Sai Australia

Sathya Sai International Organisation, Zone 3, Region 31

Category: Snapshot (Page 1 of 5)

Community Engagement Report – November

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On the 20 th October 2018 we, as an organisation was invited to a Symposium on Human Values. Our host , the Sant Nirankari Mission, had requested that all the different faiths present a talk that shares the oneness with other faiths in the community. This included Muslims, Indians, Temple of Fine Arts, Sikhs, Hari Krishna Devotees, Buddhists and our host the Sant Nirankari Group.

Jenny Monson was invited to talk on behalf of our Organisation. Jenny focussed on the fact that the SSIO inspires the cultivation of oneness with others , family, community, nation and the world. The talk also mentioned how the 5 values, which are the cornerstone of our Organisation, are incorporated into our lives and our education.

The goal of the organisation, to help us realise the inherent divinity in ourselves was noted as being of prime importance. This and the oneness principle help us render the kind of service to others which is transformative to ourselves.

Our Organisation was also invited to perform a song. Seven Members of our Group sang the song,” I am One My Lord, I am One With Thee.

It was inspiring that one of the common threads that most of the faiths shared was the importance of practicing what we preach. Not just Words.!!

In order to place more effort in the Seva we offer, our group accepted an offer, from the Nutrition Team at Edith Cowan University (ECU), to hold a workshop. The Event was highly interactive and members who were directly involved in providing food to our homeless and to our Children living on the Street were especially invited to the event. The ECU team provided some insights into how we could provide a nutritious meal whilst aligning with our vegetarian ethos and beliefs. The extra effort we placed in our Seva projects was important
as it emphasised the importance of Swami’s guidance on this topic. Quality over Quantity!

The feedback we received from our members was very positive. As always we thank Swami for guiding us through His Community Engagement Work. We are very grateful to be included in his work.


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ECU (Edith Cowen University) Nutrition and Food Handling

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This is our journey to a fantastic, informative morning by the ECU Students on nutrition. We were fortunate to participate in a community engagement activity with the young enthusiastic ECU students ready to give us all the information we needed when we handle and provide food, including the sandwich seva and weekly stir fry vegetable service for the less fortunate children, young adults and adult homeless that many Sai members in Perth assist with.

Our Sai brothers, sisters and aunties were excited and charged with energy to listen. Swami as usually always has his plan for us.

We started with our three Aums. The students found this very relaxing and commented on how it calmed them to start. The tone was set to listen and learn.

We first introduced ourselves with our name and favourite vegetables. The air was charged with love and enthusiasm to learn more on how we can help to better or improve our nutritional knowledge on cooking food and serving food.

We continued the session with a few hands on lessons for us. We first grouped foods into different categories according to the Australian Guide to Healthy eating. The food groups they belonged to example the dairy, protein, grain, fruit, vegetables and sometimes food. The sometimes food were eg. our chocolate, ice cream, chips etc. We also discussed the portion sizes needed for each age group and gender. We were all looked surprised and we had a good laugh on how much we had especially rice.

The first team of students got us to look at salt, sugar and fats in our morning breakfast cereals. Nutri-grain was the worst. I was glad weet-bix came out ok but cooked oats with added fruits were the best. We then moved on to grains and fillings and what we all had for lunch. Some said salads, sandwiches and many said leftovers from the night before. I was glad to hear that because I usually make a sandwich with leftovers from the night before.

We then moved on to the sandwich making. There were a variety of breads and fillings to choose from. This was very exciting and by then I was ready to have a snack. The food was simple, delicious and nutritious. We had a choice of spreads, salad fillings tomato, cucumber, spinach, red onion and cheeses sliced. The fruits sliced were pears and apples. I was intrigued by this when added to my sandwich it was delicious and added a hint of sweetness to the sandwich. I loved it because I have a sweet tooth and I loved the mixture of sweet and salty. The spreads were easily made with a can of chickpeas added to each vegetable. They was beetroot, pumpkin and chickpeas. They were all blended to make different spreads. It tasted like salt and pepper were added to make it taste delicious. They demonstrated to us that we can make yummy sandwiches with simple ingredients which are nutritious to nourish our bodies and souls. We were all excited and ready to eat our delicious sandwiches.

The students then demonstrated to us how to make a delicious stir fry. This was quick, easy and nutritious. It had all the colour foods a stir should have and it was delicious. The protein added to this stir fry was canned chickpeas. The students told us that before using chickpeas from the can it must be washed out thoroughly. We also spoke about storage and how long after cooking we should refrigerate food especially rice which grows bacteria very quickly. We ended that session by tasting the stir fry. All the meals we had were delicious, nutritious and vegetarian. For vegetarians adding the vegetarian protein is very important. This keeps you fuller and makes the meal more balanced.

