Good News

Good News from Pakistan

Sponsoring the education of underprivileged girls in Pakistan

As the global war on terrorism continues and governments join hands spending billions of dollars to rid the world of this evil, another war is also taking place, albeit silently and very often unnoticed. It is a war against the ignorance, superstition and tradition that deny millions of women and girls in underdeveloped countries their inalienable rights. While her sisters in the West rose up and demanded equality, the Eastern woman, with some remarkable exceptions, has largely been helpless in changing her circumstances. A mere glance tells us why she continues to be equated with worldly possessions and subjected to social and cultural injustice of all sorts: because of her ignorance. She is subjugated and has no control over her own life because she is uneducated. It must be the ultimate goal of those committed to brotherhood to aid her to gain the knowledge that will empower her.

While the situation for women in urban Pakistan is not as bleak as in rural areas, it is nevertheless a far cry from the privileges that women and girls take for granted in the West. From birth a female child is discriminated against. She is fed only after her brothers have eaten (and therefore is always malnourished); she takes care of her younger siblings and helps with heavy domestic chores while she is still a child. Helping her overburdened and perpetually pregnant mother is her lot. Play and recreation are alien to her world. She has no self-worth and believes that she is inferior to her brothers. She is made to believe that her role in life is to be servile and obedient to the men in her family. First to her father, brothers and other male family members (grandfathers, uncles, male cousins) and after marriage – which often takes place when she has barely stepped out of her childhood – to another set of males (husband, father-in-law, etc.).

Read more: Good News from Pakistan

Good News from Greece

Introduction by Jan Nicolaas Kind

In 2007 I was fortunate enough to be present on the wonderful grounds of the International Theosophical Centre (ITC) in Naarden Holland, to participate in the Dutch Summer School. It was during a morning session in the Besant Hall, when I witnessed one of the most amazing presentations I have seen so far. That particular morning in July, Ali Ritsema, former General Secretary of the Dutch Section, gave an introduction to the Stanzas of Dzyan, I will not lightly forget. 

What made Ali’s introduction so dynamic and unique, was her PowerPoint presentation with impressive images to accompany the rather difficult to understand and mysterious texts of the Stanza’s. Believe it or not, but by looking at those images, in combination with Ali’s presentation, H. P. B.’s  ”puddingbags” and ”jelly-like” creatures of the first race came to life.

Read more: Good News from Greece

Good News from India

Drinking Water for All

A Project of TOS, Chennai

It was a small gathering behind Kashi Vilas [Earlier Pranavalaya] & in front of Vasantalaya, on the TS Adyar Estate on Friday, June 4, 2010.  Tea & refreshments were served at 5 p.m. before the inaugural. Following the Universal Invocation, Ms.K.Jaishree sang a verse from a classical composition. The International President, Mrs.Radha Burnier cut the blue ribbon inaugurating the Reverse Osmosis plant that is capable of producing as much as 500 liters of pure drinking water per hour.  Mr. C.V.K.Maithreya offered her the first glass of water and dedicated the plant to The Theosophical Society and all its allied organisations, including the Social Welfare Centre.  Mrs. Radha Burnier spoke a few words about her childhood in Vasantalaya where she would watch the workers drawing water from the well along with other youngsters.  She remarked that the quality of water was very good in those days. Other residents also sampled the water, as the function came to a close.  The plant has been operating successfully ever since.

The link for the photographs with titles…

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/sredir?uname=proconserv&target=ALBUM&id=5483692430450346545&authkey=Gv1sRgCI-SmIqX1-eiAw&invite=CODQyIMC&feat=email

Good News from Iceland

Halldór Haraldsson – Reykjavik

 


Beautiful Iceland

To ask for any “good news” from Iceland recently has been difficult because “bad news” from here has been in the news media all over the world: 1) Iceland was the country worst hit by the world financial crisis, and 2) The eruption in Eyjafjallajökull caused a lot of damage not only in Iceland but stopped international flights in Europe and farther afield for quite some time last spring.

Read more: Good News from Iceland

Good News from Belgium

The Lodge Prométhée was chartered on 23rd March 2010. It is one of eight lodges existing in Belgium and the second lodge in the Belgian mining town of Charleroi, situated in the French speaking part of the country, at about an hour by car from Brussels. 

