do I have a compost bin for vegetable peelings, do I have a water butt to collect rainfall, etc. Some might even have solar panels, if they have the resources. It’s a case of each doing what they can do.
A powerful video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sizTT_7PEJs) was then shown about India One, a 1MW solar thermal power plant with 770 solar dishes on 35 acres of land in Rajasthan, India, near the BK spiritual HQ. This plant is able to store as well as collect solar energy - a world first, that has received funding from the Indian and German governments and has been largely constructed by using and training the local labour force Sr Nirmala then shared how, just as we can take energy from the physical sun, similarly we can connect with the Source of spiritual energy, the Powerhouse - the Divine. To connect to the source of the sun, the glass has to be clean and so I have to create my own inner solar system to connect with the Divine. Another video on Climate Change and Consciousness, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3S4XkPnURSc) was shown about thoughts and awareness, giving the experience of the difference between positive and negative thoughts and how thoughts lead to our impact on the Planet. Kinder awareness leads to kinder thoughts leads to kinder actions leads to kinder impact. Impact triggers change. The time to act is now. The time to act collectively is now. It all starts and ends with our awareness. She finished with a favourite Thought for the Day: Every thought create vibrations. Vibrations are like sound waves or radiations. No obstacles, no hurdles can stop them. She shared how as she started to meditate, she became more aware of her thoughts and the impact they were having.
Sr Nirmala then led everyone in a gentle relaxation and meditation experience. After the meditation, she introduced the idea of ‘self-compassion’, saying how meditation, reflection, visualisation, listening and appreciation are all tools we can use - with ourselves as well as others. Getting everyone to put their hand on their heart and to appreciate in their minds and give thanks for something they have done today. She then invited all to remove the hand from the heart and outstretching it to offer compassion to the world and then bringing the hand full of compassion back to the heart. Then, doing this gesture, keep in mind every living being in the Planet and Mother Earth and extend your compassion to these. Holding the diamond, experience being the diamond. Using the Buddhist concept of ‘beginner’s mind’ - seeing the diamond as if for the first time, as a child. Just observing, feeling, focusing solely on the diamond, being with the diamond. Sr Nirmala then spoke another meditation commentary about being the diamond, revealing my true colours and giving back to Mother Earth what I have been taking for so long.
A video was shown of an interview with Sr Jayanti at COP21 in Paris 2015, originally broadcast on Climate Change News. http://www.climatechangenews.com/tv/11128 ‘Everything starts with the individual. Things are happening across the world - it’s as if humans have forgotten to stay in touch with their own hearts. But it has to start with myself. The shift in my consciousness means I don’t need to take so much from outside... When you turn inwards and connect with the happiness and joy within, your lifestyle becomes a simple one. There’s a spirit of generosity and care and you’re able to share with others. It’s one planet and one home... We are one family... We all survive together or we all sink together… We all have to work together in a spirit of cooperation, not competition with each other. There’s no other way... [Let each one] make a conscious choice knowing that your decision about what you buy, eat or wear is going to have an impact on your carbon footprint and is going to have an impact on others too.”
After the tea break Br Gil brought everyone back with a jaunty violin piece. Sr Leza then reminded everyone of the letter the Earth had written to them earlier in the afternoon about how the Earth is feeling now. Some shared their thoughts: ‘I’m really tired’, ‘Be quiet, calm, peaceful’, Check the Earth’s resources, they are running out’, ‘Grow some more green stuff to help me heal’, ‘Look for the beauty’, ‘ I am happy to be part of this planetary system, I love the sun but please get rid of the cancer in me’, and ‘I’m worried. I am one but you and your fellow humans are intent on dividing me up.’ The Earth is saying: Please help; I’ve given you almost everything.
Sr Karishma sang the song Imagine very beautifully, with a slight but significant change of words: Imagine there’s a heaven… Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will be as one. Sr Leza then invited everyone to be the dreamer and create a vision of how they would like the world to be in five years’ time. Then she asked: If that newly created Earth wrote to you, what would that Earth say to you? Some shared: ‘You and me are just one’, ‘I’m now spinning less fast; I am healing now’, ‘Thank you, I appreciate your global effort’, ‘Thanks, you are my pride’, ‘I am heaven on Earth’. Just thinking these positive thoughts for the Earth and writing them down have created positive vibrations for the Earth.
