New York Gears Up for Walk for Values USA

Walk For Values Logo

Walk For Values Logo


New York Gears Up for Walk for Values USA

NewswireToday – /newswire/ – Richmond Hill, NY, United States, 06/09/2009 – New Yorkers walk for what really matters: love, nonviolence, peace, right-conduct and truth. Walk for Values USA returns to downtown Manhattan as participants pledge to make a difference by selecting a value that they will practice for life.

On Sunday, June 21, New Yorkers will have a chance to walk for what really matters: love, nonviolence, peace, right-conduct and truth. For the second year in a row, Battery Park in downtown Manhattan will be the backdrop to Walk for Values USA, an opportunity to make a difference and inspire others to follow, one step at a time.

In New York City over 8.2 million people live barely steps away from each other. There’s a neighbor who looks out his window into our kitchen, a young woman sitting next to us on the train, a homeless man sleeping in a stoop down our block, an immigrant fruit vendor in the corner. In New York we walk together every day.

Human values shape the way we think, speak and behave; they inspire unexpected acts of kindness in a city ‘too busy’ to stop. Courage and compassion move a commuter to jump on the train tracks to save a stranger; empathy makes others hold doors; friendship and humility allow everyone to share community gardens. In other words, basic human values turn inhabitants into citizens and make us all better people. In New York City, people who care make a world of difference.

This unique event will bring together hundreds of Americans of all ages regardless of religion or race with the sole purpose of raising awareness of the importance of practicing universal values in our daily lives. Walk for Values USA is not a fund-raiser, protest, rally, nor demonstration. It is a human movement forward, a call to attention, a walk to adopt a value for life. It is also free of charge!

Walk for Values USA (walkforvaluesusa.org) is organized by the Sathya Sai Organization, a not-for-profit group, and is part of a global effort to promote the practice of human values by providing opportunities to participate in community-based service activities. Currently, the Walk for Values takes place in several cities across Australia, Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand, and in the US.

Details
Event: Walk for Values USA -NY
Date: Sunday, June 21, 2009
Time: 9 am – 1 pm
Location: Battery Park, NYC – entrances from State Street and Battery Place
Contact Us: T: +1 718 803 2919
E: promotions[.]walkforvaluesusa.org

NewsWire Today Reference

Putting Love In Their Hearts

Putting Love In Their Hearts
Participants pledge to practise some virtue in Walk for Values
TRACEY TONG
METRO OTTAWA
June 01, 2009 5:03 a.m.

Ottawa residents take part in the seventh annual Walk for Values organized by the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Spiritual Centre of Ottawa-Carleton. The non-religious, non-political march, which began at Parliament Hill yesterday, was intended to raise awareness for the practice of human values.

Of the many walks that take place in the Ottawa community, one held downtown Sunday wasn’t looking for any money. But it was asking its participants to make a pledge.

The seventh annual Walk for Values — a non-political and non-religious event held on the city-proclaimed Walk for Values Day — asked its 100 participants to pledge to truth, right conduct, love, peace and non-violence for a year.

“This walk isn’t about money,” organizer Dipali Arun, who pledged to love and truth. “Money comes and goes. Morality comes and grows. Values are something that that don’t deplete. All you can do is grow them.”

The walk reaffirms the commitment to love, truth and peace, said Ottawa-Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi, who attended the event with Councillor Diane Deans.

“We’re trying to raise awareness of positive human values,” said walk spokeswoman Nina Mukerjee.

“Things are getting worse — there are so many problems plaguing us these days — bullying in school, gang wars in the streets. Each person here pledges to practice one value — like patience or optimism for the next year.”

Mukerjee said her pledge is to non-violence.

The walk is one of many that took place across the country Sunday in cities including Toronto and Regina, and in the U.S., Australia, Malaysia and India.

The Sri Sathya Sai Spiritual Centre of Ottawa-Carleton organized the event here, and people from as far as Montreal and Massena, N.Y., attended.

Balwant Bhaneja also pledged to a year of peace and non-violence.

“When you have peace on the outside, you also have peace on the inside,” said Bhaneja. He hopes the walk will help make Ottawa a better place.

