Issue 10 - May 2010


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

This issue is packed with news from groups around the world, sharing ideas about dynamic service projects in their communities. You’ll meet members from several TOS groups in India, from Australia, France, Spain and Tanzania. We bring news of TOS events at the Theosophical Society World Congress in Rome and celebrate the publication of two new books that will be of interest to TOS members. There is also information about a campaign to stop the rape trade and suggestions for ways that you could use two UN days celebrated in the coming months as a focus for service activities. Our article in this issue is Radha Burnier’s explanation of why TS conventions have a vegetarian diet. The visual contribution is from an outstanding international photographer, known for his thought provoking images.

Thank you for being part of our ‘in-touch’ community. Together we can make a real difference to every person, animal and plant whose lives we touch with joy and compassion.

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

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, either through your National TOS Director/President/Coordinator/Correspondent or directly to the editors at:



The TOS at the TS World Congress in Rome

We are happy to let you know that a TOS panel is included on the programme of this event. The overall theme of the Congress is “Universal brotherhood without distinctions: a road to awareness”. The theme of the TOS panel will be “Service as a road to awareness”.   Read more ….


New publications

A brand new Quest book will be available in Rome - or shortly thereafter at It is Joy Mills' Reflections on an Ageless Wisdom: A Commentary on The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett. We also announce with a fanfare a new TOS publication that we hope to be ready to release at the Rome Congress: Helping the Dying, by Nelda Samarel.  


An energetic AGM in Assam & Arunachal Region, India

As has been reported before, the TOS in India has over one hundred active TOS groups divided into 20 regions.  Are the Annual General Meetings of these groups and regions rather classic, not to say dry affairs where administrative reports are read, votes taken and then tea served?  Let us see for ourselves by reading this description of the AGM of Assam & Arunachal Region. 


TOS news from around the world

Find out about recent TOS activities in Australia, the Delhi Region of India, France, Spain and Tanzania.   Read more …


Dynamic work in Orissa, India

Under the efficient leadership of TOS Secretary, Mrs Deepa Padhi, the Mahabharat TOS Group in Orissa, India, continues to be very active, running educational, health and welfare programs for the destitute, particularly women.  Read more ….



What’s new on the International TOS website?

So far, screening for vision impairment has been carried out in five schools and two slum areas of Chennai, totalling some 8,500 school children and slum dwellers. In the Featured Project we bring an update on the Seeing Eyes for Everyone Project coordinated by the Chennai TOS. His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso; The Fourteenth Dalai Lama provides us with practical suggestions for nurturing our sense of compassion for all around us in the new Featured Article: Compassion and the Individual. There are also additions to the TOS photo gallery and the Inspiration section.   Go to



Help for women’s cooperative

After the tsunami, two self-help groups were established and helped to set up paper recycling plants as ecologically sound employment opportunities, principally for the wives of fishermen whose livelihood had been lost. The Annai Theresa group has recently benefited from the donation of a motorised pulley to lift the paper to a raised drying area, through the generosity of a New Zealand member.   Read more ….


The reason why      by Radha Burnier

A question occasionally arises about the dietary norm adopted at theosophical centres, conferences, summer schools, and so forth, where only vegetarian food is made available. Now and again a member remarks that HPB herself was not a vegetarian, implying that Theosophy and vegetarianism are unconnected.   Read more ….


Help stop the rape trade

Did you know that millions of women and girls are sold for rape every year – 2 every minute. Avaaz, a web-based global social action community, is currently campaigning on a number of fronts to stop the rape trade.   Read more ….


UN International Days for community activities

We feature two International Days:
  August 12         International Youth Day
  September 21  International Day of Peace

For information and ideas for activities in which TOS groups could engage,    Read more ….


A thought provoking photograph

Are animals aware of what is happening to their family members? A famous photographer asks this question with his evocative photograph.    View the photograph ….


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With best wishes,

    Carolyn and Diana

Diana Dunningham Chapotin is the International Secretary of the TOS and
Carolyn Harrod is the National Coordinator of the TOS in Australia.

One has to forge oneself into an instrument of service. This involves a radical reorganisation of the whole nature, a work which lies less on the outer plane than on the planes of one's inner being. This reorganisation amounts to a spiritual rebirth, and Brotherhood is its basis.   - J. Krishnamurti