Meditation techniquesIn his writings and talks, Sri Chinmoy offered many different meditation techniques - from simple tips to still the mind - to the use of mantra, music and visualisation. An example exercise to transcend the mind and invoke the soul "In order to purify your mind, the best thing to do is to feel every day for a few minutes during your meditation that you have no mind. Say to yourself, "I have no mind, I have no mind. What I have is the heart." Then after some time feel, "I don't have a heart. What I have is the soul." When you say, "I have the soul," at that time you will be flooded with purity." - Sri Chinmoy
222 Meditation Exercises 222 Meditation Exercises is a compilation of over 200 different techniques from the writings of Sri Chinmoy. With a wide range of different exercises, there is enough variety for any seeker to find some meditations which work for him. It also mentions some of the factors which can help make meditation a more integral part of someone's daily life - through cultivating qualities such as aspiration, gratitude and determination. The exercises can be a good way for people to give a new focus to their own meditation. "Inside our heart-garden are all our divine qualities. They are like beautiful and fragrant flowers. First, repeat to yourself, "I am inside my heart-garden." Try to see and feel all the beautiful flowers there. Then say, "I am my heart-garden. All the divine flowers inside my heart-garden are part and parcel of my own self." - Extract by Sri Chinmoy The importance of meditation techniques Meditation is an individual experience. Through developing a regular personal practise, seekers will find ways of meditation which ultimately work for them. Sri Chinmoy says the secret of meditation is for the seekers own soul to come to the fore and it is our own soul which will teach us how to meditate. However, in the beginning we value different techniques and guided meditations which help us to silence the mind and bring forward the heart and soul. More info on: The Meditation Book Review The book is well laid out, with excellent pictures and a feeling of simplicity and purity which is conducive to giving a good inspiration to our meditation. It is the kind of book which can be dipped into at regular intervals, allowing the reader to choose the exercises which appeal to them.
Sri Chinmoy Centre activities in GreeceIn recent weeks, members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre from around the world visited Greece to take part in concerts, the Peace Run and meditations for the New Year. On Boxing day 26th, the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run was warmly welcomed by the mayor and people of Kalamata during a one off run to mark the Christmas / New Year. The run was joined by local school children and the mayor of Kalamata. (See: Peace Run)
The Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run in Kalamata, GreeceOn 3rd of January 2017, the all male acapella choir, Oneness-Dream, performed a concert of Sri Chinmoy’s songs in a church of Kalamata. The group have toured many countries around the world, performing in churches and sacred venues. It was the first time they had the opportunity to perform in a church of the Greek Orthodox church. The concert was warmly received by the local priest and parishioners.
Oneness Dream performance of Sri Chinmoy's songsOn the 4th of January, members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre performed a play to a packed audience at the theater in Kalamata. The play, written by Devashishu Torpy, incorporated elements of Greek and Indian culture - combined with excerpts from Sri Chinmoy's own writings - to offer an insight into the shared aspects of the eternal spiritual quest.
Songs of the Soul, AthensOn the 5th of January, there was a Songs of the Soul concert in Athens, where groups of international musicians performed the music of Sri Chinmoy, during a two hour concert. Many people attended and were appreciative of the soulful and uplifting music. In addition to these activities, members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre, on their annual Christmas festival took part in running races, the performance of plays and daily meditations.
Race along Kalamata sea front.Photos: Yatkara Aleksapolskyy and Tejvan Pettinger Related
Impossibility Challenger 2016Impossibility Challenger is an event organised by members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre, where individuals are given the opportunity to test themselves in seeking to transcend their own limitations. During the event, individuals or groups of people can choose any number of challenges which inspires them to seek their own self-transcendence. This can be either to set a new personal best or try to set a new world record. This year event was held in Berlin, Germany. During the weekend there was a varied collection of events - ranging from attempts to run the fastest 100 metres whilst wearing flippers - to reciting an entire poetry book. Notable events included
- Most one handed claps in a minute
- Juggling 3* 5kg balls
- Pulling 10 tonne tractor, plus driver
- Memorising longest sequence of binary numbers in one minute
- Most push ups on raw eggs in a minute.
- Mahiruha's Klein attempt to memorise and recite 843 poems from Sri Chinmoy's poetry book Transcendence-Perfection.
"Either forget impossibility’s challenge Or challenge impossibility’s pride To become truly happy."