Metro News Reference

Walk For Values USA begins in Plano

Walk For Values USA begins in Plano
By Kim Nguyen, Staff Writer
(Created: Tuesday, May 5, 2009 3:01 PM CDT)

Mayor Pat Evans will be on hand to kick off the first annual Walk For Values USA in Plano for the Dallas region Saturday morning.

Beginning and ending in Haggard Park in Downtown Plano, Walk for Values USA hopes to bring awareness to the universal human values of truth, right conduct, peace, love and non-violence. The event is unique because unlike other walks, it is not a fundraiser, protest, rally, or demonstration. Instead, it seeks simply to raise awareness, and it is open to the public free of charge.

“We are essentially walking to bring awareness to the five universal human values: peace, love, truth, right conduct and non-violence,” said Srinivas Somisetty, event coordinator.

Based off the teachings of Sathya Sai Baba, a highly revered spiritual leader in India, habitually practicing at least one of the five values has a positive effect on humanity. Somisetty used the current economic recession as an example of the negative effects of not practicing the five values.

“We’re all partly responsible for the economy because of our greed,” he said. “Violence, greed and hatred are widespread in our society. There is a lack of these human values and it shouldn’t be like that.”

Participants of Walk for Values USA believe that these human values — peace, love, truth, right conduct and non-violence — are worth walking for and hope to help raise the universal consciousness and awareness about the importance of practicing them in our daily lives. They have also pledged to “adopt a value” that they will practice themselves, to help bring about this awareness. Participants will carry signs and banners with the messages of truth, right conduct, peace, love and nonviolence.

“We’re not fundraising, not enrolling anyone into a church or faith and we’re not soliciting anything,” Somisetty said. “Our pure intent is to bring awareness to these values that are fundamental to humanity and are common across all faiths, religions and cultures.”

Somisetty said about 550 people are registered to participate in Saturday’s, but the success is not tangible.

“Even with just one participant attending, we’ll call it a success,” he said. “Because when they begin practicing one or all of the values habitually, other people will see and mimic, starting a chain reaction to spread the values across the universe.”

Registration for Walk for Values USA will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, followed by an opening ceremony with talks by Patrick Price, pastor at Community Unitarian Universalist Church, Plano; AnilKumar Kamaraju, professor of BioSciences at Sri Sathya Sai University in Puttaparthy, India; and Mayor Pat Evans. Evans will launch Walk For Values at 10 a.m. The Walk will end at Haggard Park at noon with a closing ceremony.

Star Community News Reference

Meditation Part Of Curriculum For Top Marks

Meditation Part Of Curriculum For Top Marks
By JENNY YUEN
Last Updated: 1st March 2009, 2:40am

This might be the most peaceful way to start the school day.

The 20 students in Ahalya Ganesh’s Grade 6 class are sitting around in a circle with a tealight candle placed in the centre. Their teacher presses ‘play’ on the CD and the daily ritual of 10 minutes of meditation begins.

“Focus your eyes on the light in front of you,” Ganesh, a teacher at Sathya Sai School, said soothingly to the class. “Think: May I always feel good, may I always speak the truth.”

After the music stops, the students are asked to reflect on what they were thinking of.

“I imagined what the world was like without pollution,” said Dhiviya Muthucumarasamy, 11. “I thought about what ways I could help the world. So I sent the light to everyone.”

The idea of peace is just one of the principal values at Sathya Sai School. The Scarborough private school of 160 students — from JK to Grade 6 — works on five core values of truth, right conduct, peace, love and non-violence, stemming from the philosophy of the school’s founder and south Indian guru, Sathya Sai Baba.

These values are embedded in regular classes, so you will find love in math and non-violence translated through science. A 40-minute “human values” class is scheduled each day where teachers and students discuss the core principles of the school. Two months are devoted to each of the five values.

Students also get 45 minutes of yoga classes in the gym each day.

This inner-peace is most likely responsible for the 100% scores on all Education Quality and Accountability Office tests in 2008 and the perfect 10 position for the second consecutive year in the Fraser Institute studies, said the school’s principal, Dr. Revathi Chennabathni.

“It’s the dedication of the students and teachers,” she said. “When we start the day with meditation, it helps them to calm down. I think the yoga and discussion in each of the classes on human values and reflection on that is adding to a better intellectual potential.”

This is the only Sathya Sai-influenced school in North America among 45 schools worldwide. It opened its doors in 2000 and has bounced from two other locations in Scarborough before landing at Ellesmere and Principal Rds.

