‘Art for Peace’ by Sri Chinmoy will be on display via a Vidtiser e-screen at Ellenbrook Central throughout June with the originals on show at Ellenbrook Arts from June 17. Comments on the art from humanitarians Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa are also displayed with the art.
Ellenbrook Central AV Exhibit June 3 – July 3 2020
Ellenbrook Arts Gallery Exhibit June 17- July 17 during opening hours
The artist, Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007) was most well known as a meditation teacher, Guru, philosopher, musician and sportsman, but he was also a prolific poet, artist and author. He felt these creative pursuits represent a positive way of spreading peace. He learnt to meditate for up to 8 hours when he was still a child in India and applied this skill when painting or drawing. His paintings are very meditative and inspiring for the viewer. You can feel the peace emanating from the paintings.
The art was originally to be displayed in May at Ellenbrook Arts but the date was moved to June 17 following the easing of gallery restrictions. Fortunately Ellenbrook Central was supportive enough to realise the importance of making inspiring art available to the public at this time. “We were really lucky that Ellenbrook Arts and Ellenbrook Central had a relationship to promote art in the community. Shopping Centres were one of the few places not restricted too much in lockdown. We will be in the unique situation now of having the screen exhibition complimenting the gallery exhibition and the screen offers the chance to display local school children’s art for peace once it is received,” said Art for Peace organizer, Grahak Cunningham. None of the art is for sale and it is embued with colour and a positive motif. The exhibition aims to inspire and uplift the viewer with its inspiring use of bright, joyful colours. Nearly all the pieces carry the artists signature birds which Sri Chinmoy viewed as messengers of peace and freedom. “The bird,” he said, “knows no boundaries. It is a messenger of peace and freedom, born in the garden of the soul and taking flight in the heart.”
Ellenbrook is a great example of people from all walks of life, cultures and backgrounds coming together to live or visit this special area. It is a perfect place to have an exhibition that promotes peace. The Ellenbrook Central Shopping Centre exhibition is outside a usual gallery setting, many people who wouldn’t visit a gallery can still be inspired by peace and meditation and perhaps visit the gallery later in the month.” Sri Chinmoy’s art has previously been exhibited at Parliament House, Canberra, at the Carrousel du Louvre, Paris, the foyer of the United Nations Headquarters in New York and the Commonwealth Institute in London.
There will be free guided meditation classes at the gallery visit our calendar page for more info and to register. Topics will include art and meditation and you will be immersed in the peace of the artwork.
We hope these reflections from our dear friend Jogyata Dallas from the Sri Chinmoy Centre in Auckland give you some relief and hope as we move through these unique times. Jogyata has been meditating for over 40 years, is a keen marathoner and writer. He originally became a student of Sri Chinmoy’s whilst living in Adelaide in the 80’s. We thank him for his wonderful perspectives and for sharing this article with us. 🙂
Welcome to an interesting new chapter in all of our lives! With a suddenness and global reach a tiny organism has abruptly changed our world, swept away the conventions of everyday life and brought joblessness, isolation and confinement, food queues, uncertainty, health fears, mortgage and rental nightmares, a litany of problems and anxieties. Our customary world skidding to a halt!
Yet behind all of this, behind the pain and panic and anxiety, a possible new world is beckoning. Every now and then in human history we see an evolutionary jump upwards – and crises, wars, great challenges are frequently our harsh teachers, opening us up to new possibilities, ushering in a brighter future for all of humanity, reminding us of the quiet perfection behind the narratives and appearances of things which helps us to awaken and evolve. Ultimately, this experience can hugely benefit our human race that is so needing and ready for major change. For those who bring a spiritual perspective to history, the Indian saying that “Not a leaf turns but God is behind it”, reminds us of this same truth.
