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National Youth Conference 2013 How To Make OUR Life HIS Message Cover Title Here National Youth Conference 2013 How To Make OUR Life HIS Message Subtheme - Message The Ideal of Love
Workshop Ground Rules 1.Everyone’s input is equally valued - we are all on this journey together to learn from each other! 2.Respect differences. 3.No idea is a bad idea. 4.Be open to new concepts and ideas. 5.Share your experiences. 6.Cut to the chase! 7.Only one conversation will go on at once (unless subgroups are working on a topic).
The Path of Love “Love is the foremost quality of a person. It is only because of this quality of love that man is denoted by the term mankind. Kindness is very essential for mankind. Bereft of kindness, love, truth, and righteousness, one is not a human being at all. In fact, one is no better than a living corpse”. ~ Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, 21 July 1996
Aims and Objectives o Understand the teachings of “Love All and Serve All” o Explore the ideals of Love and Service. o Begin to think about the practical application of the ideal in our lives. o Be aware of the underlying Truth that connects all His teachings.
The Clarion Call to Humanity “I have come to light the lamp of Love in your hearts, to see that it shines day by day with added luster. I have not come on behalf of any exclusive religion. I have not come on a mission of publicity for a sect or creed or cause, nor have I come to collect followers for a doctrine. I have no plan to attract disciples or devotees into my fold or any fold. I have come to tell you of this unitary faith, this spiritual principle, this path of Love, this virtue of Love, this duty of Love, this obligation of Love.” ~ Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba,4 July 1968
What is Love? o Love is at the core of our existence and being. o Do we understand the Ideal of Love that Swami is teaching us?
Where it begins o List all the mean things you have said about yourselves during this last week.
In Love With Your Self “Dear children, but before you love someone, you need to love yourself. In order to love your own self, you should ensure and have that firm conviction that you do not have any bad habits and evil thoughts. In order to get to such a state of mind, one should achieve perfection. This is what I call Sadhana. In normal terms, you all think of Sadhana, as doing Namasmarana, doing pujas, rituals etc., To Me it is not. Attaining a state of perfection in the state of mind is Sadhana for Me. It is only when you are in a state of mind where you are in love with your own self, only then would you be in a state of mind to love all. When you are in this state, you are ready to serve all. This is Sadhana to Me!” ~ Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba (Source: www.theprasanthireporter.org/2013/01/walk-towards-me-and-leave-maya-behind)
Love Thyself o Create time for personal reflection, what are your good qualities and bad qualities you exhibit daily? o Ask those you trust about your faults and good sides. o Foster the best of yourself daily, to perfect ourselves.
What is Prema? “Turning to God's love, let me make it clear that 99 percent of devotees do not understand what this prema means. This love is construed in a worldly sense. This leads them astray. The attachment between husband and wife, between mother and child, between friends, between kith and kin —all are loosely described as prema (love), but these attachments are the result of temporary relationships and are by their nature transient. Prema is Thrikaala-abaadhyam (Love is that which lasts through all the three categories of time—the past, the present, and the future). Such love can exist only between God and the devotee and cannot apply to any other kind of relationship.” ~ Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, 14 January 1995 o What do you understand by this quote? o How can you apply this to your relationships at home, college, work?
What is Prema? “Some people show great love for outsiders but do not show the same love toward their mother and father in their house. First and foremost, we should love our parents; then, other people. But we should not limit our love to our friends and relatives alone; we should love all. Only then will God shower His love on us.” ~ Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, 27 January 2007
How do we develop Prema? “Service fosters the plant of love. Love is a very sacred thing. Love is time (immortality). One who desires such love does not seek anything else. Our life is the embodiment of love. Such love, which is very basic to our lives, we are enjoying it in a different manner. This is truly selfishness. This love should be developed in society. Share it with others. Love develops through such reciprocation. With this love, narrow thoughts give way to broad-mindedness. We should develop broad-mindedness in this vast world..” ~ Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, 19-24 November 1987
National Youth Conference 2013 How To Make OUR Life HIS Message Cover Title Here National Youth Conference 2013 How To Make OUR Life HIS Message Service
Objectives o Realise that Service helps to realise ones own divinity o Service must arise to elevate suffering, pain, or to give joy o Service must take into account ones resources, capacity, and manpower.
