EN 35 – JUNE 2015     Website Home


  • Healing a Nation
  • A life well lived
  • Changing the mindset of violence against women and more . . .
  • Take a TOS trip to Cambodia
  • What environmental organisations are too afraid to talk about
  • How to think globally and act locally
  • TOS News from around the world
    • USA 
    • Philippines
    • Hungary
  • What’s new on the International TOS website? (Under Featured News, see our special photographic farewell to Carolyn Harrod as part of the EN team.)
  • Desks in rural India
  • Birds that sing in the dark


Your own Self-Realisation is the greatest service you can render the world.

― Ramana Maharshi

Dear fellow-members of the TS and TOS around the world,


The older we become the more we realise that balance is the key to spiritual growth.  The theosophical triad of study, meditation and service exemplifies this. Study utilises our ability to reason and think logically.  Meditation helps us to tap into our Higher Selves, the divine within, and gives us respite from today’s hectic world.  Service then is the fulcrum – the point of balance.  Service is that part of the triad which allows us to demonstrate the divine in the world.


Let’s keep in touch and continue to share our experiences. Please consider sending photographs of your TOS activities and news items that might be of interest to fellow TOS members. We would welcome your contributions by email to the editors at nancy.tosinternational@gmail.com.


Remember that the newsletter is designed to be read while you are connected to the internet.


With best wishes in putting theosophical principles into action,

Nancy, Diana, Geoffrey, Rozi and Vicki


Our very best wishes to Carolyn Harrod upon her retirement from the EN team. Heartfelt thanks. We’ll miss you!


The editorial team (L to R, top to bottom)

Geoffrey Harrod, International TOS Webmaster
Vicki Jerome, Proofreader extraordinaire
Rozi Ulics, Assistant International TOS Webmaster
Diana Dunningham Chapotin, past International Secretary of the TOS

Nancy Secrest, International Secretary of the TOS


Want to donate to short and long term relief for the victims of the April 25 earthquake in Nepal and its aftershocks? Click here for information.


TOS Healing Intention 

We invite you to join us in a healing intention directed toward the people of Ukraine who are caught up in the armed conflict between Russian and Ukrainian forces. Read more here...

The TOS salutes Henning Christensen

On March 23, 2015, Henning Christensen, a dedicated member and worker for the Canadian Theosophical Association and the TOS in Canada, passed away in Calgary, Alberta a few days short of his 76th birthday.

Henning was one of those infinitely kind, hardworking and reliable servers always present in the background and about whose life you find out really interesting facts only after they pass on. Loving and fun, strong yet discreet, Henning was the right hand helper of the current National Director of the TOS in Canada, his wife Lorraine. They have done outstandingly fine service work together. We extend our deepest sympathy to Lorraine and their four children. Read about Henning’s life here.


Changing the Mindset of Violence Against Women and More ...

Dr Deepa Padhi and her TOS team continue their multi-faceted campaign in Odisha, India to stop violence against women.  In Deepa’s latest report, we read of a new initiative to give self-defence training to young girls at the Adruta Children’s Home. In spite of their impressive concentration on gender issues, the TOS group have continued their many other activities and commitments. In October, they welcomed special guests, International TOS President Tim Boyd and his wife Lily and in November Ms Ananya Sri Ram Rajan from the TOS-USA. Read of these joy-filled visits and enjoy the many photos here...



A Sacred Sights and Service Tour 11-23 October 2015

Join the TOS in Australia for a TOS fundraiser group tour to the Kingdom of Cambodia. You will see the three major temples in Siem Reap plus pay visits to the charities sponsored by the TOS Sunshine Coast and visit the bustling capital Phnom Penh. The tour has been planned at a leisurely pace, offering plenty of time for relaxation or private sightseeing. The TOS Australia receives $30 for each booking.

The tour offers a unique day trip to a remote Khmer village and a visit to a school where one of our TOS workers volunteers. Most Westerners are unable to visit such an authentic and remote village. Read more here.