Besides a study group of The Secret Doctrine the new lodge has planned several activities to be organised in workshops such as :
The Annie Besant Workshop will study the early works of the second president of the T.S.; The Vipassana Meditation Workshop will concentrate on meditation; The Dane Rhudhyar Workshop as well as The Road of Life Workshop will study astrology; The Patanjali Workshop will organize yoga seminars; and The Rukmini Arundale Workshop will research for the path of well being and propose presentations with activities on Vegetarianism, Ayuved, Reiki, Arts and Music.

All this is a testimony of how great the motivation is of the seven TS Members, who have started this new lodge. More information on their Website:

http://theosophiecharleroipromethee.skynetblogs.be

 

Good News from the USA

Betty Bland and Tim Boyd, president and vice-president of the Theosophical Society in America recently returned from Iowa where they had a private audience with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. His Holiness spoke positively about the Theosophical Society and in fact mentions it favourably in his most recent book soon to be released.

Good News from India

Seeing Eyes for Everyone

In launching this programme in September 2007, the TOS Chennai Region aimed to provide eye care for as many disadvantaged people in and around the city as possible.  So far, screening for vision impairment has been carried out in five schools and two slum areas, totalling some 8,500 school children and slum dwellers. About 75 workers on the Theosophical Society’s Adyar Estate have been screened as well as a number of orphans in the area.

How does the SEE Project work?

It is a collaboration between the TOS and the Udhi Eye Hospitals in Chennai, which provide highly subsidised medical care. The TOS Chennai identifies deserving cases and institutions. Their member-volunteers make the non-medical arrangements and the Udhi Eye Hospitals send professionals to do the screening. If further treatment or glasses are required, the children and adults are sent to the hospital.

The TOS in Chennai coordinates the billing, while monitoring the numbers screened and treated. Occasionally, TOS medical coordinator Dr Sunita Maithreya offers a general medical check-up in conjunction with the eye screening. Mr C.V.K. Maithreya, President of the TOS, Chennai Region, Dr Sunita Maithreya, Dr R. Revathy, Dr P. Nagaraj and Mr K.S. Amuthanathan provide the energy behind this project and donate their time as volunteers. Ms Sharada and Ms Shanti from the Udhi Hospitals are their organisers and there is a team of optometrists. Dr Parthasarathy of the hospital is a good friend of the TOS in Chennai, as is its promoter, Dr Ravindran. Their help has been invaluable and this team effort between the TOS and hospital staff has been vital to the project’s success.

How can you or your group help?

To date, the TOS in France, the TOS in Australia and members from India and the U.K. have been sponsors of this project. If you’d like to help or would like more information, contact Mr C.V.K. Maithreya by email at:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or n This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Good News from Canada

You are invited to attend a seminar on Walking The Path, hosted by Canadian Theosophical Association in Montreal on the weekend of August 27 to 29, 2010 on the occasion of the ANNUAL CONVENTION OF THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHICAL ASSOCIATION.
If you plan on attending the convention, be sure to register as soon as possible to ensure a place for you. The deadline for registration is July 20.  Please contact Gertrude Doyon at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Featured International guest speaker, Tran-Thi-Kim-Dieu, will conduct the Seminar, which will consist of an introductory overview talk, followed by a series of workshops called Walking The Path.


Who is Trân-Thi-Kim-Diêu?

Born in South-Viêtnam, Kim-Diêu obtained her graduate and post-graduate degrees from Montpellier University (France) in Pharmaceutical Engineering, a field in which she worked for ten years, when she ended her career to serve the TS, starting with a six month sojourn at Adyar in 1986/87.


Since she joined the TS in 1972, she has served as a volunteer in various capacities for the French Section, the European Federation (EFTS), and the Naarden Centre (ITC) for which she held the office of Chairman from 1995 till 2003. She helped found the School of the Wisdom at Naarden in 2001 and launched the project for establishing a Study & Research Centre at this Centre. She is the current re-elected Chairperson of the Council of the EFTS. From 1991 till 1999, she regularly gave programmer in Eastern European Countries including Russia and the Ukraine, helped publish theosophical literature in local languages since 1992, and helped found the first TS lodge in Russia in 1999.