We finished with filled tummies and knowledgeable minds about making our nutritious food with love and mindfulness. This was made so easy to understand since the ECU students did a magnificent job helping us learn about all foods and nutrition. They gave us booklets to take home with recipes to share with our family and friends. These booklets were the LIVELIGHTER booklets. We all thanked them. I said to the students that we are so proud of them and thanked them for there sharing of knowledge and time with us.

Thank you Swami for giving us this opportunity to serve you.

With Divine Love and Blessings

Danashni Naidu


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Ladies Wellness – WA Region

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On the 20th of October, the ladies of the WA region were invited to participate in a Wellness Day program at the Perth Human Values Centre. The idea of a Ladies Wellness Day came from a group of ladies who wanted to provide a session where they could invigorate their mind, body and spirit and provide a snapshots for ladies into a range of concepts.

As part of the multi-faceted program, the presenters gave snapshots of the important aspects of self compassion, information on the purposes of spices, physical wellbeing (body), mindfulness (spirit), mental well-being, relationship building and self-love (mind). With all these skills and by nurturing our inner child, we also provide ourselves with armour to withstand the up and down challenges of this mortal life.

A new concept for many ladies was Self Compassion which encourages us to speak with our inner voice with kindness, without judgement, being mindful of our thoughts and realising common humanity when faced with difficulties. Without self compassion, we may become self pitying, self indulgent, identifying with the body and attaching ourselves too much with our egocentric qualities, and ultimately, not accepting who we really are – Divinity.

“In order to elevate oneself to the Pushthi (the full-filled or complete) category, one must learn Self-confidence and Self-satisfaction, to be content with one’s Self, to derive joy from the Atma (divine Self), which one is. One should not be tempted by what appear to be sources of joy in the external world. Sathya Sai Baba, SSS 14.59: 24 November 1980.

The chair yoga was a widely appreciated movement break, highlighting the importance of maintaining synchronicity with body and mind, and providing simple tips to connect with the inner voice and breath.

A personal highlight was the ‘mindful eating’ of a raisin. We were guided through mindfully examining, exploring and appreciating the sweetness of a single raisin, after which one senior lady of the group commented “This is the best raisin I have had in my life!”. What a wonderful example of how mindfulness enriches our lives and the importance of living in the present.

The afternoon was thoroughly enjoyed by Young Adults, adults and seniors, full of insights, laughter and personal stories.


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Updates on the Sai National Conference 2019

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The Sai National Conference will be held in Sydney, NSW during the Easter long weekend of 2019 (19 – 21 April). If you haven’t been keeping up to date with the latest posts on social media about the upcoming Sai National Conference, scroll down below to see some quotes, and some photos of a fun team building activity at the first kick-off meeting!


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QLD Ladies Wing Service Activity

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Devotees from the Ladies Wing of Brisbane, QLD, served a sumptuous lunch to approximately 60 clients from the Sunshine Welfare & Remedial Association (SWARA) on the 18/10/18 to observe Sathya Sai Baba’s Avatar Declaration Day, and also to celebrate Navaratri. A healthy lunch of pasta, rice, dhal, chickpea curry, salad and papadams was prepared with great love, and served to all the clients, support workers and volunteers. It was so nice to see everyone enjoying their meal and they were all treated to ice cream afterwards for dessert. The SSIO observes 20th October every year, to remember, reflect, and assimilate the teachings of Sathya Sai Baba, which in essence is to “Love All, Serve All.”


 

 

 

 


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Parenting Workshop

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On Sunday 28 October we were fortunate to have Mr Erik Robertson from The Netherlands facilitate a workshop on parenting at Darcy Road Public School in Wentworthville.
Approximately 60 participants from both regions East and West were in attendance.
The program commenced with the beautiful reminder that Sathya Sai Baba is our ultimate mother and father. He is the most compassionate and loving of all mothers and yet the most stern, fatherly disciplinarian when required.

The workshop explored the concept of ‘Love and Law’ in parenting. Underpinning Love in parenting were sentiments of unconditional love, compassion, empathy and understanding; Law was centred upon notions of rules and regulations. We discussed the ways in which parents can gravitate towards one or both of these concepts depending on contextual factors like the child’s age and individual circumstances.