- Sri Chinmoy
Agnikana's Group tour of UKRecently, the Czech music group "Agnikana's Group" toured parts of the British Isles to give free concerts of Sri Chinmoy's music. The group played in the major capitals of London, Cardiff, Dublin and Edinburgh, and also York, Bristol and Ipswich. Agnikana's group in London Outside London Church Agnikana's group is an all female ensemble who perform the music of Sri Chinmoy. The concerts were well attended and received positive feedback with audience members describing the music as 'beautiful, peaceful and 'connecting with the soul'. The group played in Edinburgh. The previous week, the Sri Chinmoy Centre had been part of the Edinburgh Festival of Peace and Spirituality, with this artwork displayed at St John’s Church in Princes Street. Final concert in Dublin, Ireland. Related
- Agnikana's Group at Radio Sri Chinmoy
Yoga and the UN Culture of PeaceThe Sri Chinmoy Choir had the honour of performing arrangements of Sri Chinmoy's songs dedicated to the UN and peace at a programme entitled "Yoga and the UN Culture of Peace." The event was held at the United Nations in the prestigious Economic and Social Council Chamber the evening of 28 October 2016. Hosted by His Excellency Ambassador Durga Prasad Bhattarai, the Permanent Representative of Nepal to the UN, the event was webcast live, and the video is also available on the UN website (UN live weblink). The choir opened the programme, after the Deputy Permanent Representative of Nepal, Mr. Nirmal Raj Kafle, offered a few remarks on behalf of Ambassador Bhattarai, declaring that the wealth of yoga belongs to humanity in general. Ms. Nilima Silver, Programme Coordinator of Sri Chinmoy: The Peace Meditation at the United Nations and UN Staff Member, was invited by the organizers to serve as Master of Ceremonies for the evening. In introducing the Choir, she explained that in 1970, then UN Secretary-General U Thant invited spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy to conduct meditations for peace at UN Headquarters in New York. Until his passing in 2007, Sri Chinmoy offered his multifaceted inspiration to the UN community through twice-weekly meditations, concerts and other programmes for peace. Sri Chinmoy also founded a non-governmental organization accredited with the UN Department of Public Information, the international Sri Chinmoy Centre, which provides humanitarian aid and promotes a culture of peace.
Sri Chinmoy ChoirThe singers are honoured to continue in this spirit. On this occasion the choir started with a poem by Sri Chinmoy, followed by several of his songs dedicated to peace and to the UN, with arrangements by members of the Choir.
Ms. Yogmata Keiko AikawaFollowing the choir, the guest of honour, Yogmata Keiko Aikawa, gave the Keynote Address, which was followed by a panel discussion, with questions and answers.
Deputy Permanent Representative of Nepal, Mr. Nirmal Raj KafleThe event served as a continuum to the UN International Day of Yoga, first proposed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his speech to the General Assembly in September 2014. The Assembly later unanimously adopted a resolution recognizing that “wider dissemination of information about the benefits of practising yoga would be beneficial for the health of the world population,” and declaring 21 June the International Day. (See link to the resolution and draft showing initial co-sponsors)
Panel of speakersSee also: Yoga and the UN Culture of Peace Program.pdf
- A/69/L.17 Draft Resolution - Day of Yoga and Co-Sponsors (2014-Nov-07)
- A/69/L.17/Add.1 Added C0-Sponsors for Day of Yoga Draft (2014-Dec-11)
- A/Res/69/131 International Day of Yoga Resolution (Adopted by UN General Assembly 2014-Dec-11)
- Background to International Day of Yoga (excerpts from UNGA Meeting Record A/69/PV.69 and UN Press Release GA/11601)
- See Links at UN site: http://www.un.org/en/ga/69/resolutions.shtml (Resolution and Meeting Record in 6 Languages: Arabic عربي, Chinese 中文, English English, French Français, Russian Русский, Spanish Españo)
- With photos of SG-Yoga: http://www.un.org/en/events/yogaday/message.shtml
- SG ST/SM/17867-Obv/1631 Release:-“respect all” : http://www.un.org/press/en/2016/sgsm17867.doc.htm
Pope Francis blesses the Peace TorchPope Francis blessed and held aloft the Peace Torch from the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Run during his weekly audience in St. Peter’s Square on 12 Oct, 2016. It is the second time Pope Francis has blessed the Torch and offered his good wishes to all those who participate in the international Peace Run. Salil Wilson, director of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run also gave the Pope a painting by Sri Chinmoy (founder of the Run) and a volume of selected drawings and messages of peace and love from children on six continents. The Pope expressed his gratitude for the gifts. See more at Peace Run.org - Pope Francis blesses the Peace Torch.
Finale of European Peace RunThe meeting with Pope Francis was auspicious given the European Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run had recently finished its 2016 leg in Rome, the Eternal City, just a few days prior.
Peace Run team complete their momentous journey in Rome.
