Upadesamrta 4 Purport The International Society for Krishna Consciousness has been established to facilitate these six kinds of loving exchanges between devotees:1. giving charity to the devotees2. accepting from the devotees whatever they may offer in return3. opening ones mind to the devotees4. inquiring from them about the confidential service of the Lord5. honoring prasada, or spiritual food, given by the devotees6. feeding the devotees with prasada.
Team Lessons From The GeeseAs each bird flaps its wings it creates an uplift for the bird following. By fyling in a "V" formation the whole flock provides 71% better range than flying alone. There is a power in the collective work. People who share a common direction and sense of community can reach their destination quicker and easier, travelling on the thrust of each other. Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it immediately feels the drag and quickly gets back in to the draft of the nearest goose. If we had as much sense as a goose, we would stay in formation with those who are heading where we want to go. Sometimes the leading goose gets tired and rotates back into formation for another to take over. Take turns in leadership. Share leadership.
Team Lessons From The GeeseBe interpendent on each others skills, knowledge, and qualities. Geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up the speed. Make sure your honking from behind is encouraging, not discouraging. ENCOURAGE - coeur means “heart” in French. Whenever a goose gets sick, wounded or shot, two geese fall out of the formation to go with one to protect, help it and stay it until it can fly again, or until it dies. They then launch out to join another formation or rejoin their original flock
PLANCommunity principlesHow does it workOne to one assistance
SEVEN PURPOSES OF ISKCON3. To bring the members of the Society together with each other and nearer to Krsna, the prime entity, thus to develop the idea within the members, and humanity at large, that each soul is part and parcel of the quality of Godhead (Krsna).6. To bring the members closer together for the purpose of teaching a simpler and more natural way of life. 7
SAVESave yourself, save others. This is our Krsna consciousness movement. First of all save yourself; then try to save others. Or both things can go on simultaneously. The same example. If you want to save somebody whos drowning you must know that I may not be washed away. I have to remain strong; then I can save him.Conversation on Roof -- February 14, 1977, Mayapura
SRILA PRABHUPADA Srila Prabhupada was first and foremost someone who truly cared, who completely sacrificed his own comfort to work for the good of others. - Mukunda Goswami 9
PRACETAS The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear sons of the King, I am very much pleased by the friendly relationships among you. All of you are engaged in one occupation - devotional service. I am so pleased with your mutual friendship that I wish you all good fortune. Now you may ask a benediction of Me. SB 4.30.8
While the men were meeting in that way, the women were also meeting one another in the same manner. They were embracing each other in great friendship, smiling very mildly, and looking at one another with much affection. When they were embracing each other in their arms, the saffron and kunkuma spread on their breasts was exchanged from one person to another, and they all felt heavenly ecstasy. Due to such heart-to-heart embracing, torrents of tears glided down their cheeks. The juniors were offering obeisances to the elders, and the elders were offering their blessings to the juniors. They were thus welcoming one another and asking after each others welfare. Ultimately, however, all their talk was only of Krsna. All the neighbors and relatives were connected with Lord Krsnas pastimes in this world, and as such Krsna was the center of all their activities. Krsna Book - Lord Krsna and Balarama Meet the Inhabitants of Vrndavana
CARING COMMUNITY PRINCIPLESSarve sukhino bhavantu6 loving exchanges (dadati ... )Enlightening each other Bg 10.9“Your love for me will be shown ...” SP“Mutual consultation” SPDoing good to others Bg 17.16 PLaksmi comes when we don’t fight SB 5.14.24 PPracetas SB 4.8.30Building trust in a community
CARING COMMUNITY PRINCIPLESPrahlada Maharaja: May all living entities become calm by practicing bhakti-yoga, for by accepting devotional service they will think of each others welfare. SB 5.18.9Holistic care (body, mind and soul)Training is care (“Give a man a fish ...”)Regular and clear communicationSentimental or caring?
BUILDING TRUST WITHIN THECOMMUNITYWe keep promises and honor commitments.We acknowledge and apologize for mistakes.We are loyal to the absent.We seek to understand each other’s needs and concerns.We say what we feel in a way that shows respect for others’ opinions.We are not defensive when someone offers feedback.We share information, both positive and negative, with people who need to have it.We encourage others to openly contribute ideas and opinions.We involve people in decisions that affect them.
BUILDING TRUST WITHINTHE COMMUNITYWe give credit where credit is due.We share decision making with community or team members, and support collective decisions.We encourage and support community or team members taking risks.We check our information before jumping to conclusions.We behave and communicate consistently, regardless of the situation or the person’s authority and influence.We communicate clear expectations.We honour confidential and sensitive information.
