Adyar General Council at the ITC
In the first week of July members of the Adyar General Council from all over the world joined in very productive meetings at the ITC. The aim was to discuss a number of projects to make the TS more relevant for the future, all of which related to external communication. Thoughts have been exchanged about the mission statement of the TS, publications and publishing houses, theosophical schools etc. One project dealt with the theosophical centres. The intention of this project is to implement strategies to enhance the strength and vitality of these centres in the 21st century. The outcome of a few projects is already available, such as the mission statement, and the theosophical world resource centre http://www.theosophy.world
. More information about the projects will be published in The Theosophist
Mission Statement of the Theosophical Society Adyar
To serve humanity by cultivating an ever deepening understanding and realization of the Ageless Wisdom, spiritual Self-transformation and the Unity of all Life.
This statement is extremely important, as it clarifies the task and role of the TS in the world, not only for members, but also for the public at large. For internal use it may have a strong impact, resulting in a greater focus on our work, on what one could expect, for instance in lodge work. It clarifies that the TS is not meant for personal spiritual ambitions, nor a new age-style of organization. The mission statement can be considered as ‘the other side of the coin’ of the Resolution Freedom of Thought: it is the practical application of the Three Objects of the TS.
Barbara Hebert, President of the American Section, with the range of Theosophists donated to the ITC library earlier this year.
Education with Vicente Hao Chin Jr.
Some 65 people joined for an inspiring day on self-transformation and the Golden Link schools, founded by Vic in the Philippines. The Dutch translation of his book on Self-Transformation was published earlier this year. The schools, based on theosophical concepts, appear to make a considerable difference for underprivileged children: education without fear and competition, and with a strong focus on character building: When young people open their mind, it will not easily close later in life. There are plans to establish similar schools in other countries.
Third Krishnamurti Study day with Prof Krishna
Another K study day on inner transformation took place in May in the beautiful chapel of the LCC, as all other buildings of the Centre were used by other groups. The theme was based on a question raised by Rinpoche during a dialogue with K.: In listening to you over the years, one feels that the door is about to open, but it does not. Is there something inhibiting us?
The theme was introduced with three short introductions, followed by the response of Prof Krishna, and a dialogue. The program appeared too short and demands for further programs to explore this important subject. See http://youtu.be/o4azHdFp0uE
Programs with Linda and Pedro Olivera
Then in May and early June several programs were organised with Linda and Pedro Oliveira, who came over all the way from Australia. The seminar in June dealt with N. Sri Ram, the fifth President of the TS, a most modest man with a great impact, amongst others showing that there is no essential contradiction between the teachings of J. Krishnamurti, for whom he had the highest regard, and those of theosophy. The participants felt uplifted by the contributions of Linda and Pedro. The lectures can be followed on YouTube. http://youtu.be/Bvjyz53IHVs
Renovation vide St. Michaels House triggered by library Arnhem Lodge
When we learned that the Arnhem lodge had to sell its original building and did not find a home for its extensive lodge library, we offered the vide of St. Michaels House for this purpose. This however required considerable renovations first, which were not yet planned. In a Centre like this, miracles happen nearly every day, so help came from different directions, both physical and financial. The result makes all the difference, and revealed unexpected aspects of the original beauty of the house. The vide now is a light and welcoming place to borrow and read a book, or to have small meetings.
Animal kingdom reveals its beauty
Time and again, when walking in the Centre, one is moved by the beauty of the vegetative and animal kingdom. One day a roe with her small fawn (small deer with her calf) walked through the garden of St. Michaels House, a rare and moving sight. A few days later we encountered a group of bird watchers observing the nest of hawks with their chick, equally rare. We feel privileged that the quietness of the Centre allows these animals to breed.
Replacing Arundale House, to be continued
The first contact with a building company appeared to end in a disappointment, with their offer well above our budget. After the financial recession in our country, the building market now nearly explodes, with a fast increase in cost of labour and building materials. However, we cannot afford to spend too much, so this seemed a dilemma. Nevertheless we hope to have better prospects with a new, smaller builder and can possibly start building this winter.
The camelia that our dear Paul Zwollo planted in the garden again blossomed in full splendour this year.
A new format of the Centre News
The format of Centre News has been used for about eight years, to replace the former printed booklet St. Michaels News. The aim was to create a newsletter, suitable as email as well as in print. The latter becoming less and less relevant, we decided to create this new format as an electronic newsletter. This allows also for more pictures included. We trust you will appreciate this change.