“Lasting peace must begin within the depths of the individual, and from there spread in ever-widening circles as a dynamic force for world change.”– Sri Chinmoy
Doves of Peace
Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run
The finaleMany local Italian schoolchildren joined the event which sought to promote the ideals of peace and international friendship. Related
Adriano's account of swimming the English ChannelIn a recent book, Adriano Passini from Brazil explains the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of successfully swimming the English Channel at his first attempt. For Adriano Passini the English Channel was a life-long dream, though one that seemed out of reach. After studying meditation with Sri Chinmoy, he gained a new belief and confidence that it would be possible. In this book, he shares the joys and hardships of his two-year-journey of preparation and finally completion. Short extracts from book "I feel that one of the greatest challenges for a person is to control their own mind. One main aspect of the spiritual life is to bring the mind and the senses under control in order to reach the ultimate goal: complete oneness with our “Inner Pilot,” the soul or God. This is not something that we will be able to achieve within a few weeks, months or years. It may take many incarnations of spiritual discipline to achieve this goal." "In long competitions, concentration and mental control are essential, and I believe that is why Sri Chinmoy encourages the practice of endurance sports. It is not only a question of having a healthy body, but also of developing our inner capacities through sport." "I have been learning more about this each day with my spiritual teacher. Through meditation it is becoming a reality, and I believe every day I am taking another step towards this inner goal. With each race I do, I am more convinced that this philosophy of self-transcendence in sports is helping us to learn to control and go beyond the mind. So we can tell our mind: “Look what I am capable of!” "Occasionally, my mind was still invaded by some negative thoughts, but as soon as I became aware of them, I let them burst like balloons. I did not dwell on them. I prayed, meditated and sang in silence all the time. I had memorized a series of aphorisms to recite during the crossing, but I forgot most of them. So I sang the same five mantric songs over and over again. To relieve my mental tension, sometimes I remembered some jokes or some funny incidents that had happened in my life. I thought of people mimicking others and other funny moments. I did everything I could to entertain myself a little and eventually I even laughed. All of those things made my crossing more pleasant." *** "Up to the fourth hour, my mind had been a little agitated at times, but when the barrier of four hours was broken, things got better. My mind had adapted to the situation and started to calm down. It seemed as though the swimming became more defined, and I was better able to maintain a peaceful meditative state for longer periods of time. The time had come to appreciate the English Channel crossing even more. During the rest of the crossing, I tried to keep just a few thoughts in my mind. One of them was: “I will not give up. I will not give up. I came here to cross the English Channel and I will not leave it except on the French coast!” *** "The mental control I needed during the second half of the crossing was extreme. I believe that, were it not for the meditation that I had been practicing for eight years, I would not have been able to achieve it, at least not on my first attempt. It is startling to remember how vulnerable I felt at times during the swim. Being in the middle of the English Channel with the waves of the sea, unable to see anything around me, not knowing where I was, felt frightening. When I read Sri Chinmoy’s line about the English Channel frightening the human body and puzzling the human mind, I did not quite comprehend what he meant, but now I really started to understand." Related
- Adriano's new book at Sri Chinmoy Races
Peace Runs across the worldRecently, the US section of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run finished in Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza just outside the United Nations headquarters in New York. But, whilst the US section has finished for this year, other Peace Runs continue - in Australasia, Europe, and other locations around the world. Runners from across the world, join in the final leg of the run through New York. Tavishi Matthews from Australia, ran all four months in the US relay leg. The teams of runners on the Peace Run are usually comprised of individuals from all other the world, who come in their own free time to be part of this unique event. Sri Chinmoy (in the background of the picture) founded the run in 1987, he hoped it would prove a dynamic vehicle for bringing people together from different nationalities and cultures. At the launch of the Peace Run in 1987 with Sri Chinmoy (holding torch), Narada Michael Walden and Clarence Clemmons. Whilst the US run has finished for 2016, the Peace Run continues in other parts of the world. In the Ukraine, the European Peace Run continues its journey across the continent, aiming to finish in Milan Italy later this year. A lone runner in Australia takes the Peace Torch across a straight flat round during their Peace Run. In Iceland a local Peace Run involves school children from Reykjavík, who on this day run under a giant rainbow. “This world has everything Save and except one thing, Peace, And this peace has to blossom From within.” – Sri Chinmoy [source] Related
Mother Teresa - a Mother of Compassion and Sister of Affection
The occasion of Mother Teresa's canonisation brought to mind many memories of the kindness and affection that she showed Sri Chinmoy and his students over the years.
Sri Chinmoy and Mother Teresa had a very significant friendship; Sri Chinmoy often described her as his mother of Compassion, and at the same time his Sister of Affection. Over the years, they met quite a few times, and exchanged many letters and phone conversations. Sri Chinmoy and his students worked with Mother Teresa on a number of medical projects that were dear to her heart and she fully supported his peace-oriented activities.
