GreenFriends started in India in 2001 as a movement for the
preservation and protection of the environment. It has since spread
to Amma’s groups around the world. GreenFriends encourages us to
reawaken our awareness of the unity between Nature and humanity
and to cultivate an attitude of love and reverence for Mother Nature.
Through the power of individual acts of love and prayer, every person
has the potential to play a vital role in restoring the lost harmony
between humanity and Nature. As “GreenFriends,” people practise
meditation, plant trees, conserve natural resources in daily life and participate in projects that promote environmental awareness.
Launch of GreenFriends™ Europe
During Easter (from 2 to 5 of April), GreenFriends leaders from different European countries met in the French ashram to launch GreenFriends-Europe, the informal network of all Embracing-the-World’s Green Initiatives in Europe.
The 3-days retreat was prepared so that people could really meet. On Friday evening few discovery games have been played as a way to discover each other. On Saturday and Sunday morning there were different workshops. People got to know each other by doing concrete things together: building of the mandala garden for the ashram’s seed garden, bread cooking in the traditional wood oven, GrowIn workshops in the French ashram GrowIn space, ecological plasters with lime, straw and clay, Nature meditation walk, sharings on use of EM, organic vegetable gardening… Also on Sunday evening, a large party took place, filled with joy.
The meeting was also the opportunity to have working times. On Saturday afternoon 11 selected projects from all over Europe were presented, as well as a UNESCO Initiative that Embracing-the-World is starting to be promoted as a worldwide key actor on education for sustainable living. On Monday morning a large meeting enabled the participants to discuss the best way to work together in the future. For example, GreenFriends-Europe will start a European Volunteer Service Initiative with the European Commission and will use AVIEW, the videoconference tool developed by Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, for bimonthly e-meetings.
Bri. Dipamrita and Br. Shubamrita gave inspiring satsangs. Bri. Dipamrita emphasised the interest in today’s world to build ecological spiritual centers. The French ashram has started building a network of ecological spiritual centers from different traditions. Br. Shubamrita shared his path on the ecological issues.
The key time during the retreat was the puja for the inauguration of the bee sanctuary. This project, known as BABEL, has been important for the French ashram and created a large human dynamics among youth. This inauguration was a deep moment, full of joy, simplicity and grace, as the project was. On Monday the first bee swarm was installed in the sanctuary, so that anyone can now come and meditate with the bees!
The sharing to conclude the retreat was full of gratefulness. There was the clear desire from all of the participants that this event will give way to a concrete collaboration. Let’s hope Amma’s Grace will flow on the participants’ willingness to serve a living in harmony with Nature.
There is a new GreenFriends™ France website: www.greenfriends-france.org
To download the 2009 GreenFriends™ France PDF magazines in english, click on the links below:
- Download August 2009 PDF
- Download February 2009 PDF
"Living in the Respect of Nature" 2008
Click here to download the Powerpoint Leafet
In the past it was common to
worship Mother Nature by
planting small forest bowers,
or sacred groves. Now that
tradition is all but lost.
GreenFriends is protecting
sacred groves and establishing
Amrita Forests Project
Every November in India, GreenFriends distributes and plants 100,000
saplings in the state of Kerala. Individual members also plant trees in
their communities. GreenFriends maintains 200 greenhouses in the state,
and distributes over 500 saplings each year. During 2005, following the
tsunami disaster, GreenFriends organized the planting of 30,000 saplings
along the seashore to protect the coastal villages of Alappad. The
project, “GreenShore,” is helping to stabilize 13 kilometres of shoreline
by preventing erosion of soil and sand. In 2006, GreenFriends planted
another 25,000 saplings to maintain these shoreline groves.