Shift II - A Heart-Based Think Tank

Shift II - A Heart-Based Think Tank

What is The Shift? You could say that Shift is a grassroots movement or a spiritual Think Tank made up of Raja Yogis who have learned knowledge, disciplines, and practices through the Brahma Kumaris path. These Raja Yogis are experimenting with how to implement the learned spiritual endeavours, in ways that are increasingly meaningful, non-religious and transformative in their lives. This experiment, the meetings and conversations, and the non-hierarchical support structure that is driving them is The Shift

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Is consuming animal products spiritual laziness?

Is consuming animal products spiritual laziness?

One of the main lessons in the BKs is soul consciousness. This less encourages deep self-reflexive inquiry into one's mind and one's heart. The life aim for BKs is, with the support of Raja Yoga meditation, to clean the self inside and out, and to cultivate the deepest levels of purity. Purity in the BKs is understood as a return to what is innate, true and original. A restoring of spiritual consciousness or 'soul consciousness'. 

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Be Kind

Be Kind

When the Dalai Lama says his religion is kindness, I really do think this is the spiritual technology that trumps all others. Celibacy, veganism (or lacto-veg for some) and early morning meditation all pale in the face of the human who can be truly kind, gentle and loving to all who continue to blame, belittle and bemoan. There is no power like kindness, there is no strength like gentleness and there is no might like love. 

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The French Revolution

The French Revolution

For the first time in Brahma Kumaris history, there is a country without leaders, where teams are appointed by common vote, and each vote counts as equal. The Brahma Kumaris in France have become a democracy! This is a radical change for the Brahma Kumaris organisation, but one that is welcome as many BKs are seeking a more integrated and less cloistered life. 

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Hermits and Mystics

Hermits and Mystics

The Brahmin World is much like an  old Christian Monastic Order. The new Monks or Nuns are nurtured in the group gatherings but at some point years down the road some need to distance themselves to develop further, and those ones become Hermits - living in isolation but within the grounds of the Monastery. As BKs, they move a bit further away from their Meditation Centre to... 

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The Shift

The Shift

There is a sense of movement and change within the Brahma Kumaris organisation. Some are concerned, and some are inspired. Some feel it's the most natural thing in the world, and some are worried because centre attendance has dropped in countries outside of India. Service in India is expanding rapidly. Service in countries outside of India has slowed. Like a tree, branches die and leaves fall off, the trunk strengthens, and new branches form. The tree changes its form, shape, size and vigour according to the season, according to the time, and according to the environment in which the seed was planted. Many have the question of what is going on?

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Brahma Kumaris - is it a religion?

Brahma Kumaris - is it a religion?

Religions are social institutions that involve relations of power, systems of knowledge in the form of doctrines and theologies, and ritual behaviours demonstrated through institutional harbors such as churches, temples and mosques. By contrast, spirituality refers to private, internal processes that are negotiated and narrated by the self, sometimes within or through religion, sometimes despite religion or in its absence.

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Should BKs be Vegan?

Should BKs be Vegan?

There is conversation happening now amongst many BKs... should we become vegan? The earliest teachings of the Brahma Kumaris were born from the Vedic tradition and the main textual reference for the community was the Shrimad Bhagwad Gita, the 18th Chapter of the Hindu Epic 'Mahabharata'. Ahimsa is a core principle in Vedic tradition, and the Brahma Kumaris teach a lifestyle based on...

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Miss Prakashmani speaks

Miss Prakashmani speaks

"In those days everything was different," she said. "First, we always sat with a lot of attention in meditation. There was never any leaning against this or that. We had to be awake and alert" She sat upright and at attention, pulling herself away from the back of the  mustard colored vinyl couch. "Not like this," she said, as she crossed her arms and leaned into the corner of the couch, gazing around. The class giggled knowingly. Dadi continued:

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1950s discoveries!

1950s discoveries!

Two nights ago in the New York Public Library, I sat there until closing, reading the transcripts of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th World Congress of Religions, held in Japan during 1954-55. This is a time period in the development of the Brahma Kumaris that we know little about. The documents shed real light on the development of their understanding and gives us a much more nuanced appreciation of how things refined over time.

 These records (which will be transcribed into editable text and uploaded here along with photos of the original source) reveal the following:

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Robes and Regalia

Robes and Regalia

When we see someone in flowing robes, a wild head-dress or wearing some kind of religious regalia, there is a sense that we are seeing someone who is different to us. Their lives are distinguished by their dedication to spiritual practice. Their dress also symbolizes a degree of social non-conformity. Perhaps there are higher rules that they abide by. Are there? Do they have greater ideals?

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The need for history and research

The need for history and research

As with all religious movements, there is a clear ideal and core body of knowledge established among the founder and first generation. As time goes by, recollections of these often take the form of stories that tell of great virtue and strength against remarkable adversity and hardship. The Brahma Kumaris is no different, no less than the Church, and the story of origin of this curious organization, is compelling. 

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Adi Dev

Adi Dev

Since its printing, Adi Dev has become a story of inspiration for many. The exciting and revolutionary tale of young girls and women against the forces of tradition and patriarchal hierarchy is one that continues to move many. 

In Adi Dev Jagdish artfully weaves together two key elements for the reader: the old social history and the new spiritual knowledge that took almost 30 years to become clear. The dilemma with any historical account, particularly one that is so deeply romantic and mythical in its proportions and sense-making, is its 'accuracy'.

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