Itrvine CA: Around 3,000 people were present at The University of California, Irvine , in the Bren Events Center for a magical evening of beauty, spiritual light, peace, love, and joy with BK Sister Shivani, organized by the Brahma Kumaris Center in Seal Beach, California, on the topic “Awakening Inner Potential, Power and Joy.”
Everyone seemed to easily delve into an experience of peace as yogis gave drishti (spiritual energy) from the stage and Emiliano Campobello played a variety of indigenous flutes. BK Sister Elizabeth’s songs made the souls soar with joy, and her voice echoed the words “In this moment, in this place, I remember who I am. Let worry fall away from me … I am a peaceful soul.”
John Levoff, a writer and producer in the entertainment industry, spoke about the BK organization and its influence on him and how indebted he is to them for inspiring him. Calling the BKs a “powerfully empowering organization,” he stated that “the BKs have no money and no possessions; however, what they do have are hearts full of love for all souls.”
BK Sister Diane, Center Co-ordinator of the Brahma Kumaris Seal Beach Center; BK Sister Chandru, Director of the Brahma Kumaris on the West Coast, USA; and BK Sister Haleema, Rajayoga Teacher, spun rays of love and belonging as they welcomed the audience.
The Film “Planting a Seed of Change,” commemorating the BK’s 40th anniversary in the USA was well received by the audience.
All of this created a setting to enjoy even more deeply a humorous, delightful, and wise talk by BK Sister Shivani. The audience was enthralled with the knowledge and the interaction.
When asked how she manages to stay so peaceful and resist anger, Sister Shivani responded with a smile, “being peaceful is our natural way of being. In the world today, being peaceful and not getting angry is what surprises people.”
Sister Shivani sat in her calm demeanor as always, with a perfect answer to every question, simple, straight, and clear as crystal. “We should reflect our peaceful inner self to the outside world and spread peacefulness,” she said. “The world is not complicated, our thinking is. If you think simple, the world will be simple,” she explained – most simply!
Sister Shivani captivated the crowd with a kick-off meditation exercise, reassuring in her ever-so- familiar calm voice “Om Shanti …” There emerged a strange calmness in this group of Los Angeles angels. They felt grounded and ready to soak the message of love, peace and happiness.
She explained the power to be able to “operate at a higher vibration,” to take the high road at every subsequent scene of your life, and not allow the outside world or any situation to affect our behavior. “Ask yourself the question: Is it the world that I can change or is it my thinking? Each time you will realize that the world and situations are simple – only our thinking gives them confusing and complicated energy,” she said.
Very beautifully Sister Shivani recited a couplet, “zindagi bhar galti karte rahe, mitti thi ainey par – chehra saaf kar te rahe.” She translated for the many non-Hindi speaking audience: “Clean that one thought – the one speck off your face – off your mind. It’s not the mirror that is dusty, it’s our mind.” She shares the message that life is not “out there” but inside us, and that we must remove the “blockage – the pure flow of energy” from our mind to our outside. This, she explains, “is done by unconditional acceptance of every soul without judging.” “We have come to believe that pain is natural, it is fair, it is genuine and true. It has become our destiny and we believe that people and the world outside are the cause of our pain,” she said. “Pain is not natural – it does not have to be”, stressed Sister Shivani. Speaking of the three pillars of life, “happiness, peace and love,” Sister Shivani believes them to be “innate to the human being.” Feelings like hurt, stress and anger are contradictory to our being and thus cause discomfort. “The right thought creates the right feeling,” she said.
The calm of the evening lasted about a hundred minutes with one solitary, powerful voice being listened to word by single word. The actual ringing of a cell phone was in Sister Shivan’s words, “out there” and not to influence our inner peace by the creation of distracting or negative thoughts. As the clock neared 9 pm, the evening was coming to a close. Sister Shivani invited the crowd to “let go”. She said, “it is a lot easier to let go and lighten the burden than it is to carry it from you past, sometimes for many years.” She held a glass in her hand and then put it down many times over, demonstrating how easy it was to let go and how burdensome it is to hold on! Never has a crowd of thousands of Indian-Americans left an event in such an orderly and quiet manner as they did that evening. It was Sister Shivani’s request they move in silence and order – they abided by that!