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Love and Light

National Sathya Sai Orientation Conference 2014: Wing Workshops

Centre Chair’s Workshop

I am currently an active worker in our Centre and attended the Centre Chairs workshop with a view to supporting our Centre Chair. It was a very open session of Q&A with the National Chair and National Vice Chair. Support and experiences were shared by everyone in the room.

For me, there were some key messages that came out from the workshop:

• The purpose of Sai's mission is to awaken the divine consciousness in man. Where and how does this happen? It happens In our Centres and Groups, which are beacons of light, spiritual powerhouses, all over the UK and the world. And so, the Chair position is not to be taken lightly - it is a key position in the unfolding of Sai's mission and its flow through to all devotees.

• Linked to the above point, what actually is Sai's mission? The divine mission? WE ARE! He is here for OUR awakening only - we must remember that as we carry out our duties.
• As Centre chair (and I guess any office bearer), remember that power and position can easily corrupt us - be careful. Or as I heard recently, BABA - Be Aware, Be Alert.
• As Centre Chair, one needs to function not only as a good administrator, but more importantly, as a good leader who always maintains a sharp focus on the higher ideals of the Divine Sai Mission: Love, Unity, and a broadminded vision. This focus is communicated to all the members and office bearers of the Centre, so that all work undertaken by various Wings is performed in harmony. One could say that a Centre Chair is like the glue that holds the entire Centre together.

We also talked about what we can do to motivate youth to attend more regularly. Through the discussion, I was pleased to hear that actually there are more youth attending Centres and keen to be involved. Our role is to encourage, support and most importantly, listen to their ideas and be open to making changes. If we are so fixed that we carry on doing what we've always done and don't listen to ideas or are not prepared to change, is it really a surprise that youth or others don't want to attend?

I left the workshop feeling that office bearer positions are not 'easy' positions to hold, but are ones where our relationship with Sai grows stronger and stronger as we delve into Sai's teachings and more importantly, learn how to live Sai's teachings. They are positions where Sai's hand will guide us, and where we allow his mission to unfold. What a beautiful opportunity we have been given!

Sanjay Vaja
Former Chairperson, Region 5
Active worker, Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Greater Manchester

Youth Wing Workshop

“You are the ones who will assume the leadership of the country in future.
The future of the nation depends upon you.
Your nature and character will decide the character of the nation.
You should work for the prosperity of the nation, welfare of the world, and universal happiness.
First of all, you must follow the command of the Lord.
Therein lies your welfare, as well as the security of the nation and society.”
~ Sathya Sai Baba

With His words as our inspiration, the youth workshop aimed to make His work fuel our enthusiasm and energise us to put His words into action! The youth wing workshop aimed to practically apply Swami’s teachings.

The Role of the Youth Coordinator in the SSSSO

Our aspiration is to unite as Youth across the country and share our ideas, experiences and talents. With Swami’s Grace we were fortunate to have our Deputy Zonal Youth Coordinator, National Youth Coordinator, Regional Youth Coordinators and Centre Youth Coordinators and active youth from various regions present in one room. The message to the Youth was that the purpose of any coordinators role in the Organisation is one and the same: Self-transformation and the duty to ensure all youth are provided with information and opportunities for their own Self-transformation. The Organisation a vehicle given by Swami for the journey to Self-transformation.

Purpose of the Youth Wing

• To integrate into all the Wings of the Organisation
• To nurture our Character at this young and crucial stage of life

How will we fulfill the purpose of the Youth Wing? - Objectives of the Youth Wing

1. Integration with the service wing through Serve the Planet. We will lead on this project and build on what was started in 2013.
2. Expand on existing service projects.
3. Integrate with SSE through projects suitable and applicable at centre level
4. Integration with the spiritual wing through Sai Smaran. This is an on-going joint initiative between the two wings.
5. Nurture our characters as youth through the Young Adults Programme (YAP) by focusing this year on discussions centered on the 9-point code of conduct.

The youth broke out into groups and initiated discussions on the above objectives. The youth coordinators will now discuss these objectives with their centre members and other centre youth. Plans will be shared back at National Youth Wing meeting on 9th March 2014.