Erik also shared a model for self-evaluation which feeds into our parenting style. In essence it can be conceptualised as two separate ‘buckets’ of positive and negative feedback which are each linked to both the Atma (our ultimate reality – i.e that we are God) and our subconscious. Through our continuous self-evaluation we are either consciously or subconsciously filling these proverbial buckets, and often, we tend to fill the negative bucket to the point that it overflows and manifests outwardly as us ‘snapping’ at those around us.

The workshop at this stage broke into small groups, each of which had fruitful discussions about how we all view our own ‘buckets’ and the dynamics in our parenting partnerships in light of Love and Law.

These buckets are fertile grounds through the child-rearing process, for they significantly influence our own behaviour as well as our children’s buckets. To this end, we learned how parents reinforce the behaviour exhibited by their children, and their behaviour is ultimately a product of what we pass on to them. With this in mind, we were reminded that children regard their parents as God – as their moral mirrors.

Ultimately, Erik reinforced the need to parent with unconditional love. We must love them unconditionally as they are (and notably, this is separate to loving them for their behaviour).

As we go about raising our children we must always be guided by our inner conscious or intuition, as this is ultimately Sathya Sai Baba Himself guiding us. By living the 5 human values and centering our parenting upon these, with the firm foundation of unconditional love, we can navigate the complex and dynamic journey of parenting.


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His student’s space with inspiring short articles

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Experiencing Vedas and Vedanta

On the morning of 27 October 2018, SSIO members of Sydney participated in the first session of Experiencing Vedas and Vedanta, a session prepared under the National Devotion Wing of SSIO. The presenters were Nick Goritsas, Sridhar and Ram Naresh. Nick was a student of the late Professor Sundaram who taught in Sydney. Sridhar and Ram Naresh are former students of the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSIHL), and currently teach Veda chanting and Vedanta in Sydney. The day started with chanting of the Rudram and devotional singing.

Nick Goritsas was welcomed to the dais to speak on the topic “Vedas and Vedanta in our daily lives”. Nick took the audience on a journey by explaining step-by-step how a spiritual aspirant progresses towards finding the answer to that salient question “Who Am I?” by making references from the Vedas and Vedanta. He compared this journey to building a structure brick by brick. It was an eye-opener to many that Vedas are the purest form of instructions and they are in fact scientific in nature rather than religious as many people had perceived.

After a short break, we were separated in to two groups for an interactive workshop. The facilitators were Sridhar and Ram Naresh. Participants were asked to chant Omkar eleven times in very slow, long breaths. After the chanting, devotees were asked to share their inner experiences when they chanted Omkar. After listening to the feedback, the facilitators gradually embarked on the inward journey. We discussed about the Five Sheaths of our being that we need to travel through to see the real “I”

After the workshop, devotees assembled back in the main hall to join the facilitators on the next demonstration of an important journey – a journey that takes the aspirant to find ‘Who am I?’ Sridhar and Ram Naresh chanted the lines “aum saha navavatu . saha nau bhunaktu . saha viryam karavavahai . tejasvi navadhitamastu ma vidvishavahai . aum shantih shantih shantih” which in English translates to May Brahman protect us both! May Brahman bestow upon us both the fruit of Knowledge! May we both obtain the energy to acquire Knowledge! May what we both study reveal the Truth! May we cherish no ill—feeling toward each other! Om Peace! Peace! Peace!


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Serve Our Sai Family Initiative (SOS) Family Initiative: SAI SENIORS DAY Lunch & Entertainment

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The Serve Our Sai Family (SOS) service initiative was introduced in April 2018 and launched during the regional Guru Poornima Celebrations in July 2018. It was readily embraced by all Sai Centres in the Perth Region.

Its objective is to serve the disadvantaged members from our Sai community who may suffer from illness, loneliness or isolation and make them feel loved and respected and realise that they are not “the forgotten generation” of our organisation.

The Seniors Day function held on the 13th October 2018, was the first event offered as part of the SOS initiative and was dedicated to Avatar Day Service. The event allowed the Senior Sai members to connect to different age groups in the Sai Organisation i.e. children, young adults and young Seniors. The purpose was to make the Seniors feel happy, wanted and very much respected.

