Good News

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

The Theosophical Library in Amsterdam

The Theosophical Society is very fortunate to have some outstanding libraries. The ones in Adyar, Sydney, and Wheaton are well known to all, but there is another, probably lesser known, that certainly deserves our attention.

In our category ‘Good News’ this month the spotlight is on the Theosophical Library in Amsterdam.

When travelling through Holland, next to visiting the beautiful International Theosophical Center in Naarden, a visit to the National Headquarters of the Dutch Section in Amsterdam is a must. It is located in de Tolstraat 154, close to the river Amstel, the river after which the capital of Holland was named, and in the middle of de Pijp, a picturesque city district. A few years ago the headquarters building was fully renovated; it houses the three main departments of the Dutch Section. The library, the administration of the TS, and the bookstore are all situated on the ground floor. All three departments are fully integrated. When you are in the library, for example, you can easily walk into the TS office where the bookstore is also operating; all departments are freely accessible, which gives an open and truly holistic feeling.

Read more: The Theosophical Library in Amsterdam

Renovated auditorium

This past winter staff volunteers at Olcott, the national center for the Theosophical Society in America, in Wheaton Illinois, pitched in to prepare the auditorium for renovation, tackling the demolition phase with relish and enjoying the opportunity to shift roles and do some physical work instead of sitting at their desks. Every staff member contributed to the overall success of this project, and it was a great team-building exercise–coordinated by the maintenance department. Designed to make the space more welcoming and accessible for guests, the renovation included demolishing a large non-loadbearing post, ripping up old carpet, and tearing out the old fixed stage.  Now the finished project sports new carpeting, improved audio visual equipment, a new moveable stage, and increased seating capacity. Funded through the contributions of many members for this purpose, the project brought new life to all the activities held in the renovated auditorium. Staff and visitors alike have been touched by the fresh and inspiring feel of the clean, expansive space. At first, many of the staff would walk up to the third floor every day or so just to be sure it was still there, and it is one of the first places to take visitors to see.

Mr. Birendra Bhattacharyya, National Director of the TOS in India

Can you imagine being a member of a country with over a hundred active TOS groups? Our Indian sisters and brothers can because they are members of one! Total individual membership of the TOS in India is over 6,000 and growing. The National Director, Mr Birendra Bhattacharyya, spends several months each year on the road visiting groups to oversee and support them in their activities. Even with a team of some 18 regional secretaries to help him, his hands are still very full.
Most of Birendra’s work is done out of the limelight. Many Theosophists around the world know of the sterling work done in or near the international TS HQ at Adyar in Chennai: the Social Welfare Centre, the Animal Dispensary, the Olcott School and the HPB Hostel for boys attending the school. Many now know of the fine environmental, medical and relief work done by the local TOS team in Chennai under the leadership of Mr Harihara Raghavan and more recently under Dr Sunita and Mr C.V.K. Maithreya. How many know of Mr Bhattacharyya’s tireless travels in the outlying regions of India, however; of his meetings with hundreds of local workers, many of whom cannot afford to travel to Adyar themselves?

Read more: Mr. Birendra Bhattacharyya, National Director of the TOS in India

GOLDEN LINK COLLEGE

AN INSTITUTION ESTABLISHED BY THE THEOSOPHICAL ORDER OF SERVICE FOUNDATION, PHILIPPINES

Caloocan City North, Metro Manila, Philippines

The Golden Link School is now renamed Golden Link College with the opening of its modest college department with two course offerings: Bachelor of Secondary Education and Bachelor of Elementary Education. The first batch of college students consists of 12 freshmen and 7 sophomore students. Most of them have applied for scholarship grants as they mostly come from very poor families. There were many other applicants who applied but did not meet the minimum entrance qualifications of Golden Link.

The philosophy of the college department is the same as that of the primary and secondary divisions. Based on the belief that individuals must discover the core values of their lives for themselves free from fear, coercion and prejudice, the college is committed to producing educators who see schooling as a preparation for life and not just as a means to earn a better living. Through innovative teaching methods that respect and nurture the individuality and creativity of the students, it integrates the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual aspects of their growth in a well-rounded program. Teaching students to embrace their common humanity and to recognize their place in the web of life, the college strives to honor many faiths. It holds the conviction that individuals who are at peace with themselves will ultimately create a world at peace.

Photo above is the newly finished wing for the college department of Golden Link.

Readers of Theosophy Forward who are interested to find out more in this fine project should

go to:  http://www.theosophy.ph/goldenlinkcollege.html

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