Sri Chinmoy often recalled Mother Teresa's qualities of affection and compassion; for example, during their meeting in 1994 when he presented her with the prestigious U Thant Peace Award on behalf of the Peace Meditation at the United Nations. “We were sitting at a very small table. My hands were folded over my heart,” recounts Sri Chinmoy. “After a few seconds, Mother reached out and pulled my left hand towards her. Then she started pressing my fingers, one by one, from the tip of the finger to the wrist. When she finished with my left hand, she took my right hand from my heart and did the same thing. One moment Mother was acting like a mother, the next moment like an elder sister and the third like a younger sister. It was like a brother and sister having a family gathering. No other world figure has shown me this kind of affection!” During that meeting, Mother Teresa held the Peace Torch from the international Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, the world's largest peace torch relay and offered a most beautiful talk on serving God in the poor. She presented her favourite prayer; her prayer-card she charmingly called her “business card.” It reads:
“The fruit of silence is prayer. The fruit of prayer is faith. The fruit of faith is love. The fruit of love is service. The fruit of service is peace.”Mother lovingly exclaimed to Sri Chinmoy, “I am so pleased with all the good work you are doing for world peace and for people in so many countries. May we continue to work together and to share together all for the glory of God and for the good of man.” “You are the Mother of Compassion,” he replied, deeply moved. “You are the Sister of Affection. You have conquered the hearts of all the poor and needy people you have served. You have not only conquered them, but you have conquered India. Not only India, but the entire world. The entire world has boundless gratitude to you. You have elevated the consciousness of the entire world.” Mother Teresa was to meet with Sri Chinmoy on three more occasions—each time at Mother’s Missionaries of Charity House in the Bronx, New York. Their final meeting took place on June 17th, 1997—during her last visit to America. Sri Chinmoy had planned to write a book for Mother’s upcoming birthday in August, but felt compelled from within to complete the book quickly—just in time for what turned out to be their last meeting. The soul-stirring book is entitled Mother Teresa: Humanity’s Flower Heart; Divinity’s Fragrance-Soul. Mother Teresa exclaimed, “What a wonderful book! This is a most beautiful book! You have my blessings.” She signed one of the copies and gave it to Sri Chinmoy. Following are a few of the many poems about Mother Teresa in the book:
“My sisters and brothers of the world, Are we so blind that we cannot see God’s own Autograph On Mother Teresa’s forehead?”
“Mother, To be in your blessingful presence Is to breathe in A breath of living compassion.”
“Mother Teresa tells the whole world That a heart of love Is infinitely stronger Than we can ever imagine.”Mother Teresa closed the meeting with her soulful request: “Pray for us that we continue to do God’s Work, and I will pray for you that you grow in great love for God and spread that love everywhere you go. Thank you very much.” After this final interview, Sri Chinmoy said: “In Mother Teresa I see so much of Mother Mary. Other women saints have prayed and have been very spiritual, but their works have been limited to a particular town or city or village. Here, in her case, the whole world she has covered. Is there any place she has not gone!” On the morning of her departure from America, June 27th, 1997, Mother called Sri Chinmoy and offered him her most loving and most affectionate blessings. She fervently requested him to pray for her and repeated her sweet demand for him to accompany her to China where she was eager to open a Missionaries of Charity House. That afternoon, just prior to her departure, she wrote a deeply moving letter to Sri Chinmoy: “Thank you for all you are to God, for the beautiful work you have done for the glory of God and the good of souls. I keep you in my prayer and I count on your continual support through your prayers and sacrifices that we may do God’s work with great love for His greater glory.”
Just a few days before Mother’s earthly departure, Sri Chinmoy called Mother Teresa for her birthday on August 27th, 1997 - Sri Chinmoy and Mother Teresa both share the same birthday. This was her 87th birthday and Sri Chinmoy’s 66th birthday. The Sisters caring for Mother mentioned that she had been eagerly speaking about Sri Chinmoy’s call several times. Following is a brief selection from their immortal final phone conversation: Sri Chinmoy: Happy, happier, happiest birthday, Mother! Mother Teresa: Ah! You know it is my birthday! Sri Chinmoy: Mother, who does not know that it is your birthday! When the sun shines, the whole world knows that the sun is shining! I am praying to the Saviour Christ to grant you His very, very special Blessings on your birthday. You came into the world to do something really great, and you have been doing that through your sleepless service to humanity. Mother Teresa: All that you are doing is for the Glory of God and for the good of people! Pray for me, as I pray for you for all of your many projects for world peace. Your works of love are works of prayer, and your works of prayer are works of God. On the evening of September 5th, 1997, in Warsaw, Poland, Sri Chinmoy received the shattering news of Mother Teresa’s passing. Immediately he held a long period of silent meditation with nearly 2000 of his students. In the following weeks, Sri Chinmoy offered his special prayers and held memorial programmes for Mother Teresa. His students sang a loving eulogy which he wrote for Mother and set to music entitled Mother Teresa: Calcutta’s Soaring Bird. This was sung at churches all over the world.
“Mother Teresa: Calcutta’s Soaring Bird India’s Sailing Moon The World’s Weeping Sky Earth’s Tearing Loss Heaven’s Dancing Gain The Christ’s Blossoming Promise The Mother Mary’s Harvesting Pride.”
- Mother Teresa: Humanity’s Flower-Heart, Divinity’s Fragrance-Soul, part 1 at Sri Chinmoy Library
Close finish in Sri Chinmoy Self Transcendence 3100 Mile RaceYuri Trostenyuk, a student of Sri Chinmoy from the Ukraine, won the 2016 edition of the 3100 Mile Race - with current record holder Asprihanal Aalto (Finland) finishing shortly after.
Yuri crosses the finish line after an epic journey of 46+ days2016 was the 20th annual Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race and it provided the closest finish, with a late surge by Asprihanal making it a narrow margin of victory for Yuri, who also completed his fourth edition of the race.
