Devotee Care Presentation 2010


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Devotee Care Presentation 2010

  1. 1. Devotee Care Needs, Challenges, and Best Practices Devotee Care Committee April 2010
  2. 2. GBC Strategic Planning and Structure  Strategic planning has been a major theme of the GBC meetings.  The GBC body meets at least twice a year to discuss the future vision and has set up the following committees which oversee significant aspects of strategic planning  Establish Srila Prabhupada’s position committee  Succession committee  Constitution committee  Devotee care committee  Parallel Lines of Authority and finances committee  GBC Team building committee  GBC Organizational Development committee
  3. 3. Devotee Care Committee History In February 2007, GBC set up a Preaching Committee Members felt: If devotees are not taken care of, then preaching will not have a lasting effect Thus the Devotee Care Committee was born
  4. 4. Srila Prabhupada said “I am very encouraged to hear how San Diego center is flourishing under your supervision. The test is that so many new devotees are coming.That is very good sign. Now you must take care to train them very nicely. They are voluntarily giving their lives to Krishna, so as president you must see that they are always happy and satisfied in Krishna consciousness. Then they will not go away.” SP's letter to Bhakti dasa Nov 20th 1971
  5. 5. Members of DCC His Holiness Jayapataka Swami His Holiness Bir Krishna Goswami His Holiness Radhanatha Swami His Holiness Kavicandra Swami His Holiness Bhakti Purusottama Swami His Grace Revati Ramana Dasa (Chairman) His Grace Kaunteya Dasa (Facilitator) His Grace Acyuta Priya Dasa His Grace Candrasekhara Dasa Her Grace Prasanta Devi Dasi ....more ...
  6. 6. Members of DCC Her Grace Devaki Devi Dasi Her Grace Vackreswari Devi Dasi (Secretary) Her Grace Asesa Sadhani Devi Dasi His Grace Radha Gopinatha Dasa His Grace Ekavira Dasa Her Grace Vraja Lila Devi Dasi His Grace Sridama Dasa Her Grace Kisori Devi Dasi His Grace Vijaya Venugopala Dasa Her Grace Prema Padmini Devi Dasi
  7. 7. Meetings Mayapur – 2008, Mumbai - 2008 Mayapur – 2009, Mumbai - 2009 Mayapur Meeting 2010  facilitated by Urmila dd,  New members added, with extensive experience in practical devotee care in large communities  Vaishnavi Care Sub-committee set up
  8. 8. Meetings Vaishnavi Care Sub-committee members Laksmimoni Devi Dasi, Prasanta Devi Dasi, Sridama Dasa, Kisori Devi Dasi Vijaya Venugopala Dasa, Prema Padmini Devi Dasi
  9. 9. Meetings Action Plan: Detailed Action Plan for 2010 for various members of the committee, to include – development of this presentation, and raising awareness of devotee Care in different parts of the world by travelling members, seminars on emotional care, creation of Facebook, raising awareness of physical care, increasing effectiveness of the website including addition of referral names and contacts, creating a brahminical medical advisory council for leaders, and professional counselling for leaders.
  10. 10. Seminars and Workshops Mayapur Feb 2010 Jaya Sila Dasa - The Culture of Care - Transforming Relationships, Tamohara Dasa - Dealing with Difficult Devotees - Special Issue - Marital Problems, Vraja Lila Devi Dasi - Emotional Care - Understanding the Impact of Harsh Language Vijaya Venu Gopala Dasa & Prema Padmini Devi Dasi - Principles and Aims of Care in Bhakti-vrksa
  11. 11. "Seminars and Workshops Mayapur Feb 2010" "Asesa Sadhini Devi Dasi – DC Change of Heart"
  12. 12. Other Accomplishments Newsletter: Revati Ramana dasa and the devotees of ISKCON Tirupati published two issues of a full color newsletter on devotee care Website: Revati Ramana dasa developed the Devotee Care website
  13. 13. DCC Vision Statement Every devotee in ISKCON is to be provided with the spiritual, mental/emotional and physical care they deserve as parts and parcels of Krsna according to Srila Prabhupada's instruction and example. This should be done on the personal and institutional level.
  14. 14. Mission Statement We care and strive for the spiritual, physical and emotional well-being of the devotees of ISKCON So that they are encouraged, inspired and empowered to be happy and make progress in Krsna consciousness And thus be enthused to expand Srila Prabhupada’s mission.
  15. 15. Strategic Statement We assist with the overall management and facilitation of the leaders of ISKCON in taking care of devotees. The real assets of ISKCON are the devotees, not the physical assets. Krishna is the provider of all what we lack and preserves all what we have. The real success of a yatra is the creation of a happy, loving Vaishnava community. ... More ...