Sr Leza asked everyone to look back from that beautiful Earth they had created, that heaven on Earth and to feel what it feels like. Now ask yourself: what did I do personally to make that happen? What inner change and what practical, external change can I make to bring beauty and harmony with nature? Each one wrote down their own thoughts in silence and then everyone got into groups of three or four and shared their vision and their personal contribution with others and perhaps create other ideas within the group. Each group then gave their feedback with the whole gathering and Sr Nirmala summarised them in a plan for the future, as follows:
· Awareness – making right choices (vegetarian food, dress) as consumers; keeping a balance of wants and needs; constantly learning to make right choices; helping to keep places clear by picking up rubbish and disposing.
· Recycling – share importance of this to young people and others; growing more plants both edible and ornamental; creating clean air, water and sound.
· Creating harmony in the family; reducing consumerism and improve sustaining resources; being the diamond and nurturing the diamond (true self); creating positive thoughts and vibrations.
· Sharing vibrations of peace, love, harmony; creating feelings of oneness; giving thanks to the earth for clean air, water, etc.
Based on the ideas of creating awareness, vibrations and positive energy, knowing that our thoughts can change, Sr Nirmala led the audience into a reflection exercise: Emerging the Diamond again, knowing that if I cannot doing anything else due to limits of resources/time, at least I can do an infinite amount of things with my thoughts. Being love. Take time to clean the diamond of the everyday dust of living. When clean, I connect with the Divine and the light of the diamond shines out into the world.
Sr Jayanti joined the gathering and Navin asked her a few questions.
Q: Tell us about the BK contribution to meeting the challenge of climate change
“ We’ve been planting trees (around 14 million) in India. She talked of how Dadi Prakashmani made Gyan Sarovar happen without damaging the environment out of what was said to be infertile land, with everything built around the trees and the mountains. As an experiment, we started planting fruit trees and we now get tons of plums, apricots, bananas, grapes and mangoes. We’ve also won awards from our water recycling. The Founder never left the premises of our ashram after 1965 - his walks were within the ashram and for footwear he wore a wooden platform with a rubber strip on top cut out from old tyres.
Q: How is spirituality linked to improving the global environment. We know about vibrations but what can we do collectively to make a shift in the world?
First step: if someone says they are spiritual and interested in ecology, I think they would change to a plant based diet - it’s real compassion for the Earth, nature and water, the source of life. Chatham House, a London think tank, presented a paper at the Paris COP in 2015 - the amount of emissions created by transportation is equivalent to the amount of emissions created by food production/diet (14%). It’s not mentioned because diet is culture, habit and taste and would cause too much havoc in people’s lives and the government would be voted out of office if they implemented that!
Q: What do we need to do to shift from being aware and implementing what needs to be done.
Silence. I need time for self-reflection and the choices I’m making in my life for myself and future generations. To find meaning and significance in what’s going on. In silence I connect with the Divine and get access to a Source of spiritual power I need to make the necessary changes in my life. We use the phrase willpower. Most of us need that. It’s only in silence I draw that power from the Source to make the changes I would like to see happen. Another thing, consumerism - there’s a neediness, there’s even a shopping addiction - we have shoppers anonymous now. How can I switch from thinking more is going to make me happy. In silence I realise it’s not the things outside that are going to make me happy; I glimpse the treasures inside and experience truth and love within and the happiness that brings means I don’t need to go out any more to find happiness.
Sr Jayanti then took everyone into a meditation experience:
Sitting comfortably, let the body relax. I invited you to follow these thoughts. I leave the world outside for a few moments and focus my attention on the world within... going deeper and deeper into the awareness of the inner being. In this awareness, I connect with the light that I am, a tiny diamond that sparkles deep within. And the light it radiates is visible through my forehead and i touch with this inner being I connect with peace. My thoughts slow down. I realise that I am a being of peace. This is my natural state of being. This is who I truly am - a being of peace. And in this awareness of peace I connect with the Source, the Divine, the Supreme, the Being of light. The form is the same - I, the soul, a being of light and the Divine, a Being of light. But, as I connect, I can feel from the Source of love, waves of love reach the soul and it’s as if the love washes away all the dust I had accumulated.. The power of this pure love heals the souls. Through the cleansing and healing, I am transformed and I begin to experience the inner happiness that lies within. And, filling myself with this love, I know that I can now begin to love myself and also I can love God, I can love my neighbour - all my neighbours. And the power of peace and love reaches out into the world, transforming, healing and radiating. Staying connected with the Divine, I come back to the awareness of this moment here and now but having filled myself with the power of pure love. Om shanti.
