Summary of the CC meeting with national coordinators, 21-22 August 2017, Mongiardino
Present and past members of the CC invited all national coordinators to join them for a two-day meeting in Mongiardino, near Cabella, on August 21-22, 2017.
Around 60 persons participated, either on both days, one day, members of national councils, other representatives, and of NIPC, WF, CC, from more than 25 countries (see list at end of the summary).
Sessions started and ended with a short meditation and took place at the Feet of our Holy Mother. The organizers would like to thank the team of Mongiardino for its perfect and loving logistical and gastronomic arrangements, as well as all the yogis who came to present a theme: Sandeep, Duilio, Mary, Machindranath, Marco, Valter, Alan, Maurizio, Pasquale.
Moderator: Philipp Zeiss.
The agenda comprised the following points.
Morning 21 August
- World Foundation: Sandeep Gadkary and Duilio Cartocci
- Sahaj educational institutions: Mary Kuhn, Radha Patel-Maes.
Afternoon 21 August
- Trademarks, intellectual property: Machindranath de Kalbermatten
- International Marriage Committee: Marco Arciglio
- Inner Peace and project India 2018: Valter Sforza
Morning 22 August
- NIPC and finances: Alan Pereira Afternoon 22 August
- Special groups: Maurizio Zollo
- Puja protocol and creeping ritualism: Pasquale Scialo
- Collective Shoe beat under an old oak tree up on the mountain.
Below you can find the minutes from each of the topics discussed.
The WF desires to share a library and information platform, for understanding what is Sahaja Yoga and growing deeper. One of Mother’s Names is ‘She is pleased by knowledge”.
Other projects: To have the Cabella school going back into action, with Radha Patel-Maes as new Principal. The school needs a structure and procedures but must remain sahaj, balanced. The WF plans for its expansion, in order to support the increased number of yogis coming to Cabella.
Casa Madre (CM) belongs at 97% to the WF and can deal with commercial activities. The remaining 3% belong to Vishwa Nirmala Dharma Italy as CM needs to have a link to Italy. This allows the WF (Castle, properties) to be ring fenced and protected from seizing by any authorities. So CM protects the WF and does its practical work, such as logistics and the school. The facilities will expand in winter to cater for more visitors. The school absorbs a lot of the registration money. The renovation of the Castle will cost about euros 150’000 (real kitchen downstairs, like it was when Mother was cooking, a common area and video/library center; Mother’s floor will always remain untouched). When the plans for the library center will be more precise, they will be shared with all. WF plans also new water and sanitation facilities at the camp, about 200 sqm., which will cost a minimum of euros 100’000. Last year, 50’000 were spent on the kitchen.
Each year, more Indian yogis are coming. In 2016, there were 200, in 2017, 300, and next year, 600 are expected. Two gyms, in Rochetta and Cantalupe, can welcome yogis but are not yet used enough. A new road will be built above the big road at the camp, leading to fields which have been bought and where a camping will be set up.
Responsibilities for WF/CM lie also in each country, we are all the guardians of Her Yoga and Her Legacy; we must be of the highest quality to respect Her. We cannot afford any mistake as we need to prepare the ground for the next hundred years. So we must introspect for what concerns the money, the institutions, the yogis.
Sahaj educational institutions
There are plans for expansion to host 80 children up to grade 5 (fifth year of schooling). It is difficult to host foreign children in the USA. Now, there is a waiting list of 80. The infrastructure is insufficient so currently there is a fundraising campaign underway. The donation target is 3 million USD. Once 50% of this amount is collected or pledged, building of the new school building and dorms can begin. Yogis from around the world are invited to donate, and can speak with any American Council member for details or to see the proposed building plan.
Devi School in Nova Scotia, Atlantic coast of Canada:
Opening in September, the local people are supportive of the school. It will host 30 students from grades 6 to 10 to start with. There is a waiting list for next year. The school is working with volunteer visas. The school has got nearly all the necessary funding. The school fees are CDN dollars 8’500/year and should cover the full costs per student on a yearly basis. Mary will be the Principal (she was the Principal at ISPS in Dharamsala). The school will use the Nova Scotia curriculum, plus teach world religions and SY and various languages. Later on, the school hopes to add grades 11 and 12. This is the plan and the School Society are already working towards this goal. The school has a different legal entity from SY, so SY is not endangered by anything that might happen to the school. This school is becoming a good option for Chinese students.
