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Amma Mata Amritanandamayi Devi
GreenFriends Australia
Living Consciously Project

“Life becomes fulfilled when humankind and nature move together, hand in hand, in harmony.  When melody and rhythm complement each other, the music becomes beautiful and pleasing to the ear.  Likewise, when people live in accordance with the laws of nature, life becomes like a beautiful song.”    Amma

Green friends –Living Consciously is an environmental awareness campaign initiated by “Green Friends” in Australia.

Ten main focus areas have been identified as being important for the healing of the earth and we will focus on ways we can change or act in our daily lives in order to live in harmony with the natural world, and in turn, create a sustainable future.

The campaign has been inspired by the teachings of Sri Mata Amritandamayi Devi (Amma). Through her own life, Amma demonstrates how love can replace fear, how selfless service and compassion for others can replace greed and over come  prejudice and bring people together united for a cause.   Amma believes the Earth to be her Mother and that Nature is ‘Gods’ visible form. Therefore by being closer to Nature we are indeed being closer to our True Selves, the Divine Essence or Supreme Truth.  Her teachings show us that Humanity is suffering due to its disassociation from nature and that by reestablishing a loving relationship between humanity and Nature, we can ensure both the balance of Nature and our own progress.

We are all connected and we are all part of the one ecological system.  If the earth becomes sick so shall we, consequentially a healthy planet will in turn be able to provide an abundance for us.  Nature has a remarkable ability to rejuvenate if we give it the chance.    We can begin to make changes in our own lives; changing our attitude, our habits, our actions and passing down to future generations a way of life that respects all living things.  By combining our efforts we can make significant and lasting change.  Every effort no matter how small will help bring about this change. Green Friends-Living Consciously aims to provide a guide that can be used as a resource for individuals and groups. Ultimately it is a guide to help us live consciously, to create a life that is sustainable, is abundant, that nourishes and one that gives back to the earth. 

The following Ten steps have been identified as the main focus areas. 

TEN STEPS TO HELP SAVE OUR PLANET

  1. Develop Reverence for Nature
  2. Develop Water Awareness
  3. Develop Reverence for Plants
  4. Deveop Reverence for Wildlife
  5. Use Sustainable Technology
  6. Develop Reverence for Food
  7. Grow Your Own Food
  8. Take Less from the Earth
  9. Be a Responsible Consumer
  10. Inspire Others

This project was officially launched in Australia at Amma’s Birthday Celebration (25th -27th September 2010).  From October 2010 groups and individuals across the country will spend two months focusing on each step; researching information and presenting related workshops, excursions and projects according to the resources and interests of those involved. During these two months our web site will be updated with relevant information and following each months activities we will reflect on each theme. The Ten Step Guide is designed to provide structure and direction in environmental education with the aim to develop greater respect and connection with the earth and to encourage positive action. 

If you would like to join this campaign- individually or as part of your local Green Friends group please contact us: greenfriends@ammaaustralia.org.au

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“Nature is a huge flower garden. The animals, birds, trees, plants and people are the gardens fully blossomed flowers of diverse colours. The beauty of the garden is complete only when all of these exist as a unity, thereby spreading the vibrations of love and oneness. May all of our minds become one in love”.    Amma

Green Friends "LIVING CONSCIOUSLY" TEN STEP GUIDE

1. Develop Reverence for Nature

Developing reverence, love and respect for the natural world is the most vital link to healing our planet. Through meditation in nature, offerings of prayer to the earth and gratitude for all we are given, we can reconnect and give back to that which sustains us. By accepting that we are not separate from Nature but part of Her and recognizing that it is the very earth herself that gives us life, we reestablish an earth- based consciousness by which we can lay the foundations for rebuilding a life in harmony with the natural world. This attitude needs to come from the core of our being and be reflected in all aspects of our culture.

We're asking you to take on board to focus more on developing a meaningful relationship with the earth or nature and include 'reverence for nature' as part of your daily spiritual practice. Across Australia activities are being held focusing on this very important theme, possibly the most important element in creating a future and culture that includes love and respect for all living things.