Once we are past the widespread global suffering, the tragedies of so many afflicted lives and losses, this pandemic can usher in many unforeseen positives. It can be a time of new beginnings, reflection, insights and little epiphanies about the deeper truths of human life. And for many, clear unpolluted skies; silences and space in our lives; a step back from ‘doing’ to simply ‘being’; family time, a house becoming a home, families rediscovering love and unity and play; gridlock traffic gone; the discovery that working from home really works, a new paradigm in future employment; and poor Planet Earth enjoying a respite from emissions and pollution; an experience for everyone too of a whole new way of living.
In a world brought to a sudden standstill, what else are we learning? Certainly how fragile we are, how the assumptions and certainties of endless tomorrows can be swept aside in a moment, a familiar world cast in to shadows, humanity suddenly confronted by the most basic instinct for survival. And seeing too how global we are, how inter-connected and inter-dependent, a single human family inextricably linked together, nationality and borders erased by a tiny virus, life suddenly a fragile thing for our race. Evident too, the compassionate hearts we have, caring for others and other nations, for we are brothers and sisters in a one-world family.
Confronted by mortality, we also begin to review our personal lives – what is really important to me now, what is my deeper purpose, what will make my life meaningful?
Uncoupled from the all-consuming dramas of our usual, everyday lives we have time to pause and wonder – sitting on a park bench or aimless on a beach we might wonder ‘what is left to me, what is of value now?’ Then all of our attainments and all of our possessions fall away, and the last and only measure of our progress is how happy, how peaceful we are, or how much gratitude we can feel, living in a very blessed and privileged country. The inner attainments alone survive this questioning.
Many are turning to meditation, another positive, stilling the busy mind and connecting us with the deeper and more peaceful part of our nature. Crises often awaken us spiritually, serving to remind us of our frailty, the brevity of life, the existential truths, humbling us and bringing us back to reality, making us unburdened, calm and sane. And perhaps consolingly, seeing all of this against the great canvas of millennial time. Asks the Tibetan master of his disciple – “What did your face look like before you were born?” Understanding this reminds us of the soul’s journey through countless unremembered lives.
Covid-19 arrives among us as a widespread disaster, but may play the final role of a great teacher and corrector, compelling us to enact the measures so needed to protect our planet and humanity’s future. We must learn to be the guardians, not the exploiters of our beautiful planet-home, and move beyond nationality and race to a global paradigm, an evolutionary jump upwards, the quantum shift that we see periodically throughout history. Can we do it?
The inspirational spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy perhaps has the last word:
‘Individually and collectedly, we must take a positive attitude towards life. We can and we must throw aside our past failures. We must pay attention only to the future brightness. Just because on some days the sky is overcast, we cannot say that there is no sun. No! Life is a journey. Sometimes we move forward slowly and sometimes quickly; but we must not stop. We must not look this side or that side; only we must move forward. Each individual has to become the pathfinder of a new world.
Just as a rose has many petals, all of which add to the beauty and fragrance of the rose, so too the world shall become one world-family. Together we shall live in harmony in a spirit of self-giving for the good of all. Now we are all exercising the love of power. But a day will come when this world of ours will be inundated with the power that loves. Only the power that loves can change the world.’
Traditionally in New York on April 13 there is a 12 hour walk. Started by Sri Chinmoy many years ago, competitors walk around a small loop (usually a mile or 1.6km) and see how far they can walk in the designated time.
Some people really go for it, race walking for the entire period and walking over 100 kilometers. Others like me are a little slower and you just try and do your best. One thing everyone does is to try to meditate and walk at the same time. It is actually very easy if you have learnt the art of meditation. Meditation has movement. Not physical movement but inner direction. You get more peace or more energy and so forth as you meditate. It isn’t a static thing. Once you have learnt it in a practical setting, indoors in front of your shrine, you can apply it to many situations in your outer life including walking. Many people consciously or unconsciously meditate while walking. You finish and you feel your minds clearer, you body fitter. You feel great.
So I tried a 12 hour walk this April 13th. I wasn’t in New York and although I had a designated loop of 2 km I did wander off occasionally for a coffee or different scenery. I had a really nice meditation. I didn’t want to stop, even after 12 hours. I utilised mantra, prayer and singing a lot. I also meditated in silence. Looking at nature, the vast skyline, the Swan River, nice flowers and the people. I had some delicious snacks to give me some joy and to break it up a bit. I lasted the 12 hours, did 62 kilometers but mainly felt extremely grateful rather than tired at the end.
Sri Chinmoy walking and meditating
The Art of Meditation and Walking
So how do you walk and meditate? Below is a list of hints and ideas. Chose one idea or incorporate them all, easy if your out for long enough!
Prepare: make sure you meditate before you go out. This will put you in the right consciousness.
Pick some things to meditate on. For example the sky. Identify with the clarity or vastness of the sky above. Don’t let any intruding thoughts come. Feel these good qualities in the heart and allow them to expand. Other things might be the sun, soaring birds, your breath, flowers, playing children…anything that inspires you.
Mantras. Chose something that you can chant outwardly or inwardly easily. I will often chose three words such as Supreme, Gratitude, Aum or something like that. As you get into a rhythm it will integrate with your breathing spontaneously.
Singing. You can use your favourite song if it gives you some energy or joy. I prefer something deeper and just sing some of Sri Chinmoy’s mantric songs. They were really helpful.
Music. I use this when needed as I generally prefer not to have earphones in during exercise. Saying that in the last 3 hours it was very beneficial, again I use songs by Sri Chinmoy, performed by him or his students 99% of the time. I know it is conducive to meditation.
Chose a quality to focus on. Maybe it is gratitude, good will, love, peace. Breath it in as you walk.
Pick your times. Generally it is easier to meditate in the morning or evening. It is quieter and nature will help you.
Good luck with your walking meditation. Remember to allow your mind to be a bit more silent and your heart to expand and you will have success!
The Sri Chinmoy Centre in Perth offers free meditation classes at a variety of locations which will restart soon as the situation improves. Alternatively keep visiting the website to learn how to meditate at home. There will be more meditation content posted in the coming days on how to meditate at home. Walking meditations can be part of your regular program!
In conjunction with the Art for Peace Exhibition at Ellenbrook Arts the Sri Chinoy Centre and Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run is proud to invite you to help cultivate the culture of peace in your school children. This activity can be done in the class or at home.
The most important aspect of the competition is that students feel they can contribute to a more peaceful world and that they are joining with hundreds of thousands of other children in the same project. The five winning entrants from each year group (1 to 12) will have their peace art exhibited at Rome’s famed Colosseum in celebration of the United Nations International Day of Peace on September 21, 2020. There is no cost to participate. The submitted artwork is judged by an independent panel and remains the property of the organisers, so please make copies before submission if you need too.
Entries close May 7th 2020, entry is free.
Art size A4
Send entries to 2/9 Angelo St, South Perth, 6151
Please include on the reverse of the art: name, surname, age and year of the artist and school name.
Grand Cinema in Bunbury and Paradiso Cinema in Northbridge are hosting a screening of the 3100: Run and Become film along with a Q and A with director Sanjay Rawal on his latest offering ‘3100: Run and Become’, a feature film length documentary that explores the relationship between running and spirituality.
It focuses on Finnish ultra-runner Ashprihanal Aalto, who runs Ultra races and meditates at the same time because he follows the path of the races founder Sri Chinmoy, who advocated running and fitness for spiritual development. “Without courage,” he once said in reference to transcending oneself, “Life is a path without progress.” Aalto follows this philosophy he has completed the 3100 mile race 14 times.
Ashprihanal appears slightly built, light and small but the slow motion cinematography that follows Aalto later in the film shows the power and competitiveness in the man. He can run for days without little or no rest. He makes the distance with a surprise twist at the end, but fellow competitor, Austrian ultra-runner (and concert cellist) Shamita Achenbach doesn’t. She is forced out and still finds positives in her journey that can help us all take something out of a perceived failure.
Running and Moving Meditation
Rawal moves focus in the movie to the native Americans who run in the vast plains and stunning scenery of their homeland in Arizona. We are introduced to Navajo runner Shaun Martin who goes on a solo hundred miler in honour of his forefathers who had to run miles in order to escape the Western Schools they were forcibly taken to. Martin’s words are inspirational. “We get up and run as the sun is rising to celebrate life, we run because it is a form of prayer. You are speaking to Mother Earth with your feet, you are breathing in Father Sky and you are telling them and asking them for blessings and showing them you are ready to work for that prayer, for those blessings.”
The Navajo’s aren’t the only indigenous culture that runs for spirituality and Sanjay visits Southern Africa’s Kalahari bushmen who have long used running for hunting, growth and to transition the youth into adulthood for eons but is under threat with government bans, development and relocation forcing the traditional running hunters to go underground. Rawal explores this dilemma and is taken on an illegal hunt with a local hunter, revered for his talent and skill, who runs and hunts his prey.
Perhaps rarer footage is of the legendary Marathon Monks of Japan’s Mt. Hie. Spectacularly dressed, looking more like Star Wars action figures than spiritual monks, the Buddhist aspirants pilgrimage around the mountain in their thousand day quest for enlightenment, covering immense distances every day. Not interested in publicity it took the film crew three visits to the head monk in Japan to be allowed to film. The access Rawal got was inspiring, visually uplifting and unprecedented.
Ultimately this film probably opens some doors to us all explaining why many of us run when we are asked by a non-runner ‘Why would you do that?’ “Running,” according to Sanjay Rawal, “unites us. At one point, every culture on Earth relied on running. It’s baked into our DNA.”
<iframe src=”https://player.vimeo.com/video/266754781″ width=”640″ height=”360″ frameborder=”0″ allow=”autoplay; fullscreen” allowfullscreen></iframe>
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/266754781″>3100: RUN AND BECOME. Trailer</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/sanjayrawal”>Sanjay Rawal</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
Director Sanjay Rawal who is a great runner and also combines running and sport with meditation. He was a talented track runner in his youth in California and ran a 2.37 marathon PB at age 42 at the Sacramento Marathon last weekend. After spending a few years filming and travelling he is starting to get his running and weight on track. He’d just won a 5k in Flushing Meadows when I spoke to him last and is looking forward to coming to Western Australia. The screening and Q and A event is sponsored by the Sri Chinmoy Centre.
The Whole Evening Will Be Uplifting
Don’t feel you have to be an ultra runner or even a runner to attend. The evenings will be really inspiring you will learn about our potential, what connects us all and we can all go beyond our perceived limitations. There is a small cover charge to attend ($10) and tickets are available for Bunbury and Perth on Eventbrite. Let us know if you are a concession holder on 61614156 before purchasing or call us also if you need more information.
Maestro Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007) was an internationally acclaimed musician, composer, artist, author and meditation teacher whose haunting melodies captivated audiences worldwide in the almost 800 hundred free Peace Concerts he performed around the globe, all of them free of charge, in the belief that the inner peace and happiness he sought to convey through music was everyone’s birthright. He played at many prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall and the Sydney Opera House and also performed at Auditoriums, Universities and Schools, any places he thought maybe receptive to spiritual and peaceful music. “Music will play a most important role in bringing about world oneness,” Sri Chinmoy commented. “For music embodies the Universal Heart, the Oneness-Heart .” We are proud to continue that self-giving tradition by offering our Perth concert free of charge.
Music for the Inner Journey offers listeners the chance to be uplifted and enchanted with his compositions. He composed over 20,000 devotional songs during his lifetime and the concert features accomplished world musicians performing classical and contemporary arrangements of some of these songs. Together the performers have put together an evening that will create a richly diverse and inspirational experience.