The depth is amazing; it is growing slowly; it is legally recognized as a children’s camp. They are working towards recognition as a pre-school. For yogis from Eastern Europe, Borotin is important, as the other schools are too expensive. But Borotin needs money and children to function. We must hope that within 1-2 years, they will be accepted as pre-school. For this, though, they need to make changes to the buildings, meaning more financial needs. The Borotin and Cabella schools are working towards a closer cooperation. The idea would be to have Borotin as first year pre-school then the children would go to Cabella. This is the best option, as if they were first in Borotin, they are ready to go to Cabella. The Borotin capacity is now of 35 children, hoping they can reach 45. There is a waiting list. Grade 1 will be in Cabella. The Cambridge system is used, where the schooling starts at the age of 5.
There is no option for Latin American children at the moment. The center in Brasilia is building a lot and planning to open a school. There is space for expansion on the SY lands and Mother said this was a good place for a sahaj school.
The school in Cabella was Mother’s main desire in Her latest years, though to fulfill it is not obvious, as it’s a bumpy path. Now we have a home-schooling project. The challenge is to transform it into an international school. We need to get its accreditation and recognition as a project of Sahaj education. We will need the help of many people and are collecting the advice of Mother on sahaj education. We hope to reach some result within three years. We are working on the basis of the Cambridge curriculum, in order to give a certificate at the end of the primary school. At the moment, we can host 35 children. In order to welcome more children, we will need to have more buildings. There is a waiting list. At present, for our home-schooling system, we can only host children who do not need a visa. For the moment, we need to satisfy the Italian curriculum system. It is a slow process.
Link with ISPS: At present, ISPS does not fit into this group of schools. We hope that at some point there will be a reactivation of the cooperation, with both transparency and an open heart from ISPS’s board. We desire integration and a global coherent system and are putting bandhans. The education committee within the WF should be reactivated, to work towards allowing the children to circulate from one sahaj school to the other. Now the coordination between schools is very informal. The WF should give its stamp of approval to the various schools.
All these schools need to be subsidized. There is a collective responsibility for financing global projects.
Conclusion of the morning’s discussions:
All yogis are working on a voluntary basis on the projects which have been described this morning. They are giving a lot of themselves for the well-being of SY worldwide. We need to build up our appreciation for what they give. We should grow to a culture of gratitude for what they are doing, their enormous personal sacrifice and their commitment to SY and Mother. We do not need criticisms and backstabbing. It affects our vibrational level, our health, etc… We need each other’s support.
Trademarks (T), intellectual property (IP).
The objective is to defend the name of SY and to avoid the misuse of the Name of Her Holiness Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi (HHSMND). She donated Her IP and Trademarks to the sangha for NIPC to protect, preserve and manage on behalf of the Sangha.: Trademarks are logos, slogans,.
NIPC (Nirmala Intellectual Property Corporation) is the owner of Mother’s Talks. It protects Her Talks. IP can be defended and protected in the whole world as it can be misused. NIPC is doing an intensive and expensive work. We cannot prevent all attacks but we can prevent misquotes of Mother for instance. It’s useful that NIPC is based in the USA, as people wanting to act illegally know that there is a serious risk of legal prosecution, American lawyers being very efficient, but expensive.
NIPC protects trademarks in Europe, for the words: Sahaja Yoga, Sahaja, Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, Vishwa Nirmala Dharma. For the whole of the EU, there is only one registration of trademark needed. In the USA, the system is slightly different. There are various classes for each trademark, for instance scientific, seminars, books, etc. One must pay to register a trademark in each of these classes. The protection of trademarks functions in each country separately, and within different systems of classes. For each protection in each country and each class we must pay. There are 45 classes and NIPC is registering trademarks in 5 classes. Each country has its own small specificities. NIPC cannot intervene directly but advise local collectives. For instance, in Brazil, it costs 15’000 dollars to register a trademark in four classes for ten years! Trademarks can be challenged. If someone registers a trademark or challenges our trademark, we need to go to Court. Some registrations are defensive and preventive.
There have been dangerous cases. To prevent legal actions in future, local collectives must register and pay for the protection of trademarks under the name of NIPC and inform NIPC that the name is registered by NIPC. NIPC has good lawyers and can act if needed once the country has done its registrations.
We need to have a coherent strategy, also in view of future challenges. The trademarks that did not exist at Mother’s time are not protected. There is a problem of funding and of protection in national languages.
In case of the translation of a quote of HHSMND: to respect the IP, we must add a note “printed with the permission of NIPC”. When we translate texts by HHSMND, we must proceed via NIPC.
We should become responsible as a collective and not put everything in the public domain. All contents put on Facebook belong to the public domain.