  16. 16. Strategic Statement We need to give life long personal care to the devotees for them to make continued progress in spiritual life. This includes personal attention to both their spiritual and material lives. This is done in a brotherly mood of compassion and love, sacrificing some of our time and pride.
  17. 17. Five Global Principles of Devotee Care 1) The culture of care permeates all activities.  The success of a project is judged by the care it provides to devotees.  All forms of devotee care should be acknowledged, appreciated and awarded. 2) The principles of care are global, but their application is local.  Have to apply differently according to different circumstances. .... More ...
  18. 18. Five Global Principles of Devotee Care 3) Practical applications of Devotee care should uphold Srila Prabhupadas teachings and mood. They should be favorable to the development of the spiritual life of the individual. Srila Prabhupada did not compromise with the teachings of Guru Parampara, and he applied them in such a way that every one felt welcome and benefited. ... More ...
  19. 19. Five Global Principles of Devotee Care 4) Devotee care is personal. Devotee care to be given in a mature way according to the needs, interests and concerns of the individual being helped. Care is given in proportion to the spiritual commitment 5) Mood of Devotee care-giver. Care to be given in the mood of being the servant of the servant. All categories of members are worthy of being respected and valued. Individual choice of care should be honored.
  20. 20. Devotee Care Commitments We make a commitment to holistic, sustainable and collaborative approaches to tackling problems at all levels. There should be equal access for all devotees for programs and facilities of Devotee care We have a firm belief in the adage that Prevention is better than cure
  21. 21. Care Spectrum We encourage the creation of departments and systems for caring for all areas of our devotee community including but not limited to: Temple devotees Congregation devotees The elderly Families Women Children Guests, Care-Givers, and Leaders
  22. 22. Devotee Needs The needs of a devotee can be divided into three categories: i. Bodily needs (physical) ii. Needs of the mind (mental/emotional and social) iii. Needs of the Soul (spiritual)
  23. 23. Physical Care - Challenges If the temple authorities do not adequately address the needs of a devotee of weak health, it is likely the individual’s faith in the ISKCON society will weaken. This weakness of faith from one individual can have a domino effect on the broader community of devotees To educate and facilitate the devotees in practices that bring good health. This will then help them to practice their sadhana and render their service to the Supreme Lord without hindrance
  24. 24. Physical Care Challenges Health (General) 1.Indifferent health 2.Lack of awareness of good diet/ natural living 3.Lack of knowledge of the importance of keeping fit Health (Temple Dependent Devotees) 4.Cost of Medical Care 5.Unregulated Meal Times 6.Lack of sufficient rest ... More ...
  25. 25. Physical Care Challenges 7.Over-straining the body 8.No care-giver during sickness/ convalescence Living Conditions of Temple Residents 9.Unhygienic and cramped living conditions Facilities for Guests / Visitors 10.No proper care for temple guests 11.Insufficient facilities for visitors (for preaching to them)
  26. 26. Physical Care Challenges 12.Insufficient facility for overnight stay for enthusiastic devotees 13.Insufficient facilities for special programs (seminars, istagosthis etc) Maintenance of Temple-dependent devotees 14.Lack of sufficient income for temple dependent devotees 15.Lack of income in old age 16.No care-giver during old age
  27. 27. Physical Care Challenges Specialised Needs 17.Lack of seating for devotees unable to sit on the ground 18.Lack of access for physically handicapped 19.Resting room for elderly visiting devotees 20.Specialised dietary needs of residents/ guests 21.Facilities for residents with terminal diseases 22.Ashrama for Vaishnavis 23.Lack of facilities for childcare during programs
  28. 28. Physical Care – Best Practices The Best Practices in the following slides have been implemented in one or more Iskcon centres. We realise that the ability of a centre to implement any of these recommendations depends on its financial and human resource capacity
  29. 29. Physical Care – Best Practices Summary 1. Arrange Seminars on maintaining good health and natural living in farm communities 2. Arrange annual health checks and low cost health care for temple dependent devotees 3. Provide a healthy diet and optimum sleep time for temple resident devotees. Special diet during illness and convalesence. 4. Emphasise importance of exercise. 5. Ensure clean and adequate living quarters. 6. Take good care of guests.
