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New Year Peace Run

To celebrate the New Year, the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run took part in events in Montenegro and Croatia.

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Peace Run on the top of Lovćen Mountain

On New Year’s Eve, an international team of runners  marked the start of the upcoming year’s events by visiting the sacred mountain of Lovćen a national park of Montenegro.

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Carrying the Peace Run torch across the top of Lovcen mountain

The volunteers carried the Peace Torch to the snow capped mountain, which also serves as a monument to the most influential poet of Montenegro - Petar Petrović Njegoš. 

peace run
Team of Peace Runners in Dubrovnik 10 km race

On the following day, a team of Peace Runners took part in Dubrovnik's New Year 10 km race. The runners were interviewed by local TV and were able to share the message of the Peace Run founder Sri Chinmoy - that the Peace Run aspires to unite people from different backgrounds through running and humanity’s shared wish for a more peaceful world.

“Peace
Is the oneness-bridge
Between my satisfaction
And the world’s satisfaction.”

Sri Chinmoy [1]

Male and female winners of 10 km race

abhinabha
Abhinabha Tangerman (left) Olivera Jeftić from Serbia (centre) and Mr. Mišo Mihočević (right), the race manger with his Torch Bearer Award from the Peace Run.

Abhinabha Tangerman, who won the mens 10km race, is a member of the Peace Run team from Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Peace Run at school
Peace Run at school in Sutomore

Earlier in the week, the Peace Run Team had visited schools and local communities in Montenegro.

Related

Photos by Yatkara Aleksapolskyy

200th Songs of the Soul Concert

Recently, students of Sri Chinmoy offered the 200th Songs of the Soul Concert in Budva, Montenegro. In the picturesque surroundings of Budva, several groups of musicians performed arrangements and interpretations of Sri Chinmoy’s music. Fusing a range of styles and instruments, the diversity of music contributed to a meditative and joyful atmosphere - appreciated by those in attendance.

songs-soul-budva
The performers

The concert began with acapella singing by a group of female singers before switching to the renowned musician Alap who played a range of flutes, accompanied by drums. Several other groups, containing musicians from all over the globe, continued the concert - each offering a small glimpse into the musical potential of Sri Chinmoy’s approximate 22,000 compositions.

parees-group
Paree's Group

The Songs of the Soul concert series began in New York, April 2008 - shortly after Sri Chinmoy’s mahasamadhi and, since then, around 20 concerts a year have been given in all the major continents and many different cities. These concerts of soulful and meditative music are dedicated to the musical spirit and legacy of Sri Chinmoy. The performers come from a variety of musical backgrounds - some professional, some enthusiasts, but all feel a special value in offering the music of Sri Chinmoy to the general public.

In the same spirit as Sri Chinmoy’s Peace Concert Series, all Songs of the Soul Concerts are offered free of charge.

Selected photos of performers from concert

alap
Alap and Lucas
arthada
Arthada's Group
Blue Flower
Blue Flower

 

INtro
Introducing the concert
Shamita-dohai
Shamita and Dohai

 

Photos Bijoy, Surabhamat

Related

Christmas inspiration

A selection of links related to Christmas. This includes some videos and writings where Sri Chinmoy talks about the spiritual significance of Christmas. There are also selections of music related to Jesus Christ. Sri Chinmoy composed many songs dedicated to the Saviour Christ and also set words from the New Testament to music.

Music Links

Sri Chinmoy talks about the spiritual significance of Christmas


"The birth of the Child was secrecy itself. But His Birthday is as illumining as the Sun, as energising as nectar. Christmas is the birth of Promise, the link between Heaven with Earth." - Sri Chinmoy

Christmas - The play of universal emotion - short talk at Sri Chinmoy Library from 1965

Articles by members of Sri Chinmoy Centre

New History of Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team Distance Running

The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team was an early pioneer of distance running and helped to organise some of the first ultra distance races in the United States and around the world. Until the late 1970s, distance running was very much a minority sport with only a small number of events. In a recent article, Sahishnu Szczesiu, a race director of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team recounts the inspiration Sri Chinmoy gave to distance running, and the Sri Chinmoy Marathon's Team role in helping to establish distance running as a new and growing discipline. As Sahishnu states of Sri Chinmoy's approach:

"He said that offering, and even doing long races goes hand in hand with his philosophy of a fit body, and a search for greater capacity within oneself. He called this ‘self-transcendence,’ going beyond, beyond our known barriers."