Click here for more information about Developing Reverence for Nature >

Past Activities
Sat 23 Oct: "Belonging to the Land" at the Mia Mia Art Gallery, Melbourne
Sat 23 Oct: Beach Meditation in Byron Bay - View Photos from the day   NEW!!
Thu 28 Oct: "KANYINI" Video Interview with Uncle Bob Randall, Byron Bay NEW!!
Sat 20 Nov: Tulsi (Sacred Basil) Workshop - Write up and photos  NEW!!
Sun 21 Nov: Beach Meditation & Coastal Walk in Melbourne (PDF)

Sun 28 Nov: Meditation & Picnic in Nature - GF Canberra Newsletter (PDF)

November: Canberra Meditation & Picnic (POSTPONED due to bad weather)


2. Develop Water Awareness

Water is the life blood for all living things and sustains life on this planet. Our oceans and all our water systems around the world are under threat due to human exploitation and pollution. We are taking from the oceans at a faster rate than they can rejuvenate; fisheries are on the verge of collapse.

As a matter of survival for us and all the world's wild inhabitants we must develop cleaner ways of living on the earth. The way we grow our food, our energy choices, and almost everything we do impacts eventually on the world's water ways.

Communities around the world need to be alerted to this fundamental issue, including the protection of endangered marine life and on the consequences of continued mass pillaging from our Oceans. We can reduce chemical spills from deep sea drilling by choosing renewable energy technologies. We can take the pressure off marine ecosystems by reducing our intake of seafood, supporting sustainable fisheries or by choosing a vegetarian diet.

The earth's natural eco systems have been altered to such an extent that many fresh water supplies are drying up. Drinking water in many areas is becoming scarce. We can address this by collecting our own rainwater, reducing our water usage and recycling grey water. Through tree planting we can help prevent erosion and salinity and help improve water quality in lakes, rivers and creeks. We can choose foods that are grown without the use of chemicals and use household products that are gentle on the environment.

This is a Global problem that needs attention on a Global level; however we can individually act upon this in all aspects of our lives. This Issue demonstrates how intricately connected we all are, how dependant we are and how respectful we need to be of the earth's natural cycles and ecological systems.

CLICK HERE for more information on Water Conservation & Preservation >>

Past Activities & Updates
How to build your own Hydroponic Garden, March 19 Brisbane - click here >
"The Food Forest" Permaculture Farm Visit - click here >
GreenFriends Water Saving Pledge - Click here to download/view PDF >
Canberra GreenFriends Newsletter - Click here to download/view PDF >
A Personal Journey with Water - Click here to read more >
Sat 29th Jan: Water meditation, discussion and swim at Little Wategos on Saturday 29th January at 8.30am. Bring something to sit on, fruit to share and any stories you have since we last met at the Tulasi Day.
Sydney: 27th December 4pm - Eco meditation and picnic.
Neilson Park.  Please come and join us for an eco meditation, followed by a swim and a walk, and bring some food for a picnic. Enquiries 0420 433 061

3. Develop Reverence for Plants
As a Global community we need to stop the destruction and preserve what is left of our Old Growth Forests, they have evolved complex ecosystems over thousands of years and cannot be replaced. Old growth forests around the world are still being destroyed at a rapid rate. These forests provide us with the air we need to live. As individuals we can make choices that help protect existing forests.

We can support sustainable forestry and eco friendly agricultural practices. When constructing new buildings we can use ecologically sound and recycled building materials. Both Urban and Rural landscapes can be regenerated by: - planting indigenous trees, removing introduced weeds and protecting remnant bush land. By being involved in these activities and educating others we can help unify communities with a common cause.

We need to raise awareness on the delicate complex structure of the earth’s ecological systems and the importance of these systems in insuring the survival of our own race. Through practical activities we can help others experience the joy and beauty that can be found in nature and help develop greater respect and love for the natural world.


