Two, for us (BKs) , new experiments in service to develop professionalism, increase credibility and, not the least, to enjoy the ride!
MUSIC FOR THE SOUL an experimental concert programme with Michael Timothy and Anthony Strano at a beautiful concert hall in central Stockholm. Based on the music Michael has composed for the film CHASING GOD, (which is powerful, punchy stuff, not just meditative) and the sharing of Michael's personal experiences and meditation excercises led by Anthony with live music. Anthony interviewved Michael who shared his journey from a jetset performing artist, how he shifted to a spiritual lifestyle and yet never left his musical profession behind. A really nice and interesting experience for us and for the audience. We keep on receiving many warm and enthusiastic experiences from people.
Our contacts have come alive, enthuiastic, feeling that surprising, encouraging things are coming from the BKs. Some say that it is very interesting to watch the development of the work of BKs.
1. Anthony did not know Michael much at all beforehand and there was no time for rehearsal of interview and so the questions were genuine first time questions. I told the audience this in the opening. People have then told us that it was difficult to believe this, that they were really striked by the natural interaction Anthony and Michael had, feeling like they were long time friends.
2. We sold almost all literature we had brought. This has never happened before. We usually never sell much. Here we ran out of stock, completely unprepared.
3. Two of Michael's old musical friends from London, now living in Sweden, turned up for the concert. One of them had started to think about Michael few weeks before, and two days later bumped into a poster with Michael, far out in a suburb of Stockholm. He is now taking the course with a lot of interest.
4. A journalist of high quality interviewed Michael 2 1/2 hours at the centre. She is planning an article for youth, with the concern to inspire values in young people. She also started the course and have signed on for our upcoming Nordic meditation retreat in Oxford.
5. The staff working at the concerthall who were a bit stiff in the beginning, softened up as time went by and became very friendly and positive: They said they were impressed by how well organized and peacefully everything was done. In the end they happily joined us, appreciating very much what they experienced.
6. Setting the programme up meant working with new professions like the sound technicians and leasing company for musical equipment. They were very nice people to work with. It feels like we have expanded our circle of friends.
7. We are doing a simple follow-up: a cinematic show of Chasing God at the centre next week, announcing that the film includes the music that was performed by the composer at the Museum of Music last month. A full house has signed on and many pre-orders to buy the film has come in.
BOOK LAUNCH for the publication of Eastern Thought for The Western Mind in Swedish language - was another experiment the following day. We had visited a book launch last year and that sparked off the idea to do something similar for Baba. We took advice from a professional contact and simply followed her prescription. The purpose was to reach out to media in a professional manner, although we were warned that it is really difficult to get them coming. And it was.
The gathering was small, but high class, people from ministries, a couple of journalists, one well known news reporter from TV, managers from a business school, lokik relatives, friends of the centre. AND a couple of people who has been deep down in drug addiction and reformed. A beautiful mix, all were in such a high spirit.
1. Anthony presented the book with a short, crystal clear talk which struck the listeners deeply.
2. Michael played two beautiful Swedish folklore tunes which is far off from his normal repertoire, learned for this occasion only and not very easy to learn. A work-colleague of a BK sang with him. She had also only learned those tunes for this occasion and is otherwise a jazz singer. Doing something out of your comfort zone for someone else's sake can really work wonders. The performer stretches and uses his/her sensitivity and courage to give the best, not able to lean on any arrogance of knowing. The performance was outstanding.
3. The singer now wants to come for our retreat in Oxford. The TV-reporter is taking the course and comes for evening meditation.
4. Anthony signed his book afterwards, according to the script for a booklaunch. We were wondering why he took so long to sign each book, until we realized that he did not only sign them, he wrote an individual blessing for each person. Guess if people loved that!
5. Our professional advisor was right about it not being easy to pull the press to the launch. However we got a much bigger response when we announced to the papers that we had presskits left over from the launch. 10 papers immediately asked for press kits, among which two are our biggest morning papers.
6. The book has already proven very popular. We sold a lot already and people come back for more to give friends. Many enthusiastic remarks on the reading. This is a new experience for us who otherwise never sold much of anything.
And not the least programmes with visiting BKs presents a great opportunity for the family too, just working together is very special and every meal becomes as feast in good friends company.
For those involved with the Brahma Kumaris, to discuss issues about the BKWSU in a free and open manner.
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