Marja Artamaa’s workshop at the Theosophical World Congress

There was some complaining before hand, and during the congress, on the workshops. I thought for instance that it was impossible to do a workshop with a hundred people. It turns out though: it IS possible. And the person who showed me that (though she didn’t have to take on that challenge, because only 20 or so showed up) was Marja Artamaa. She’s the general secretary of the Theosophical Society in Finland.

I forgot to ask what her dayjob is, but she did tell me that she’s had training to do workshops through her work. Well, it showed. Her workshop was really a workshop, and she got all her participants involved.

The first day was a combination of interactive teaching and working in pairs. Nothing revolutionary, but some good things came up. She let us take the most important values relating to brotherhood and it’s practice.

These were the values we picked out:

  1. Co-operation        6
  2. Responsibility    6
  3. Courage            5
  4. Openness            5
  5. Respect            5
  6. Love                4
  7. Tolerance            3
  8. Unselfishness    3
  9. Equality            2
  10. Compassion        2
  11. Service            2

On the second day we went into the top five. There were three tables and on each there was a large piece of paper with one or two of those most important values. We were asked to write down what we could do to practice that value more. Here’s what we came up with. The ones that were later underlined as most important art bolded.

Brotherhood needs courage and openness

  • To thine own self be true
  • Put yourself in other’s shoes
  • Courage to admit and forgive oneself when mistake is made and be careful
  • Courage to stand by the right thought and action
  • Courage to carry on the responsibility / to once duty
  • Courage to go against the flow of the road and if I don’t have the courage then I should be able to get out of the cement.
  • Need to let go of fears and insecurities
  • Pick your own truth and stand by it
  • Respect boundaries
  • Self-knowledge, self-realization
  • Listening
  • While listening to thought or opinion of others, do not depend on it

Brotherhood is Co-operation

  • Lighten up – don’t be too serious
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Define common goals
  • Learn to be silent (to listen to others)
  • Non-judgment (to overcome emotional reaction)
  • To appreciate
  • To communicate effectively (assume less)
  • Having a helpful attitude
  • Learn from each other
  • Take initiative
  • Self-knowledge / skills / personality
  • Reflection
  • Being ourselves: authenticity
  • Involved & commitment

Brotherhood includes responsibility and respect

  • Know thyself
  • Realize why are you engaged in …
  • Little things are important
  • Listening, being friendly
  • Don’t wait for a crisis to help – Help
  • Be a solution finder
  • Participate
  • Have courage!
  • Be co-operative / to respond
  • Be responsible for ones action. Do not interfere but only help.
  • Act according to your belief (be true to yourself)
  • Know thyself and you will know God & the Universe
  • Be accountable for your brother
  • It takes selflessness / unselfishness
  • Complain less
  • Talk about what we can do

(This post was largely based on the summary that Marja made of her own workshop and the results.)

The following pictures were taken by Tom Dede from Hungary. Please leave the names of the participants in the comments where you know them.