You can read the full: History of the 24 hour race (pdf)

The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team began promoting races for the public in 1977, and in 1980 organised its first 'ultra event' - a 24 hour race in Greenwich New York. During its early history, the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team was fortunate to host some of the greatest ultra performances in the sport's history. For example:

  • 1980 24 hour race Marcy Schwam from New York (US) ran 111 miles  a new women's world record.
  • 1984 Six-Day Race -  Yiannis Kouros from Tripoli Greece ran 635 miles 1023 yards  to break a 96 year old record from 1888.
  • 1984 November 24 hour - Yiannis Kouros broke world record with 177 miles
Sri Chinmoy with Yiannis Kouros after his record-breaking run.
Sri Chinmoy with Yiannis Kouros after his record-breaking run.
Start of the Sri Chinmoy 24 hour race in 1985

The article also includes some feedback from the runners who appreciated the spirit and organisation of the Sri Chinmoy Races.

“There is always something special about Sri Chinmoy and his group. Through ultramarathoning I have found what I consider to be an unparalleled inner contentment, yet I can only wonder in awe at the peace and love radiating from each of the Sri Chinmoy followers. At the far corner of the track two young women sang beautiful lyric songs about running and living. On nearly every lap I was greeted and cheered by name. When it was dark, the track was lighted with dozens of candles in white bags, which cast a mystical glow around the far turns."

- Ultrarunning magazine November 1981

Related

  • Dipali Cunningham talks about her experiences running in the Sri Chinmoy Ultra events.

Artist in focus - Vilas Silverton

Vilas Silverton has been a student of Sri Chinmoy for approximately two decades. He is an accomplished artist - cultivating a unique and soulful approach to ceramics. His work has been extensively displayed throughout Great Britain. In this short interview, he talks about some of his artistic inspiration.

Could you tell us a little about your art?

I specialise in Ceramics, but also enjoy painting and drawing. My ceramic work is made up mostly of figures, heads and busts of fictional characters. They come generally from my imagination but refer to artists and styles that inspire me, as well as things I see around me every day. As I am drawn to different influences over time, my work also changes. Yet there seems to be a recognisable style that pervades my output. It is not something I try to control, it just comes out that way.

This is probably because my artistic work comes from a place inside me, and this is a place I am trying to get to know better through my inner life of prayer and meditation. I have been practising meditation actively for over 20 years under the guidance of my spiritual master, Sri Chinmoy.

His approach is to base one’s practice on the spiritual heart, an energy centre in the centre of the chest. I find this to be a place of peace, stillness, love and oneness with others. It encourages a childlike simplicity and spontaneity in my life which then guides and shapes my artwork.

For yourself, what is the link between your art and your spiritual life?

For me, the link between my spirituality and art is everything. When I consciously started on my journey of self enquiry, I realised that if my art had no underlying foundation of deep conviction, it would be only a shallow attempt at producing amusing distractions.

art

Although my work may appear childlike, I am not trying to be childish. I am committed to producing things that make the world a better, happier place. This conviction comes from deep inside as a result of my spiritual practice but also from seeing unhappiness, misery and suffering around me. I have no desire to comment on society or use my art as an outlet for dissatisfaction and angst. Nor am I inspired to produce representational art, i.e. drawing what I see before my eyes. I am trying to offer a positive contribution to the world by offering things of beauty that do not yet exist on earth. My works come from a realm inside my heart that is both simple and beautiful, happy and positive. It is these aspects that I try to bring to this physical world through my art and life.

