February 2016

 

Theosophical Order of Service

 

Spirit

of

Service

 

A newsletter for TOS liaisons and TS groups--because theosophy in action changes the world for good!
February, 2016
Warm greetings,
 
In 1931, Annie Besant presided over a humanitarian conference held in India.  Her opening address, titled "Service to All Living Things," ended with these exquisite words, "...never let us have any love we can give away and fail to give it, for love is immortal, nay, rather eternal and illimitable."  Her words highlight a very peculiar quality that love has--the more of it we give away, the more of it we will have.
 
In this issue, you'll find stories about TOS members who give their love away, and our TOS Healing Intention offers an easy opportunity to give away some of your love and work for peace at the same time.  That's life in the TOS, where members seem to find ever more inspiring ways for their work to become, as Kahlil Gibran said, "love made visible."
 
Remember that I love hearing from you and learning about your group, your projects, your ideas . . . or anything you'd like to share about service.

In service,

Kathy Gann
TOS Liaison Coordinator
720-987-6323
 
Aurora Borealis photo above right courtesy of NaturesPicsOnline.com; terms of use
 

Sharing the Joy of Socks

Thanks to Marlene Flor for her contribution!

Members of the Abraxas Lodge in Southampton, Pennsylvania, took action to share the warmth of the holiday season with homeless veterans in their state.  At the group's holiday party in December, members brought donations of warm winter socks to be distributed to homeless veterans in Philadelphia (the "City of Brotherly Love") by Lodge President Nancy Bragin. 

Abraxas Lodge members are also actively collecting bed linens and warm clothing for homeless veterans.

Philadelphia photo at left copyright C. Thorpe; terms of use

A bit of theosophical-esque trivia:  like the word theosophy, the name Philadelphia is a compound Greek word, comprised of "philos" meaning love or friendship, and "adelphos" meaning brother.  What a fitting place for the first object of the Theosophical Society to be put into loving, brotherly action!

TOS loves kids!

A blast from the not-so-distant past: the Theosophical Order of Service-USA has worked on so many projects to benefit children and young people, we just had to make a video so we could share all the good things going on.

If you were at the 2013 Summer National Conference at Olcott, you may have seen this video within TOS President Nancy Secrest's presentation at the business meeting.  Click on the red image at left to see the video on YouTube.

Photo credit at left: Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez; terms of use

Yes, She CAN!

United Nations International Women's Day: March 8

The United Nations has designated March 8 "International Women's Day," and this year, the UN "envisions a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an income, and living in societies free from violence and discrimination." 

Is it possible for women and girls around the world to exercise such choices in their lives?  The TOS answers with the newly-published, "Yes, She Can", an anthology of articles on the empowerment of women written by women and men renowned in their fields. The articles were compiled by the TOS Odisha Region, India, under the leadership of Dr. Deepa Padhi.  Watch this book trailer video to see the contributing authors. Contact modbooks.bbrs@gmail.com for more information or to order.  Proceeds help battered women through social welfare projects.

Photo at right: TOS book launch.  Dr. Deepa Padhi is third from left.

Help end violence.  TOS-USA supports the efforts of Dr. Deepa Padhi and the TOS-Mahabharat Group in their campaign to change the mindset in India from one of violence against women to one of empowerment and equality for women and girls.  Please help by donating to the TOS and choosing "Deepa's Women's Issues Campaign" from the drop-down box.

Do you know where to recycle your paint?

PaintCare is a nonprofit that operates a paint stewardship program on behalf of paint manufacturers.  Funding comes from a fee on the sale of new paint.  In participating states, there is no charge for dropping off leftover paint, no matter how old it is. 

So far, eight states are participating: CA, CO, CT, ME, MN, OR, RI, and VT.  Washington DC will join the list on 9/1/2016. Visit Paintcare.

If your state isn't listed, you can still use PaintCare's Drop-Off Location Tool to find a facility near you--just enter your zip code.

TOS Healing Intention for Peace in Syria

Thanks to Fali Engineer for this inspiration!

On Monday, February 1, 2016, at 10:00 am Eastern, author James Twyman headed up a worldwide synchronized meditation which he called The Great Abrahamic Pulse.  He traveled to a Syrian village on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights, within eyesight of several villages held by either ISIL or Hezbollah.  James described the scene: "Just before we began the world synchronized meditation a battle raged in the village directly across from us. The sound of guns and mortar shells rang through the air." 

For 10 to 15 minutes, millions of meditators around the world began envisioning the children of Syria being fed and the residents of Syria living in peace.  To anchor the energy from the meditation, James sang prayers from the three Abrahamic religions--Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, while three leaders of those religions shared prayers of peace from their tradition. 

And then, something extraordinary happened.  James wrote, "As we approached the time of the vigil something suddenly changed. The fighting stopped and everything grew calm.  When the vigil closed we were amazed to hear a pack of wolves begin to howl for exactly 1 minute just beneath us, as if the earth itself felt our prayers."

I invite you to join me in strengthening and enlivening the thought form created by the synchronized meditation.  

Before performing the meditative intention below, it may be helpful to watch the trailer from the documentary film, "Salam Neighbor."  (Salam means "hello".)  Two young American film makers embedded themselves in a Syrian refugee camp and got to know some families who had fled the violence in Syria. By watching the trailer, you'll get a brief but endearing glimpse of our Syrian neighbors. 

Syrian children; photo courtesy of the UK Dept. for International Development; terms of use

In their book, The Power of Thought, John Algeo and Shirley Nicholson advise us to begin such an effort by centering ourselves and identifying our consciousness, not with our personality, but with the One Self.  By so doing, they said, we become a channel through which the healing and restoring energies of Life can flow, and we avoid the dangers of supposing we know best and imposing our own will.

1) Center yourself and identify your consciousness with the One Self, the source of all life, your own deepest being.

2) Picture Syrian families and citizens living their lives in a state of wholeness, peace and health.  Picture Syrian children being fed nourishing food by their loving families.  Focus on these images for 10 to 15 minutes, or as long as you're able.  If you like, end with "Om...Shanti...Shanti...Shanti" and imagine these words reverberating throughout Syria.

Your thoughts will join and strengthen the already-potent thought form created by the synchronized meditation.  "Thought is a creative power.  It makes actual forms in the thought atmosphere around us that affect the way we and others habitually respond to the world." --The Power of Thought        Thank you for working for peace in Syria!

 "A union of those who love in the service of all that suffers."

www.TheoService.org