The term time management is viewed by many people as a silver bullet for better efficiency and good outcomes in any field.
But the Brahma Kumaris’ motivational speaker Sister Shivani would challenge that notion.
What is needed to achieve best results in any endeavor, she maintains, is “thought management.” The less cluttered the mind, the better the outcomes. And clarity of mind gives it emotional stability. That state comes with feeding it spiritual knowledge and meditation.
The 45-year-old Raja Yoga teacher from India, who is currently on a multi-city “awakening” tour of the United States and Canada organized by the Brahma Kumaris, was speaking to a packed hall here at the San Ramon Marriot Hotel June 3 on how to detox our emotions.
Shivani made her two-hour presentation interactive, encouraging everyone, including a child as young as 10, to participate.
She used the short kickoff skit enacted by some followers that focused on a domestic turmoil that ensues when a doctor- husband fails to remember until much later in the evening that it is his wedding anniversary, despite the many “hints” given by his wife before he leaves for work.
Later in the evening, his choice of a movie to make up for his lapse irritates her to the point that she feels physically sick. Halfway through the movie she tells her husband she wants to go home.
But her sickness magically vanishes when he pulls out a “pill” from his pocket and asks her to keep it under her tongue and not swallow it. The pill, he would later tell his by then mollified wife, was just a button he yanked from his shirt.
“You were able to laugh at the situation when you saw it on the stage,” Shivani told the gathering. “But you are not able to laugh when you face similar situations in your own life.”
That’s because the audience watched the skit in a detached fashion, allowing themselves to be entertained. The wife in the skit, on the other hand, because of her emotional entanglement with her husband, blew the situation out of all proportion. She could only view his behavior as a failure on his part.
“In any scene of life, sit as a detached (spectator) for even just five minutes and view what’s happening around you. Until you do that, you will feel that I am right and everybody else is wrong,” she said.
Making a “mental shift” from being attached to being detached is possible for everyone, she said, provided they turn inward. “Spirituality gives us the power to withdraw from the scene, connect with our inner self and see the complete picture.”
A person who has made that shift can help those around him who are entangled in worldly pleasures.
She urged the gathering – which included many Indian Americans – to take advantage of the numerous Brahma Kumaris centers in California and other parts of the United States.
The organization is open to anyone, but since its founding has put women in leadership roles. It has around 8,500 centers in 120 countries. Its stated mission is to create an inner world of peace, love and happiness amid an outer world often filled with stress and strife, factors that cause toxic buildup in one’s mind.
Meditation helps the mind to let go, said Shivani.
Walnut Creek resident Lalita Subas, who attended the June 3 talk, said that prior to it, she was confused and worried about a domestic issue that had been bothering her for a while. But after hearing Shivani, she said, she was able to put herself in an observer mode and the problem seemed to go away. “I’m so much at peace now,” she said.
The organization has worked with governments, police agencies, schools, hospitals, prisons and businesses around the world, teaching them the Raja Yoga practice of meditation.
Group members meditate every day at 4 a.m. for 45 minutes, and later attend classes. They wear all-white clothing as a symbol of the purity they seek.
Sister Shivani, who trained as an electronics engineer at the University of Pune, worked as a lecturer at the Bharati Vidyapeeth College of Engineering for two years, before she fully embraced the movement.
In 2014, she was presented the Woman of the Decade Achiever Award by the Associated Chamber of Commerce of India for “excellence in empowering spiritual consciousness.”
She co-hosts the television show, “Awakening With Brahma Kumaris.
Aside from Shivani’s talk on “Emotional Detox,” she also spoke on “Purpose of Life” in San Ramon; June 2 at the Santa Clara Convention Center on “Creating Your Destiny” and “Harmony in Relationships”; June 4 at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in Sacramento on “Unlocking Your Inner Freedom” and “Celebrating the Lightness of Life,” as well as June 6 at the Visalia Convention Center in Visalia on “The Art of Saying Recharged Always.” She will be speaking June 8 at the Bren Events Center at UCI, Irvine; June 9 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood; and at the Anubhuti Meditation Center in Novato June 15 on “Gift of Happiness” and June 16 on “Love and Forgiveness.”