In addition to lecturing extensively, conducting seminars in Europe, and giving a monthly course at HQ in Paris (since 1987), she has lectured at various Summer Schools, Congresses and Conventions, the European School of Theosophy, the Krotona School (1996, 2002), the School of the Wisdom at Adyar (1997), the School of the Wisdom at Naarden (2003), and went on a lecture tour in New-Zealand (1999). She has also completed a lecture tour in Australia a few years back.

Good News from Holland


Katinka Hesselink

For many years Katinka Hesselink in Holland has done good work on the various internet sites she created. Katinka, who also edited some publications written by her mentor, the well known Dutch scholar Henk J. Spierenburg, is a dedicated worker who always went her own distinctive way.  She has a great number of articles to her name.


She made it her aim to pass on objective and interesting material of a wide range to her readers. Recently she published the Wikipedia Biography of Radha Burnier on her site, adding an impressive list of articles written by the International President of the Adyar Society.

www.theosophy.katinkahesselink.net/radha-burnier


Radha Burnier

For those who are not familiar yet with what Katinka Hesselink does, underneath the links to her sites:

www.katinkahesselink.net
www.overpeinzende.nl
www.allconsidering.com

Good News from Florida

Judith Snow – USA

“Spiritual Mosaic” was the title of the Florida Federation Annual Convention held April 12-14th at the St. Petersburg Lodge in Florida.

It truly was a mosaic of Florida presenters including Aryel Sanat, author of “The Inner Life of Krishnamurti”; Dr. Scott Olsen, author of  “The Golden Section” Nature’s Greatest Secret”; Dr. Rafael Catala, author of “Mysticism of Now: The Art of Being Alive”; astrologer Dikki-Jo Mullen, author of “Koo Hollie and the Corn Goddess Chronicle”; Enrique Renard presenting a talk and visual presentation on the Devic Kingdom; Dr. Navin Vibhakar on Buddhism; and Judith Snow-Clewell, presenting two talks, one on the topic of the Soul, and another on the topic of Near-Death Experiences.

The Convention began on Friday at 4:00 pm and ended on Sunday at noon. Approximate 50 people attended and many were new to this Federation event.


Judith Snow
President of the
Florida Federation


Aryel Sanat
Author and lecturer

Good news from Costa Rica

María de los Ángeles Orlich Soto – Presidential Representative Costa Rica

Seven new members joined The Theosophical Society on February 5 this year. They are part of a study group that has been meeting for about one and a half years in the city of San Ramón, under the leadership of Bro. Carlos Orlich. San Ramón is located at about 74 Km (46 miles) from San José, which is the capital of Costa Rica. Many years ago, in the mid-twentieth century, a Theosophical Lodge called "Star of the East" functioned in that city, but for several reasons, it had ceased to function.

The new members at San Ramón have requested authorization to form a new Lodge under the same name. This request is now being processed at the international headquarters, and we hope that very soon we will have a new nucleus of the Theosophical Society, taking part in its mission of shedding more light upon humanity.

 

For the Good News from Krotona, click under More Articles - S. T. Adelante

Good News from Krotona

Ojai is a city of about 8,000 people in the coastal mountains of southern California. The Krotona Institute of Theosophy and the Ojai Valley branch of the Theosophical Society were among the first of many spiritual groups to find a home there. 
Krotona is known all over the TS world as a spiritual centre where members can go on private retreat or to study theosophy at its school. Krotona residents do a great deal of work in countless ways to provide this service.
What is less known is that the residents engage in modest local community service projects.  At Christmas, for example, they adopt a needy family, clubbing together to provide enough groceries and gifts to help make the day special. This past December, they took care of the needs of a mother and her four children, gathering enough food and gift vouchers to cover many more meals than just j those of Christmas Day itself.