  30. 30. Physical Care – Best Practices Summary 7. Provide adequate housing, medical care, education for children, as well as reasonable subsistence allowance for temple-dependent grihasthas. 8. Subscribe to a pension scheme for temple-dependent grihasthas. 9. Provide old-age residences for temple-dependent devotees
  31. 31. Physical Care – Best Practices Optional Detail Slides – See Appendix 1
  32. 32. Appendix 1 Physical Care – Best Practices Optional Detail Slides
  33. 33. Physical Care – Best Practices Optional Slide Health Care - General 1. Arrange Seminars on  Parameters to measure good health  Healthy eating/ healthy cooking/ Organic food  Exercise/ yoga/ ayurveda, use of cow product medicines from Iskcon farms  Precautions to be taken when travelling and  Natural living in farm communities
  34. 34. Physical Care – Best Practices Optional Slide Health for Temple-Dependent devotees 2. Annual health check-up 3. Engage qualified health practitioners for devotees. Either set up a temple clinic and engage a visiting doctor or fix outside clinic with favourable rates. Costs could be reduced further if even non-resident devotees participate in the plan. If there are doctors who are devotees, inspire them to offer their services at no cost or low rates to temple-dependent devotees. Take out health insurance for major contingencies.
  35. 35. Physical Care – Best Practices Optional Slide 4. Provide healthy diet with maximum nutrition (eg more green leafy vegetables, less oil, less white sugar, less white salt, less refined flour, milk from protected (goshala) cows, organic vegetables, fruits, and grains). Use filtered water and store prasadam in hygienic keep-warm containers. 5. Ensure devotees take meals at fixed times every day. 6. Minimum of six hours sleep per day 7. Importance of dental hygiene (flossing teeth daily etc)
  36. 36. Physical Care – Best Practices Optional Slide 8. Incorporate exercise into one’s daily routine at fixed time (e.g. Japa walk, dancing in temple, simple yoga). 9. Don't allow devotees to overwork 10. Make a list of volunteers to care for devotees during illness/ convalescence (this is easy in centres where the congregation is well developed using systems like BV or CS) 11. During illness/ convalescence, provide special diet as per doctor's recommendations
  37. 37. Physical Care – Best Practices Optional Slide Living Conditions of temple residents 12.Temple residents should be provided living space with adequate light, ventilation, sleeping and storage facilities. Toilets should also be clean and well equipped. Premises should be kept free of rats, insects, etc.
  38. 38. Physical Care – Best Practices Optional Slide Facilities for Guests / Visitors 13.Invited Guests – Receive at point of arrival; provide adequate room & prasadam in accordance with dietary requirements; prepare itinerary with adequate provision for sadhana and rest; Internet/email facilities; local transport with guide; for guests from overseas – local mobile SIM card and plug adapters for electrical gadgets; 14. Casual Visitors – Ensure all devotees are trained to meet 'new faces', greet them, help them with the purpose of their visit to the temple, encourage them to join in kirtana/ dance/ japa/ discourses, and then give them introduction to mahamantra, deity worship, and Srila Prabhupada books, as well as the local congregation development programs.
  39. 39. Physical Care – Best Practices Optional Slide 15. Provide separate space where preaching to individuals or groups of visitors can take place. 16. Provide facility for overnight stay for enthusiastic devotees who stay far away but wish to attend morning program sometimes 17. Sufficient facilities for special programs (seminars, istagosthis etc) – room, seating arrangement, projector and screen, flip chart boards, pens, microphone and sound systems
  40. 40. Physical Care – Best Practices Optional Slide Maintenance of Temple-dependent devotees 18. Provide adequate housing, medical care, education for children, as well as reasonable subsistence allowance for temple-dependent grihasthas. 19. Subscribe to a pension scheme for temple-dependent grihasthas. 20. Provide old-age residences for temple-dependent devotees (brahmacaris. grihasthas/ vanaprasthis sannyasis). Arrange for team of volunteers to provide personal care and companionship for them. Arrange for their spiritual engagement.
  41. 41. Physical Care – Best Practices Optional Slide 21. Create a department to advice and help temple-dependent grihasthas in augmenting their income through book-distribution and devotee-needs related businesses like travel, paraphernalia etc. Help should be given based on need and ability.
  42. 42. Physical Care – Best Practices Optional Slide Specialised Needs 22. Provide chairs in the temple room for devotees unable to sit on the ground. 23. Provide access to temple facilities for physically handicapped as per international standards 24. Designate a resting room for elderly visiting devotees to be used between programs on festival days. 25. Arrange for specialised dietary needs of residents/ invited guests
  43. 43. Physical Care – Best Practices Optional Slide 26. Provide hospice facilities for residents with terminal diseases. Temples with large organised congregations like CS/BV can develop their own, while others would use regional shared facilities. 27. Wherever there are ladies who wish to join the temple, develop an ashrama for Vaishnavis. 28. Provide facilities to engage children in activities if they are too young to participate in some of the temple programs. Creche facilities for infants. Toys for the very young. Games, stories, kirtana, verse recitations etc for small children.
