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Love and Light

Region 5 - Regional Orientation Conference

Swami kept the snow away as devotees travelled from Newcastle, Sandbach, Bolton, Leeds, Oldham, Macclesfield, Halifax and across the region on a bright morning in Bradford to take part in our Region 5 Orientation Conference on Sunday 22nd February 2015. We were joined by Dr Kiran Patel , SSSSOUK National Chairperson .

The day started with bhajans and beautiful darshan of Swami.
This was the first event led by our newly appointed and energetic Regional Team.

Dr Vijayanand Nadella , Region 5 chairperson welcomed Dr Kiran Patel and the rest of the office bearers and active workers. He said that this orientation conference is an opportunity for all the active workers to come together and focus our approach godward.
Swami said , Samsthalu ( Centres) are not important. Samathvam ( Unity) is more important.
Unity is Divinity. He concluded that all the centres within the region should work with unity and intensity.

Dr Kiran Patel addressed the audience and expressed concerns regarding the threats coming from within the organisation. He cautioned devotees not to fall prey to claims made by certain individuals with vested interests.
He highlighted the enormous responsibility of the office bearers in safeguarding the interests of the devotees. He said that Prasanthi has granted a special opportunity for UK devotees to decorate the Sai Kulwanth hall for this christmas and we should all grab this life time opportunity.

The regional team then facilitated two excellent workshops on “love and service” and “living as reflections of love.”

The workshop materials were beautifully put together – the quotes, videos, scenarios and interactive sessions moved and inspired us as well as giving us plenty to think about. There was something for everyone to learn and to take away and I want to share with you some of the key things we learnt from our regional conference.

The first workshop was on LOVE. I’ve selected the slide below as it was one that really made us think deeply. We wanted to print this slide and use it every day, in our centres, with SSE children, and use it like a ‘7 point code of love!’ We had a good discussion about the word ‘intensity.’

Discussion on the last point and how service kills ego and confers infinite bliss, led us nicely to the second part of the workshop. The Sai Organisation is here for us to learn who we really are. We are all sparks of the divine and our body is here only to serve others. We shared our experience of service activities and how we felt the activities met the points in the slide below.

The second workshop was titled Reflections of Love and covered the importance of communication. The chosen scenarios were very good and we all identified with something from them. We looked at how communication is about sharing love, information and understanding. Look at Swami as an example – he talks to so many people but he still has that same smile and makes sure everyone is comfortable. Smiles should be cornerstone of our communication and love should be at the heart of every communication. Why? Because...

Love in word is truth
Love in action is right conduct
Love in thought is peace
Love in feeling is non violence

The words we use are very important and we have to be careful as office bearers and active workers that our words don’t do damage. We all found using THINK very useful for communication...

Think ...
Is it True
Will it Hurt anyone
Will it Improve on the silence
Is it Necessary
Is it Kind

How to improve communication? The simplest and most powerful technique is to remember we are speaking to Swami himself. Personally, I found the choice of the word ‘remember’ very important. Not to imagine, or to think, but to remember we are speaking to Swami himself.

A big thank you to our regional team for facilitating the day. Everyone left feeling lifted, inspired and ready to start on our journeys during this auspicious 90th year of the advent of our dear sweet Swami.

Sanjay Vaja
Sai Centre of Greater Manchester