May 2013



Theosophical Order of Service
Liaison News
Photo by Luc Viatour; licensing
May 2013
Warm greetings,
As if by magic, the theme of this issue has emerged:  it's LOVE.  In the stories below, we witness love between those who were raised to be enemies, gardeners sharing the love from their gardens, love and affection as simple service, grief transformed into loving service in Newtown . . . even the animals get in the act, showing us what true cooperation looks like.
And in honor of Mother's Day, this month we feature a Mother-and-Daughter team putting loving service into action in their new Colorado community.
It must be Spring,
Kathy Gann
TOS Liaison Coordinator
Mother and Daughter team: service in action!

Linda Rose and Millie Stier

How do you start a new Theosophical Society study center? Easy! Spend 7 months looking at over 100 homes until you find the perfect one with a separate meeting room, bath and private entrance, all  mobility-challenged accessible. Buy it fast. Then have TSA National Secretary David Bruce send announcement letters within the appropriate zip codes and hold your first meeting.

At least that is how the mother and daughter team of Millie Stier and Linda Rose formed the Longmont Study Center in Longmont, Colorado. The first meeting for the provisional study center was held on January 5, 2012, and by July of that year, the study center was certified by the Theosophical Society in America.  Linda Rose serves as the new group's TOS Liaison.

Before moving to Colorado, Millie was 2nd vice-president of the Miami-Deerfield Lodge in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Daughter Linda, who was living in the San Francisco area, was a frequent guest speaker at the Lodge, sharing the philosophy and traditions of her Lakota ancestors. It was a natural fit since TOS-USA serves the Rosebud Reservation in a variety of ways. Based on the personal connection with Linda and Millie, the Miami-Deerfield Lodge chose the Rosebud Reservation as its service project.

When Linda moved to Colorado, it was decided Mom should be there also. After getting settled in their new home, it was time to once again become active within the Theosophical family. Since northern Colorado did not have a study center or lodge, they felt their service to their new community would be to start a study center.

The Longmont Study Center has grown from one program to three programs, now offering weekly study groups for Theosophy, Dream Interpretation, and A Course in Miracles. The Center also has a lending library of Theosophical books and DVD's.

Both mother and daughter have extensive backgrounds in metaphysical and spiritual studies as well as healing modalities. Individually they have been facilitators, teachers and healers, serving their previous communities on opposite coasts. Now they serve together. Linda says, "For us, life has always been about service. The Lakota way and the Theosophical way are very similar. Values must be lived. Otherwise they are just intellectual concepts. It is thrilling for us to see the Longmont Study Center attendance growing by word of mouth and program expansion has been by request. It is heart-warming to see how our members care for one another, have become a close family and welcome new folks into the family. This is service in action."

Israel and Iran:  a love story??

On March 14, 2012, war was imminent between Israel and Iran.  Citizens had lived in fear of this "any minute now" war for 10 intense years.  Israeli graphic designer Ronny Edry decided to make a statement before it was too late, so he created the poster at left with his daughter, and posted it on Facebook. Just another Facebook post, no big deal.

Or was it?  Throughout the night, Ronny received messages from total strangers, including Iranians.  Communication between Israeli and Iranian citizens was unheard of, something "we just don't do".  Yet a young Iranian woman wrote that when she saw Ronny's poster, she called her family members to come to her house, as they did not have computers of their own. She told Ronny that her whole family was sitting in her living room in Iran . . . and they were crying. In part, she wrote, "Most people here feel no hatred toward Israel and of course Israelis.  You perhaps know that after Israel, the most population of Jews in Middle East are located in Iran.  We have cultural and historic links. We can and obviously 'must' keep this connection." 

Her message was Ronny's first glimpse of what was to come.

Ronny then made a public offer.  He would make a similar poster for anyone who sent him their photo.  Soon Ronny's living room was a bank of computers, with friends and designers busily creating posters--everybody wanted in on the act, and the demand was intense.  The internet buzzed with loving messages to and from many countries, especially among citizens whose governments were at odds.  Iranians made posters too, though they were cautious about showing their faces for fear of being identified.  Currently, Facebook pages abound with heartfelt graphic messages of love:  Israel Loves Iran, Palestine Loves Israel, United States Loves North Korea and many more.  A grassroots peace movement is underway and is gaining steam.  What national leaders can't accomplish, citizens can.

This is what Peace looks like.  Pictured are Tannaz from Iran (left) having coffee with Ronny's wife, Michal (right) of Israel. They are holding their passports.

Not just another warm and fuzzy Facebook thing.  Real changes and in-person friendships have come about from this online movement.  People are crossing borders, getting together and talking about things that really matter to them . . . like food and basketball.  Real people, real friendships, and real changes in perception.  For example, an Iranian student attending college in Germany had been raised to fear Israelis.  After talking on Facebook with Israelis, she booked a flight to Israel.  Looking around the airport on arrival, she relaxed and realized, "Okay, not a big deal." 