It is up to each country to consider this problem and to question whether it is protected or not. And better do it sooner than later. Because of the huge costs involved, NIPC must decide where lie the priorities in order to intervene. NIPC can be more efficient in the protection. Up to now, NIPC has been successful in 80-90% of all cases. Either in each country or once in Cabella, we should have a seminar or one evening where we should address the behavior of yogis on social media. We should consider the impression we give outside when they read some of the contents put on internet by yogis, and the vibratory effect on the sangha of such behavior.
Appeal for all countries to have solidarity among countries and not only for their national issues and concerns.
International Marriage Committee (IMC)
The IMC was created in 2011 and is a really collective body. Mr. Nalgirkar has collected all that HHSMND said on marriages. This year, there have been 860 candidatures, of which 80 men are present in Cabella, and 100 absent. There is more balance men/women among young people. Now, there is a ratio of 1/3,5 men to women, whereas before it was 1/6. The IMC makes a selection; takes the vibrations; tests options; tries again. The process and planning starts in April. The main event is at Shri Ganesha Puja weekend in Cabella. In Brazil, there are re-marriages. The other marriage ceremonies do not involve the IMC (for instance India, Russia). To obtain good matches, there is a need for lots of applications in order to make the right choice. But some couples, absent in Cabella, are matched by the IMC and then get married in India for instance. Or they get married civilly until they are both present in Cabella or in Brazil.
In these marriages, there is a human side and a subtle side. Both are important. HHSMND’s power is concentrated within a big group, the IMC, who takes the vibrations as a group. On the Monday and Tuesday after the marriages, there will be training for an additional team who will help for future marriage ceremonies around the world. The IMC is getting ready for the future. It is very important to properly complete the applications, as the IMC relies heavily on them. The IMC recommends the yogis in charge of signing the forms in each country to interview the candidates. The big question is: do they apply to ‘get married’ or to have a SAHAJ marriage? During the interview, it is important to find out what are the EXPECTATIONS of the candidates. They must surrender!
It is important that the applicants clear their own vibrations, as marriage can be a big workout. Some older people are looking more for a marriage than a sahaj marriage. Marriage is not like going to the hospital, one must get better before getting married.
There is need for the active support of persons in charge or coordinators in each country, as then it is less hard for the IMC to verify the data on the forms. The WF asked all countries to send the details of those persons, but there are too few responses. Pasquale added that it is like a triangle, Mother being at its top: if the focus is on Mother upwards, the marriage works out. If the focus is on each other at the base of the triangle, it is difficult. The relation to one another must be via Mother, not direct.
Inner Peace and project India 2018
As this project has spread in several countries, we need to create a foundation capable of coordinating and controlling all activities in all countries involved. Till now, legally, only the Italian Inner Peace Association was involved in all countries. We recommend that each country creates its own association Inner Peace. It will remove obstacles in the organization of Inner Peace days. We need to coordinate between the sahaj national leadership and the Inner Peace project in each country. The purpose of Inner Peace is to intervene where SY cannot, to have the children meditate in a sahaj way. The purpose is to protect the children. As we know, Mother put a lot of emphasis on the children and was expressing concern for them. Where we are having problems at the moment is where the connection between SY and Inner Peace is not clear. Depending on the existing danger, the connection is more or less strong. All schools are very cautious when it comes to religious teaching. With Google search, it is easy to find a connection between SY and Inner Peace. Therefore, it might be a good idea to be creative to name Inner Peace differently in countries where one has to be very cautious. During the training, one does not identify as a Yogi, but as an Inner Peace volunteer bringing Inner Peace to children, with Sahaj methods. Inner Peace has been tested and feedbacks are very good. It is the secular arm of SY, which we are practicing privately. In Italy, we have started courses for non-yogi teachers who want to practice Inner Peace meditation with their pupils. The course lasts about 20 hours and is taught in three regions. To develop this, we need an official accreditation and we started to work on this. There is a school waiting list and we are receiving a big help from the yuva shaktis. Italy is preparing new Inner Peace leaflets, which should be ready by the end of September. The Inner Peace website will be available in Italian, English and French. The web master can help countries to put up a site in other languages. Once the foundation mentioned at the beginning will be created, we will protect its logo and trademarks.
As yogis, we receive support at three levels: Mother, the sangha, the children who meditate.
