Keep Spiritual Grounding Fresh
When the URI global office opened in San Francisco in 1996, the staff was gifted with a “timer.” The timer was set to have soft music play at regular intervals throughout the day. This practice, called “traffic control,” was a spiritual discipline practiced in Brahma Kumaris centers and offices throughout the world. Brahma Kumaris, a 75-year-old spiritual movement that grew out of Hinduism in India in the 1930’s, emphasizes the leadership of women and the practice of Raja Yoga for personal and social transformation.
URI staff followed the practice - when “traffic control” music would play in the office, staff would stop work and make room for silence. If on a call, staff would invite the person on the other end of the phone to share in the brief silence. In addition, Sister Chandru, the head of the San Francisco Center of the Brahma Kumaris, helped URI set aside a room for meditation. Weekly, URI’s meditation room would receive a little bouquet of flowers from the BK’s to keep the spiritual vibration fresh. URI meetings opened with a period of silence followed by spoken prayer or reflection as a way to re-center and align with the sacred.
Sr. Maureen Goodman, a BK sister from the United Kingdom said, “I dream that URI keep spiritual values at its heart and as its guiding force.”
Throughout the years, BK sisters and brothers have served the URI community in countless ways that invoke the active guidance of the sacred in all of its many forms and expressions as part of the fabric of URI’s organization.
Today, on the eve of her 70th birthday, Sr. Chandru commented that her best birthday ever was during a URI global event in 2002 that coincided with her birthday. “Leaders from religions from all over the world gave me a special birthday blessing, each from his and her own tradition. It was a deep gift of my life to receive these prayers, blessings and spiritual wishes from people who came from so many different religions, spiritual expressions and Indigenous traditions.”
Read more posts in the Every Voice series, which presents thought-provoking quotes showing how people all over the world give voice to URI.