Brahma Kumaris Youth and Young Adults (NAYA)
The Brahma Kumaris North American Youth and Young Adults (NAYA) come from a variety of cultures and careers and are passionate about living a life of purpose and meaning. We are part of a wider international group of young adults of the Brahma Kumaris International Youth Forum. We strive to care for ourselves and to care for the world. We believe that spiritual tools are essential to touch and emerge the inner power within. Through our own personal journeys, we are experiencing a life of balance and inner spiritual maturity. And we have also discovered the magic that happens in sharing our journeys with our peers. We love to keep in touch with each other through conference calls, sharing, listening and supporting each other. We move forward in unity and harmony, respecting and wishing the best for each other. NAYANs are engaged in designing and facilitating retreats, conversations, workshops and global initiatives that empower youth and young adults.
It takes courage to think differently, see differently and behave differently, yet we believe this will empower us to build new social structures and a promising future for everyone.
Choose, Change & Become
Choose, Change & Become USA is an annual retreat run for young and emerging leaders. Each year it is designed and facilitated by young adults of USA, NAYA (North American Young Adults). Their love for personal progress and desire to help others unearth and develop their spiritual potential is what inspired this annual retreat.
The retreat provides a simple process that allows young people to re-examine their choices, set clear vision, create a roadmap for positive change, and discover spiritual tools to sustain themselves in their daily lives. Rather than trying to ‘teach’ young people about spirituality and values, the retreat uses a blend of reflection, conversations and creative activities, which allow participants to discover their own answers, insights and realizations, making it relevant and practical to their lives.
Choose, Change and Become
Watch as a group of young explorers embark on a journey of self- discovery.
Spotlight Values - A Look At What Makes Us Shine
In September 2010, the youth of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, launched a year-long project for the United Nations called Spotlight Values. The project challenged, supported and inspire youth and young adults around the world to initiate a reflective and experiential process that encouraged them to make values a living reality in their lives. Inspired by and in dedication to the United Nations International Year of Youth (IYY), the initiative began with a process designed for youth to experiment with the United Nations days of peace, non-violence, tolerance, and dignity (for human rights). The aim of the project was to shine a “spotlight” on their potential to “light up the world” by inspiring them to make constructive, values-based changes in their lives thereby actively bringing positive change to their communities and societies. Through a series of process oriented activities, workshops, events, informal café-style gatherings called “Om Express” and “Om Café” youth and young adults between the ages of 13 - 35 were invited to come together to explore these values through open dialogue, personal reflection and multimedia streams of expressions, and to share their experiences with others from around the world through the Spotlight Values network (website, blog, and social media). www.spotlightvalues.org
Antoinette Hemlall, thirteen, from New York, had become inspired just upon hearing about the project. Spotlight Values gave her an opportunity to facilitate Om Express sessions for her peers giving her space to dive deeper into her love of music and create expressions on the values for the Spotlight Values blog and events. In addition, she became a regular host of the radio program during Phase 1.
Testimonials for Spotlight Values:
Sara Figueroa, USA, a youth facilitator and participant commented, “Spotlight Values was such a great project. I felt it offered a great space for participants to be creative and to learn about the values and feel really empowered to share them. Having the blog and daily action points meant that there was this practical tool for elevating people’s consciousness both in personal ways but also in a group setting. To feel this atmosphere was so special especially when you realize you are talking to young people and hearing amazing spiritual reﬂections on the values.”
Spotlight Values providing the space for young people to express their feelings and core values In Rwanda, ﬁfteen Spotlight Values sessions were held in the form of Om Café and Om Express. Many of the same youths attended the sessions month after month. They were not only interested in attending the sessions but also were interested in using the value throughout the month until they returned to the next session. With in-depth conversations taking place on the values, they also engaged themselves greatly in the expression segment of the sessions with poetry, songs, dances, and drawings. Many of the youths wanted to continue with the discussion on values and began requesting the sessions take place in their schools, churches, etc. A young man, Paciﬁc, who had been participating in Spotlight Values was so deeply touched by the project because he felt that it gave everyone in the session a chance to express his/her feelings and core values. It also gave him a chance to learn about himself, the importance of values in his life, and see what he wanted to change in his life. He felt as if the discussion on values brought newness to him and he made a decision following the Spotlight Values activities to make positive changes in his habits, lifestyle, and attitude by incorporating spirituality into his life.
Italy (Marostica)Working with educators
An Om Café on respect was held for about 25 educators, and parents in the small town of Marostica in Italy. Since youth were not available to be part of the dialogue due to the start of the summer vacation, the educators strongly expressed the desire to experience the process so it could be used in their classrooms once schools re-opened. The participants were divided into smaller groups and were asked to reﬂect on the value based on the questions provided. One of the teachers remarked that she had come hoping to learn how to engage with younger students in more meaningful conversations. She was leaving having realized that while students may have their own ways of expressing them, conversations on values would put her on the same platform as her students so as to engage them in a dialogue rather than a one-sided lecture. As most of the participants dealt with youth on a day to day basis, a large portion of the conversation was about what behaviors and attitudes made them feel respected. The group expressed their thoughts by creating recipes for a dish of respect of their choice. Through this event, educators were inspired to bring the process of Om Express events into their classrooms and provide an on-going platform for the youth to engage in dialogue about values.
Young man discovers setting boundaries in his relationships leads to self-respect Spotlight Values sessions were held in Sydney for young adults between the ages of 18-25. The sessions were held as Om Cafés. Even though there were challenges with attendance at the sessions, those that did attend felt enthusiastic and inspired by the project. They really enjoyed the activities, depth, and clarity which came out of the explore conversations. Participants felt encouraged to continue thinking about and exploring the quality of that month. During an Om Café on respect, a discussion on the aspect of establishing boundaries in relationships emerged from the exploration on self-respect. A young man who participated shared how he was often cajoled by his stepfather into doing things out of social obligation, even if he did not want to do it or did not feel it was right. A couple of months after the Om Café on respect, the young man had gotten in touch with the Spotlight Values facilitator and said he felt empowered by the conversation to set down boundaries and speak honestly to his stepfather. He also said he found the creative writing piece he had done during the expression segment of the session, and was using it to remind himself about the quality and importance of respect in his life.
Inner Power Keepers – Impactful Dialogues for Our Generation
Organized by the NAYA team (North American Young Adults)
Inner Power Keepers (IPK) focuses on professional leaders between the ages of 30 - 45. This age group is entering what is known as the “establishment phase,” as they are starting to settle down from their 20’s and are ready to embark on a new endeavor with enhanced maturity in their lives. An endeavor which would entail them to take their current leadership skills to soar beyond the norm. A group of such professionals who balance their work lives with spirituality and meditation practice have come together and designed this dialogue for like minded peers. IPK’s dialogues provide such career leaders the space and freedom to have meaningful conversations together, build new ideas on how to openly share their experiences, integrate their leadership skills with spirituality to provide more stable and genuine leadership abilities.
Time for Spiritual Empowerment
This “Disney” like cartoon awakens us to a whole new and beautiful world.