What is Seva? “In order to deserve the sacred name, Seva, the activity must be freed from all attachment to the Self and based on firm faith in the Divine resident in every being. Seva has to be considered as worshipping the form that God has assumed to give the Sevak the chance of worship. When a hungry Nara is served a hearty meal, what is being done is Narayana Seva, for, Nara (man) is only "a form and a name" projected by Maya (human ignorance) on Narayana (God).” -Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. 19 Chapter 25
Why do we Serve? “... the best way to please Me is to see Me in all beings and serve them just as you would like to serve Me. That is the best form of worship, which will reach Me. If you have full faith in the Divinity of every being, the attitude of surrender will automatically be fixed in you. Do not treat them, as nara (human); treat them as Naaraayana, the Lord Himself. You are not alleviating the distress of that other person; you are offering worship to the Lord, in that Form, in that body.” -Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. 8 Chapter 33
Activity o As an active youth in your centre/region you are asked to chalk out a plan for a suitable seva activity for this year. o Mission / Vision statement o Implementation plan o Goal / result to reach o How would you measure the success of your seva efforts?
How do we Serve? “You have to execute various ‘Seva Dal’ activities in the spirit of spiritual activity, which enjoins you to revere duty as God and to engage in work... as worship of the Lord Himself. Service has to be saturated in selfless love. The service that you render must reward you, not only with your satisfaction, but with the satisfaction and relief of those whom you serve. When those whom you serve are not relieved or made happy thereby, of what avail is your elation at the help you have been allowed to offer? You should have the joy of the recipient as your objective. Try to discover whether your act of service has really been worthwhile, whether it has been intelligently rendered with full appreciation of the peculiar circumstances of the individual who needed it. Do not think of the fame or praise you win; think of the good that people derive. Do not crave for publicity; crave for the joy that shines in the face of the people whom you help. ” -Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. 1 Chapter 10
How do we Serve? “Before embarking on a service project one must introspect and examine his equipment for the Sadhana whether his heart is full of selfless love, humility and compassion, whether his head is full of intelligent understanding and knowledge of the problem and its solution, whether his hands are eager to offer the healing touch, whether he can gladly spare and share time, energy and skill to help others in dire need.” -Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. 19 Chapter 25
Seva – Check List o Bhava – Intention and Attitude …whether his heart is full of selfless love, humility and compassion o Understanding and know how …whether his head is full of intelligent understanding and knowledge of the problem and its solution o Preparedness …whether his hands are eager to offer the healing touch o Ability and Capacity …whether he can gladly spare and share time, energy and skill to help others in dire need
Swami’s Precepts o Service is essential for living and for realizing ones inherent divinity o Service should stem from the urge to give love and happiness, and relieve suffering of our fellow brothers and sisters.
Swami’s Precepts o Service should fulfil a need which is dependent on the people being served and the locality o Service activities should be formulated based on the time, skill and resources available.
With Love – Swami … “Be of service to others, for that is giving yourself to Me. For whatever you give, I will repay you thrice, Nay I shall repay you ten-fold. Try Me and you will see. I say to those who know the joy of giving, look back! Yes, look back and see how each time you felt that nothing but a miracle could save you, keep you alive, fill your larder, save your son, stop a disaster - has not that miracle happened? Divine guidance is always at the side of the giver. Yes, I will give to those who give of themselves, untold Joy and Bliss; and what is more, I will lead them by the hand along those petal strewn paths of Eternal Joy.” www.saibaba.ws/quotes/service.htm
National Youth Conference 2013 How To Make OUR Life HIS Message Cover Title Here National Youth Conference 2013 How To Make OUR Life HIS Message The Ideal of Love
Expanding our heart – Practical toolkit o Raise your hand if you find it difficult to demonstrate love to certain people?
Expanding our heart – Practical toolkit o It could be someone at work, centre, or home! o Swami will place certain people in our life to learn to practice His teachings. How expansive is our love? o Judging others is one of the main barriers to loving others. o In today’s society – it is the norm for our jokes to focus around judging others.
Start with yourself “Before pointing out the faults of others, examine yourselves and assure yourselves that you are free from faults. But the wonder is that you discover faults in others only when you have faults in you. Once you rid yourself of faults, all become pure and good. That is the magic of Divine love”. ~ Thought for the day as written at Prasanthi Nilayam – Nov. 4th, 2006
Words have Power o The words we use and how we communicate them can be an expression of loving without judgement. o In the this current fast paced and non personal, technological age of SMS, Facebook and Twitter, how we communicate is even more important to convey the essence of love.
