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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Vedic Heritage Seminar Series

Here's a write-up for a proposed series of workshops we'll be starting up this spring-geared to the tens of thousands of pilgrims-mostly Indian-who visit New Vrindaban every year. We hope these workshops will broaden the perspectives of all those who participate in them, leading to right and proper action for the sake of the missions of Srila Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya.

Applying Krishna Consciousness to Everyday Life

by Tapapunja das

Welcome to New Vrindaban Community!

The Vedic Heritage Seminar Series is designed to stimulate dialogue about life’s everyday practical challenges. People of Indian descent, who now live in America, are often faced with tough choices. “Do I follow my Indian spiritual heritage or conform to “less spiritual” Western codes of conduct?” Like it or not, everything we do is subject to karmic consequences. Making smart spiritual choices now guarantees a bright spiritual future later.

Equally important is the fate of our children. As parents, we’re accountable for transmitting higher values to them. Have we taught them why and how to preserve the sanctity of Indian culture in the West?

The Vedic Heritage Seminar Series carefully explores these issues in a simple format—the 20 minute workshop. Each workshop topic is presented for twenty minutes followed by ample time for your questions, insights and experience. Fact sheets are distributed so you can take the information back. Make the most of your pilgrimage to New Vrindaban Comminity by taking home the gift of transcendental knowledge. Hare Krishna, Hare Rama.

Topics for Discussion:

1). Food Labeling: How Much Do Labels Really Tell You?

Unfortunately, the current rules for food labeling leave a lot of room for vague claims. Here’s how to take the mystery out of reading those confusing ingredient lists. You’ll learn to distinguish between what’s really grown organically versus foods with just a few organic ingredients. You’ll also learn the difference between organic foods which deliver real nutrition to your body versus nutritionally deficient organic foods, produced by companies cashing in on an uninformed public.

If you’re following a strict vegetarian diet, don’t miss this workshop. Did you know that it is completely legal for food manufactures to add meaty ingredients to their foods without mentioning it on the ingredients label? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows them to disguise the presence of slaughter house by-products by using ingredient names such as “natural flavors.” See you there.

2). Bhumi’s Gift of Good Soil

Soil is a lot more that dirt. It’s a gift of grace from Lord Krishna, brought to us by His servant Bhumi or Mother Earth. Why is it important to understand soil metaphysics? No civilization has ever prevailed once its soil base has been eroded and de-mineralized. Good soil is 45% minerals and one teaspoon of non-chemically treated soil contains more living creatures than there are people in the world.

Most of us live in urban setting and are forced to buy food from sources who are waging chemical warfare against the Earth. Now, one out of every 150 children born in America is stricken with autism. Are neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and autism connected to our intake of chemical fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides? When you make an enemy of your mother by poisoning her, she makes an enemy of you.

3). Spiritual Yoga:

There’s one kind of yoga for the body and there’s another kind of yoga for the soul. The yoga of the body is the kind most people know about. In the yoga of the body you can stretch your muscles and feel good for some time.

With the yoga of the soul you stretch your soul muscles and feel good forever. Is there a connection between physical yoga and spiritual yoga? This workshop describes the eight rungs of the yoga ladder and explains the techniques which lead to liberation from the bodily concept of life. Did you know that different types of yoga are recommended for different ages of time. Find out why.

4). Holy Cow! I Didn’t Know That!

For centuries, cows and bulls were the ecological cornerstone of Indian village life. As India races towards modernization, many people now view cow protection as a silly and superstitious remnant of the past. Recent scientific findings, however, identify animal agriculture—especially beef production—as the chief culprit behind climate change. Yes, you read it right—animal agriculture is more destructive than all the car and truck emissions combined.

Amazingly, both the main stream media and the government are silent about this most inconvenient truth. Let’s talk about it. Come hear about New Vrindaban’s Community’s fascinating 38 year old history of goraksha-seva.

5). The Six Myths of Modern Education

The generation now being educated will have to do many things that we, the present generation, have been unwilling to do: prevent climate change; protect biological diversity; reduce levels of consumption etc. The skills, aptitudes and attitudes that were necessary to industrialize the Earth are not the same as those that are needed to heal the Earth.

Is the current Western education model preparing students for anything other than an urban existence, and dependence on fossil fuel and global trade? Our kids are taught at an early age how best to compete, but they are not taught how best to live in a truly sustainable society.

Six key myths—fallacies we have come to accept without question—underscore today’s increasingly global education system. Don’t mistake the information explosion as an increase in knowledge and wisdom. Education begins with understanding the difference between the body and soul….and the owner of both!

6). The Fast Food Monster Meets The Kitchen Religion

This is a workshop about the Hare Krishna contribution to the modern vegetarian and animal right movements. The fast food industry—and the values it embodies—has made an enormous impact on America’s social and cultural landscape. In many cultures, the family meal, provided by the father and prepared by the mother remains the essential family bond.

Conversely, on any given day in the United States, one quarter of the adult population visits a fast food restaurant. In vivid contrast to this trend, New Vrindaban residents are teaching the art of preparing wholesome Krishna prasadam, vegetarian dishes offered in love and devotion to Lord Krishna.. We regularly cook and distribute prasadam on college campuses, at inner city soup kitchens, and in the privacy of people’s homes. Find out why we are jokingly referred to as the “kitchen religion.”