Holland’s Vapushtara Jongepier began playing piano at age 6. He studied piano and jazz at a conservatory in the Netherlands and began performing the music of Sri Chinmoy in 1995. Vapushtara has orchestrated a number of major musical works of Sri Chinmoy as conductor of the international Gandharva Loka Orchestra.
Alap Jetzer is a Swiss award-winning multi-instrumentalist and new age musician who specialises in creating haunting melodies on duduk, an ancient Armenian double reed woodwind instrument made of apricot wood.
Adarsha Kelly, from Glasgow Scotland, is an accomplished vocal performer who has sung in concerts around the world. An online website streaming his music has written: “Adarsha’s singing is something to be felt; it resonates in your entire being, until it reaches your heart’s core. Once there, it breaks open the door and moves you in your very depths.”
Monk Party is a father and son duo consisting of session musician Pragunya Myers-Daly and son Nelson. They have emerged as one of the best outfits of their world music genre around. NZ Musician Magazine has written: “It may be devotional, ancient, hauntingly Middle Eastern and involve (Indian) mantras, but ultimately it is timeless and true World music. Recommended if you’re trying to lead a better and calmer life.”
Monk Party uses a number of instruments darbuka, riq, frame drums, badhran, cajón, pennywhistle, nylon guitar, gongs, bansuri flute and Vocals. Pragunya has become an expert at the oud and it is heard in many of the songs. Nelson has been playing on world music instruments since he was four. “I was never pushed into to playing music but rather I learnt music like a language by always being around it and being absorbed in it,” he says. “Pragunya had a wide variety of types of music he played and listened to which has really helped colour my approach to creating art.”
They have performed in North America and Europe and collaborated with Krishna Das. Monk Party (and yes they are monks, practicing daily meditation to keep themselves in a creative flow),
Overall all the performers are offering music for meditation. Meditation Music is really helpful in helping to quieten the mind, still thoughts and experience meditation. The artists are touring throughout Australasia with the Perth concert on Thursday 14 November at 7pm at the Octagon Theatre of UWA. The concert is free so come along and be inspired with the uplifting sounds of the international guest musicians and be filled with inner peace. “Only soulful music gives wings to the heart,” says Sri Chinmoy. Reserve your tickets and hear samples of the performers at www.innermusic.org or phone 61614156 more registration also and more information.
Much of the hard work of learning to meditate is done in the preliminary stages. After you have learnt how to sit and breathe correctly, it is time to perfect the art of concentration. Sri Chinmoy explains it like this:“All along the route to our destination are doubt-trees, insecurity-trees, hesitation-trees, anxiety-trees and worry-trees. They are lying across the road blocking our path. Concentration clears the road of these obstacles. It transforms doubt into faith, insecurity into security and so forth. Everything discouraging becomes encouraging and helpful as we move towards our destination. And that is only the first step. After concentration clears the road of confusion, meditation will purify and illumine our mind so that we see that the goal is not only right in front of us but also within us.”
There are many exercises to help you concentrate. One of our favourite guided meditations is this:
Place a lighted candle on a table in front of you.
Settle into a comfortable position with your spine upright. You can be seated on the floor or in a chair. Your hands can be on your knees or in your lap.
Breathe slowly and very softly.
To begin with, just gaze at the candle as a whole until your breathing establishes a gentle rhythm.
Now focus your attention only on the tiny candle flame. Make sure you are not staring or straining your eyes. If you can keep them half closed, that will help you to keep the candle flame in your field of vision and not be aware of your surroundings. Remember, concentration is one-pointed awareness. It does not look sideways or backwards.
Feel that there is an arc of golden light connecting your spiritual heart and the flame. Each time you breathe in, you are receiving light from the flame, and each time you breathe out, you are offering your existence to the flame.
You will feel that the flame has a living presence. Perhaps you will even feel that it represents your own existence—always reaching higher and higher, soaring upwards.
