Heidelberg ( Germany, Europe): The Local Conferences of Youth (LCOYs) are organized in addition to the international Conference of Youth (COY), which takes 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 Local Conferences of Youth in Germany took place in Heidelberg, with more than 550 participants from all over the country.
A delegation of the Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative (BKEI), including Bhavish (Frankfurt), Carolin (Berlin), Darshini (Kaiserslautern) and Niranjan (Berlin), traveled to Heidelberg to offer a workshop and five meditation sessions at the Local Conferences of Youth.
Market of Opportunities: BKEI Stand
Bhavish, Carolin, Darshini and Niranjan set up the Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative stand where big crowds of young people came to the booths. BK was a totally new organization to them, and they had lots of questions about what we bring to the Climate Change Conferences and the Conferences of Youth. They were given an overview about the activities done under the BK Environment Initiative since 2009 and were invited for a workshop and to the meditations.
Three meditation sessions were held which introduced meditation as a method for self-empowerment and inner well-being to sustain and balance an active lifestyle. Guided meditations were conducted. Climate change and action was an overwhelming topic, and 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 the 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.
Workshop: Consciousness, Consumerism and Climate Change
Niranjan gave a short overview about the tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) that are produced through certain diets (such as 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 one’s inner resources of peace, love, and happiness.
More Meditation Sessions
After the 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 free time was used to participate in the creative corner where we created drawings and shared thoughts and ideas.