Sister Jayanti then shared drishti, toli and blessings with all.
Click the above images to view respective videos.
Exploring Green Power - News from the BK Green Network
30 January 2017
Dear BK Green Network
Peaceful January greetings.
There will be two special programs in London this week - Now is the Hour and Green Power workshop.
Below you can see the invitations for your inspiration, and also join the talk on webcast.
Thanks John for sharing this with us.
The 3 reports from the Biodiversity conference in Cancun, Mexico is now online. Keep the spirit up to the bio-team!
Brij Mohan's article - Speaking Tree in Times of India.
Helen sent us new of wind power train in Holland.
During the NC/CC meeting in Madhuban in March 2017 there will be exhibitions and presentations on
projects BK's are doing in relationship to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Sonja & Arnold on behalf of all of you.
Information two special events being hosted by the Brahma Kumaris and it's Environment Initiative at Global Co-operation House, London NW10 following successful participation in the Conference of Parties (COP22) International events held in Morocco last November.
"Now is the Hour" event will be webcast, please do connect on www.brahmakumaris.org/uk/live
The workshop entitled 'Exploring Green Power', is the first of a series of green-focused themes aimed at bringing the heart and personal connection to all that is green in our lives. It will include a variety of uplifting exercises, music, reflections and a talk by Sister Jayanti.
Green Service News and Merry Christmas
6 January 2017
Dear all in the network of engaged raja yogis
Trust this newsletter will find you healthy and happy. This time the newsletter will mostly be about conferences and programmes. We are such a crowd of engaged servers! So many reports and news have been received, and brother Peter in Oslo keeps uploading them to our site. A big hand to him for keeping our website up-to-date and correcting all material sent to him.
BioCOP and BioClick in Mexico
Right at this moment the UN Conference on Biodiversity in Mexico is on-going. It is drawing towards it's close after two weeks of intense service for the BioTeam - Andrea, Yolanda, Carmen, Claudia, Irene and others are serving. You can see the first report here.
Climate Change COP22 in Morocco
I am sure most of you saw the news in the rosary. Here you can see all photos and reports - they will give a good overview of the extensive service and present trends in climate change service. Some direct links:
- A youtube clip of 3,5 min has been made by Denise and Romina
- Press conference Press conference with Sr. Jayanti , Golo and others The role of ethics and
awareness in climate change solutions
- Interfaith Press conference with Valeriane and others "Getting faith communities onboard"
- An interview with Golo: Fighting climate change with inner change: a case for heightened spiritual awareness
All reports have been translated to Spanish, link here!
World Soil Day and Yogic farming experiments
Rural Wing celebrated this UN day, see their presentation.
Brother John in Soweto has made some experiments with yogic farming, see his report on "Applying psycho-energetics to enhance seedling development and crop yields"
Green Programs in the Caribbean
Francois was busy with green programs on his Caribbean tour. Here are some news from the Dominican Republic.
Sister Jayanti and the SDG's in Copenhagen
Exactly 7 years after we started our environment service in Copenhagen, Sister Jayanti came back. In the same hall with friends made at that time we had 2 interesting and popular programs addressing how to BE in todays environment crisis. See description here - translated to Spanish here.
The program "10 ways to change world", an interview of Sr. Jayanti by a Proffessor in Bioethics, can be heard here (in English).
Climate Change Youth meet in Ahmedabad
Many young people from around south Asia came together in Ahmedabad to study and be inspired on environmental topics.
See their report.
ECO retreat at Worthing 2016
The retreat was attended by a very eco-active group, from all over the UK, who shared their ideas on various aspects of practical tips for cleaning materials, creative use of arts and consciousness, link
And finally a frog sciene piece sent by Helen in Australia: Frog, toad larvae become vegetarian when it is hot
Christmas is ahead, and it will most likely be green in this part of the works, as the winters are milder than before. By the way, the Arctic is 20 degrees Celsius warmer than normal
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Ever-green Happy New Years
Click below image for video highlights: