Latest news and features
A new redesign for some of our favourite vegetarian restaurants
Sri Chinmoy's students have established vegetarian restaurants all over the world - you could say that working in these restaurants is an extension of our own spiritual practise, because they allow us to see and serve the divine inside everyone who comes through the door. Recently, two of our most beloved restaurants in New York and Seattle have undergone some renovation, so as to serve a whole new generation of customers and spiritual seekers alike.
The Smile of the Beyond was established in Queens, NY, way back in 1972 - almost 50 years ago! - and combines the charms of an old-style diner with a sumptuous array of vegetarian breakfast options, sandwiches, wraps and soups, with new dishes being introduced all the time. The diner has undergone a little bit of a refurbishment in recent months, and the new-look Smile was recently featured in a very nice article in Edible Queens.
The Silence-Heart-Nest, a veritable institution in Seattle's Fremont area for many years, has also had quite a considerable redesign, and now has a beautiful pure white colour scheme.
3100 film events around the world
3100: Run and Become was released last year in the US and since then has been opening in countries around the world. The documentary explores long-distance running in cultures around the world, including the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race. Here are just a few of the things that have been happening around the world:
There have been screenings of the documentary all over the US during 2018 and 2019. Scott Fauble, a top American marathoner (2:09), came to a screening in Flagstaff in September; he published a top-selling diary of his fall training season and mentioned that watching the documentary made his workouts seem a lot easier! Chris McDougall, author of the famous ultrarunning book Born to Run, hosted a screening of the movie in New York in February and commented that the film was one of the best running films he had seen. Dr. Dan Lieberman, a subject of Born to Run and one of the world's pre-eminent evolutationary biologists, hosted a screening at Harvard University the weekend of the Boston Marathon. He absolutely loved the film and how it linked running to prayer, remarking how there also exists tribal communities in India who run long distances with that very attitude.
In January, Sofia was the first European capital to present the premier, which was screened in the National Home of Culture. The premier was attended by Ashprihanal Aalto, the men's record holder and Ushika Muckenhummer, who competed in the race last year for the first time. They were joined by some of Bulgaria's best ultrarunners: Hristo Tsvetkov, 12 and 24 hour Bulgarian recordholder; Krasse Georgiev, the only Bulgarian to finish Badwater; Todor Dimitrov “El Capitan” national record holder for the 6-day race. After the movie, Krasse Georgiev commented “While I was watching the movie I thought to myself: 'What I do is a summer vacation in comparison with what these boys do.'" The film has also been invited to screen in the International Red Cross Film Festival in Varna this summer; the festival director, Bozhidar Manov had some very nice things to say about the film. The premiere was broadcast on the national TV station, along with an interview with Ashprihanal and Ushika.
In February, the Indonesian premiere took place in Denpasar. The film's director, Sanjay Rawal, was on hand to answer questions, along with many 3100 mile runners, including the women's record holder, Kaneenika Janakova from Slovakia.
Conference on interfaith spirituality
Members of the Miami Sri Chinmoy Centre recently helped to organise a very successful interfaith conference in Assisi, Italy, which sought to examine how spirituality can play a role in bringing about a more just, peaceful, sustainable and happier world.
The conference was organized and planned by Elisabetta Ferrero of our Miami Centre, with the help of a talented international steering committee. Elisabetta, a professor of Global Studies at St. Thomas University in Miami, was joined at the conference by fellow Miami Centre member Durjaya Thomas Pliske, who is also a university professor. Assisi was chosen because it is the birthplace of St. Francis (1182-1226) who is widely honored as the patron saint of the environment. The delegates came from many backgrounds: environmentalists, organic agriculture, religious and non-religious spiritual groups, U.N. affiliates, supporters of the Earth Charter, indigenous cultures, scientists, the business-legal community, social and environmental justice advocates, educators and philosophers.
The conference members also had a two-hour meeting in the Vatican with Cardinal Turkson, who has been selected by Pope Francis to work out the practical implementation of the message in Laudato Si, a papal encyclical which Pope Francis calls on all the world's people to work together to preserve Mother Nature and make the world fairer. A day of the conference was given over to discussing this encyclical.
During his lifetime, Sri Chinmoy founded several initiatives to keep the dream alive for a better and more harmonious world, and participated in many interfaith initiatives in order to illustrate the underlying unity of different religions and spiritual paths. (more on our interfaith page)
"If we live in our oneness-heart, we will feel the essence of all religions which is the love of God. Forgiveness, compassion, tolerance, brotherhood and the feeling of oneness are the signs of a true religion."
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For his part in the conference, Durjaya offered a heart-centred meditation to the group and offered his own thoughts on these important goals of human endeavour. Speaking about the conference, Durjaya writes:
"Representing the Sri Chinmoy Centre, an organization devoted to promoting spiritual awakening, practice and service, I had the opportunity to share and work with seekers from other paths, some based in established religions (Christianity, Buddhism, Shinto) and also from indigenous shamanic traditions. Although we had diverse approaches to spiritual Truth, we all had in common the understanding that there is no separation of self-transformation and world-transformation. They go hand in hand.
Whatever illumination we receive from our individual sadhana (spiritual work) to purify, illumine and transform our individual lives, that progress is spread into the world consciousness. This is true whether we progress through prayer, the creative arts, meditation, mental expansion and inclusiveness, selfless love and dedicated service or a yoga that combines all these." - Read full article by Durjaya