AYUDH Australia - Past News & Events
The Removalist Job
On Saturday the 8th of January, AYUDH Melbourne got together to help out a struggling single mother who is currently working two jobs and has an 18 month year old baby. She had worked out that even with working two jobs, cutting back on expenses, doing some free lance work as a professional cellist and bringing up a small child - she couldn't afford to pay her mortgage.
Unfortunately, she had to put up her home for sale and move back in with her mum. AYUDH Melbourne hired a truck and helped this lady pack and load two truck loads of furniture and personnel items, one of which was taken to storage and the other to her mother's house.
Everyone had a lot of fun and left feeling like winners. The lady we helped saved a significant amount of money in labour costs, despite insisting on paying us a fee. She was delighted that this money would be going to charity and thankful for the time and stress that was saved by having a group of workers assisting her.
The youth volunteers were grateful for the opportunity to directly help someone in need and to raise money at the same time for Amma’s charitable programs in Haiti.
AYUDH & GreenFriends Australia Newsletter - Winter 2009
As the environmental aims of AYUDH correspond with those of GreenFriends we felt that it would be a great idea to join together for many of our activities that have an environmental focus. This newsletter will be a forum for all GreenFriends news to be posted on activities around Australia, as well as news of AYUDH events and activities involving all of AYUDH’s aims.
We are currently looking for people to become AYUDH leaders and GreenFriends organisers in each city. So far we have AYUDH leaders in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and have GreenFriends organisers on the Sunshine Coast, Sydney, and Adelaide and are very keen to get both an AYUDH and GF person in each city. If you’re interested in organising events in your local area please contact us via the emails in the newsletter!
Click here to read it online >
AYUDH Australia, GreenFriends and Amma's Sydney group participate in "Clean Up Australia Day"
On the first weekend in March, GreenFriends Australia and AYUDH Australia combined to come together to help with “Clean Up Australia Day”.
When we arrived at the site in Glebe we discovered that it was high tide and there was very little land to clean up so we travelled further around the bay and cleaned up an area that would have not been otherwise attended to. Luckily the morning was overcast and not too hot.
After filling boxes with a staggering number of items including Cue tips, lip gloss, gardening gloves, glass bottles big chunks of metal, styrofoam and lots of cigarette butts, we shared a picnic lunch and spent time telling stories about our personal experiences with Amma.
Read more in this article on AYUDH Europe - click here >
AYUDH Australia - Newsletter, Jan 2009
Hope everyone has had a great Christmas. Being the start of a new year we thought it would be a good time to send out an update of what happened with AYUDH around the country in 2008.
Click here to view the Newsletter. If you want to receive this by email, let us know! Send us an email to email@example.com and we'll add you to our mailing list.
AYUDH Australia - Photo Gallery
View photos from the August 2008 Youth Retreat held with Brahmachari Shantamrita and the recent Melbourne Poffertjes Fundraiser - click here to view photos >
AYUDH Australia Youth Retreat - Brahmachari Shantamrita Chaitanya
On 22nd - 24th August 2008 Amma's ashram in Melbourne hosted AYUDH Australia's first youth retreat.
The theme of the retreat was "balance" and we were very fortunate to be able to launch AYUDH Australia with the guidance and support of Brahmachari Shantamrita Chaitanya. The retreat was an intimate gathering of youth from cities across Australia. With Amma's Grace we hope the time we shared together will lay the foundation for lasting relationships, inspired vision and action.
Click here to view Photo Gallery
The retreat started on the Friday night with devotees of all ages participating in a Bhagavati Seva Puja led by Brahmachari Shantamritaji. This was an auspicious way to begin and helped us focus our hearts and minds on the weekend ahead. Even more auspicious was the coincidence of the youth retreat with Karthika (Amma's birthstar) and Sri Krishna Jayanti (Krishna's birthday).
Saturday morning began with archana for those who wished to join in, and the day unfolded as if Amma Herself was there journeying with us. After playing games early in the day to warm up and get to know one another, we sat and listen to Swamiji discuss the theme of the retreat - balance -
and how we can apply this concept in our everyday lives.