Youth Workshop Team for NSSOC

Service Wing - Workshop

Approximately 70 delegates gathered in the Gym for the second workshop of the day, possibly thinking a physical workout in the Gym following an ample and delicious lunch was on the cards, however this was not the case but an interactive mental workout was!

The workshop presentation and interaction focused on our understanding of being one with Sai in the form of:

1. His Work and how to be One with Sai through His work,
2. What is his work and how should we do it,
3. Who should participate in His work
4. When should we do it and
5. Why should we do his work

We then highlighted proposals for National service projects and the current activities carried out during the year 2013. These were summarised as Food bank; soup kitchen; visiting elderly; feeding homeless; Christmas parcels; GDS at elderly homes; clothes donated to homeless; food hampers; entertaining elderly etc.

Delegates then divided into groups to interact and discuss activities currently undertaken by them, which culminated in each group selecting five key activities they would like considered for further review.

The criteria given for the workshop was not to worry about the result but “Help as much as you can, as efficiently as you can, as silently as you can, and as lovingly as you can; leave the rest to God, who gave you a chance to serve.” [Sathya Sai Speaks. 1967.11.06]

Invigorating discussions ensued within each group, following which all delegates reassembled for the. Many and varied activities were put forward, and the following were selected for further review:

• National Disaster team
• Environmental project
• Service project overseas
• Training for the Organisation – first aid, food hygiene, risk assessment
• National Service project involving all the volunteers at the same location

Delegates then went away to dwell on the need-basis, the feasibility, the processes and skill-base required for the effective delivery of these projects. It was decided to engage in further discussions and to submit Project Plans by the 9th of March when the National Wing Meetings would take place.

In summary the key messages were; self transformation through activity and working selflessly without desire for reward. Do not believe that you can by means of selfless service reform or reshape the world. You may or may not. That does not matter. The real value of seva, its most visible result, is that it reforms you, reshapes you.
[Sathya Sai Speaks. 1966.03.29]

To conclude the workshop a moving and inspirational message from our beloved Bhagawan was read out with copies given to all delegates

These are My words to you, My Devotees. Each of you has a unique and valuable
part to play in this lifetime. Only those whom I have called can serve Me…
My mission has now reached that point in time when each one of you now
has work to do. I call upon you to radiate the Devotion within you so
that its unseen power will envelop all who come into your orbit. To
successfully perform your part always remain centered upon Me. Allow
yourselves to impart that purity of heart within you towards all human
beings and all living creatures and do not reach for the fruits of your
work. This part of my mission will be performed in absolute silence.
You are My instruments from whom My love will pour. Be always aware
that the moment you let your ego descend upon you My work ceases. When
you have overcome your negative un mind-fullness you will again become
My Source. The multiplication of My Love will be felt throughout the
world. I have prepared you for this work over many incarnations. I have
drawn you to Me. I have made great steps in My Mission over these past
incarnations. My work is ceaseless and so your work too, is without end.
Know that I am within you and without you. There is no difference. Rid
yourselves of petty matters forevermore. You are now Me and I am now
Thee. There is no difference. My Darshan will pour forth from Me to and
through you…………………………………………………………………………………………………………
You may be unaware of this constant action. Be ever pure of heart and
soul and mankind in your lifetime will benefit from your unique
qualities. Others too, will join Me in this Mission when I draw them to
Me. The time is approaching when all humanity will live in
harmony. That time will be here sooner than one expects. Before it
arrives be prepared for whatever is needed to reveal to every living
thing the true purpose of existence. It is not what anyone alive can
imagine. It is not something that one can try to aspire to. It is
beyond all comprehension. I can say that it’s Beauty is magnificent
beyond all dreams. And as each of you perform your work silently I will
embrace you to My Heart and henceforth your soul shall be lifted up and
your eyes will reveal My Presence within you. This I say to all My
Devotees from the Lord's Mountain top where all the Universe become
one. Be about My work, My beloved Devotees. Your breath will carry the
scent of the Blossoms of Heaven. Your example will be that of Angels.
Your joy will be My joy
“BABA” 22 Nov 2009 9:54 AM

Mr Mukund Patel,
National Service Coordinator

Spiritual Wing Workshop

Following a vibrant morning workshop on ‘One with Sai-His Words’, devotees participated in the afternoon spiritual wing workshop to discuss the vision and plans for the Spiritual wing and its role within the Organisation. The group included of a mixture of Spiritual coordinators, previous office bearers, active workers, youth and other devotees.