The Ojai TOS team - Back row - L to R: Joan Samara, Rochelle Voirel, Bim Burckes, Celeste Matesevac, Helene Vachet, Marqui Bury. Front row - L to R: Annine Wycherley, Joy Mills, Mel Burckes, Maria Parisen, Lakshmi Narayan, Marcia Doty (group coordinator).
(Participating in the Ojai service team must keep one young!  Notice Joy Mills in this photo.  Joy will be 90 on October 9 this year.  She has recently completed the manuscript of a book which will prove to be a remarkable contribution to theosophical literature.  Mark these words!)

Read more: Good News from Krotona

Good News from Spain

Clarisa Elósegui Navarro – General Secretary of the Spanish Section

From 5 to 9 December 2009, we organized a Meditation Retreat, conducted by Miss Trân-Thi-Kim-Diêu, who is the President of the European Federation of National Societies.  It took place at an inspiring retreat venue, in the midst of nature, at the foot of Montseny Mountain, approximately 60 km from Barcelona. This special gathering was attended by sixty-one people.

The retreat’s subject was the “Diagram of Meditation”, by HPB, and the “Sutra of the Heart”.

There were periods of profound, silent meditation and other moments where we walked inside and outside, in the garden. We went deeply into the meaning of each part of both the “Diagram of HPB” and the “Sutra of the Heart”, and into its meaning for each one of us and our lives.

The first retreat was held last May, this was the second one. The result was so positive and beneficial  that, at the request of the participants, we are already planning a third one at the end of this year. Now we can carry on with the work of learning and practising meditation. 

Amongst the attendants were the newly appointed General Secretary of the Dutch Section, Mrs. Els Rijneker and a member of her Executive Committee, Mrs. Loes Moreno. It was truly wonderful to have them as guests with us!

We thank Miss Kim-Dieu for her invaluable work in sharing her profound knowledge.

Read more: Good News from Spain

Good News from the TOS

Diana Dunningham Chapotin – France

The Theosophical Order of Service seems to have the wind in its sails. After a year of upbeat and happy centennial celebrations around the world, it has moved into its second century of work with vigour and enthusiasm. The international secretary reports that the Plan of Action prepared in 2008 by Dorothy Bell after consultation with the members is proving valuable in guiding the organisation’s work. The two-monthly electronic newsletter and the website that were the first items of the Plan to be developed have generated a significant increase in interest in service work. The TOS in Tanzania, coordinated by Mrs Deepa Kapur, is now collaborating actively with the international team, and correspondence has started with fledgling groups in Portugal, Finland, Mexico and Hungary. A TOS start-up package, updated and expanded by Ananya Rajan, will shortly be available on the TOS’s  website at http://international.theoservice.org. A very practical and helpful booklet entitled Helping the Dying has been written by Mrs Nelda Samarel and will be distributed internationally this year.

Read more: Good News from the TOS

TOS-Syysiltamat

The TOS in Finland is one of the most recently formed groups. It started in October, 2008 with great enthusiasm and in just over one year, has already taken up the challenge of supporting two projects. “We have also developed an introductory leaflet to explain the TOS’s work and spiritual basis,” writes Marja Artamaa, the group’s international contact person.

The group’s main project is a children’s home in southern Finland entitled LOP (Lasten Oma Polku – Children’s Own Path). This home has only recently been established and its principal organiser is Finland’s TOS Coordinator, Mrs Leena Jussila. Although it is entirely independent of the Theosophical Society, the children’s home is based on theosophical values.

The second project supported by the TOS in Finland is the new Krishnamurti School situated south of Chennai in India. The group is raising funds to help with the cost of installing an eco-friendly sanitary system in the school.

Read more: TOS-Syysiltamat

Heartbeats of Africa

A visit to the international website of the Theosophical Order of Service is a veritable breath of fresh air   http://international.theoservice.org/

It brings reports on a surprising variety of activities that show the commitment of Theosophists to service and their belief in the transformative value of Theosophy in the world.

Here is a report on just one of the projects supported by the TOS in Tanzania:

One out of every 200 children born in developing countries suffers from a repairable congenital or rheumatic heart defect. In Tanzania, at any given time, more than 7,000 children and adolescents await surgery. This African state is wanting in specialised paediatric cardiac facilities. Left untreated, the children die before their 21st birthday. There is an urgent need to send them abroad for open heart surgery.

Read more: Heartbeats of Africa

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