I am new here. I want you to know how relieved i am to have found this site. The information i gathered here made me decide not to continue the seven day course i started in BK. i don't know if you interested to hear my story.
I got to know a guy, who happens to be a BK. Actually it was his housemaid, who introduced me to him. His housemaid thought her boss has a problem and needed a friend. At first i was hesitant because i know that he's married, although his maid told me that he and his wife are separated already, for reasons i did not know at the start. He's really a nice guy. He always smiles. I did not see him mad even though his kids could be difficult at times. It was my first time seeing a very responsible single hands-on dad. He eventually became my bestfriend, a confidante, the very person who made me see things in a different way. I became vergetarian because of him and it was also him who introduced BK to me.
He accompanied me to the center and introduced other BK members to me. I found them very friendly, accomodating and i was really impressed by their warmth welcome. I got attracted to their disposition, so that i was then encouraged to take the seven day course. At first, i was uncomfortable seeing a huge picture of their founder in their altar. I asked the BK teacher why and he told me that i should not be stuck by that because they don't worship that image. Just like the Catholic Church, we have pictures of our saints in our altar. i wasn't convinced but because i wanted to be as happy as they apppeared to me i did not bother to ask more questions.
The are also other things that i cant accept like the soul is in the forehead, their idea of attachment as a vice or our skin color, race. Looks are because of karma. i believe that its more of a genetic make up and not karma at all. Nevertheless, i tried to absorb their teachings because like i said, i want transformation. It does not mean, that I am really a bad girl. Even before i decided to take the course, my friend introduced to me, there were things i was able to resist that people my age find it hard to stay away from. I don't drink, do not smoke, don't do drugs and never had premarital sex.
The transformation that i really want is being able to forgive the people who hurt me, the capacity to manage my anger, to get rid of my emotional baggages without getting detached from my religion. I was born Catholic and i always considered God as the Father. Its a stuggle for my part to treat him as a mother, beloved, sister or brother because my teacher insisted that God does not have gender at all. I also asked the teacher, "is it bad to get attracted", and he said, yes. I said, "why?" And he said, "because its greed. When youre attracted, you want to own that person". I was battling inside, I believed that there is nothing wrong with attraction as long as you know how to deal with it. I did not argue with them because i was like hypnotized that even i find most of their teachings contradictory to what i believed in. I felt like i had no capacity to disagree with them.
With my frequent visit at the guy's house, I learned to like him. Other people who see us even thought that my friend has feelings for me. They even thought that we were having an affair. At first I thought, it was a feeling that is soo good to keep because I knew from the start that he's married. But i was bothered by their teachings that attraction is a sin and I am an advocate of letting your feelings out. I felt that i cant move on to the next lesson without telling the guy what i felt for him. I want to be honest, for the truth will always set you free. It took a lot of courage for me to call my friend and told him about how i felt and how guilty i was for feeling that way since i was taught not to entertain such idea because it's a bad thought.
I was glad, he too was nice to appreciate my honesty. He told me not to feel dirty about myself that that is part of my spiritual growth. Well, believe me after that, my feelings for him lost. It was a relief reallly but i strated to notice other things from my friend. He sent his kids to the music school but he did not give them the chance to listen to music at home. His kids always complain of the censorship. They couldnt understand why its not good for them to watch Mr. Bean. He isolated his utensils and when i asked him why he said, "its part of his spiritual growth". I said to myself, if Raja Yoga encourages awareness then why would you be bothered by that idea? If Raja Yoga makes you a strong person/soul, then why do you always have to avoid a lot of things? When you're strong, you cannot easily be affected.
It's then when i started to get curious about BK. So i surfed the net and came across this site. I was amazed about the celibacy issue. My gosh, I could not just accept it. I also want to get married one day and have a family I can call my own. So I began to analyze that probably the reason why his marriage failed was because of the celibacy thing. How can his non-bk wife understant that? I emailed him some posts I got from here, hoping to get some reflections from him but he asked me for my reflections instead. I am pasting here the email that i sent to him and his reply. I did not get any permission from him to post his email to me but i havnt found any way to relay to you his message. My apologies if he comes across this.
The email that i sent to him:
was just curious about the organization that i started to browse more on it. Honestly, i was a bit shocked of the stuff i came across with in my surfing. First of all, i found almost all of the BK's teachings helpful in my decision to change, yet there are things that I don't agree with. It's not that i don't want to, its just that I cannot. And i don't think, my disagreement would make me less of a positive thinking person (soul).
Even before i decided to take the lessons, there are certain things that i was able to resist. Things, people my age find hard stay away from. I don't drink, i don't smoke, i don't do drugs, never had premarital sex.
Being able to manage my anger, having the courage to accept, let go and move on with life are more than enough for me. Actually i have reached farther than what i have expected of my transformation. I don't feel the need to experience a higher level of awareness. My attachment to things and people became less, but i don't think i should totally detach myself from them (maybe some). I still believe that attraction is not something i should avoid, i just have to learn to deal with it instead.
About celibacy? I celebate all these years hehehehe. But, I don't think i still will in the coming days. I also want to get married and hoping to have a healthy sex life ngek! and let my kids experience like what other kids in school go through.
I still want to shop, get up, and maybe look sexy. I still want material things without getting frustrated over not having them. I am still a vegetarian, and can still eat with my family and friends who are not grass eaters without isolating my utensils. I still meditate and i believe, I have a good connection with God even by not following some of the teachings of bk.