Asprihanal, the course record holder, offers his sincere appreciation to his brother competitor Yuri.After finishing the race, Yuri Trostenyuk expressed his great joy and gratitude for completing the race. He talked about the inner significance of the race:
“We are not just running on a concrete sidewalk. We are not on a path that leads to wealth and fame. This path leads us to the depths of our hearts. The place where God lives within us. Where it is his home. I was there. There is everything there in order to be happy.”In an epic race, Yuri finished in a time of 46 days +01:10:25 - averaging 67 miles / 108.346 km per day. In 2015, Mr Aalto set the current all-time record for 3100 miles in a blistering speed of 40 days +09 hours. However, perhaps suffering from the effects of last years effort, Asprihanal struggled in the early parts of this years race, but the flying Finn finished in a flurry - covering an average of 78.61 miles over the final four days to push Yuri all the way to the finish.
The start of the 2016 raceOther runners Atmavir Petr Spacil and Vasu Duzhiy are also close behind and set to finish very soon. In the womens race Kaneenika Janakova and Surasa Mairer are also edging closer to the magic 3100 mile mark. Related
Blue Flower - Music groupBlue Flower is a music group, dedicated to the music of Sri Chinmoy, which was formed in Novi Sad, Serbia in 1998. Recently, they have released a new album "In Ecstasy-Sea" which includes many soulful and haunting interpretations of Sri Chinmoy's compositions. Like many music groups of the Sri Chinmoy Centre, Blue Flower combine both Eastern and Western instruments with vocals, to create a unique sound, which has been appreciated by music lovers across Europe and the US. Their new album available at Radio Sri Chinmoy - 'In Ecstasy-Sea' Previous albums by Blue Flower O Beauty-Infinity (2005) Blossoming (2007) Petals of My Dreaming-Heart (2009) Members of Blue Flower include
- Keyboard – Eshana, Uchita; Harmonium, Eshana, Uchita; Guitar – Kulesvari; Cello – Chintamani; Metalophone – Kamaneeya; Drum – Svetlana; Flute – Rathika; Percussions – Martina, Prasatti; Voices – Celana, Chintamani, Eshana, Kamaneeya, Kulesvari, Martina, Prakashita, Prasatti, Purupriya, Ratkhika, Svetlana, Uchita, Viniyogaha.
- Blue Flower at Radio Sri Chinmoy
40 Peace TalksIn Australia, students of Sri Chinmoy are presenting 40 Peace talks around the country to commemorate Sri Chinmoy's first visit in 1976. The talks offer an opportunity to learn about Sri Chinmoy's approach to peace and how this can be made a practical reality in the lives of individuals. Picture of Sri Chinmoy, with talk introduced by Animesh Harrington Sri Chinmoy was a spiritual Teacher who, in his own words, was 'A student of peace.' During his time in the West, Sri Chinmoy gave many talks on the subject of peace, and also offered Peace Concerts around the world. In addition to teaching meditation, prayer and devotional music, Sri Chinmoy also believes that peace can be spread through dynamism and sport. To this end he founded the "Sri Chinmoy Peace Run" a grassroots initiative to run around the world, meeting people and seeking to cultivate the ideals of peace, friendship and harmony.
Students of Sri Chinmoy - Unmilan and Animesh advertising the concert.The talks are offered in a way for people to find out about Sri Chinmoy and his philosophy of peace. Related
Peace Run in the HimalayasRecently, the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run has been visiting Nepal and the Himalayan mountains, including a visit to the foothills of Mount Everest. Peace Run at Nagarkot statue in Nepal. The region is still recovering from the effects of the recent earthquake, but the locals willingly embraced the run as a symbol of hope for a better future. This is in Khumjung village - 4,000m above sea level, near Mount Everest. There is a statue in memory of Sir Edmund Hillary, who with Sherpa Tensing, was the first to climb Mount Everest in 1953. Schools welcome the Peace Run and message of harmony and understanding. This is at a school assembly in Nagarkot. The beauty of the Himalayan mountains.
“Lasting peace must begin within the depths of the individual, and from there spread in ever-widening circles as a dynamic force for world change.”– Sri Chinmoy Related
The inspiration to organise a triathlonRecently, the UK Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team organised the fourth Sri Chinmoy 'Tri a Triathlon'. It is billed as 'the perfect beginner's triathlon' and is very popular with people, wishing to give the triathlon a go - often for the first time. The multi-disciplined event requires a team of over 40 volunteers, responsible for helping to marshal and time the swim, cycle and run sections. The main organisers are Garga and Kokila Chamberlain, who became inspired to organise a triathlon from a brief comment, Sri Chinmoy made several years ago.