You do not have to be a member of the TS or TOS to participate.

For further information check this link on TOS Australia’s National website or contact tos-australia@gmail.com.



Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

“Is a ground-breaking feature-length environmental documentary following an intrepid filmmaker as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today, and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organisations are too afraid to talk about it.” (Cowspiracy – official trailer, published on June 6, 2014)


Want some ideas for putting Theosophy into action on our own doorsteps?

Check out this eminently practical article on our website written by Carolyn Harrod, entitled Serving in Our Communities.

TOS news from around the world

The Theosophical Order of Service–USA, at its February 2015 board meeting, approved a $2,000 grant to the Mushrooms for Well Being Foundation: Mushrooms in Ghana Project. The funds will help to renovate and complete a spawn (mushroom seed) laboratory at Bemcom Training and Resource Centre in Techiman, Ghana, West Africa.

In this issue you’ll also find news from our Philippine members about how they continue to take Theosophy out into the community – this time to employees of the city government of Iligan and to students at Mindanao State University. The TOS in Hungary has begun working with the Roma Advocacy Organisation of Tápióbicske to provide clothing and educational encouragement for the most vulnerable gypsy population of the village. Read more here.



What’s new on the International TOS website?

In our Latest News, we bid farewell to Carolyn. Sad news for us, glad for her! Carolyn Harrod retires from the international TOS team after eight years’ dynamic participation, “often as the brains behind the operation” according to our former International Secretary, Diana. Carolyn and her husband Geoffrey designed our e-newsletter in 2008 and have produced it ever since. They also designed and created our website. Carolyn picked up the TOS’s strategic plan created by fellow Australian Dorothy Bell after wide consultation and ensured that the team followed it over its five-year life.  She wrote a lot of the resource material to be found on our website and in our Handbook (which she also designed).  She masterminded and led our last TOS Conference, held at Olcott in July 2013  ̶  all this while acting as National Coordinator, then Treasurer, of the TOS in Australia and some of the time Coordinator of the TOS team in her home city of Brisbane.

Are we going to miss our TOS Wonder Woman?  What a question!  We cling to Geoff’s continuing presence for comfort as new team members appear to fill the breach. (Rozi Ulics is our newest colleague but to see our whole international team, look here.)

Carolyn: we love you, we thank you!  Readers: enjoy this collection of photos of our Carolyn in action. (She avoids the limelight so it was hard gathering these!)  See photos here.



In our Featured Article we share with you the talk given by Mrs Usha Shah, Convenor of the TOS in Kenya, during the Theosophical Society Convention held at Adyar in December 2014. Usha’s heartfelt talk was truly one of the highlights of the convention.

“Bringing Change to East Africa”- There is a very poignant memory I have of a Hindi song from a film called Boot Polish. Two young children in the song are asked what they are holding in their closed fist and they answer, “In our fist we are holding our fortune. We are going to control our own destiny!” The song goes on to say that there will be no hunger, no misery, no sadness and all will have a crown on their heads!



How does visiting a farm, trekking up a mountain side, making origami flowers and fantasy animals instil good moral values and a sense of brotherhood within children?

As our Featured Project The TOS in Colombia may have the answer as their continuing work with children shows.

Desks in rural India

Does the TOS need to become more creative?  Marjorie Emerson of Ojai, California sent us this link to a brilliant piece of thinking to help needy school children in the state of Maharashtra in India.
Watch this two-minute video here.



Birds that sing in the dark

Mrs Manju Sundaram, in her talk at the 2014 Adyar Convention, used a quote by Rabindranath Tagore, “Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings while it is still dark.” We love the quote and thought you might like to see this famous line put to song. Watch this You Tube video.


Bon Appétit!


“The Gods created certain kinds of beings to replenish our bodies; they are the trees and the plants and the seeds.”  
̶  Plato