Try to dwell in that state of union with the light of the candle for 5 or 10 minutes. Then gradually become aware of your surroundings again and relax.
Concentration, Meditation and Contemplation: The Three Rungs
Sri Chinmoy says that concentration, meditation and contemplation are like the three rungs of a ladder. “First comes concentration, then comes meditation and then comes contemplation. They are like three rungs of a ladder. First you concentrate, then you meditate and then you contemplate. If any of the rungs are missing, you may lose your footing. When you concentrate, you try to focus your one-pointed attention on a small object. Then, like a bullet or an arrow, your concentration-power tries to penetrate into the object. Meditation is totally different. Meditation is vastness. In meditation you are dealing with the vast sky or the vast sea—anything that is larger than the largest. In meditation, you try to make your mind calm, quiet, tranquil and vacant so that you can become one with the Vast. When you are concentrating, you are concentrating on the smallest possible thing. Like an arrow, you are trying to pierce the veil of ignorance. When you are meditating, you are dealing with what is vaster than the vastest. All around you are seeing Infinity.”
You can see and hear some more words on concentration on this short video and also see Sri Chinmoy meditating.
It makes sense: to do well in sport, work and meditation or anything for that matter you need focus, clarity and concentration; skills that can be learnt through formal practice. Someone who achieves a lot in the corporate world for example often has focus, concentration, drive and dedication in boundless measure. But it is the spiritual qualities—peace, joy, poise, patience and compassion—that provide true, lasting satisfaction and will change ourselves the world for the better. To get inner peace you need to control the mind. Concentration is a formulatory step in doing this. It’s a precursor to meditation and a practical skill relevant to our day to day lives.
So What is Concentration? How Can You Stop Procrastinating?
Concentration is being focused, one pointed, alert, vigilant. Not letting anything distract you from your task at hand. Musicians will practice for hours. Gardeners forget time and will spend time in that meditative flow tending to their plants. Good meditators will have the concentration to focus for long periods and it is almost apparent in professional athletes. I recall watching a tennis professional receiving serve. They had exactly the same look of focus as meditation class members do when they try concentration. The eyes half open, all concentration, relaxed yet perfectly alert. Concentrate well and we can achieve anything. Poorly and we are easily distracted and take hours or days to do something that could take a few moments. Our performance is hindered.
Many great sportsmen talk about moments of absolute conviction before a major victory or event. They feel at peace with the race, game or task ahead. Nothing is forced and as a result, victory or achievement just flows. Olympic great Carl Lewis concentrated and meditated before his big races. Unusual because one hundred metre sprinters are known for hyping themselves up into almost manic states. They walk around behind the blocks, lapping the air with their tongues and generally firing themselves up, but not King Carl. He focused his mind and energies by meditating. One technique he used was focusing on the furthest sound he could hear. Whatever he did worked. He won nine Olympic track and field gold medals, broke numerous world records in the 100 metres and long jump, still has one of the world’s fastest splits for a relay leg and never false started.
“I would start 100 metres and the person would say, come to your mark, and I would get down to my mark and then I would clear my mind,” says Lewis. “Just go quiet and try to listen for the farthest sound away from you. I had generally the fastest reaction time of any of the athletes because I would clear my mind and listen for the gun. Just having my peace, where it all stops and you’re just aware of where you need to be. I think there’s a source of strength in that silence because the 100 metres is the ultimate dichotomy—it’s total relaxation and explosion. Every record I set, I knew it was a record because it was the easiest race I ran.”
“Concentration means inner vigilance and alertness,” says Sri Chinmoy. “There are thieves all around us and within us. Fear, doubt, worry and anxiety are inner thieves that are trying to steal our inner poise and peace of mind. When we learn how to concentrate, it is very difficult for these forces to enter into us. If doubt enters into our mind, the power of concentration will tear doubt to pieces. If fear enters into our mind, the power of concentration will chase away our fear….Concentration is the surest way to reach our goal, whether the goal is God-realisation or merely the fulfillment of human desires. A real aspirant sooner or later acquires the power of concentration either through the Grace of God, through constant practice or through his own aspiration.”
