INDIA, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University or BK-Land (as I call it)!

Well, I am finally ready to come out of the closet about my visits to India! My first visit to India was 1990 as the guest of the Brahma Kumaris’s “Peace of Mind” Retreat, and I had a very tough time emotionally, seeing the poverty, the dirt, the garbage, the crowds, and the sickness in Mumbai, I couldn’t handle it at all!!

When I arrived in Mt Abu, which is in the North-West of India about 150 miles south of the Pakistan Border

Pakistan Surveillance on top of mountain!

Pakistan Surveillance on top of mountain!

and a 4-hour drive from closest airport, with the last hour straight up the mountain. It’s a beautiful drive with monkeys at side of the road.

It’s not an easy drive however; Indian drivers on a whole are very good. The BK headquarters is very large and the part where I am, on top of the mountain, can house 1500 people. It is beautiful complex, very clean, no dirt anywhere, white buildings, gardens, it has many kitchens, and even toli, (candy kitchen), Meditation halls,

Meditation Hall (Brahma Kumaris)

Meditation Hall (Brahma Kumaris)

courtyards,

At beautiful Mt Abu

At beautiful Mt Abu

swings, a lovely room called History Hall, and numerous dining rooms. Literature, media, transport departments, plus a Hospital that has been very special to me for number of years. This place runs like clockwork, any top CEO could not run it any better. The accommodations are very simple, but has everything you need; a bed, a closet, a desk and a bathroom with a shower, etc. and hot water all the time (which even in the best hotels can be difficult). My room has an outside sitting space with wicker chairs and a table, all in all very comfortable.

Where I stay!

Where I stay!

What do I do here? Mediate, classes are given on various topics of dealing with life, meet with friends from all over the world, the BK’S are in about 140 countries around the world, and most try to come here at least once a year for 2 or 3 weeks (we from the west are called double foreigners). I am also very fortunate, because I know a number of people in the town of Mt Abu, (because of my work in hospital), a population of 25,000 people, and is a tourist town (lots of hotels) because of its location and weather, it is November, the days are sunny, and warm, and the evenings are cool, perfect for me. I seem to be very busy, lunches, dinner’s, tea’s and on back of motorbike touring around. This Community or Family, as it is called, was founded by Jeweler, in 1936, that had a calling and he appointed 5 women in charge. This Family has grown tremendously and is well respected within India Political and Social circles and the World. Dadi Janki, who is the head of this Community is 98 years old, very frail body, but mind is sharp as a tack and has been very special to me for 25 years, I have learnt so much from this friend (she calls me her Canadian Friend), and believe it or not Dadi speaks Hindi, so whenever we meet we have a translator.

I speak about the BK’s if you are here, at least you are trying to figure out life, with all of the ups and downs and as I travel the world knowing the BK’S make it much easier because of the various connections and contacts. Now a far as dress goes here, most of the Sisters here, as they are called, wear white sari’s or combination of white outfits,

I Love this picture of laundry!!

I Love this picture of laundry!!

I am rebel, as usual, and don’t always wear white, certainly not a sari, I would never know how to put one on, years ago I wore one at event with my late Indian friend and had to be dressed by a helper.

This is visit is number 19 to India for one reason or another. I have met some of the brightest and thinking people I know (all professions and ages are here). I feel very fortunate to be part of this Global Family!

With friends Kirti and Heidi at Kirti 's beautiful home in Mt Abu.

With friends Kirti and Heidi at Kirti ‘s beautiful home in Mt Abu. 

With friend Dr Sharma in Mt Abu

With friend Dr Sharma in Mt Abu

Betty

Post Script. 1

Religion has always been difficult for me and people ask me my definition of Spirituality, for me it means values, e.g. trust, loyalty, respect, love, giving back to community, friendship and honesty to name a few, which brings me to the total freedom I feel now in my life.

Post Script 2

On way to airport from Mt Abu, there was a big traffic jam on a 4-lane highway, didn’t understand why, so, a Elephant was walking down the highway taking up 2 lanes! (Only in India)

About Betty Steinhauer

Betty Steinhauer was born in England and raised in Toronto, Canada. Even as a young mother, Betty was active in the community sitting on a number of boards and lending her expertise to various public organizations. In 1983, she founded Betty Steinhauer & Associates Ltd. a consulting firm where, for twenty-five years, she used her unique abilities to act as a catalyst, facilitator and advisor to both the private and public sectors, in forging relationships between organizations and/or individuals for mutually advantageous outcomes. For many years, Betty travelled widely in out-of-the-way areas of the world. As she travelled, the idea for The People Bridge Charitable Foundation was formed. The People Bridge was registered as a Canadian charity in 1997. The mandate of the Foundation was to facilitate important changes in the lives of ordinary people through small-scale charitable projects. Betty has now retired the Foundation that, during its lifetime, undertook over 100 projects worldwide, mostly in conjunction with organizations already working in the target area. Betty’s experience and expertise in business, along with the advice and assistance she receives from colleagues around the globe, give her a unique ability to spot the need and understand how it can be met. Betty has the unusual combination of an entrepreneur’s abilities and an intrinsic understanding of people. Betty has visited India seventeen times in the past twenty years to pursue her spiritual journey. She has frequently been a guest of the Brahma Kumaris and the World Spiritual University to study meditation and further her own spiritual life. Betty is currently active with the Steering Committee of the Spirit of Humanity Forum, in Reykjavik, Iceland. This is an annual Forum that, it is felt, will become to the spiritual world what the Davos Forum is to the financial world. Betty makes her home in Toronto, and has published her memoir “My Way”. She began her Nomadic Internship in the summer of 2013.
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7 Responses to INDIA, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University or BK-Land (as I call it)!

  1. Just got over an flare up *looked like the living dead or severe shingles on my face, of an auto immune disorder (or so the doctors think). I am well now, but now need to be on the hunt on what is activating this. Ended up in the hospital again. Had a different type of flare up in the summer where half my face and brain swelled (I noticed that the swelling of my brain did not make me smarter, unfortunately). So apparently auto immune disorders are a dark forest of the unknown. Not complaining, just need to now rebook 2 weeks of cancellations, and catch up with many things that was left to the wind. Guess this is the universe’s way of saying slow down. So I am getting it, and now placing more boundaries. Such is life, but life is truly good. Actually the good part of this, is that my skin right now looks great, so this flare up was like a chemical peel, not that I ever had one, but my skin is very clear as of 3 days ago, and looks healthier than before. So all is well.

    Enough about me, how are you?

  2. Hanging in there? Meaning please?
    Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

  3. Hi Betty,
    Hanging in there. Lots of great moments this year! Hope you too are doing well.
    hugs
    Marilyn

  4. Thanks and how are you?
    Love B
    Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

  5. Prue Chambers says:

    Thanks Betty; great article! Hope you are writing a second book! Love Prue

  6. My Dearest Betty;
    You have touch and inspired so many. Thank you for this blog, as I truly enjoy reading this.
    Blessings
    Namaste’
    Marilyn

  7. Jeffrey Smyth says:

    Betty,

    Thanks for your note. Have you found your mountain top retirement home? It sounds as though you may have.

    I’ve sensed for a while that your commitment to your adopted faith was weakening – perhaps your daughter senses that too. But you definitely sound as though you are in a happier place.

    We are going to be away over Christmas week on a cruise in the Caribbean. All the friends and their kids whom we used to spend Christmas, now have their own kids and grandkids in new family formations so we decided to take off and cruise through several sunsets.

    Take care, and please let me know when you will be back in TO.

    Jeffrey

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