To try and make things of value, I treat the making process with utmost respect. I try to meditate before working so that I am in a good space and commit to trying my best. While making I also try to keep thoughts to a minimum with no distractions from the radio or chatting with others. When I finish a session of making, I again meditate. This time I offer my gratitude for the gifts I have received, and I try to unconditionally offer my output to the earth atmosphere for its improvement and peaceful happiness.

What do you hope to achieve/offer with your art?

When I have finished a piece and offered it as mentioned above, I loose my claim on it to determine its role in the world. As a result, I don’t have any set notion of what I hope to achieve with a piece. I realise that fame and fortune do not determine the value of work. For me, the only thing that matters is how successfully I have been able to translate my hearts inner cry into physical form, be it a painting, drawing or piece of ceramics. I can tell if I have been successful in this regard by the joyful feeling I get in my heart when something is good, right and true. If I can offer my goodwill to the world through my artistic output then I am more than happy and grateful for that opportunity.

Who are your main artistic influences?

My main artistic influence has to be the practice of my inner life as mentioned above.

In terms of outer influences, I grew up reading comics and watching cartoons and so I associate that type of art with happy childhood memories. I try to translate this simplicity and clarity of line into my three dimensional work in particular.

My influences in the fine art world are many and varied. For drawing skill I love Degas and Ingres, Daumier and Rembrandt. For power and emotion I love Zurbaran, Goya and Massacio. For playful inventiveness I love Miro for his capacity to transfer his creativity with integrity across Painting, printmaking, Sculpture, Ceramics and beyond.

In the world of Sculpture and ceramics, I am especially fond of the tomb figures of the Japanese Haniwa period. They have a simplicity and charm that I find fascinating and endearing. I am also fond of English 18th Century slipwares that display a warmth and humanity in decoration.

As my interest in spiritual enquiry developed, I started to look more closely at different world traditions and came to love Indian folk art. This includes the  ritual objects left under village trees and painted decorations that permeate and enrich living spaces. The themes of simplicity and devotion really capture my heart in such works and inspire me to make works that have a meaningful depth to the best of my ability.

Apart from art, what else do you enjoy doing?

Since my youth I have loved cycling and continue with the sport. Due to some long standing injuries, I have recently changed my focus from racing short distances to riding long distances. This has brought me new perspectives on dealing with life situations and is giving me satisfaction and fulfilment in taking up new challenges. In Sri Chinmoy’s spirit of self-transcendence, I am trying to ride further/faster and yet keep cheerful, positive attitude, even when things get difficult.

Daily aphorisms by Sri Chinmoy

During his lifetime, Sri Chinmoy composed many thousands of short poems and aphorisms, which all relate to aspects of the spiritual life.

These nuggets of wisdom and inspiration give seekers a thoughtful insight to finding a deeper meaning to life.

At Sri Chinmoy Poetry, we will be publishing a daily aphorism/photo. The photos are from a range of photographers within the Sri Chinmoy Centre.

Follow: Daily aphorism at Sri Chinmoy Centre

They are also published in calender by The Golden Shore.

Nataliya Lehonkova wins Dublin Marathon

Samunnati Nataliya Lehonkova (34), a member of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team recently won the elite women's race of the 2017 Dublin Marathon. Despite testing conditions, Lehonkova from Ukraine, posted a personal best time of 2.28.57 to take her second win in the Dublin marathon.

natalie lehonkova
Nataliya Lehonkova in 2015 Dublin Marathon. Photo William Murphy CC SA

 

A record 20,000 runners completed the 2017 SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon in a course that passed through important landmarks of Dublin including Fitzwilliam Street, Phoenix Park and finishing in Merrion Square.

Samunnati Nataliya Lehonkova completed in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

'Seeker' screened as part of Reykjavik International Film Festival

This year, the Reykjavik International Film festival took place from 28 September to 8 October. Among the films shown was Seeker - a short documentary about Snatak Matthiasson, a student of Sri Chinmoy from Iceland since 1985.

