L Monthly E-Newsletter of

BRAHMA KUMARIS CENTER FOR SPIRITUAL LEARNING

Volume 5 Issue 47 April 2011

The Point

Formula for good leadership: Clarity and determination
TRUTH, HONESTY, RESPECT. THIS IS the only formula for government and politics to work in a civilized and socially beneficial way, according to former Senator Leticia RamosShahani. “Politics will be clean if you make it clean. It will be dirty if you play dirty,” said Shahani in an inspirational talk recently. “The starting point of leadership is the self. We should preserve it and make it a force for the nation’s progress.” Women officials—mayors, vice mayors and members of the local government, the academe and business—from all over Cavite, where the Brahma Kumaris Retreat Center for Spiritual Learning is located, and from the neighboring province of Laguna attended a program on leadership recently to mark the UN International Women’s Month. In her talk before the gathering, Shahani said she had been practicing Raja Yoga meditation since 1987, the same year she joined the Senate. “That’s how I survived. It was like being in a snake pit,” she related. “In politics, you have to make decisions that are complex and confusing.” She said the teachings of the Brahma Kumaris taught her to empower the self by connecting with the Supreme, and that understanding the laws of karma enabled her to discharge her duties in an accurate way. Power is not derived from toting a gun and threatening people, Shahani pointed out, but by setting an example of proper conduct and clarity. Power comes with one’s awareness as a soul, a spiritual being. This awareness is drawn from introspection. She added, “Your inner self is a mine of information; you have to know how to use it. The jewels of information manifest as virtues.” Shahani cited truth as the most important attribute, especially for politicians. tus. Shahani She cenrelated the sured the story of the Senate’s retreat penchant center as for investiexample. gating corReturning ruption from a visit cases that to the BK don’t retreat uncover the center in truth and Oxford, she leave the brought up accused to the adunpunished. ministrators “In the the possiPhilippines, bily of we’re so having one much into in the Phildouble ippines, talk,” she too. As said. “We’re usually always exhappens panding but with many don’t tell Former Senator Shahani: Good intentions new ideas, the full demust be consistent with speech and actions it was met tails. The with trepitruth may be dation. painful, but you can be tactful. This is Nonetheless, the Brahma Kumaris a great virtue if you want to live with raised funds to buy the lot and build yourself.” To be constantly able to CSL, now its first retreat center in call on the truth, she said, “You have Asia. Even BK teachers who had no to focus, so that you know what you background in construction and costare doing. Be conscious of what ing learned in the process. “This was you’re thinking, doing and saying. a big DIY project,” said Shahani. They are all inter-related.” “With God’s help anything is Empowered by truth, she continpossible.” ued, one does not become sensitive Shahani cautioned against paying to criticism or vulnerable to pressure attention to bad habits, which are which makes it easy to cave in to non obstacles to developing one’s full -constructive suggestions. potential. Gossip, she said, is endemic Shahani said truth is invariably in the world of politics, too. “It may linked with simplicity. “Be content. look harmless at first, but eventually, When you’ve done your best and you start to make judgments. We extended your full capacities, there’s should look beyond half-truths. As no need to be ambitious.” former US President Ronald Reagan Optimism, she noted, is another said, ‘Trust, then verify.’” vital leadership quality. “Even while As a prime example of a good you have to deliver bad news, look leader, she cited the late President for solutions.” And to make things Corazon Aquino, whose virtues, she happen, determination is the impesaid, propelled her from being a mere housewife to president of a government recovering from a dictatorship. “President Aquino didn’t know anything about economics or foreign policy but she had something that very few political leaders have— purity,” Shahani said. “She didn’t take advantage of her position. When it was the end of her term, she left graciously. It takes courage to say goodbye to power and all its perks. She saw herself as just an instrument.” Ultimately, Shahani said, “You are your own textbook, with the Supreme as the Teacher. When you have the capacity to communicate with Him, He will be attracted to you.” During the open forum that followed, women shared their personal experiences. Councilor Ana Pamela dela Rosa, from Paete, Laguna, cited former state auditor Heidi Mendoza as an example of courage. Mendoza testified against a powerful former military general, whom she accused of graft and corruption. Accustomed to a simple life, Mendoza held on to her truth in the face of otherwise daunting threats. She said she had no right to demand good governance if she hadn’t come out and told what she knew. Mayor Teresa Nieva Reodica of Magdalena, Laguna, talked about respect. “No matter how good your intentions are, you still draw flak,” she said. She was re-elected, she said, because her constituents saw her dedication to church service and her openness to, and acceptance of, everyone. “It’s important to earn respect, and you do that by setting an example,” she stressed. All that a leader had to do, she said was make sure his/her intentions were beneficial to the society, and things would happen.

Visit the Center for Spiritual Learning at 1020 Magallanes Drive, Silang Crossing West, Tagaytay City. Contact us at (046) 483 2128 See our local website www.tagaytayretreatcenter.org, our national site www.bkwsu.org/philippines and our international website www.bkwsu.org. © Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University 2011.