PURPOSEEducate devotees in how to live according to the principles of their asramaTrain them in philosophy, sadhana, Vaisnava behaviour, etiquette, lifestyle and attitudesGive care and attention for all devotees to make them feel loved, wanted and part of a wonderful spiritual familyFoster warm personal relationships and a spirit of love and trust based on Krsna conscious principlesFacilitate allocation of service, organization of major events, communication of important decisionsTrain spiritual leaders and preachers
HOW DOES IT WORKSome experienced devotees take on the serviceAssistant GuideGeographical, linguistic, socio-economic considerationsPreference for a particular GuidePesonal touchShelter: bring as many as possibleFothnightly group meetingsOne-to-one meetings
HOW DOES IT WORK?Collective recommendations for initiationSpecialized teamsTemple president participatesGuide from the same asramaHusband-and-wife teamNot too many to care for and guide (5 to 15)
CHOOSINGSPIRITUAL GUIDESIn active Krsna consciousness within ISKCON for a fair length of timeGood understanding of the philosophy and practice of Krsna consciousnessAble to give balanced counsel based on Krsna conscious principles according to person, time, place and circumstanceNot inclined to extreme or controversial positions on issues
CHOOSING SPIRITUAL GIUDESWilling to extend to help and sacrifice for othersCompassionate, genuine concern for the welfare of devoteesA good listenerMature, sober, stableGood standard of sadhana, etiquette, behavior, service and commitment to the missionProperly situated in own asrama
DUTY OF A GUIDEProvides care, guidance and challenge in Krsna consciousnessSpiritual elder brother/sister, takes personal care of all devotees in the groupInspires and encourages them in Krsna consciousness, monitors their progressProvides Krsna conscious and general life skills trainingCounsels in spiritual and other mattersOverall welfare of the devoteesNot a full time service
DUTY OF A GUIDEFortnightly group meetingsRecommends for first and second initiationActively participates in meetings of the Spiritual GuidesA good standard of sadhana, behavior and serviceSarve sukhino bhavantuCaution: personal ambition, misuse ...
TRAINING DEVOTEES Ideal brahmacaris and grhasthas Proper devotional standards at the temple or at home (kitchen, altar, behavior, sadhana) Proper wife/husband/parent/child, according to scriptures Balance economic and social responsibilities with spiritual vows
TRAINING DEVOTEES Women dealing with men, particularly brahmacharis and sannyasis; men dealing with women Proper dealings between asramas Dealing with other devotees, family, public Manual of Vaisnava Etiquette and Lifestyle
GROUP MEETING Vaisnava bhajans One of devotees presents a text from Srila Prabhupada’s books, discussion Sharing realizations Discussion on service, sadhana, Vaisnava etiquette/behavior Issues not too personal (personal discussed in private with the Guide) Practical committments Kirtana, prasadam
WHAT KEEPS THE GROUPMEMBERS TOGETHER?Guide’s genuine care and loveGuide takes initiative, reaches outAn environment of love, appreciation and challengeCommitment to quality relationshipsSix symptoms of love (Upadesamrta)Benefits for those who take care of othersInteresting or exciting meetings
INTERESTING MEETINGSInduce creativity and innovationCreate fresh challengesConsider personal interestsBirthdays, marriages, anniversariesRegular, specific personal appreciationCatch them doing things rightFun: games, quizzes, role playsDo personal things for themDynamic action after the session
GUIDES MEETINGS Different Guide presents each time Discussion on the holy name and: Sadhana (japa, waking early, morning program, etc.) Reading (importance of philosophy and reading Prabhupada’s books) Vaisnava Etiquette (respect to everyone, how to serve/honour prasadam, personal habits, etc.) Exemplary Behavior (26 qualities of a Vaisnava, etc.) Reports from specilized teams Management (if needed) Prasadam
SUPPORT FOR GUIDESMentoringTrainingSangaCountinuous learning (skills, ideas ...)
ONE-TO-ONE SKILLSListeningQuestionsProblems into opportunitiesExpanding optionsChallengePromoting action
BHAKTISIDDHANTA One who gives personal instruction to each and everyone does more for others than the platform speakers do. Generally, whatever platform speakers say cannot solve the problem of everyone in the audience, nor can it always benefit every individual. A persons defects are better rectified in a private tutorial class or private coaching than in hearing lectures in a school or college. Therefore those who instruct particular persons separately can award them something more permanent. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Amrta Vani, page 315
ONE-TO-ONE MEETINGSCommunication skillsDiscovering devotee’s needs, interests and concernsConfidentialSupportive (believes in)Focused on a devotee being guidedPersonal issuesSharing realizations and successesNot a lectureWorking together to find solutionsEnlightening
LISTENFully understand the situation of the devoteeGive them the space to understand themselvesListen first and seek first to understandRemain as impartial, open and objective as you possibly canInterested and concernedTHEY are responsible for their livesClear your mind of all personal issues
EXERCISEListen to a devotee next to you for 3 minutes. You must not make any sound, say anything, nod, shake your head or show any other signs. Repeat back your understanding of the key points they made. Ask a devotee whether you understood him or her well.