Trailer for Seeker

For many years, Snatak was one of the fastest runners in the Centre, as well as being an exceptionally good singer and pianist. In 2004, Snatak was diagnosed with ALS; over the years he has lost much of the capacity of his upper body, but it has not deterred him from living spiritual life to the best of his ability. 

In 2011, Snatak had the inspiration to form a singing group dedicated to singing Sri Chinmoy’s songs in their pure acapella form. The group would go to places of worship of different religions all around the world, to underscore the underlying unity behind all religions. Thus, many of Snatak’s friends from all around the world came together, and the Oneness-Dream singing group was born. The group had their initial concert tour in Iceland, and over the years have toured churches, temples and spiritual places in Finland, Myanmar, Ireland, Scotland and California.

Earlier this year, the group went to the Italian region of Tuscany to sing in the churches and cathedrals there. As you can see from the below slideshow, the group has attained quite a high standard of technical excellence.

Along with the group came Sanjay Rawal, a documentary maker who has worked on award-winning documentaries such as Food Chains (2015), as well as a 2011 documentary on Sri Chinmoy’s weightlifting titled Challenging Impossibility. As a result, a 9-minute documentary titled Seeker was made, which had its first viewing at the Reykjavik Film festival.

Snatak was getting medical treatment in South Korea for much of the festival, but he was able to make it home in time for the last screening of the documentary, and afterwards answered questions for the audience as part of the Q&A session after the film.

Many of the members of Oneness-Dream came to Reykjavik; the day after they held a concert in Frikirkjan, a well known church in the centre of Reykjavik. 

The concert was also used to launch an album, containing recordings from the Italian tour (some of which you can hear in the above slideshow).

“Soulful music is the music that wants to eventually transform our consciousness. It carries us into the Universal Consciousness and makes us feel that we are in tune with the highest, with the deepest, with the farthest.”

– Sri Chinmoy [1]

Related

Peace Run in the Faroe Islands

peace run
The Peace Run in the Faroe Islands

Recently, the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run visited the Faroe Islands where the runners were warmly welcomed by local dignitaries, local schools and ordinary people from the island.

The Faroe Islands is one of 155 countries that the Peace Run has visited, since its inception 30 years ago. During this visit, MPs from Iceland passed on the torch to fellow politicians from the Faroe Islands - sharing a message of peace with its island neighbour.

The Peace Run seeks to share a universal message of peace and friendship amongst different peoples of the world. It seeks to celebrate the diversity of the world, whilst sharing the underlying unity of different cultures.

“Peace
Is not the fault-finder
Of the world.
Peace
Is the fault-mender
Of the world.”

Sri Chinmoy [1]

The Run is also a physical challenge with volunteers who support the run, completing the distance between countries on foot - illustrating a tangible way to take this message of peace across the globe.

In this video, some of the volunteer co-ordinators talk about the meaning and significance of the Run and what motivates them to take part in this unique event.

Related

Peace Run – Faroe Islands

Songs of the Soul in Slovakia and Hungary

From 19 to 23 September, a group of Sri Chinmoy’s students from all around the world played five concerts in Hungary and Slovakia as part of the Songs of the Soul concert series. The Songs of the Soul concerts were begun in 2008 as a way to acquaint music-lovers with Sri Chinmoy’s music, and since then over 240 concerts have been held in 40 different countries.

The concerts were very well attended - over 1300 people came to the 3 Hungarian concerts in Budapest, Dorog and Gyõr.

As Sri Chinmoy’s students, we feel that these concerts offer the public a very easy way to immerse themselves in a spiritual consciousness without having to know too much about meditation; indeed, Sri Chinmoy felt that spiritual music was the next best thing to meditation.

Spiritual music is the illumining and fulfilling language of the universal soul.

Sri Chinmoy

It is a lot of hard work to put the concerts on, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun at the same time…

More photos at songsofthesoul.com...

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