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Acts of Goodness at Western Michigan University

The AOG program was held on Western university campus in Kalamazoo Michigan on December 14rh. The students who have attended represented seven different countries and various philosophical and religious back grounds. There were many questions form the audience and the interactive component of the program was well received… The feed back was good and the students would like have the AOG program once again on their campus soon.
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Celebrating Month of August with Acts of Goodness by Committing to Love the Self and Others!

“When you learn to balance silence and activity, you will become powerful.” Powerful of course means, “a force of benevolence in the world.”

An act of goodness must be seeded in goodness towards the self. If I cannot treat myself well, than how can I possibly do that for another being or moment? The most profound AOG is to express regard for the self, at the most deep level; at the spiritual level. Imagine if I did 7 billion AOGs towards the self!

Throughout the day, to have the ‘hobby’ of nurturing, empowering and celebrating the beauty of the self, which can be experienced in true silence. Feeding the self rich and healing servings of silence feeds the intrinsic goodness within, such that nothing but goodness can come out! Truth and authenticity, beauty and benevolence, reside in silence. Silence is pure, clean, honest and eternal. Because of this, it heals the relationship with the self…enables us to believe in ourself again. Forgive ourself. Those who fear meditation, who fear going inside, need to dive deeper than the accusatory voices that reside on the surface. If we live there, the only acts we perform will be based on trying to ‘take’ approval, forgiveness, validation from outside. It’s not really giving at all. But, if we can dive deep, pulled by the wonderful memories of our true nature, our divine and royal nature, this creates a foundation of self-respect which has the power to truly do good.

India Day Parade 2013, New York City

August 18, 2013

The 33rd India Day Parade in New York City was held on the fine summer afternoon of August 18. It proceeded down Madison Avenue starting at 38th Street and ending at 27th. As every year, the Brahma Kumaris were one of the 36 organizations participating in this event.

The theme for our entry in the parade this year was ‘7 Billion Acts of Goodness (AOG)’. With the aim of creating a global culture of care and compassion, this initiative invites individuals of all ages to perform AOG by holding the awareness that as spiritual beings we are all inherently good. This shift of awareness is not only the basis for expressing our innate goodness, but is of itself an AOG towards the self.

The parade’s grand marshal was Vidya Balan (Bollywood actress), who was joined by other special guests from India including Anna Hazare (a prominent social activist). Both were presented a memento for the ‘7 Billion AOG’ on behalf of the Brahma Kumaris.

The BK parade was a unique one that led off with the organization’s banner, followed by sisters holding the flag of the organization as well as the Indian National flag. This was followed by two groups of performers, each having five sisters walking with placards showing the different signs (icons) symbolizing the various ways an AOG can be performed. They were surrounded by sisters wearing ‘7 Billion Acts of Goodness’ t-shirts and holding pompoms in their hands.

Every time the procession stopped the sisters would dance with the pompoms, while singing the slogan “Elevate your mind…Open up your heart…It’s in the Soul…Acts of Goodness…” Simultaneously, the placard holders came together and turned their placards around to form the phrase “Goodness Returns,” like pieces of a puzzle coming together. This left the audience awe-inspired.

There were also placards showing various slogans pertaining to AOG: “An Act of Goodness is sharing”, “Goodness is giving and receiving happiness,” and many more. Several other BKs were holding golden star, an image from the logo of the initiative, symbolizing that goodness is the essence of every soul. We had the great fortune of Sister Mohini’s presence, she watched us, as we passed by in the parade, giving her blessings and drishti. Beautiful bookmarks providing information about the initiative were distributed among the spectators.

After the parade had concluded, all the BK brothers and sisters shared in a spontaneous celebration at the Manhattan Center, with picture taking, dancing, singing, and sharing of blessings and snacks. It was an event that left both viewers and BK participants alike with the joy and happiness brought about by spreading the word of who we are, and that goodness is our true nature.

7 Billion Acts of Goodness at Marwari Association of Ohio

Firestone Metro Park Coventry Oaks Area, 40 Axline Avenue, Akron. Ohio-44319

The Marwari Association of Ohio held its 25th Anniversary on Sunday, August 11, 2013 [12:00pm to 7:30pm], in one of the largest parks in the state Firestone Metro Park. This year, the 7 billion Acts of Goodness team was invited by Sushila Mohanka (programs co-ordinator of Marwari association) to participate in this celebratory meeting. There were many Marwari friends and families attending this event from in and around Ohio.

Amidst many activities like ‘Inner healing and benefits’, Eye exercise’, indoor and outdoor games for children and adults, there was a booth exhibition on 7 billion Acts of Goodness. From the posters displayed at the booth, many people took benefit of the underlying spiritual message that we are inherently good and that recognizing and realizing this truth would create a vibration of goodness and allow the world to radiate unlimited waves of goodness. People from all age groups – children, young and old enjoyed a game activity through which they came to know about their unique specialty in performing acts of goodness. Many also decorated the “Goodness Tree” with good wishes and blessings for a better world.

The exhibition was well received by one and all. The booth was facilitated by Tina Agarwal and Saurabh Gupta along with Vandana Sareen, Michelle Gippin, and Kristina Hoefel.

Giving happiness and receiving happiness

Giving happiness to others and holding good wishes in your heart for others acts like sunlight, filtering into the dark corners of their mind and lightening their burden. Receiving happiness is blessing yourself by refusing to take any sorrow from others or from situations around you!

Expressing feelings of Gratitude

The intention and the action of gratitude is the inner symphony of the heart. It opens to sing with thanks for the smallest of things. To hear a bird sing, to see a child laugh, to receive a friend’s affection – are all invitations to express the feelings of gratitude. Gratitude is a loving thanks which touches another’s heart in a place where they will allow you to reside for a long time.

Acceptance of scenes that cannot be controlled

Every situation is an excuse to bring out qualities from us, good or bad. It is up to us what we want to use. Acceptance is the secret of contentment. Creating a thought, based on a learning from the situation, makes our mind positive. It will allow me to add power to the situation, instead of losing my own power.The secret key to the greatest door called love is acceptance. First your self, then others and eventually all!

Letting Go! of the past

Emotions can feel uncontrollable – we have no choice but to experience them. But to live by our emotions is to live wastefully. Acknowledge emotions for what they are, without shame or guilt, and then allow them to pass through you like wind moving through the leaves of a tree. Many of us spend most of our life trying to be great fixers and sorting things for others. We hear it in our conversations, “They shouldn’t…weren’t they awful… did you hear about so and so…. in my opinion they should…”, In these moments we waste time trying to write the script of others and forget to write our own. So LET BE! and LET GO! Taste the freedom that comes when you let go of your emotions and you no longer are in tension whilst writing another’s script.

Listening with patience

Patience teaches you not to push and not to rush but rather to wait and appreciate. Patience is a virtue and a power too. Knowing that there is a reason and season for everything, it enables us to smile, realizing that there is an answer to every problem.

Refusing to see weakness of others

Our thoughts and feelings can so easily be influenced by how we perceive others. The more you look at defects in others, the more you will become affected. Weaknesses are contagious. If we make a firm choice to always keep a positive vision of those around us, then we will enjoy better relationships. The secret of newness in life is not to do new things constantly, but to see everything you do with new eyes, new insights, and a new perspective.