Ronny at TED: Peace, it's VIRAL!

Join over 1.1 million viewers in watching Ronny's TED talk filmed September 2012 (14:57 min).  He tells the story of how this movement came about.

You can be part of Ronny's upcoming book.  Email Ronny at and share your story of inter-community love, especially among those who are "supposed to be" enemies.  Be sure to send images too, since they speak so much louder than words.

Visit Ronny's Facebook page and join the conversation.

Gardeners:  prepare to share the bounty

When you hear "food pantry," what comes to mind?  Shelves full of canned goods and boxed cereal as pictured at left?  Maybe some powdered milk?  And when you hear "food drive," what's the first rule of thumb?  No fresh or perishable food.  This is because the donated food items typically go from the food drive to huge regional food banks, where they are then parsed out to food pantries across the country.  The system simply cannot accommodate fresh produce. 

Right now, over 50 million Americans live in food-insecure homes, including 25 percent of all children under the age of six.  When a family's groceries come from a food bank, fresh produce is not part of their diet.  Meanwhile, gardeners across America will soon have more produce than they or their friends can use (you can only give away so many zucchinis to friends and still stay friends).  In 2009, began connecting gardeners with local food pantries to bypass the food bank system and supply food pantries with locally grown, fresh-picked produce. 

It works like this: food pantries register on the site and designate particular days/times when they can accept fresh produce (generally just before their shoppers arrive).  Since the shoppers arrive just after the produce is set out, they take home produce that's fresher than we buy at the grocery store.  The produce moves so quickly that the pantry does not need to purchase expensive refrigeration units.  Problem solved, and it doesn't cost anyone a dime!

Gardeners: find a food pantry near you so you'll know where and when to drop off your excess produce.

Food pantries: register here so local gardeners can find you!

Not a gardener?  No problem--you can purchase produce at the store and follow the drop-off instructions for gardeners.

Simple Service:  just love them

Here's an elegant and simple way to serve, a theosophical "oldie but goodie" from C.W. Leadbeater, excerpted from his book, "Man Visible and Invisible."

"Many true hearts will be the happier for knowing that one who sends a thought of intense affection to another actually gives something of himself--that a certain portion of astral matter passes from him to the loved one, charged so strongly with its own special rate of vibration that unless some determined preoccupation exists it cannot but reproduce itself, it cannot fail to set the astral body of the recipient swinging in harmony with it; and that means that love tends to kindle love, and therefore that to love a person is definitely to make him a better man than he would otherwise be."

Newtown update:  grief to healing to service
Following is a story of profound healing from Nick Ortner and Lori Leyden, PhD, arising out of their ongoing efforts to bring healing via energy psychology techniques to residents of Newtown, CT:

"JT Lewis, the 12 year old older brother of Jesse Lewis who died on December 14th, 2013 in the Sandy Hook shootings, did something really incredible...

 Just a few months back JT was struggling to even go to school, until he had a powerful conversation with several of the Project Light ambassadors from Rwanda. 
[Project Light Ambassadors are young adults in Rwanda who were orphaned in the 1994 genocide.  Since 2007, Dr. Leyden has worked with them, using energy psychology/meridian tapping techniques to help them heal, forgive, and become leaders in their communities.  See for more information.]

JT gives Betty in Rwanda the good news!

The ambassadors taught JT how to tap, shared with him their stories of the pain they experienced during the Rwandan Genocide and the healing they've now had, and JT was transformed. He returned to school the next day, and has spent the last couple of months on a mission, to raise money and help the ambassadors.

On Saturday he announced on a Skype call with the Rwandan Project Light ambassadors that he had raised enough money to send one of the ambassadors, Betty, to the university for a year!

We filmed this incredible event with great cameras, but until that footage is ready,
check out this quick video I filmed from my iPhone camera of JT telling Betty in Rwanda. :)"

More good news: Dr. Leyden reports that this month (May 2013), she will begin partnering with the University of Connecticut School of Social Work "in a capacity-building plan to train and certify local mental health professionals in EFT/Tapping."

Having worked now with over 200 people in Newtown, Dr. Leyden reports results: "In the case of first responders, parents who lost children, and parents whose children survived, significant trauma – including intrusive memories, overwhelm, extreme emotional pain, and hyper-arousal related to being present at SHES [Sandy Hook Elementary School] on the day of the event – was cleared in only 1 to 3 sessions."

As Dr. Leyden concludes in the Executive Summary of the trauma healing work being done, "By implementing this community-based model, Newtown will not only heal itself, but can join other international initiatives in a new world model that can change the oppressive culture of violence to one of community-centered peace, love, caring and safety. The name of the town itself – Newtown – could not possibly be more symbolic."

A tip from the animals:  true cooperation

"a union of those who love in the service of all that suffers"


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