Swamiji talked about the importance of yagna, or sacrifice, in the sense of being selfless in our actions. He explained that the word sacrifice means "to make sacred" and that we should try and follow Amma's example, to be selfless and make our actions sacred in life, especially in regard
to our relationship with Nature. Swamiji told a beautiful story from the Bhagavad Gita about needing to "be like the rain" if we want to receive the blessing of the rain, that is, to be like the rain in the way that it falls from the sky, down to the dirty ground to offer some relief, without expectation of receiving anything in return. In this way, we were encouraged to follow Amma's example of seeing Nature as our teacher and offer our lives accordingly. We also learnt to try and do one thing each day to show gratitude and respect for Mother Nature, the sages of old and
the present, the five elements, our ancestors, and humanity.
Over the course of the weekend the youth discussed possible activities for AYUDH groups throughout Australia. Some of the ideas included tree planting activities with local environmental groups and activities which would unify and connect young people from all walks of life. We discussed the importance of becoming educated about ways of achieving balance and
sacrifice in the context of Nature, for example through learning about energy efficiency practices, recycling and general environmental sustainability practices. By doing so we will have the knowledge, experience and motivation to implement these practices within our own
lives as well as educating others.
The principles of balance were explored through a variety of means including: a discussion led by Swamiji on Ayurvedic principles for eating and combining foods to achieve balance and harmony; a talk on the importance of keeping a balance between alkaline and acidic foods, and
how blood types affect the food we eat by local director Amrita; and the youth's participation in a yoga class taken by another local director, Maheshwari, where we literally "balanced" (or at least tried to), and learnt about the physical and mental balance achieved through yoga asanas
(postures), and also the importance of deep relaxation. Click here to view Photo Gallery
The Australian ashram is located on beautiful land with plenty of open space, trees and native flora. We embraced the opportunity of spending as much time as possible outdoors and spent Saturday afternoon in the ashram garden. We started by planting shrubs in the garden in groups of two, under the guidance of the ashram's devoted gardener, Madhumati. In this way we felt we were being given a chance, in our own small way, to be involved in the material development of the ashram, and there was a symbolic meaning to our actions in the planting of roots for AYUDH in Australia.
After gardening, Swamiji taught the youth to play Ultimate Frisbee – and showed he had some skills in this area! After being shown the four techniques for throwing a frisbee, we threw themselves wholeheartedly into this energetic game, and resolved to practice (and improve) before our next retreat. Following on from this it was our turn to teach Swamiji to play backyard cricket, followed by some soccer. Click here to view Photo Gallery
As the sun set we ate hot potatoes around the campfire in the ashram garden, and soon the harmonium was brought out for bhajans. As night fell we sat huddled around the campfire under a blanket of stars and sung a number of bhajans led by Swamiji and some of the local devotees, and concluded with a stirring "Amma Amma Taye". As we sang our hearts expanded
and filled with gratitude. It was a truly moving experience that we will remember for a long time.
Later that evening we went inside for Arati, closing prayers and dinner, and listened to some CDs that Swamiji had burned (we bestowed on him the name of "DJ Bhajans"). We listened to English bhajans by devotees from all over the world, from Hawaii to Finland, and felt inspired to form our own Australian group to compose and play music for Amma.
The weekend left us feeling inspired to go back to our respective cities and implement in our daily lives the principles of balance and selflessness that had been discussed on retreat. We resolved to stay connected and organise to at least one AYUDH activity in our local cities
before the next youth retreat, which we hope to hold in six months at the end of Summer 2009. We hope to see some of you there!
Our warmest thanks go to everyone who helped support the youth on this retreat. In particular, we have so much gratitude to Swamiji for all his time, energy and humour, and the inspiration he invokes in those who experience his presence. We hope that he will return to Australia and
will be able to lead another youth retreat some time in the future. Hopefully by then we will have practiced our Ultimate Frisbee skills!
And finally, our humble thanks to our beloved Amma for creating the opportunity for us to come together, and for planting the seeds of inspiration in each of us to work in Her name. May we each become a vessel for Amma's light in the world.
For more information on AYUDH Australia email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Arathi and Amritasri