Past Activities & Updates
Eco-Meditation: Monday the 18th of April, Weston Park, Canberra (Canberra GF Newsletter)
Tree Planting: Sunday the 1st of May, for the Canberra Centenary Tree Planting, Lower Cotter Catchment (Canberra GF Newsletter)
Rainforest Camp in the Border Ranges National Park, May 2011: Click here

TREE PLANTING  - Melbourne SAT 21st May 

In line with Green friends Living Consciously project step 3 - GreenFriends Melbourne organized an educational day on tree planting and bush rejuvenation.  We met at the ashram then drove to meet passionate environmentalist and farmer Daryl Hook at his farm in Pound Creek (near Inveloch) for a tour, talk and morning tea. Daryl has planted out an incredible 45 acres of his 300 acre farm with local indigenous plants.  These once bare paddocks are now thriving bush land with an abundance of wildlife.  With over 20 years involvement with the local Land Care group Daryl has a great depth of knowledge on bush regeneration and green farming methods and inspired us all. Following that we headed up the road to farmer Rogers’s acreage to do some more tree planting and see how the saplings are going from last years tree planting effort! The day also contributed to AYUDH aim of planting 1008 trees in 12mths, with this effort adding to the tally we should well exceed this goal for the year!

Click here for the update and photos >

Tree Planting - AYUDH and GreenFriends, July 2012 - update and photos >

4. Develop Reverence for Wildlife
In all that we do we need to remember that we are only one of the many creatures living on this planet. The trees, the water ways, the soil are all habitat to millions of different species both complex and incredible. There is a great need to raise public awareness and respect for these creatures and provide safe places for them to live. There are many practical ways we can do this; we can plant indigenous trees in our own back yards, we can create wildlife corridors that connect up with remnant bush land, we can leave water out for wildlife in summer, and be responsible with our domestic pets.

We can find many creative ways to raise awareness of animal welfare issues within our own communities. Every day more species are becoming endangered and extinct, vanishing from the earth forever! Animal Welfare Organizations are working to protect these endangered animals and marine wildlife around the world and they need our support. With the help of these animal protection organizations we can; develop specialized breeding programs that increase and protect wild populations, educate local communities and reestablish natural habitats. Above all we need to live our lives with compassion and respect for all living things and through our actions we can hope to inspire others to do the same.

More activities and updates coming soon!

5. Use Sustainable Technology
A major contributing factor to the earth’s ecological crisis is the over use and exploitation of fossil fuels. Now is the time to change our ways. New technology has been developed and is now available to us, we simply have to make the change. We can do this taking advantage of Government grants and incentives converting our homes and businesses to a renewable energy source.

We can find creative ways to reduce our carbon footprint in our daily life. We can choose governments that are focused on developing and implementing the use of renewable energy technologies and reduce the relentless exploitation of the earth’s natural resources, and consequential pollution. We can build an economy based on the development of new ‘Green’ initiatives, renewable energy, ‘eco friendly’ technology and related jobs. The more we support this industry the further it will grow; the more options we will have and the more they will be common place.

We can aim to be as self-sufficient as possible with our domestic energy consumption factoring in the environmental and economic benefits. We don’t need wait for the world to change for us; we can each begin with our own lives and in time lasting beneficial change will follow.

More activities and updates coming soon!

6. Develop Reverence for Food
By being vegetarian, vegan or by reducing the consumption of animal products we can reduce the amount of land cleared for agriculture and address many significant ecological issues. It is a global issue that needs to be addressed if we are to sustain the world’s growing population. We can sustain more people on the earth by depending on plants as a protein source as apposed to livestock. Animal products including meat and dairy require more natural resources, and land and cause higher emissions than plant based alternatives.

By consuming vegan foods you can omit the potential cruelty to animals and eliminate the moral issue of killing animals for food and other products. If animal products do form part of your diet you have the option to support more humane, healthier and sustainable agricultural practices including Free Range Organic and Biodynamic Farming and Sustainable Fisheries. Living Consciously means eating consciously; with thought and feeling for all living things. What we put into our bodies has an impact not only on our physical health but also on our spiritual and mental wellbeing.