The entertainment program included interactive multicultural presentations. The Seniors were invited to participate in all activities including playing music, singing and folklore dancing originating from the Indian State of Gujarat in India. Many Seniors happily participated and contributed towards the success of this event.
Some of the highlight performances included:

  • SSE students showing unique musical talents in playing the cello and guitar, and singing and dancing.
  • ”Seniors Got Talents”- showcasing the amazing talents that our Seniors possess
  • Young Adults accompanying the Seniors in Singing Swahili devotional songs, old Tamil movie songs and Chinese Love songs.
  • A space drum musical composition by Young Adult & Seniors.
  • Guitar playing accompanied by English songs sung by the Seniors.
  • Creating music using everyday recycled household material.
  • A new phrase coined based on the word recycled – “Re Sai Called” – meaning our Seniors have been re-called to the Sai Organisation to show their passion and share experiences of the past.
  • IN SAI LOVE AND SERVICE

    Khusmati Lal
    Regional Service Coordinator
    SSIO Australia & PNG WA Region


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    Healthy Aging Workshop

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    The Healthy Ageing Workshop was held on the 1st of September at the Newington Community Centre, with active participation from over 100 enthusiastic people of all ages. The presenters included highly experienced experts, most being specialists in their field, speaking on a range topics related to healthy ageing.

    A recurring theme was the importance of a good diet. Avoiding ‘junk food was stressed as the key to health in so many ways. We learned for example, that one reason as to why it is hard to break long-held bad food habits (such as too much salt) is that it takes our taste buds 3 months to be replaced; where-after, reprogramming has a greater chance of being accomplished. Patience and persistence are therefore required! From the importance of teeth, particularly the gums as one gets older, and the controversies of amalgam fillings and fluoride, to maintaining bone health, and bodily fitness so that we are less prone to osteoarthritis and fractures from falls, there was a wealth of information for everybody.

    Participants attending the workshop

    Eyesight, hearing and lung health was also discussed in detail. A geriatrician (consultant for the elderly) mapped out gender differences in disease prevalence and the need for appropriate exercise, noting that it assists in dementia prevention. Diabetes avoidance was also stressed by several of the doctors. The tough topic of cancer was addressed by an oncologist, along with a suggested attitude to its diagnosis, and how to handle the condition.

    Addressing audience questions was one feature of the presentations

    Finally, meditation was given centre stage, where the modern brain and neurological research was clearly explained. They drew on teachings from both Sathya Sai Baba and the Dalai Lama, who both taught that “If every child was taught and practised meditation, the world’s problems would be solved in a generation.”

    It was a great day overall, with a lot of useful take-home messages to put into action.


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    Healthy Ageing Workshop – NSW Region East

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    The ‘Healthy Ageing’ afternoon , on the first day of Spring, held at the very congenial Newington Community Centre, saw an audience of over 100 enthusiastic people well rewarded for their attendance. Quite a few of them were not in the ‘Senior’ category, and they would not have gone home disappointed either.

    There were highly experienced experts, most being specialists in their field, speaking on a range of most useful topics, spread over four hours, with a well catered-for break. The event was held in two separate, well-filled rooms, with each lecturer presenting their message twice. Questions followed, of which there were plenty.

    A recurring theme more or less throughout, was the importance of a good diet. Avoiding ‘discretionary’ food, which is a polite word substitute for ‘junk food’, was key to health in so many ways. We learned for example, one reason as to why it is hard to break long-held bad food habits, such as too much salt. That is, it takes our taste buds 3 months to be replaced; whereafter, reprogramming has a greater chance of being accomplished. Patience and persistence are therefore required!

    From the importance of teeth, particularly the gums as one gets older, and the controversies of amalgam fillings and fluoride, to maintaining bone health, and bodily fitness, so that we are less prone to osteoarthritis and fractures from falls, there was a wealth of information for everybody. Anyone hoping for a favourable word on behalf of smoking or obesity, certainly didn’t receive any encouragement!

    Also, health of eyes, hearing, and lung function received excellent coverage. A geriatrician (consultant for the elderly) mapped out gender differences in disease prevalence etc., plus the need for appropriate exercise, for a number of reasons; not the least of which is assisting in Dementia prevention. Diabetes avoidance was stressed by several of the doctors. The tough topic of cancer was nicely addressed by an oncologist, along with a suggested attitude to its diagnosis, in handling that condition.

    Finally, Meditation was given centre stage, where modern brain and neurological research was clearly explained, and Swami’s stressing its necessity was beautifully matched by a statement of the Dalai Lama. He said: “If every child was taught and practised meditation, the world’s problems would be solved in a generation”.

    So ended a half-day, that was splendidly organised. Swami made sure the weather was kind, and I feel sure one and all went on their way, better and very usefully informed with lots of take-away ideas for beneficial action.


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