Report about first BK Local Conference of Youth in Germany 4.-6. October 2019, in Heidelberg
The Local Conferences of Youth (LCOY´s) are organized in addition to the international COY, which always take place shortly before the UN Climate Change Conference in the same host country.
Since the awareness of the need to inform and act upon the ongoing climate change is rising, the value of organizing Youth Climate Change Conferences locally in each country is being recognized. The first LCOY in Germany took place recently from 4.-6. October 2019 in Heidelberg.
It had over 550 participants from all over Germany.
A delegation of the Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative (BKEI), Bhavish (Frankfurt), Carolin (Berlin), Darshini (Kaiserslautern) and Niranjan (Berlin), traveled to Heidelberg to offer a workshop and five meditation sessions at the LCOY.
4. October, 5.00pm Market of opportunities: BKEI Stand
Bhavish, Carolin, Darshini and Niranjan set up the BKEI stand and at 6pm, when the opening event finished, big crowds of young people came to the stands. BK was a totally new organization to them and they had lots of questions about what we bring to the Climate Change Conferences and COYs. We gave an overview about the activities done under the BKEI initiative since 2009 and invited them to our workshop and the meditations.
5. October, 10:00am; 12:00pm; 2:00pm Meditation Sessions
We held three meditation sessions in which we introduced meditation as a method for self-empowerment and inner well-being to sustain and balance an active lifestyle. We took turns in conducting guided meditations. Climate change and action can be an overwhelming topics, and we saw full participation with many wanting a break from the information load received at the conference.
The commentaries suggested relaxing, calming the mind, detaching and focusing on their essence in the conference. A globe of the Earth was imagined in the centre of our circle and each participant was asked to envision their future - how would their ideal Earth look like, how would beings treat one another and what could do they do now to reach that vision. A sense of empowerment was delivered by transforming one into a creator of their future instead of being a victim of climate change. Many gave positive feedback after the meditations and were interested in the spiritual perspectives of the Brahma Kumaris.
5. October, 15:00 Workshop: Consciousness, Consumerism and Climate Change
28 youth came to the workshop. After a check-in round in pairs, where each one expressed what connections they see between consciousness, consumerism and climate change, Carolin facilitated an appreciative inquiry session. The young people (average 18 years of age) were asked to remember when a change in their consciousness had changed a particular consumer behavior pattern of theirs. Interesting discussions emerged about how consciousness influences behaviour.
Niranjan gave a short overview about the tons of CO2 that are produced through certain diets, like meat and dairy, clothes and modes of transport and the amounts of water used when producing different foods and beverages…This was followed by a silent personal reflection on when and why we consume unnecessarily. In the big group the participants shared honestly that often loneliness, being bored, a need for being recognised, appreciated or being safe/secure leads to consuming something. Finally Niranjan offered a meditation to connect to ones inner resources of peace, love, happiness.
6. October, 10am; 12:00pm Meditation Sessions
On Sunday we offered two more meditation sessions where we invited the youth to meditate on their relationship with nature. After some minutes of deep silence and reflection, Darshini then guided everyone through an enriching commentary about being a powerful and peaceful being and how our vibrations and energy influence our surroundings. At the same time, the beautiful sound of rain pouring outside accompanied us, contributing in the building of a powerful atmosphere in the classroom.
After our first session, the group shared their experience of the meditation session and their feelings. This was a very enriching chit chat since there was no hesitation of them sharing their experience and interest in meditation with us.
After the second session we used our free time to participate in the creative corner where we created drawings and shared thoughts and ideas.
The LCOY delegation meeting for lunch with their lovingly packed food from Frankfurt Center.
A Big Thanks
…to Daksh (Cologne) for organizing the BKEI T-Shirts and to Rita (Frankfurt) and Luise (Frankfurt) who supported by preparing food for the team and accommodation in Baba’s center in Frankfurt.