The tuition was originally free for the first 6.5 years, but Chennabathni said it has since risen to $2,300 a year to cover renting the space. They are looking for a building of their own in the near future.

The majority of children who attend the school are of Tamil, Hindu and Sri Lankan heritage, but Chennabathni emphasizes that the school is open to all religions and all socio-economic backgrounds. They follow the Ontario curriculum with the addition of an extra holiday on Nov. 23 — the founder’s birthday. The only thing that isn’t allowed is eating meat on premises.

“The vegetarian lunch program helps them give good thoughts,” Chennabathni said.

The lessons learned in the classroom will help students translate it at home and in the community, Chennabathni said. Each month, the kids distribute sandwiches to the El Mocambo club at College St. and Spadina Ave. for the homeless.

On May 31, the pupils will go on their annual Walk for Values at Dundas Square. Instead of raising money, the goal is to pledge their commitment to one of the five values and promise to practice it for a year.

“Parents are very sure that their child would learn good values here,” Chennabathni said. “Not everyone’s a follower of our founder, but (parents send their kids here) because of the good values their child can learn and that they can build character.”

Toronto Sun Reference

Spreading A Gospel Of Positive Energy

Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Spreading a gospel of positive energy
Don Retson, edmontonjournal.com
Published: Friday, May 30 2008

EDMONTON – Preeti Mathur beamed recalling how a complete stranger approached her to ask if her group was responsible for the good vibes at a park on Edmonton’s south side.

“What are you doing?” a face-painter asked Mathur at McIntyre Park in Old Strathcona last Saturday afternoon. “I feel positive vibrations today coming from this corner of the farmers market.”

Mathur’s comment drew smiles and approving nods the next evening at Sri Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Edmonton.

Members of the centre made up a large number of the 200 people who took part in Edmonton’s fourth annual Walk for Values the previous day. Mathur was chief organizer of the event.

The walk isn’t a fundraiser. It’s meant to create awareness of the importance of practising positive values to bring about a more caring and kinder world.

Participants pledge to practise one of five values – love, truth, peace, non-violence and right conduct. They believe that when each individual tries to change, there’s a positive impact on their families, communities and ultimately the world.

A Hindu by birth, Mathur was educated in a Catholic convent in her native India.

Today, she’s educational co-ordinator of Sai Baba Centre, a non-denominational spiritual and service organization, with millions of devotees worldwide.

During a Sunday evening devotional service, Mathur noted some passersby were so impressed they signed up on the spot and took part in the three-kilometre walk.

“It was a wonderful, motivating and energizing experience,” Mathur said of the event, which included speeches, music and the decoration of a gazebo and floats.

Mathur was attracted to the Sai Baba organization by the teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba of India, in particular his belief that all religions are facets of the same truth.

This respect for other faiths is one of the first things to strike a visitor. Each of six major world religions is featured in a glassed-in display.

During a tour, centre president T.R. Pillay explains that the elaborate and artistic work of the displays was done by Sunday school students. “We made sure that people of any faith that come in here will feel comfortable and that’s why we have these displays depicting the various faiths,” he said.

The Sai Baba centre has been around since in 1983, at various locations. Wanting a permanent home, devotees eventually bought a property at 9619 Whyte Avenue. The building once housed Studio 82. An additional $150,000 was spent on renovations to convert the old movie house into a place of worship.

For historical reasons, the facade of the building is unchanged from its Studio 82 days. However, the words “Sai Sadan” (House of God) on the exterior are a dead give away that movies aren’t what’s happening inside any longer. There’s also a message from spiritual leader Sai Baba to “Love all; serve all,” not your typical greeting at a movie theatre.

At devotional services, males in white or light-coloured clothing (symbolic of the purity of spirit each is aspiring for) sit on chairs or on the carpeted floor on one side of the huge worship hall. Females in traditional Indian saris sit on the other side of the room.

Facing all is a giant picture of Sai Baba, considered by millions of his followers around the world to be an avatar or incarnation of a divine being. Devotees revere him as a great spiritual leader, a humanitarian, a man of miracles.

There’s a great emphasis in the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Organization on service to the poor, the destitute and the sick. “Help ever; hurt never” is one of Sai Baba’s famous quotations. Another is: “Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray.”

Reference