Project India 2018:
21st March 2018 will be the 95th birthday of our Mother. As a present, we want to offer to Her big public programs in the whole of India, followed by a meeting on 21st March in Nirmal Dham. There will be world meditations online, among children in Europe and in India (and elsewhere?), Sahaj children and children practicing Inner Peace. For instance, Indian schools will invite Belgian schools to participate to meditations from March 15 to 25. The President of India accepted, at the request of SY, that all school departments in India are free to include SY in their curriculum.
The vision is that all countries should join in, in holding a program in some part of India, then join in Nirmal Dham.
A website will be opened for all countries interested.
NIPC, Nirmala Vidya (NV), and finances
Alan, Horacio and others
Gratitude to Gregoire and Arneau for their essential support for NIPC. History of NICP: see summary of the Mongiardino meeting of 2016. NIPC has finalized its Strategy and will produce a summary, which will be distributed to all national coordinators.
Paul Ellis is the lawyer of NICP named by HHSMND, and he is helped by Machindranath. They are the legal advisor to Nirmala Vidya (NV) and to Devi Productions (DP). The main point is to preserve the Talks of HHSMND and to protect their authenticity. The immense task of maintaining their coherence and consistence of Her Talks is ongoing. We are also working at incorporating new talks in Hindi and Marathi.
Gautama Payment and Jay Jalan are professionally reworking the website of NV. Wadi Maalouf with 2-3 paid developers from Argentina is working on its layout and implementation. This will cost $3’800. Afterwards, they will maintain the website and add new functionalities to it. The new website of NV will be launched very soon. All the Talks appearing on Devi Productions and Amruta will flow into it. Apps will be working with our website.
Devi Productions is working since 2006 to collect, clean up the audiotapes, digitize them and optimise them to enhance HHSMND’s Voice. The priority is the digitization, as the optimization can come later, slowly. The master tapes are put in two locations to protect them from theft or damage. We estimate that 1000 tapes are still missing, mainly recorded in India, Australia and the USA. Recently, NITL based in India has now closed down and handed a copy of tapes to NIPC. The originals are in Pratisthan and we are working to see how Devi Productions can digitize and optimize these tapes. We trying to get a copy of HHSMND’s passports, to be able to check exactly the dates of Her travels and match them up to talks to identify missing events. A number of Indian yogis and yoginis are ready to go to work on transcription and translation of Her Talks in Hindi and Marathi, when more tapes will be collected. If in each collective everyone gathers together during one day, a lot of work can be done. Please check in your own countries, when Mother travelled there, about your audio and videotapes. A DP facility might be set up in the USA to work on the tapes collected there.
Audio and videos:
DP is based in Austria. It expects to finish its work by 2022, only for the videos. For the audios, it might take longer (see above) because of the missing talks.
The DP team have developed an expertise on digitizing and optimization tapes always remaining faithful to the sounds and environment but only removing any disturbing noises that must be taken away from the tape, but not the vibrations. On the Amruta website, there is a page dedicated to DP, to explain their work.
Up to now in 2017, 70 Talks have been transcribed, via Amruta. When this is done, they stand ready for translation. Yogi volunteers are needed to help transcribe and translate!
Please do not use You Tube but use our two sites, NV and Amruta, when you listen to Talks. Do not upload Talks on your own, get from a sahaj source. About 5000 yogis are registered on Amruta, but there are 100’000 users. In future, NV will separate available Talks for the public from the ones only for sahaja yogis. Not all Talks should be available for the public, HHSMND never intended to have Her Talks given to all. It is not very auspicious to place or use Talks on You Tube (in the room, we ask who wants to have all Talks on You Tube: only one participant does; the others find it is not auspicious).
In the last few years, we spent yearly euros 179’000, divided among legal accounts, preservation and optimization, administrative costs (three salaries, the rental of premises, etc… €156’000/year), and the website maintenance, which is €4’700 per year. Compared to the donations, there is an annual shortfall of about €40’000. If each country gave an annual amount, calculated on the same percentage as what each country was traditionally contributing to the international present, there would be no shortfall.
So this is an appeal to all countries:
Please give the same amount you were contributing to the international present every year, for the preservation of HHSMND Talks and legacy. If you donate regularly via your national SY association, you might even be able to get a tax rebate. Individual countries could collect and pay on a MONTHLY BASIS. Some countries do it and it helps DP to plan ahead on the basis of a predictable income. On the other hand, people might donate more easily if there is ONE call a year for donations for NIPC. In each country, the strategy to adopt might be different.