  44. 44. Mental/Emotional Care Challenges External 1.Lack of loving relationships 2.Misunderstandings with devotees 3.Dissatisfaction with devotees 4.No one to reveal one's mind/ get counselling 5.No support from non-devotee family members 6.Not being properly situated in one's ashrama/ varna 7.No proper engagement in services
  45. 45. Mental/Emotional Care Challenges Internal 8.Depression 9.Phobias 10.Desire to command and control 11.Fault-finding mentality 12.Introversion 13.Self-centredness and egoism 14.Lack of service attitude
  46. 46. Mental/Emotional Care Challenges 15.Rebelliousness 16.Non-cooperativeness 17.Quick temper 18.Aggressiveness 19.Attempting suicide
  47. 47. Mental/Emotional Care Best Practices 1.Create a team of care-givers. Train them in psychological care, emotional intelligence, empathic listening, conflict resolution, identifying nature required for engaging in each varna/ ashrama etc 2.Invite devotee specialists to conduct training for the care-givers and seminars on the above topics for all devotees 3.Specialists to give counselling for difficult cases. 4.BV and CS systems have inbuilt care-givers for groups of devotees
  48. 48. Mental/Emotional Care Best Practices 5. During the Sunday programs make announcements appreciating the special services of devotees, in particular those that do the behind the scenes work, those who give devotee care and those who exhibit good Vaishnava qualities 6. Also welcome newcomers in public, wish and pray for those celebrating birthdays or other anniversaries, for the sick devotees 7. Also announce any preaching news or events of the week
  49. 49. Social Care Challenges Family oriented 1.No training for devotees before marriage 2.No help in finding suitable partners 3.No training in parenting 4.No ongoing marital counselling 5.Domestic violence 6.Divorce 7.Dealing with non-devotee family members
  50. 50. Social Care Challenges 8.Meeting family obligations 9.No care for devotee children Social relationships 10.Teenagers not integrated into devotee community 11.Women feeling alienated 12.Dealing with social obligations including environmental, civic sense, relationships with neighbours, helping in social issues like alcoholism, crime, drugs, child abuse, slums etc
  51. 51. Social Care Challenges Financial 13. Job dissatisfaction 14. Problems at workplace 15. Financial insecurity
  52. 52. Social Care Best Practices Summary 1. Create a team of mature and succesfful grihasthas trained to give premarital and post marital counselling and help in finding spouses for devotees 2.BV and CS systems have inbuilt care-givers for groups of devotees 3.Special programs to be developed for children of different groups and youth 4.Engage women in devotional service to the limits of their abilities. Especially preaching programs in homes
  53. 53. Social Care Best Practices Summary 5. Sensitise devotees on how to live in harmony with nature and with their neighbours 6. Engage in programs to help solve local societal problems in a KC way. 7.Set up a team of devotees experienced in business, who can counsel and help devotees
  54. 54. Social Care – Best Practices Optional Detail Slides – See Appendix 2
  55. 55. Appendix 2 Social Care – Best Practices Optional Detail Slides
  56. 56. Social Care Best Practices Optional Family oriented 1.Create a team of mature and successful grihasthas for premarital and postmarital counselling 2.Arrange training for these care-givers 3.Arrange grihastha seminars on all aspects of family life including dealing with non-devotee family members, time- management and parenting 4.Care-givers to help in finding suitable spouses 5.Care-givers to visit the homes of devotees to build relationships with family members
  57. 57. Social Care Best Practices Optional 6.Care-givers to discuss individually with devotees how to manage their time so that their family obligations and spiritual life can be balanced. 7.BV and CS systems have inbuilt care-givers for groups of devotees 8.Special programs to be developed for children of different groups as follows: small children, pre- teens, adolescent boys and adolescent girls, suitable for their stage of emotional and physical development
  58. 58. Social Care Best Practices Optional Social Relationships 9.Engage teenage boys and girls in devotional service in the community in sync with their interests 10.Engage women in devotional service to the limits of their abilities. Especially preaching programs in homes and caring for spiritual groups as in BV and CS, and care-giving for women, children, and teenage girls; conducting outreach programs like cookery classes, yoga, and ayurveda
  59. 59. Social Care Best Practices Optional 11.In accordance with local conditions, sensitise devotees on their obligations to live in a sustainable way, caring for the environment (Mother Nature) eg use of cloth bags for shopping, environmentally friendly disposable plates, recycling garbage, rainwater harvesting, solar and wind power 12.Sensitise devotees on living as good neighbours and citizens, in order that Krishna Consciousness may be better understood and accepted by local society due to the exemplary behaviour of devotees, while living in accordance with our spiritual principles
  60. 60. Social Care Best Practices Optional 13.Engage with society to help solve local problems like malnutrition, alcoholism, drug abuse, crime, stress etc in a manner compatible with our spiritual vision. Where possible, distribute prasadam to the poor, promote cow protection by setting up and supporting goshalas and exposing people to the special nature of cows and our relationship with them. Also engage where possible in promoting vegetarianism and spiritual food, through prasadam restaurants, cookery classes, and sale of prasadam like baked and ready-to-eat items through food outlets
  61. 61. Social Care Best Practices Optional Financial 14.Set up a team of devotees experienced in business, who can counsel devotees in finding suitable jobs/ businesses to earn a living with as much job satisfaction as possible. Also they should counsel them on how to solve workplace problems so that their spiritual life is not disturbed.
