The Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Centre is celebrating 40 years of service this month in T&T.
Today, a programme for all members of the public will be hosted at the Chaguanas centre at No 1 Edinburgh Gardens, from 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm. Flying in for the occasion is Brahma Kumari Jayanti Kirpalani, European director of the Brahma Kumaris and its Representative to the United Nations, Geneva. She is an adviser to the council for the Parliament of the World's Religions and an Advisory Committee member of the International Interfaith Centre.
Sister Jayanti first visited Trinidad in December 1975 and was facilitated by the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS). Meditation centres were established in 1977.In 1989 the group was incorporated by an Act of Parliament. Local centres have associate status with the university in Mt Abu, India.
The vision of the centre is to revive virtues in the lives and activities of all thereby giving relief from mental and physical distresses. One of the main practices recommended to achieve this goal is meditation or reflection.
Meditation is the journey inwards, a journey of self-discovery or, in fact, re-discovery of our inner virtues. It is time taken for quiet reflection and silence, away from the hustle and bustle of daily living.
There are five centres in Trinidad. They are safe and sacred spaces where people can find peace, rest and answers to life's most pondered questions. In pursuit of the goals of world peace through self empowerment, the Brahma Kumaris have organised numerous projects over the years that highlight the intrinsic goodness of humanity.
For the last 27 years, the group has actively served within the prison system, touching the lives of thousands of inmates. Volunteers make weekly visits to several of the prison stations to work with the incarcerated in developing their life skills.
This year, the Brahma Kumaris will facilitate its seventh annual art show that will take place at the Long Circular Mall, to showcase the artistic talent of the prisoners
Last year, in response to the growing situation of crime and other social issues in the country, an MOU was signed with the University of the West Indies.
Earlier this month, the Institute of Critical Thinking in collaboration with the Brahma Kumaris hosted a series of workshops with Judy Rodgers a US-based consultant, communications strategist and coach who has worked extensively with thought leaders in business, education and media. She revealed that mindfulness and self-awareness are critical components of successful team leaders today.
The Raja Yoga Centre has strived to reach people from all walks of life and have reached out to the population through several innovative outreach efforts.
In June 2015, under the auspices of the High Commission of India, the Brahma Kumaris partnered with other local yoga organisations to celebrate the United Nations' International Day of Yoga at UWI's Daaga Hall.
A year earlier in June 2014, in a collaboration with the Inter Religious Organisation, a conference was organized at the Hyatt Regency that attracted the participation of Ela Ghandi, grand-daughter of Mahatma Ghandi, Prof Clement Sankat, Campus Principal of UWI, St Augustine, and other local dignitaries. In 2012 the panel discussion, "Breaking The Cycle of Violence" was organized at UWI.
This trend of public offerings began in the late 70s. From 1980-1989, Mr Garfield King designed, produced and hosted the programme: Discover Yourself Transform Your World" on Radio 610 and later on Music Radio 97's "Motivational Minute." A student-run Raja Yoga Meditation society has been active since 1981 at UWI, running support groups and organising events for students of the university.
During the early 1980s, partnering with the Biological Society of UWI, an environmental project was undertaken that saw masses of garbage being removed from the Mayaro beach.
In pursuing the goal of upholding the human rights of all people, the Brahma Kumaris work with Unicef and Unesco at the UN headquarters and within national committees and commissions, promoting value-based programmes and initiatives through our local and international centres.
Each one of our local centres conducts a monthly introductory course to Raja Yoga meditation to sensitize the individual about the possibilities and benefits of designing a self-development routine as a support for the self as one explores and progresses through life. The centre also offers courses in stress-free living, overcoming anger, positive thinking and time management.
Additionally, special programmes and public talks geared to women, men, youth, professionals and general public are regularly hosted at their various venues. The services are free of charge.
Contact your nearest centre at 653�9642
(San Fernando), 665�6933 (Chaguanas), 662�3406 (St Augustine), 625�9642 (Port-of-Spain) or 691�3520 (Sangre Grande). You can also explore their newly launched international website: www.brahmakumaris.org.