October 2012



Theosophical Order of Service
Liaison News
Dear TOS Liaisons and TS Group Leaders,

The results of the TOS Intention Experiment are in!  From Monday, 8/20/12, through Sunday, 8/27/12, 30-40 or more theosophists came together in a TOS Intention Experiment.  Participants performed a once-daily meditation focused on an intent that those who are seeking the light of Theosophy shall find it.  The intention emphasized TSA's rich internet resources now available to the public.

Thinking it would be fun to see if we could find measurable evidence of the effectiveness of a group meditation, I looked at the website stats for www.theosophical.org to see if website traffic increased during or after the experiment.  Although website statistical analysis lies far outside my expertise, there were two discernable spikes in website traffic that I wanted to share. 

First, we must recognize that Mondays tend to be the highest website traffic days of the week.  The two spikes I saw were both Mondays:  8/20 (the first day of our experiment), and 8/27 (the day after the experiment ended).  In between those days, there was a steady decline in traffic.  So some, but I think not all, of the spikes can be attributed to those days being Mondays.  To put this in perspective, I looked at total website visits on the Mondays before, during and after the experiment: 

Monday, 8/13/12: 510 hits (International Theosophy Conferences held at Olcott Aug 9-12 had just ended)

Monday, 8/20/12: 630 hits (the first day of our experiment; up 23% from previous Mon)

Monday, 8/27/12: 611 hits (the day after our experiment ended)

Monday, 9/3/12: 566 hits

After this, I stopped measuring because TSA released an electronic newsletter announcing Fall programming, so we would expect the higher website traffic that occurred.  Our experiment was performed during a brief lull at Olcott between the International Theosophy Conferences (which produced a spike in website hits up to 843 on 8/9) and TSA's e-newsletter announcement of upcoming fall programs (which drove traffic up to 900 on 9/7).  The two people with whom I spoke at Olcott are unaware of any events at Olcott  that would explain higher website traffic on 8/20 and 8/27other than that Mondays tend to be busier days of the week.

So I think the bottom line is that there was a small but discernable increase in traffic particularly on the first day of the experiment, as well as the day after the experiment ended, even accounting for the naturally higher traffic of Mondays.  And as one person pointed out, you never know how far-reaching into the future the effects of our intentions will be, so web traffic the week of the experiment is not the only indicator of effectiveness.  I'm delighted that so many of us came together to do a particular work, and that I'm now writing to you about "small but discernable" increases in web traffic.

Perhaps the real beauty of doing work like this lies precisely in our inability to prove that our efforts have had a particular result, while knowing that all efforts must have corresponding results even if we can't see them.  Our egos can never truly take credit for the phenomena, even though the mind takes note of the results.  The same principle applies to the TOS Healing Network or any type of remote healing—phenomena can be measured and noted, but no airtight proof can be offered that the meditator deserves credit for healing that takes place.  This is not only the beauty of this type of work, but it is also our safeguard to ensure that we do the work simply for the sake of the work itself, as an effort to uplift and help bring about a greater wholeness.

To those of you who participated, please accept my hearty THANK YOU!!!!  I hope it was enjoyable for you.  My experience was that while doing the meditation I felt a sense of affection for the other participants, and a sense of gratitude to be part of such a loving group (my theosophical family).  One other participant expressed a similar experience.

And it doesn't end here . . . stay tuned for more intention experiments which will be shorter, one-time efforts, and will not involve measurement of results.  They will be done purely for the sake of releasing uplifting energy into the world.

In service,

Kathy Gann
TOS Liaison Coordinator

What the Creator Made . . .

Shyla Nelson with the Yoruba, Nigeria

"What the creator has made cannot be destroyed."

This is the message of a Nigerian tribal song known as "Ise Oluwa," and it is the premise behind the work of Shyla Nelson, a Vermont classical soprano, mother of two, and earnest theosophist.