Organisers, Kokila and Garga giving a pre-swim briefing.In around 2003, Sri Chinmoy was at a function in Paris. In passing, he mentioned he would be very happy if the British centres held a triathlon. To many at the event, this brief comment was soon forgotten, lost in the intensity of spending a few hours with Sri Chinmoy. That weekend, Sri Chinmoy spoke about many things, and there was a vortex of spiritual activities and energy so it was easy to forget a short comment such as that. However, the talk of a triathlon stirred something in the mind of Garga and he became determined to see the vision of a British triathlon manifest in reality. A few years later, a joy day with students of Sri Chinmoy morphed into a trial triathlon where the only competitors were members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre. We had a 100m swim in a local pool, before a leisurely breakfast and then a move to quiet Cambridge road to have a bit of a cycle. After this brief foray into the world of cycling we retired for a typically English summer lunch of Cucumber sandwiches and generous portions of cake. Those not too weighed down by mid-day lunch completed the very relaxed approach to a triathlon with a 2 mile run around Parker’s Piece. The Ironman, this triathlon was not, though technically we did manage swim, cycle run. It was a bit of fun, but there wasn’t so much enthusiasm to organise a proper triathlon. It seemed quite a step into the unknown and there were the practical difficulties of organising a large-scale multi-disciplined event in the cool climate of the UK. However, Garga’s persistence saw the birth of a triathlon in the village of Portishead a few miles from Bristol. There is a saying ‘where there is a will there is a way’ and this is particularly true for the spiritual life, with enthusiasm and willingness practical difficulties can be overcome. The first triathlon was not all plain sailing - cold, wet and windy. But, it exceeded expectations and with the first one done, everyone gained confidence. The Sri Chinmoy Tri a Triathlon has emerged as a popular event for both competitors and organisers. Competitors have been generous in praise of the cheerful encouragement from all the volunteers who take part in the event. A few years after organising the first triathlon, Garga had a near-fatal heart attack, yet he took this not as a reason to retire and take it easy, but as an unexpected ‘rebirth’ and he continues to organise and promote triathlons with undimmed enthusiasm. You wouldn't notice from his calm demeanour during the hectic weekend of the event that he was once at death's door. In fact, he has set up other duathlon events, which help to get people interested in the multi-discipline sport. The Tri a Triathlon has given quite a few competitors the chance to gain the joy and satisfaction from their first steps at self-transcendence in the triathlon world.
The joy of completing the courseSpeaking about the event Garga Chamberlain states:
"I organise the Try-a-Tri for two reasons. Firstly it was Sri Chinmoy's asking the question that made me think, why not? We could do that! Secondly I get so much enjoyment from racing myself, especially multi sport events, that I wanted to share that joy with other people. There's a special energy that you feel at beginners events, when everyone is taking a step into a new adventure , and that's what makes the Try-a-Tri so unique. I'm always inspired by all my clubmates from the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team and triathlon club who come along to help at the race. Some travel from the other end of the country, or even from abroad, to offer help and encouragement to the new triathletes taking part in their first event. We've been serving the running community here in the UK for over 30 years and now we're doing it in the world of triathlon too."Video from triathlon https://vimeo.com/168739820 It's not always as sunny as this. But in 2016, the weather was very kind.
Sri Chinmoy spoke on the importance of triathlons and why he encouraged his students to organise them.
"I encourage and inspire my students to organise and participate in triathlons, long-distance races and short-distance races precisely because I feel that the world needs dynamism. The outer world needs dynamism and the inner world needs peace. "- Sri Chinmoy, The outer running and the inner running. Related Video http://www.srichinmoy.tv/the-inner-meaning-of-triathlon/ Related
- Tri a Triathlon at Sri Chinmoy Races
Muhammad AliBoxing legend Muhammad Ali passed away recently; Ali was an Olympic and multiple World Champion, who also transcended sport with his deep convictions and unique personality.
Sri Chinmoy and Muhammad Ali meditate together Sept 1977.Sri Chinmoy was a great admirer of Muhammad Ali. In his meetings, he made a few comments about Muhammad Ali.
"You are changing the face and fate of mankind. Your very name encourages and inspires. As soon as people hear 'Muhammad Ali,' they are inspired. They get tremendous joy. They get such dynamism to be brave and face ignorance. Your very name does that. That's why I am so grateful to you, so proud of you."- Sri Chinmoy, The seeker's mind
"Although you have got the supreme honour from all over the world, you have maintained your humility; that is why you will always remain greater than the greatest."- Sri Chinmoy, 30 January 1979, UN Plaza Hotel
"You don’t have to say that you are the greatest, but your heart of oneness with all humanity makes you the greatest."- Sri Chinmoy, 30 January 1979, UN Plaza Hotel
Meeting 29 September, 1977 On the morning of his championship fight with Earnie Shavers on 29 September, 1977, Muhammad Ali met with Sri Chinmoy and members of the Meditation Group for an hour of prayer, meditation and discussion. Sri Chinmoy garlanded the champion and presented him with a trophy, saying, “A long with this is my heart. My heart is inside this. ”
Sri Chinmoy and Muhammad Ali meditate together Sept 1977Later, Sri Chinmoy commented on this meeting: Sri Chinmoy: I wish to say a few words about the world-champion, Muhammad Ali. Yesterday was a most significant day both for the members of the Meditation Group and for the champion, Muhammad Ali (Pointing to the two photographs, below:) "This is Muhammad Ali in his physical consciousness and this is Muhammad Ali in his soulful consciousness. Each individual has two aspects: the physical aspect and the spiritual aspect. This moment he expresses himself or reveals his capacities through physical means; the next moment he expresses his reality’s divinity through spiritual means. In this picture we see Muhammad Ali in a devoted, soulful, cheerful and powerful consciousness. Right beside it is another picture which brings forward his other aspect: physical strength."