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The Point

Volume 5 Issue 47 April 2011

Gentleness is greatness
WOMEN LEADERS ARE PERCEIVED AS transformative figures. Historically, however, they seem to have a hard time addressing the urgent needs of their countries. What’s going on? In celebration of the United Nations’ International Women’s Month, the Brahma Kumaris Retreat Center for Spiritual Learning, invited high-powered women from various groups—leftist, government, social crusaders—to look into their strengths and weaknesses. Dubbed “Greatness of Feminine spirit,” the dialogue allowed the participants to experience the greatness, as well as the gentleness, of the female spirit. “We are all social activists called upon to make a difference by championing a crusade. Some are lost causes, some are meaningful ones. People’s expectations are high. They expect miracles. Even if you give your best, it’s not enough,” said Teresita Ang See, crime fighter and proponent of stronger ChineseFilipino ties. See revealed the challenges of seeking justice and providing financial aid for the needy. She told the story of a public school teacher coping with the demise of her mother who was hacked to death, along with her employers, in the province of Isabela. The victims’ body parts were thrown into the river. The teacher used up her savings to launch a search for the remains of her mother. She recovered a forearm and a hand, on which still clung the ring she gave her mother as a ChristRebecca Ortega: Helping strong mas prewomen find their loopholes sent. Ang See raised funds for the teacher and got the Department of Justice to provide a special prosecutor for the case. In another instance, she helped get a lawyer for a businesswoman threatened with eviction by the Quezon City government, on account of unpaid property taxes. The woman offered to pay all back accounts, while maintaining she had been wrongly accused of tax evasion. City Hall resolutely turned a deaf ear. Ang See said her interactions Teresita Ang See: Being dispassionate in a passionate advocacy with the Brahma Kumaris have helped her channel her being a soul. Ortega gave them exercises on thoughts in a more positive direction, so she stepping aside, going beyond the physical and wouldn’t be disheartened in any situation. making time stand still amidst the flurry of “You find that inner peace even when pressures and decision making. situations don’t turn out the way you want Ortega reminded them that they need not them. There is benefit in understanding the resort to anger or ego to assert themselves, meaning behind any event. You learn to and that experiencing the true qualities of the detach and become powerful.” soul—peace, purity, love, joy and truth—was BK national coordinator and facilitator what would propel positive transformation. Rebecca Ortega asked the participants which “My job is to connect with my original being,” qualities described the best of themselves. Ortega said. They cited love, compassion, organizational Activist Carol Pagaduan Araullo agreed. skills, faith and hope in the face of desperate “You can’t be helpful if you are angst-filled,” situations. However, they said, while serving she said. “Self-awareness gives you the clarity others, they sometimes felt drained and to see what’s wrong.” frustrated. One participant was convinced she Asked how the women could help finish contracted the Big C from listening to her corruption in society, Ortega said the most patients’ problems. She said she overcame it practical way is to start with the self. “The through stem cell therapy. light within is governed by spiritual laws. If I The workshop led the women beyond don’t practice what is positive, I get negative feminine stereotypes and introduced them to results. If my actions do not express goodtrue empowerment through the awareness of ness, I will have to face the consequences.”

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The Point

Volume 5 Issue 47 April 2011

Happiness is an inside job
LOVE, in a morally decrepit world, has become loveless.
to get what you already have!” One popular expression of a wrong sense of pleasure is the catchphrase, “I was so moved!” George notes that it is often used to describe how one is overcome by a certain emotion, for instance, after watching a feelgood film, attending a funeral, or simply at the sight of something beautiful. He debunks this as another myth that signifies attachment to outside emotional indulgences. He calls this a weakness. “That catchphrase is saying that you are taking something or someone outside yourself, putting them on the screen of your mind, attaching yourself to them and losing yourself. So it's a sign that you are dependent—not a very empowering experience,” he says. George offers an alternative response. For far from acting cold and distant, or isolating oneself from the rest of the outside world, he says that once we realize that we are essentially spiritual beings, we can appreciate the world more with our purest soulqualities—without losing our selves in the colors, forms, and stories of the incessantly changing drama of life. “Still watch, still see, still appreciate something of beauty, but instead of being moved by it, which means you are taking from it, give to it, move towards it, and give to it, give your appreciation. Extend the energy of you, which is love, as you appreciate what you see. This is love in action.” And then he says, “You will feel the power of love, the power of you, moving you. And you will know that you are once again the master of your life because you are love.”

SOAP OPERAS, FOR example, peddle in formula plots - the indispensable lovers' quarrel, which portrays jealousy and anger as normal between partners, implicitly hinting that to suffer is part of love, or that pain is pleasurable. British life coach Mike George writes in “The 7 Myths about Love… Actually!” how emotional confusions have resulted from acquired beliefs about love. “Most of us have been conditioned to believe that such emotions as anger, fear and sadness, are normal and even healthy, and that anger is justifiable,” says George. He explains: “These emotions are obviously uncomfortable. Only after they have passed could there be some feeling of relief, which is then associated with happiness. But it's not real happiness, just relief from selfcreated stress. Stress is simply a message that there is something you need to change, that something within you is out of balance, out of harmony. Not with others, not with the world, but within you.” Because we have been trained to stay in constant stress—which, George says, arises from being dependent on what others think and say, in order to feel validated—we often miss the truth that every person creates his own emotions, and is therefore the master of one's life. Blaming others for one’s disposition has become a “normal” reaction. She did this, he said that, and so I am this, has become a mantra for people who are stuck in the habit of blame and dependency. This

pervasive myth, George points out, makes us slaves of self-created beliefs and feelings, instead of masters of our destiny, which is what we are. Change is called for if one aims to be free of this tiresome game. George elaborates: “The first thing that needs to be changed is the belief that someone else is making you angry or afraid, that someone else is causing you this emotional stress. They are not. This is good news—it means you can do something about what many people believe is out of their control.” Speaking of control, says George, the next thing that should be changed is the belief that the world and other people can be controlled. “They can't,” he says simply. And the third thing is the belief that others are responsible for our happiness, for our feelings. “No they're not. It's an inside job!” Based on this clear understanding, George then defines pleasure: “It is knowing who you are, and accepting life as it is because you no longer need to pretend to be someone you are not; you no longer attempt to control anyone else, or attempt to acquire something,

Master Your Anger , 9am-4pm Sun, Apr 10, 2011 Inner Power, Inner Peace , 4pm Fri - 4pm Sun, Apr 22 - 24, 2011
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