Tagaytay City (Philippines): A National Retreat with the theme “Return to the Source” commenced with 165 Members of Brahma Kumaris Spiritual Center in Tagaytay City, in the presence of Sister BK Jayanti, Regional Coordinator of the Brahma Kumaris in Europe and the Middle East as a spiritual resource. The day’s program concluded with a celebration that combined distribution of welcome gifts, cultural and creative performances from centers across the country, and a tribute to those who are (physically) 70 years and older.
The next day, Sister BK Jayanti started the ball rolling with one question: “What does God do and what does God not do?” She acknowledged concerns expressed in an open sharing the day before that revealed occasional feelings of disheartenment. She urged everyone to recall the times when they felt God was fully present and helping them along. She laid down some checking points: “Sangamyug (Confluence Age) is the time to be with God. If I am not able to experience Him during meditation, then I have to identify what it is that I have done. How clean is the soul in terms of thoughts, awareness, drishti and attitude? Why have my sanskars and behavior not changed? Maybe I am not having accurate yoga, or enough yoga to start with. In fact, there must be something blocking me from having any yoga at all.” Stability comes from focused introversion, she said. “If I sit in yoga and I am not stable, that means I am not introverted enough. Unity comes only when everyone achieves a stable stage.”
Sister BK Jayanti recalled how the public program two days before had emphasized that science and silence should go together to sustain the balance of mental and spiritual well-being. She especially mentioned research that show how kindness prolongs and improves life. “Science is now supporting everything that God has said; the only thing that drama is waiting for, is us. So now we have to be prepared. The less things I have to think about, the easier it is to remember God. I need to de-clutter; it is time to go home.”
Question-and-answer sessions are always good venues for clarification and, therefore, deepening understanding. One such session held kicked off with the wake-upper, “When will destruction come?” Sister Jayanti’s quick answer was, “What would you do if I said it was tomorrow? Because it could be. Are you ready?” How one can do tapasya in the midst of so many other things was the next question. “Connection” was Sister Jayanti’s simple reply. “When I am connected to God, I am able to use time in a worthwhile way. Then I can find more and more time to keep connecting.”
Relationships are often an area of tension. Sister Jayanti’s advice is to always be clear about what is really going on. “Check the self: If I am not saying ‘yes’ with my heart, is there a solid reason? When feelings are suppressed instead of brought out in open conversation, it is not good.”
She also spoke of constant and healthy communication in relation to service. “It is important to give feedback,” she said, “but very respectfully. The first step is to create strong spiritual relationships and stay mindful of the other person’s dignity.”
Sister BK Jayanti led the special rakhi celebration that evening. Prior to the ceremony, she shared these thoughts to ponder: “If I keep my promise of purity, God will protect me, not just now but throughout the whole cycle. The rakhi tied around my wrist is a symbol of that promise. The tilak I then receive is a reminder of how I should keep coming back to the stage of purity. And then I receive a fruit, which means that all my words and actions should be fruitful.”
The two-and-a-half hours that followed were deeply solemn and sweet, an indication that the gathering, no doubt, was enveloped in God’s warm embrace.