As yogis, we should give for the sake of giving, not expecting something back in exchange. The national coordinators are also responsible for allocating their resources. Please do not forget these projects, which are beyond your national projects. And give the example to your collectives. We could think of crowd funding, or of allocating our Guru Dakshina (in some countries they call it now the Sangham Dakshina) cash collections. And realize the power of collective actions. International donations should go to WF and to NIPC. Each distributes the money to whichever priority at the time of reception of the funds.
NIPC is starting up a communication team: anyone interested can participate.
In general, there is a need for volunteers:
- in the publication committee;
- in the legal team;
- in product development;
- in the data base management;
- in the communication team.
We do all these presentations of various sahaj institutions, because we want you to be informed and spread it into your countries
During Her last Talk at Guru puja 2008, HHSMND suggested to create little groups/cells of 4-10 persons, to work at grassroots level. The national councils would have visibility on all their activities. Those who experimented this reported their ups and downs. It was observed that individually we have to work out and collectively we should verify the results. It must be a subtle movement. Yogis start to use their vibrations more and more and to take more confidence in themselves. This is a beautiful journey where one feels more connected to the others.
Moderator and group discussion
This could be a good initiative to empower yogis who are not active, on a platform where they want to be active. It is about going down to the grassroots in a group, to check the vibrations within a group and on this basis to take initiatives. If internationally people had a chance to create a cell with the same topic, we would tap on a common interest beyond borders. Let us put this reminder of Mother’s Talk in our attention and bring it back to our collectives. Let us see how they want to respond on this. Maybe things will happen, let us see in one year. Belgium will test this cell initiative. First one has to improve the level of vibratory awareness of the group, then each member must become individually a guru. This was what Mother wanted. But we must careful that this does not derive in “groupism” and communities of bhoots! If the binding force is love, anything can work. If love is there, any structure can work and vice-versa. In this context, we all give a bandhan for the unity of SY in Russia.
Puja Protocol and creeping ritualism
Pasquale and group discussion
Some formalities have taken shape over the years. HHSMND had given simple basic structures. The Devi/Gauri puja is shielded by the ladies holding the sari and became more prominent. HHSMND did not say much, things would fizzle out, She over the years became the awesome Power and the pujaris would know what to do. So She could focus beyond. The pujaris are men (balancing the fact that SHE is She), ladies are doing the rest. Nowadays people do rarely puja at home, regrettably. Thus it is even more important that we enhance our devotion and establish Her Presence in our hearts.
There are four stages in the puja:
- Shri Ganesha
- Gauri (ideally virgins should decorate Her)
Creeping ritualism: a ritual does a job: It is not empty if it works on us. There is a fine line between what is good and what is too much.
Moderator and group discussion
The puja is a vehicle: The protocol is applied to transport our devotion to our Mother. If this is the case, it will work out. But if the attention is on the ritual, one might forget the bhakti part and it becomes a mental ritual. One’s attitude to the altar, to the Photo, makes a big difference. If a Photo is worshipped or not, it makes a difference (a Photo which is not worshipped will not carry vibrations, thus using one to check vibrations in envelopes will not yield the expected result). Our desire must be present. If someone has a notion of protocol, it might be difficult for them to relax and their actions might become mental. When someone is nervous they make mistakes, thus they need to relax. The important is in our own mariadas. The protocol is a mindset. If we have love, protocol is present. Decorating Mother is a manifestation of us adoring The Goddess. Protocol is another way of transmitting knowledge. To be a pujari is a way of being, it flows. Performing a puja is pleasing to Mother.
Examples: when we use a coconut for a puja, its hair must be up; homemade prasads can change the vibrations; one needs to participate: in cooking, in singing and clapping appropriately, especially during aarti, etc…
Conclusion of the moderator
We should not forget the essence of SY and the essence of our journey. It is to behold The Mother and to pray towards becoming the Spirit. There is a lot of horizontal movement in SY but we are all here to grow in both directions, not forgetting vertically. We are to go horizontal as enlightened realized souls. Let us operate at the highest level, with vibrations in our hands and Chaitanya on our heads. We should reflect Her immaculate infinite Divinity. The ancient great tree near which we are shoebeating is giving us hope. The tree is all battered and divided in many parts, it has been hit, burned, damaged, some of its branches are nearly dead, but it is alive and powerful. Everything is possible when we are connected to Her.
Let us pledge that for Her 95th birthday, we will reach complete unity within all our countries, within each country in SY. Unity is a state of mind, it reflects the opening of the Sahasrara. All is one and integrated in a true Sahaja yogi. So must it be in our countries. We cannot fail Her, She sacrificed all for us.
Jai Shri Mataji!