ASKING EFFECTIVE QUESTIONSThe purpose of asking questions is to:1. Understand the devotee well2. Help them understand themselves3. Clarify what they want4. Discover new options, opportunities, possibilities and advantages5. Identify obstacles6. Make an action plan
EFFECTIVE QUESTIONSWhat are your strengths, talents, skills, good qualities?What do you want?What one great thing would you dare to dream if you knew you could not fail? (question about an exciting goal)
EFFECTIVE QUESTIONSWhat one thing, if you would do superbly well everyday, would make the greatest positive difference in your life? (question about personal habits / best practices)What can you learn from this?How can you turn this problem into an opportunity?What and who inspires you the most?Are you ready to pay the price?
NON-EFFECTIVE QUESTIONSWhy are you so bad?Why you don’t understand what’s good for you?When are you going to change / shape up / grow up?How could you do such a thing?
TIPAfter asking questions and listening, summarize what you have heard to be sure you have understand your devotee well.
POWER OF A RIGHT QUESTIONThe question that saved concentration camp prisoner’s life.
EXERCISE Pair up as and take turn to speak about an issue.1. Ask relevant and empowering questions until he is certain to have understood the devotee2. Paraphrase back to the devotee to determine whether he has successfully understood him. The devotee should confirm it.
TURNING PROBLEMS INTO OPPORTUNITIES “O Partha, happy are the ksatriyas to whom such fighting opportunities come unsought, opening for them the doors of the heavenly planets.” Bg 2.32
TURNING PROBLEMS INTO OPPORTUNITIESThe way you see a problem or a task powerfully influences you action and the results you will achieve.Help the devotee to see their problems differently: as a blessing in disguise.
A TURNAROUND EXPERTWhat is great about this problem?What can I learn from this problem?What this problem is an opportunity for?If you would be a world expert on these issues, what would you advise?If you would be super-intelligent, how would you deal with this problem?What additional skills do you need to deal with this problem?
A TURNAROUND EXPERTUse questions as you see fit, in any orderInduce a devotee to see themselves as expert in solving a particular problem and learn everything they can about it from various sources (spiritual, professional, etc.).
EXERCISEChoose one problem and turn it into an opportunity together.
EXPANDING OPTIONSGita CardsMindstormingBrainstormingAsking othersWhat else could I do?
PROMOTING ACTION“Factually, we should be engaged 24 hours in Krsnas service and everything should be done very nicely and perfectly.”Srila Prabhupada, Letter to Adi-kesava, Bombay 2 January 1975
ACTIONChosen areaClarifying what they want (clear written goals)Exploring options, opportunities, possibilities and advantagesOvercoming obstaclesMaking a written action planHolding them accountable by requesting weekly reports
HOLISTIC OR COMPLETE CAREHealthSadhanaServiceRelationshipsSelf-renewal/BalanceEtc.
SPIRITUAL GUIDE SESSION1. Inquire2. Listen attentively3. Reflect back4. Discover possibilities and solutions together5. Plan action together
RESULTSTo change their results, devotee sneed to change their perception, their thinking and their action.To achieve things you have never achieved before, you have to start doing things you have never done before.
ACTION SUCCESSSuccess = Personal effort + Krsna’s mercyThe place of action [the body], the performer, the various senses, the many different kinds of endeavour, and ultimately the Supersoul — these are the five factors of action. Whatever right or wrong action a man performs by body, mind or speech is caused by these five factors. Therefore one who thinks himself the only doer, not considering the five factors, is certainly not very intelligent and cannot see things as they are. Bg 18.14-16O son of Kunti, I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man. Bg 7.8
PRACTICEMutual assistanceShare first with your partner and then with a whole group what you have learned and experienced both as a guide and guided
SUMMARYAttentive to devotee’s needs, interests and concernsConfidentialSupportiveFocused on a devotee being guidedPersonal issuesSharing realizations and successesNot a lectureWorking together to find solutionsEnlightening
MUTUAL COACHINGWeekly questionsFeedforwardGITA Model Goals Instructions Tests Action
EXERCISEChoose an important goal and tell partnerParner asks you: What are the three ways I can help you succeed in this?Partner chooses one he can help you with and committs to do it next week
DEMONSTRATIONOne-to-one meeting/session with a GITA Model Goals Instructions Tests Action
ISKCON DEVOTEECAREDevotee Care Journalhttp://devoteecareiskcon.com/en /
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