Shyla founded Good Earth Singers (www.OneEarth-OneVoice.org), the organization behind her "One Earth - One Voice" campaign. Shyla is presently touring the world, organizing a virtual chorus of 15 million voices which will join together on December 21, 2012, to sing the folk song in a united effort to heal the planet and call upon the world's leaders to end humanity's violence against the earth

Tom and Susan Ockerse

In 2008, Shyla and her work caught the attention and captured the hearts of Tom and Susan Ockerse, long-time theosophists and members of the Providence Study Center in Rhode Island. Tom and Susan had not met Shyla before, yet they instantly felt they knew her. Susan recalls, "One meets someone and you know you've known them for a long time! She laughed when she heard we were Theosophists, for she 'knew' she was going to meet us!"

Shyla had studied Krishnamurti as a child, and helped establish the Waldorf school that her daughters now attend. Shyla joined the TS that same year, 2008. To learn more about Shyla and the life-changing events that inspired this movement, read this article.

To contribute your voice and intent to what is likely the largest choir ever assembled, visit Shyla's website and tell her you're in. You can find out how to learn the song here and can download the sheet music as a pdf file. Shyla's video page brings the song to life.

"Life itself has speech and is never silent. And its utterance is not...a cry: it is a song. Learn from it that you are a part of the harmony; learn from it to obey the laws of the harmony."  Light on the Path

Healing with Sound

Jonathan Goldman, author of The 7 Secrets of Sound Healing, offers insights about the healing power of sound:

"If you examine the various spiritual traditions on this planet, you will find that they all have a commonality in their understanding that the universe was created through sound....A further examination of this understanding reveals that not only was the universe created through sound, but that the universe IS sound.  As written in ancient Hindu texts:  'Nada Brahman' -- 'The world is sound!'

Our modern physicists and our ancient mystics are now in agreement: everything is sound!  Music is all that is!  There is no separation between music and spirit.  They are one.  It is that simple and that awesome.

Through this awareness, we realize that music is spirit!  Music is also a sonic conduit that connects us to spirit.  As we delve deeper into this understanding, we realize that Sound and the Divine are one.

Music is the instrument that can take us back to Source and help us remember our true essence of Oneness.  If there is a unification principle that will unite this planet, allowing the various peoples on it to understand, as the ancient Mayans have taught: 'En Lak'Ech, A Lak'En' - 'I am another you, you are another me!', and to realize our inter-relationship with all things [it] is the music!"

Excerpted from "The Spiritual Significance of Music" edited by Justin St. Vincent, published by Xtreme Music. 

October 27, 2012: "Make a Difference Day"

A National Day of Doing Good. For more than 20 years, USA WEEKEND Magazine and Points of Light have joined together to sponsor Make A Difference Day, the largest national day of community service. Millions of volunteers around the world unite in a common mission to improve the lives of others. Join them on October 27, 2012.

You can add a project to their database and garner volunteers; or find an event in your neighborhood to volunteer for. Just enter your zip code, then click and drag the meter to show how many miles you're willing to drive. Click here to find an event.

Not sure how to organize a project? Download this detailed resource handbook for project leaders (also known as TOS Liaisons).
Theosophical Funeral Services

TOS-France has performed a service for us all by putting together a collection of theosophically-oriented funeral services and cremation services, as well as poems and quotations.  Click here to access and download.

"At the last day, questions will be asked only as to what you have done, not from whom you are descended. I fear not death; I fear only not having lived well enough."  Zoroastrian

Fun Draisers!

TOS workers around the world have found ways to put the FUN back in fundraising.  Here's a link to ten enjoyable ways to raise funds for TOS projects that appeal to your group. 

With the holidays coming up, suggestion #6 is especially timely: invite donations instead of gifts.  My mother did this one Christmas, requesting that she receive dog food and other items she could donate to a local animal shelter.  We shopped with a renewed exuberance, knowing the gift would be helping animals in need.

Used book and CD sales have been popular with our group.  If there's one thing theosophists have a surplus of, it's books . .  and if there's one thing theosophists love to buy, it's books.  Instant supply and demand!



Theosophical Order of Service

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



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