Several years ago, Sri Chinmoy honoured Muhammad Ali with a special "Lifting up the World with a Oneness-Heart". Muhammad Ali appreciated the spiritual and peaceful message of this initiative.
"Sri Chinmoy is a very spiritual man. I feel the reason Sri Chinmoy lifted this weight is because of his love of God and belief that through God all things are possible. This man has done the impossible because of faith, wisdom and love of God.- Muhammad Ali.
Amongst his many awards, in 2005, Ali received America's two highest civilian awards - the Presidential Citizens Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom - for "exemplary services" to the country. In Britain, BBC viewers voted him Sports Personality of the Century, and he was given a similar award from Sports Illustrated in the US. In 2005, he opened the non-profit Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky, which promotes peace, social responsibility and respect.
Aphorism cards and incenseIn Australia, an enterprise 'Incense of the World' has combined its business of incense with handing out aphorism cards by Sri Chinmoy. Incense is in the Air by Grahak Cunningham
PushpendraIt is not often you meet travelling salesman who sell goods that help make the world a better place but Victorian Pushpendra Uppal has a selection of goods he has peddled for nearly 20 years that help do just that- well they help the world smell better anyway – incense. The company he helped develop with owner Guni Warmington in Melbourne, Incense of the World has been spreading its fragrant wings since 1998 with clients in every state and a distribution network of high end incense from manufacturers throughout Bali, Nepal, India and Japan. Pushpendra wasn’t initially destined to become a travelling incense salesman. It was science that Pushpendra was initially drawn to as his father Rajinder Kumar was an industrial chemist, who arrived from India in 1958. Interestingly Rajinder didn’t really migrate to Australia by choice. Whilst furthering his studies to be a doctor in India, he was bitten by a dog and developed a Hydatid cyst infection which spread to his spine, a rare complication. Pushpendra’s grandfather, a doctor, contacted the World Health Organisation to find the best place for treatment for his eldest son. A call went out around the world for experts in this field and the answer came from Dr Samuel Fitzpatrick in Hamilton, Victoria. Sheep were commonly infected with the parasite and a doctor there had developed a treatment regime from treating sheep workers who contracted the disease. Through Rotary funding and after almost a year of hospital and rehabilitation Rajinder moved to Melbourne and obtained a job the next day. He eventually found an Aussie wife and had twins, Veeraja and Pushpendra. The then unusual mixed racial marriage was quickly embraced by the family back home in New Delhi at the prospect of bringing two bouncing twin boys into the fold. Following in his father’s footsteps Pushpendra studied Science at university as did his brother, but with a love of India’s heritage and customs, incense was in his veins. He jumped at the chance to work selling incense products and the opportunities that come with it. “I generally visit stores which are there to better people. Health food stores, gift stores, book stores and so on. I get to travel all over the country and visit manufacturers overseas. It is a great job. I love it.” Pushpendra has been in Western Australia for the last month, visiting customers in the South West, Great Southern, Metropolitan and Mid West regions. If you hire a car from the airport and it smells extremely nice, it was probably his and the remnants of the Japanese incense he sells still floating through the air. It is his favourite type as the Japanese are most renowned for their subtlety, purity and beautiful visual presentation of incense. “The Japanese have elevated the use of incense to a poetic and cultural dimension without equivalent in the world,” he said. “Each blend of incense has been created and refined over centuries and is made in strict accordance to the ancient traditional Japanese lore. The Japanese appreciate 'incense time' at Koh-do (Incense Ceremony) as we enjoy 'tea time' for relaxation, refreshment and communion with others.” Incense of the World endeavours to support cottage industries on the sub-continent. It distributes products like paper journals from the Himalayas and Tibetan incense from a Buddhist Nunnery in Nepal. Their production provides important employment for low income families whilst preserving the age-old incense and paper-making techniques of past generations. Whilst the workshop was badly damaged, thankfully none of the incense workers or their family members were hurt in the recent earthquake. “We enjoy giving back. Proceeds from incense and journal sales support the preservation and replantation of Lokta in Dolkha and Sindhupaichok, Nepal. We also give away aphorism cards by Sri Chinmoy which are found on the counters of many different stores in Australia and in many countries around the world. These cards help touch people in a positive way.” To date over 1.3 million have been given out in Australia alone. With sayings like ‘You follow your heart’s love and your life’s happiness will follow you.’ they have a positive impact on whoever reads them. As do the fragrant blends that Pushpendra distributes throughout the nation. “Fragrances remind us of home, garden, friends, ceremonies, the memories of childhood,” he explains. “Without the sense of smell, our lives would be far less interesting. Incense aims to touch on that part of ourselves.”