More activities and updates coming soon!

7. Grow Your Own Food
Growing your own organic vegetables at home or in a community garden is not only healthier and enriching for you and your family but a vital link in reconnecting with the land and for sustainable living. By growing our own food (or buying from a local farmers market) you cut out so many processes that use up the worlds natural resources including fossil fuels and water.

We can create a bounty of high energy, nutrient- rich organic fruit and vegetables in our own back yard or within our local community. The subtle essence of the food we eat has an effect on our mind and body, the more pure the food we eat the healthier we are. By growing our own food we can develop a closer connection to the land, develop agricultural practices accordingly, and give back to the earth at the same time.

More activities and updates coming soon!

8. Take Less from the Earth
By Reducing the waste we create, Reusing items several times instead of discarding them and Recycling raw materials we reduce our energy consumption and use of fossil fuels, save water, and reduce green house gas emissions. With the worlds populations growing at a rapid rate we cannot afford to be producing as much waste as we do. Our waste can become our resource. Composting is one simple example. By recycling food scraps we reduce landfill waste and can produce a rich organic matter to add to our soils.

We need to consider that the earth is for everyone (and all living beings) and to be shared with everyone. If one population or species consumes more than its share, others will suffer. We can find ways to feed the world if we focus on a global community, and in our daily lives only take that which we really need.

More activities and updates coming soon!

9. Be a Responsible Consumer
Never under estimate the power of the consumer. By choosing to purchase Certified Organic products and Environmentally Friendly products you can directly help prevent our ecological systems from being polluted with toxic chemicals. By purchasing Certified Organic or Biodynamic products you support diversity in fruit and vegetable varieties and the preservation of heirloom seed, prevent genetic modification, and are consuming food that is potentially higher in nutrients and free of toxic chemicals.

As a consumer we can support companies that operate under the fair-trade ethos-thus helping to prevent third world exploitation, support sustainable agriculture, renewable energy and ethical investment. We are creating the future with every thought and with every choice we make. Whilst our daily lives may seem small, with every positive thought we have and choice we make we are purifying our minds and beginning the change for a brighter future.

More activities and updates coming soon!

10. Inspire Others
Everything we do can become an offering to the Divine and to Nature. We teach first by living as an example. We can take responsibility for our own small lives and the impact we have on the world around us. We can develop a relationship with nature that is both enriching and productive. We can then share this with others; with our children, our families and within our local community in creative and practical ways, in small ways and on a larger scale.

We can work in our on backyards, initiate nature projects within our local area, and support international causes. Mostly we can endeavor to live a life that is simple and that strives to bring balance back between people and nature in small meaningful and practical ways. We then open the door for others to follow and have a chance at providing future generation’s a greener, cleaner, and more harmonious world in which to live.

More activities and updates coming soon!

 

Contact GreenFriends Coordinators

National greenfriends@ammaaustralia.org.au  
Adelaide gfadelaide@ammaaustralia.org.au Abhiram Molloy
Brisbane gfbrisbane@ammaaustralia.org.au Lalana Davidson and Gemma Waddington
Byron Bay gfbyronbay@ammaaustralia.org.au Salini Bedford
Melbourne gfmelbourne@ammaaustralia.org.au Benita Davis
Newcastle gfnewcastle@ammaaustralia.org.au Anna Zerafa
Sunshine Coast gfsunshinecoast@ammaaustralia.org.au Sri Devi Woodhead
Sydney gfsydney@ammaaustralia.org.au Thankam Rydstrand
Tasmania gftasmania@ammaaustralia.org.au Greg and Libby Maulder

 

“Nature is nothing but Gods visible form, which we can see and experience through our senses.  Indeed, by loving and serving Mother Nature, we are worshipping God directly”.  AMMA   Embracing the World

“The earth, plants and animals are all manifestations of God. We should love them as our own self”
Amma

 

 

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