Open hearts and community growth @ ISKCON Botswana

Open conversations are a great way of learning and the Gabs (Gabarone) devotees love to discuss anything about devotion. Loving exchanges became a predominant theme, perhaps so because the community is growing and relationships can make or break the togetherness. 
We discussed Rupa Goswami's advice on 'revealing one's mind in confidence'. The sanskrit for this is: 'Guhyam akhyati prchatti'. Rupa teaches that it is important for loving exchanges to have relationships in which we can speak our hearts. Being able to do that requires such trust and confidence therefore Rupa uses the adjective 'guhya' meaning secret or private to modify such exchanges. 




We reflected on why people can often tell everything to a therapist and leave knowing things about themselves that they hadn't quite understood before. Thoughts offered on why this might be possible were that such environments were completely nonjudgemental and that anything discussed was strictly confidential. Through appropriate questioning rather than judgement and instruction a patient or person could understand more of themselves and begin to solve their own problems or make plans to fix the things they require to. In a nonjudgemental relationship a person felt honesty, acceptance and hope.
I remembered when young my mother gave me a talk to listen to by a christian psychologist. He made a great point that when a parent wants a child to change a bad habit, their love must not be dependent upon the change but rather it must be the catalyst of change. Therefore 'I love you and I know you can do better' and not 'you change and I will love you'. Adding the disposition of love or just caring enough about the person is therefore for sure a great plus.
So certainly in building a temple community, resolving troubled minds and conflicts of heart can best happen where love predominates between us. In addition to this there must be meaningful relationships with elders or senior devotees where we feel safe to discuss our challenges and secrets, and feel accepted, valued and understood. By this we can better embrace challenge, grow as individuals and truly as a Krishna Community.

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