The session started with a brief introduction by Dr Rakendu Suren on Spiritual wing and how we achieve the oneness with Sai by doing his work, with self-transformation being ultimate goal of all Sai activities. Following a brief introduction of the current projects undertaken by the spiritual wing, regional spiritual coordinators who are leading the projects did a brief presentation on the the activities aimed to take the spiritual wing forward.

Sister Jenni Robson , Region 4 Spiritual coordinator initially presented English devotional songs recording project, which has already been successfully piloted in the region. Brother Karthik Prashanth, previous Region 3 Spiritual Coordinator presented the on-going study circle project, a project aimed at supporting and facilitating the study circles in different centres, including supporting centres with relevant materials, multimedia support etc. Brother Mahendra Patel, the Region 7 Spiritual Coordinator, presented on the ‘ Sathya Sai Speaks audio recording project ‘ where each region was allocated a volume of Sathya Sai Speaks to record for an audio book. Brother Suresh Sajnani, our Region 2 coordinator presented a project on Meditation which is aimed at facilitating Meditation sessions in Sai centres. Ongoing projects such as Saismaran and interfaith activities were also presented.

Following the presentations, the group actively participated in discussions on implementing projects in their respective centres. It was a rich discussion with a lot of interest from the devotees to take part in these projects. We also came up with practical action points in implementing these projects which will be further discussed in Spiritual Wing Coordinators meeting on 9th March. As a group we reminded ourselves how each Sai centre should provide a platform for individual transformation and the role of the Spiritual wing in facilitating this.

Dr Rakendu Suren
National Spiritual Coordinator

Sathya Sai Education is Education for Transformation

At the National Sathya Sai Orientation Conference in January 2014, the Sai Spiritual Education wing held a workshop with the purpose to know and understand how to be one with Sai through his work; to know and understand how to practically apply this to activities of the wing and to know and understand how we as SSE teachers, helpers, parents and youth can live Swami’s teachings and share it.

Before we could move forward, we needed to first understand Swami’s work.

"The establishment of righteousness (dharma): that is my aim. The teaching of dharma, the spread of dharma: that is my object". And "My mission is to spread happiness, so I am always ready to come among you not once, but twice or thrice —as often as you want me".
-Sri Sathya Sai Baba

The workshop invigorated our mind awakening us to understand if we really have understood Swami and his work. A positively striking message which was imparted at the workshop was that without information there is no transformation and the transformation of the world is related to the transformation of the individual.

The room was filled with SSE coordinators, teachers, helpers, parents and youth, all of different ages who came together from different parts of the United Kingdom to discuss and map out steps to enhance and develop specific areas of the SSE wing and it’s far reaching impact. This was a unique opportunity to unite and understand how we are able to achieve this transformation. A list of current activities undertaken in the SSE wing was presented to everyone. As Swami says, ‘The organisation is intended to broaden your love, to channelise your activities through devoted service’, the list had illustrated this love. We began our focus for the year ahead with three aims for the SSE wing; further development of Parents’ Study Circle at the centre level, Teachers’ Study Circle as a means for self transformation and Integration of the SSE Alumni into the various wings of the Sri Sathya Sai Service Organisation here in the United Kingdom.

This session was to enable a wider group within the SSE wing to participate and drive these focus areas over the coming months. The energy and enthusiasm of the participants was immense and the workshop ended with Bhagavan’s words ringing in our ears,

“The transformation of the individual is a pre-requisite for the transformation of the world”.

Miss Alisha Manandhar
SSE Coordinator, Brixton Sai Centre
Region 1