The Ramakrishna Mission officially opened its first New Zealand branch in 2021 as the Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre in Auckland. Swami Tadananda was posted as its Minister-in-Charge. The twin ideals of the Ramakrishna Mission are “For one’s own Liberation and for the Welfare of the world.” These are based on the Vedanta pillars of “Divinity of man and Oneness of Existence.” Practical Vedanta in the form of service to people in the spirit of “worship of the Divine Spirit embodied in human beings” is an essential spiritual practice throughout the organisation since its founding in 1897.
Mental wellbeing challenges are creating havoc worldwide due to the pandemic. Individuals, families, communities and Governments are struggling to find solutions to this silent pandemic. The spiritual sciences of Vedanta and Meditation are the core teachings and practices for the members of Vedanta Centers worldwide.
We have developed and successfully delivered programs in Meditation for Wellbeing of students in Fiji and Australia. It is now time to broadcast these life-saving teachings and practices to the wider society in order to empower people to help themselves by availing the powers already within them.
In response to this challenge, Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre has identified the mental wellbeing space for its services to the people to Aotearoa. It has adopted a universal, spiritually oriented, proactive and preventative approach which focus on building partnerships with various stakeholders and deliver a training of trainers program to empower them with Vedanta knowledge and meditation skills to better serve the people under their care.
We present our short and long term plans for delivering “Vedanta Meditation for Wellbeing” programs in New Zealand. The focus areas of the program are aligned with the Aotearoa Kia Manawanui – New Zealand Government’s plan mental wellbeing of her people.
Some features of our program are:
- It is primarily a proactive and preventative approach to promoting personal wellbeing.
- All power is potentially within us. It offers meditation-based tools to empower people to seek the solution within themselves. The meditation techniques are universal, non-religious, simple and effective. The only requirement is to have faith in ourselves and to regularly practise.
- The program delivery is through a training of trainers program with online courses, workshops, retreats etc for:
- Parents to empower their children with mind-management techniques.
- Teachers to empower their students to increase concentration of mind and attention, self-confidence, self-esteem, inner resilience and strength of mind so that negative states of mind such anxiety, depression etc do not over power them.
- Wellness Officers in Corporate organisations to support people in their care to manage work stress and challenges of life in general.
- Community leaders such as kaumatuas etc to empower their people to find the solution within themselves.
- Youth Power: The program has a special place harness the energy and creativity of young people to participate in co-designing of solutions, vetting the same and being part of the network to deliver them to their peers.
Special care and attention will be given to identifying pathways to harmonise the Vedanta and Meditation teachings and practices with the culture and spirituality of the Pakeha, Maori and Pacifika people. This will be done by working closely with their cultural and spiritual leaders.
We sincerely hope that Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre, working in partnership with the Government, business houses, community based organisations and individuals will bring long term comfort and solace in the area of mental wellbeing for the people of New Zealand and other countries.