  62. 62. Spiritual Care Challenges Sadhana/ application of philosophy 1.Poor sadhana 2.Impractical understanding of philosophy 3.Lack of proper devotional engagement 4.Improper engagement Association/ guidance 5.Lack of senior devotee association 6.Lack of peer devotee association
  63. 63. Spiritual Care Challenges 7.Lack of spiritual guidance 8.Emotional burden on diksha gurus Enthusiasm 9.Lack of incentives for developing Vaishnava qualities 10.Influx of material energy due to lack of support of a spiritual culture 11.Lack of desire to accept service responsibilities 12.No desire for preaching Education 13.No systematic program for education in the philosophy
  64. 64. Spiritual Care Best Practices 1.Create a database of devotees 2.Assign groups of devotees to be under the care of group leaders 3.Group leaders to ensure group members' systematic education, proper sadhana, devotional engagement to the maximum possible, guidance, inspiration and training in Vaishnava conduct and etiquette, association, and preaching. 4.Group leaders to be trained.
  65. 65. 5.Group leaders to have regular meetings with each other and with Temple Board 6.Temple to facilitate courses like Bhakti Shastri for the devotees. 7.Have assessment and recognition procedures like siksha programs. 8.Separate programs for adolescents with more cultural activities 9.Set up a strong program for devotee care and development like CS, BV etc to achieve the above Spiritual Care Best Practices
  66. 66. Examples of Devotee Care Optional Slides – See Appendix 3
  67. 67. Appendix 3 Example of Devotee Care Optional Slide  The Indian RGB has made it mandatory for all temples in India to have health insurance for residential devotees.  Bhaktivedanta Hospital in Mumbai  Hospice in Vrindavana  Senior brahmacari and single ladies asramas in Mayapur  ISKCON Tirupati is planning to set up a project - Krishna Care Home - which will be for the elderly devotees of ISKCON and will include a temple, hospital and an ashrama for the elderly. It will be located on fifty acres of land near the ISKCON temple
  68. 68. Interactive strategic session to build local goals and action plans 1.Brainstorm – Additional Local Challenges 2.Brainstorm – Suggested solutions 3.Brainstorm – Best Practises which can be implemented within next one year
  69. 69. 4. DCC resources available to help this action plan  Health advise  Psychological expertise  CS Implementation  BV implementation  Vaishnavi care and setting up Vaishnavi Ashrams Interactive strategic session to build local goals and action plans
  70. 70. Contacts for Leaders Optional Slides – See Appendix 4
  71. 71. Appendix 4 Contacts for Leaders Optional Detail Slides
  72. 72. Contacts for leaders Optional Slide  Devotee Care Website :  Brahminical advisory council for leaders on health care Prahladananda Swami E mail: Phone: 32 (086) 32 2928 (ISKCON Radhadesh) Ekavira dasa Email: Devaki devi dasi Email:
  73. 73. Contacts for leaders Optional Slide  Seminars on emotional care Bir Krishna Swami Email: Vraja lila Devi Dasi Ph: +91 8016741870 (while in India) Asesa Sadhani Devi Dasi Ph:0-8016 703 501  Counseling for leaders Vraja lila devi dasi
  74. 74. Contacts for leaders Optional Slide  Bhakti Vriksha system Vijaya Venugopala Dasa and Prema Padmini Devi Dasi Ph:0091 9900116108  Counselor System Sridama Dasa and Kisori Devi Dasi Email: Ph: +91 9321117208
  75. 75. Contacts for leaders Optional Slide  For Association and guidance to Vaishnavis Lakshmi moni Devi Dasi Ph: 0-386 462 2528 (while in America) Prasanta Devi Dasi Ph: +91 9319827873  To add information to web site and for copies of Devotee care Journal Revati Ramana Dasa Ph: 0091 9395522117