El Morya's Garden
Celebrating the Sangha and the Can-Do Spirit!
By Rev. Jaspal Soni and Rev. Lois Drake
After spending three and half months in Maryland, USA with my siblings and at the Inner Retreat in Montana attending the summer conference and Summit University, I felt very energized upon my return to New Delhi in mid-August and ready to begin another round of exciting outreach opportunities.
In my absence, Poonam Chugh, the administrative assistant for the Chananda Cultural Society (CCS), continued to lead Sunday decree services at the ashram from noon to 2:00 pm. It was another successful experiment we had for the second time during the last two summers. We are very grateful for Poonam’s constancy and her ability to carry on the group while I am away.
The weather in New Delhi remains very hot (85-98 degrees F) with humidity ranging from 50-75% but it is expected to cool off by the middle of October.
A Mini-Retreat at the Ashram
On September 5 and 6, we conducted a two-day mini-retreat at the ashram with Rev. Lois Drake and Rev. Ana Maria Dean who had arrived in New Delhi a few days earlier. The gathering of more than 30 community members assembled each day from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. They enjoyed listening and sharing the teachings of the ascended masters on several topics including the ascended masters, the Chart of the I AM Presence, the science of the spoken word, and the violet flame.
We felt the presence of the Holy Spirit reflected in the ease of communicating the teachings through the prism of Hinduism. We did a few group decrees as well. Many people asked questions and shared their testimonials. We sealed the energies by forming a circle of oneness and chanting OM. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed the traditional Indian refreshments. Many people stayed afterwards to continue conversing with the visiting with all of us.
A New Three-Year Plan for India
Before moving to India in 2011 to begin the ascended master’s spiritual work here, Chananda Cultural Society developed a seven-year plan which laid out the history, requests of the masters, and step-by-step details of the undertaking. Looking back, we are grateful to the masters for all that has been accomplished. Like a treasure map, we have seen most of the first plan’s goals fulfilled including becoming officially recognized in India as a non-profit organization, building the Keeper of the Flame Fraternity, holding two Summit University classes, and starting charitable work for children.
We will be entering the seventh year of our mission in India in October 2017. As a result, we felt it was an opportune time to begin planning our goals for the next three years. In mid-September, we drafted our second Plan, Chananda Cultural Society: The Coming Years (2018 – 2021) and listed several new goals, including:
(1) continuing to strengthen our spiritual home-base in Delhi metropolitan area through workshops and decrees;
(2) expanding our outreach through social media and starting a YouTube channel;
(3) publishing the teachings in Hindi;
(4) replicating the Delhi outreach model in other Indian cities beginning with the pink city Jaipur (the heart chakra of India); and
(5) expanding support for Chananda’s Children through our “School in the Park” project.
Chananda’s Children—School in the Park
There is a beautiful spacious park located across from the ashram used by the neighbors for walking, jogging, meditating, and relaxation. Caretakers for the park are hired on a contract basis and live onsite with their families in small, makeshift huts. Currently there are 10 children of the contract employees who have nothing to do during the day. After talking with the parents, Chananda’s Children Park Project began almost a year ago. Now CCS pays a teacher who comes to the park in the late afternoons and teaches the children during the week days.
The pre-school age children have learned a great deal during the past year including their alphabets in both Hindi and English, counting numbers, reciting rhymes in English, and coloring. Their parents are very pleased with the progress. CCS also provides periodic gifts of clothes, toys and educational material which they love very much. We are planning to seek permission from the authorities to build a permanent shed equipped with a blackboard and some desks and chairs and an adjoining storage facility.
There is a lot of excitement and optimism for this idea which is supported by the supervisors of the park employees, the parents of the children, as well as other walkers who stroll that section of the park and see the children sitting on a mat in a grassy area with their teacher learning the first educational basics. The children’s parents, who are often illiterate, want their offspring to have a better future.
Chananda Cultural Society is dependent on donations to our US non-profit Friendship Homes and Schools and we gratefully thank you for your kind support!
THank you for Your Service!
Thank-you dear Jaspal, Lois, Ana Maria, Poonam and Team for keeping us up-to-date on your inspiring and blessed work in Mother India. And it fills the heart with love to see and hear about your work with the children as well …
Love and God bless, Cara