Monk PartyMonk Party is a New Zealand based musical group made up of a father and son duo Pragunya and Nelson Myers-Daley. Recently, they have recently been offering a series of concerts in Australia and New Zealand. Monk Party’s influences include the kirtan devotional music scene, ancient Indian mantras, plus a wide range of world and spiritual music. Last August they played in front of a capacity crowd with Krishna Das which Nelson rates as one of his career highlights “It was fantastic,” he said “and a real honour”. The melodies of Sri Chinmoy which Monk Party play, aim to uplift and inspire the audience. Sri Chinmoy once said that “music will play a most important role in bringing about world oneness.” Nelson’s favourite instruments in fact come from right around the globe and are northern African and Arabic drums, flute and harmonium. Other instruments the group uses include darbuka, riq, cajón, frame drums, badhran, pennywhistle, nylon guitar, gongs, chakra bells and bansuri flute. Their excess baggage bills are apparently huge! Besides their own concerts, they have played at Diwali festivals, meditation classes and have had several radio interviews with the interviewers obviously interested in their music and spiritual lifestyle. In performances the audiences loved watching them play. Monk Party has released three CD’s with the fourth set to hit the stands over the next few weeks. Monk Party’s arrangements also contain a modern ambience and dynamism which has made them more appealing to a wider audience. The young people in our crowd were really inspired and were still raving about them months later at meditation classes. With their new CD set for release they are pretty inspired. “This album is the work of songs that we have been performing for the last year and a half. Each song has evolved in a very natural way, the arrangements are quite simple but we try to play the songs in a way that inspires people and brings forward peace and dynamism,” said Nelson. “We are very influenced by middle eastern music so on this album we have for the first time in our recordings the ‘oud’ which is a beautiful fretless instrument that captures the haunting aspect of Sri Chinmoy’s melodies and brings a new addition to our sound. We also have a wide range of percussion drums which are used in traditional music such as Spanish, Indian and Arabic music. Pragunya’s guitar playing in this CD gives the whole project the warmth, direction and feel which is interwoven within each melody. “In this album we hope to offer our love of music and touch people’s hearts with the devotional aspect of life.“ The oud was a predecessor of the sarod and it is really nice. One of the many instruments that they play in their set. Original reporting by Grahak. Published Inspiration Sun, Issue #4.
Projects for happinessMembers of the Sri Chinmoy Centre have been involved in various projects promoting happiness, including participation in the United Nations International Day of Happiness. An event at Panorama Cafe, New York entitled "Happiness in Poetry”, which included sharing short poems and aphorisms on the theme of happiness.
In one of the largest bookstores in Bratislava, Slovakia, there was an event to mark a new translation of the popular book - 'The Jewels of Happiness' by Sri Chinmoy. The event was called “The Secret of Happiness” to honour the spirit of the International Day of Happiness. A beautiful atmosphere was created by Agnikana’s muisc group. Before the event, each participant received a card with a quote about happiness from the new card series “Be Happy.” During the program, the presenters talked about happiness and read excepts from the book. Two videos were also shown: one about the book’s author, Sri Chinmoy, and the second video featured readings by Addwitya Roberta Flack and Madhurima Judith Light on happiness. Jharna Kala Exhibition. In Iceland the international Day of Happiness was celebrated at an event at the UNESCO Literary House in Reykjavik. Bhikshuni, a student of Sri Chinmoy, was invited as a guest poet/speaker. Icelandic disciples under the direction of Suballabha also participated, performing three of Sri Chinmoy’s songs for the occasion, including an arrangement by Laufey of Sada Susanga. Related
- Quotes on Happiness by Sri Chinmoy
- A Quest for happiness - Article by Abhinabha
The Peace Run in the BalkansRecently, the European leg of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run has started passing through the Balkan countries. A white peace dove for peace in the city of Banja Luka in Bosnia-Herzegovena. (9th May) The run has met many local communities where people have participated in initiatives for peace, such as this. Mr. Borut Pahor, President of Slovenia received the Peace Run at his residency in Ljubljana. (4th May) Throughout the run, the Peace Run visit local schools where the next generation of young people are able to participate in the event to promote peace and harmony in our daily lives. A symbolic and meaningful meeting on a bridge between Croatia and Bosnia i Herzegovina. The meeting included members of the international team of Peace Runners, local dignitaries and local schoolchildren (9th May) Over the next few weeks, the Run will visit Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania on its long journey to finishing in Rome, Italy towards the end of the year.
“This world of ours has everything save and except one thing: peace. And this peace has to start from within. If I have peace of mind, then only can I be of help to you. If you have peace of mind, then only can you be of help to me.”– Sri Chinmoy The Sri Chinmoy Peace Run does not seek to raise money or highlight any political cause; it seeks to offer a practical method to encourage people's heart-felt wish for peace in the world. You can follow the Peace Run at Peace Run.org Related
- Peace Run at Sri Chinmoy.org
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