Words have Power “By his words man can acquire every kind of wealth. By their words Rulers lose their kingdoms. By one's speech one can acquire friends and relations. By words one may make enemies, engender hatred and make himself miserable. Good words are a man's best kinsfolk. Nor is that all. It is one's speech which contributes to his progress in many ways. One's words are the root cause of one's prosperity, courage, bliss or even death. One's speech determines almost everything in one's life. Hence one's speech should be sweet, wholesome and pleasing to others…. One’s speech should be truthful, pleasing, and well-meaning. Even truth should not be uttered in harsh language. It should be soft, sweet, pleasing conducive to peacefulness”. ~ Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, 14 October 1995
Case Study Part 1: The YC Centre Youth Co-ordinator: I haven’t seen Ganesh or his mother around at centre for months, I know you two don’t get along, but he’s your cousin I hear? I heard he was going through some tough times and failed his A-Levels. Sita: Yea, he was busy partying hard during our A-Levels, he got into trouble for smoking and suspended once too. People are saying he’s become a really bad person. I think he was trying to escape something depressing, so got into bad habits, poor thing!
Case Study Part 1: The YC Within your groups, reflect and then act out an alternative response by Sita. This new response to the YC should be one of love - in line with Swami’s teachings. Illustrate harmony of thought, words and deeds. You must communicate the fact that Ganesh has failed his A- Levels (for the purpose of exploring the usage of loving speech). Your group may be picked to act your scene.
Potential Solution for Part 1 Centre Youth Co-ordinator: I haven’t seen Ganesh or his mother around at centre for months, I know you two don’t get along, but he’s your cousin I hear? I heard he was going through some tough times and failed his A-Levels. Sita: Yes, he was going through some rough times, but he’s so intelligent, I’m sure he’ll make it through his A-Levels the second time round. I’d like to go round to his place to see how he is, maybe I can offer him some good study tips that helped me when I was going through a tough time.
Part 1 key points: o Our outer language will reveal truths. o Our unconscious and conscious thoughts lead us to putting down others to feel better about “Me”. o Many people do not realise they are judging because they pepper it with “poor thing” or “because I care for him or her”. o Rather than seeking to love we gain a sense of power and superiority by judging others. o Are you aware of what you are really saying and your judgements against others?
Sita feels angry that Ganesh could accuse her mother of such a falsity. It is not true. She also fears that Ganesh will be angry at her, as Sita has told the youth co-ordinator that Ganesh has failed his exams. Given Swami’s teachings. How should Sita respond to this SMS? How Should Sita respond – SMS, email, call or in person? What exactly should Sita say and why? Think about mediums of communication and how love comes across through different mediums. You may be asked to act out your response.
Part 2 key points: o How we communicate is an important aspect of loving behaviour. o Email, Facebook and Twitter have changed the way people communicate and means the trend is now fast paced and short communication.
Part 2 key points: o Email/ SMS does not allow you to convey precise emotion. o We tend to react quickly when typing a message and we are less thoughtful about what we say. o In most cases convenient communication is not the best way to respond in a loving way. o Have the courage to pick up the phone or meet face to face if dealing with a difficult situation.
Harmony of Thought, Word and Deed o By choosing the right words, we can also carry people with us, and create a loving bridge in all our relationships. But if our thoughts are not genuine, and we do not keep check of them – they will quickly surface in our words and actions.
Words have Power “Before you speak, think: Is it necessary? Is it true? Is it kind? Will it hurt anyone? Will it improve on the silence?” ~ Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Words have Power “You have to understand the power of good thoughts. Thoughts travel from one person to another. If you are thinking ill of others that can harm the other person, but ten times more harm will come to you. Some of you will be indulging in the thought of harming others and wishing that those people should come to ruin. Such thoughts will harm us tenfold. Never allow them to come near us. Always wish good of others. Love all. For this I am an example. I love all people. Even the wicked people I love. I love all the more people who criticize Me. I love such people who are making fun of Me. Therefore, I am always happy, extremely happy. That is why I say, “My Life is My Message.” I am always full of sacrifice, renunciation, and giving for others. I never have selfishness”. ~ Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, 19 - 24 November 1987
Meditate on Swami’s Message “Promote love in your hearts and share it with others. That is the best form of worship. Love is the only property of Sai. My life is love. That is what I offer to one and all. I go on giving, giving. But to what extent are you putting into practice Swami’s teachings? Practise silence for at least ten minutes in a day. Meditate on Swami’s teachings at that time. Realise that in this transient world the Eternal is immanent. Hold fast to God. Experience the bliss of union with the Divine. Make love your life-breath. With love of God in their hearts the ancient sages could transform even the wild animals in the forests.” ~ Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba 13 April 1996
National Youth Conference 2013 How To Make OUR Life HIS Message Cover Title Here National Youth Conference 2013 How To Make OUR Life HIS Message The Root of the Message
What is the under current/root of all of Swami’s Messages? Exercise o 3 quotes per group o 10 min to answer above question o 5 mins for each group to present back
“God, if you think, God you are Dust if you think, dust you are As you think, so you become Think God, be God.” http://www.saibaba.ws/quotes/god.htm