Actually, I am not in the right position to judge anyone as regards their choices. I respect them. And my choice is? The 3 lessons i have learned from bk, are enough already and I'll use them to serve myself and others.
I surfed more about the BK controversies, and i was so shocked to learned about the rape and child abuse issues, ex-BKs who experienced mental problems, the politics in the center, the offering of properties to the organization and other bigger issues. And I am so bothered by the thought that my honesty to him about my feelings was a waste thought. How can an organization that promotes good values, regards my honesty as a waste thought. geeeez. I really want to help my friend before it's too late. I learned to love his kids, and I am very much concerned on his manner of raising them. I do not have illusions anymore that he'l like me, even though the people around him think he is just suppressing his feelings because of his involvement with the organization. He once told me, i shouldn't based my judgement on what i got from you guys. But i do not think i have made an impartial judgement after all, i have already heard from both parties, the current BKs and you guys here.Hehehe ... I appreciate your honesty. Your course in life will always be decided by you, and none other. Nothing is imposed here. The Brahma Kumaris teachings are based on universal principles (which are also found in most, if not all, major religions; but are just explained in simple and understandable manner) which are shared to you for reflection and study. You only take additional lessons according to your readiness. I cannot speak for those who negatively talked about the university for they had their own circumstances (isolated, I pressume) and degree of efforts and understanding of the teachings. They even have different personalities and needs.
Your effort and intention to pursue the ultimate good will be according to your discernment. I feel it will help you a lot (as it did to me) if you focus on your progress and your standard, and not compare with others; whoever they are. Yes, we have models to follow, but at the end of the day, it is always yourself that needs to be served first before others. As I've been sharing, "you cannot share what you do not have." If service is done out of compliance, then it is no service at all. Regardless of the magnitude, if you do things for others in happiness, then I should say it's the best service of all. "According to feelings" ba. Or, in Tagalog, "ayon Silver Age kalooban." I will still stick to the guiding principle I shared with you previously that, "True greatness is doing even the most ordinary task with excellence and happiness." You do not have to be President of the country to accumulate your "indulgence" (in the Catholic parlance). It's always what's inside that counts.
For the past five years in my BK life, I cannot recall any single circumstance where service and observance of routines and disciplines were imposed. Nor I can remember a time when I did meditation out of compliance. I feel, kasi, that this new life that I have now (and if you allow, may I also say, yours too; after taking knowledge) should always be done in the spirit of freedom, volunteerism, and love. Without love while doing tasks (no matter how trivial), life will just be a burden and punishment. I wouldnt wish you to experience what those who failed had. Honesty had been very helpful to me when I dealt with my teachers (who served as my guides and elder sisters when I was down in my personal life) regarding my spiritual progress. I have never felt love so unconditional (other than my mother's) but from my mentors in this institution. I feel that I've always gained all along in all activities I have participated and done -- there is always benefit to me whenever something is going on.
In fact, the more I churn on the many details of my life, I can now say that everything that happens is always beneficial, no matter how unattractive and uneasy they may seem. Thus, everything that I do now, will just be a gesture to return this goodness to the organization. When my friends came here, they were not actually told by the national coordinating office but those were out of their own volition based on their specific circumstance. They did it voluntarily the same way as you freely encouraged your friends to attend the Positive Thinking and Food & Soul sessions.. All because we have experienced the same benefit ourselves in prior circumstances, which we want to see enjoyed by others also.
When I went to India, I have seen how this system of volunteerism worked to perfection, not found in any other organization worldwide. I have experienced how people doing spiritual efforts help in materializing all slated activities without any fuzz or any trace of heaviness and unwillingness in their hearts. Everything was orderly, smooth, and even quiet in spite of the delegation count from 2000 to 20,000 people at one time. An ordinary rotary club convention with about 500 participants is already a nightmare to manage (meals, instruction dissimination, etc..) but I've never felt/seen that in Madhuban. That was actually just a confirmation on my part, because the system is also practiced throughout my stints in different centers all over our country. I would like to pressume, it's also universal in all the other centers abroad. Hehehe.... you should have seen and experienced these things before you should have read those literatures in the wikipedia and others..
But ... it's not yet late ... I am glad at least I feel that you are still determined to pursue your interest in spirituality. It's our gift to ourselves we should never pass by unwrapped.
Before I end, let me touch a bit about your lesson on Karma. It seems to be where you are stuck right now. It just simply teaches us that everything involving action in this world has its corresponding effects; from the simplest headache early in the morning (caused by getting drunk the night before) to the flooding of unusually flooded areas (due to man's neglect of the rainforest by illegal logging, etc.). But I think, what you have not yet taken with your teacher was on the deepening discussion on the impact of the Law of Karma to our relationships. Hehe ... this is actually exciting because this is where we will understand about soulmates, and other things ...
The organization have conducted 2 seminars already in my area and it was me who gathered 98 percent of the participants in both. I already dissimanated all the info i got from here to those who attended, even it would mean a failure in my part. But i believe it was what we called humility. Accepting that i was wrong introducing to them a cult that might destroy our lives. I really do not know how much my friend knows about the ex-BKs sentiments. Please, tell me what to do next. i really want to help him. Shall i inform his family about this? I am looking forward to reading your replies.
Very truly yours,