A group of us accompanied Piero Musini to the KlimaForum for a talk on "Natural Farming and Yogic Agriculture" It was the perfect place for such a meeting as the setting is the most natural, of all the arena's of the Climate Change Conference, being open to the outside elements and the audience is the most interested in natural ways of doing things.
Piero Musini started his presentation by saying that today, most people, especially the young people are so separated from the natural resources that are connected to our consumption. School children tend to think that produce somehow originates from the supermarkets themselves. Before families lived in houses with land, they were all relatively self-sufficient. They kept the seeds from this year's crop to plant the following year. Then when people started to move to the cities, the system changed, from being farmers they started to work for others, needs grew and so ways to produce the food changed, tractors started to dig deeper into the soil to bring soil with no life to the surface to prevent weeds. They then used fertilizers with nitrogen to make crops grow large and quickly.
Today people don't know how to farm without chemicals. They use hybrid seeds which don't reach their full potential without the use of chemicals. An experiment was done where they used the natural seeds in soil with chemicals and first of all they grew quickly but were week and soon wilted. The hybrid seeds which were put in soil without chemicals remained weak and stunted. The production of the old natural way maybe less but the cost of production is also less.
New agriculture is only surviving because of government subsidies'. It has also been shown in a study that these new seeds are creating allergies (all the changes they have made in the seeds are such that if they were humans they would be monsters). The human body is not able to cope with all the modifications and so starts to react. Also behind the production of these seeds are huge companies who make the chemicals for the agriculture and also make the medicine to treat the people who become sick from those chemicals!
So in terms of choice it is important to buy as much organic food as possible because it is not only better for health but also for the environment because what goes into the soil goes into the water system, which then has to be cleaned with other costly chemicals, which in turn are not good for us either. A step further than organic farming is natural farming which is the old way of doing things, (but with some machine that mimic the way things were done such as spreading seeds)
Natural farming is simple, cost effective, and takes less time. The way we eat today is very expensive, meat takes so many resources, and we consume more and more and expect things to be available year round. We need to become more realistic and eat things in season. Piero then went on to explain about the experiments with Yogic agriculture in India, The Brahma Kumaris Rural Wing in association with Sardarkrushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University in Gujarat are working with rural people, farmers, guiding them back to the natural ways of farming. There are many cases where large international companies go into India and get the farmers to buy their chemicals, machinery and hybrid seeds with the promise of larger profits, but many of them end up in debt and commit suicide.
The partnership with the university to experiment with Yogic Agriculture is for 5 years. The aim of the experiment is to see how meditation affects the plants and the cultivation of soil (how long it takes enrich the soil to bring the soil back to its rich organic self). The experiment starts by meditation with the seeds, and measuring the weight change, then the seeds are planted, and the meditations visualize a strong healthy plant going through the whole life-cycle. The farmers became more aware and many change their lifestyles and became vegetarians. The results of the meditation on the vegetables are quite significant and skeptical neighboring farmers on seeing the results have become interested in participating and so the idea is spreading.
The initial results are so far are very encouraging Increased iron content of the grain, significant drop in pest damage, higher seed germination, faster growth rate, increased micro-nutrient content of crops and increased growth, strength and velocity. The participants in the event were very interested and we had an animated conversation on the effect of meditation on matter. We finished the meeting with a lovely mediation.
BK Luciana Ferraz met several good contacts attending a Business Responsibility panel in the Brazilian Pavilion in Cancun Messe who have been connected to the Brahma Kumaris for some time. This side event was organized by the Ethos Institute, a leading think tank of business enterprises. Mr. Ricardo Young Silver, a COTT participant who has been twice to Madhuban and is a member of the council of the Ethos Institute and Mr. Oded Grajew, founder and honoree chairperson, came to know that in September 2011 there will be a conference for Rio 2012 and so this side event was proposed as preparation for this. Luciana also met Mr. Nelton Friedrich who is the director of coordination for Itaipu Binacional, the biggest Hydroelectric Company in the world, situated in the South of Brazil. Mr. Nelton came the same evening to Sister Jayanti's talk in B2B Hotel.
"Time to Change" – A Local program organized IDHASH. A.C. for the Brahma Kumaris at the B2B Hotel, downtown Cancun. 150 local people from Cancun had been invited by the Idhash organization. Sister Jayanti began by saying within the factor of the environment, the Climate Change issue is crucial. Many disasters are taking place and within these there are many human tragedies. What can we do about it? Resolving this problem is not just the for the governments. We all have to look at things differently. It is time to change. We can no longer wait for the UN or the governments to do something.
It is difficult for the governments to come to agreements, it may take time and we don't have that much time, as global warming is increasing. The real subject is what can I do? It is human actions that have created this situation through consumerism, and we are the ones who have to bring the solution. A image of a caterpillar comes to mind when thinking of the our voracious appetite for consuming. Being is a consumer is not so intelligent, taking, taking and taking and not thinking about the time when we will have to give the return of what we have taken, is not sensible. The disasters we are seeing today are the beginning of the return. Humans have created it and it is humans who can do something to change the situation. We have to change our awareness which in turn changes our attitude and our thoughts and so our actions in the world.
We have become addicted to buying and this is linked to being empty of spirit. People say what they value most is their family and yet the experience is of a breakdown in our relationships and a lack of harmony due in part to an emptiness of spirit There is a link between how much TV we watch and how much debt we have – we believe all the messages that come through he TV that all these we are offered will make us happy, will fill the emptiness we are feeling. But in fact we don't find the happiness and love we are looking for but end up consuming too much and damaging ourselves and the earth in the process.
We have to change our consciousness. We have to learn to see the treasures within ourselves; giving time to the self is a way to start this journey. Most people say they do not have time, they are too busy . . . watching TV. Taking time to go inside, to reflect on peace, truth, and love that we have within, we begin to value and respect ourselves. Once we respect ourselves we also respect our environment and give respect to the earth. Respect for life is very important but today we have forgotten this. It is a spiritual law that whatever is going on inside becomes visible on the outside. When we have respect for ourselves and others we become aware of the sacredness of life.
If we begin to change in the way we think and feel then the quality of our actions and our life will change. It takes a second to change – to decide to change. We need to connect with our original qualities. We then become an instrument of change – to give. If we give it comes back to us. Spirituality is not difficult it is simple and practical. Speaking of bringing things into the practical, Sister Jayanti then introduced Golo and Pierro who gave their presentations of Solar Energy and Natural farming and Yogic Agriculture.
The program was very much enjoyed by everyone and a lot of interaction between the BK delegation and the audience took place in personal conversations. Because of the success of the program the organizers and the Brhma Kumaris plan on having other events periodically in Cancun. In fact to start off this idea BK Valerinne Bernard is staying a few extra days to do a follow-up program called "El Arte de Vivir en Paz" (The Art of living in Peace).