Concentration can definitely be practised and cultivated. Don’t despair if you have poor concentration. Spend some time working on it and it will gradually improve. One method Sri Chinmoy recommended was meditation on a black dot. Sounds strange but it’s not really. It is such a simple thing. It is easy to notice when your wandering mind interferes and intrusive thoughts interfere taking away from your concentration on the dot. Below is a black dot. Paste it onto a sheet of paper, print it out (don’t try it on a computer screen) and give it a go.
Below are Sri Chinmoy’s instructions on the concentration exercise using just a simple black dot.
“First wash your face and eyes properly with cold water. Then make a black dot on the wall at eye level. Stand facing the dot, about ten inches away, and concentrate on it. After a few minutes, try to feel that when you are breathing in, your breath is actually coming from the dot, and that the dot is also breathing in, getting its breath from you. Try to feel that there are two persons: you and the black dot. Your breath is coming from the dot and its breath is coming from you. In ten minutes, if your concentration is very powerful, you will feel that your soul has left you and entered into the black dot on the wall. At this time try to feel that you and your soul are conversing. Your soul is taking you into the soul’s world for realisation, and you are bringing the soul into the physical world for manifestation. In this way you can develop your power of concentration very easily. But this method has to be practised. There are many things which are very easy with practice, but just because we do not practise them we do not get the result.”
In our free meditation classes we try a number of other exercises using eyes open concentration methods. Candles for example, are effective to practise concentration. We also do other breathing concentration exercises and offer a lot of practical advice. So visit our calendar for our latest activities, meditation classes and seminars in Perth, Western Australia or phone 61614156.
This weekend’s meditation workshop in Perth with Kishore Cunningham was a great success and really got into what meditation actually involves. The free event held at Subiaco attracted a large crowd. On the Saturday there wasn’t a seat left in the house and Sunday was also extremely well attended.
The meditation class on day two.
Kishore talked about the role of meditation in day to day life. “How can we make this part of our daily life with our busy lifestyles?” One seeker asked. “The first thing to realise,” replied Kishore, “is that meditation is really enjoyable. Sitting peacefully inside yourself is really rewarding. Learning to silence the mind and to stop thoughts to dive deeper within, you’ll want to do it every day.”
Interspersed with meditation music and visual presentations, the event was unique. The video on Saturday that was produced went through the evolution of the soul. A human beings constant march forwards for progress. Meditation on the heart was explained. Avoiding the constant noise of the mind is easier when we operate from the heart and Kishore mentioned that it is like turning on a switch. We go from our mental worries and thoughts to the heart, where we experience oneness and love.
The Sunday touched on practical guidance and techniques. The first exercise was a guided visualisation using the breath. Imagination incorporates the higher or more illumining aspects of the mind which can actually help us in meditation. We imagined the breath coming from the universe or cosmos around us and breathed out any intruding thoughts or stress or worries. The audio visual content on Sunday displayed a lineage of spiritual masters and teachers and the messages they offer to world at the large and their role in teaching meditation and spirituality to the world at large. It was very inspiring and the crowd enjoyed a large free afternoon tea cooked by volunteers. Plenty of sweets and great herbal teas.
So what does meditation involve? According to Kishore the first ultimate goal is to silence the mind but initially we have to just aim at diminishing thoughts. He explained, “I have been meditating for 45 years and to be frank, I have only really entered into the higher states of meditation with no thoughts at all about twice,” he said, to the quiet chuckles of the attentive audience. He was keeping our expectations in check and encouraging regular practice, one of the keys of meditation. Sitting upright, avoiding eating before meditation, attending a regular meditation group were some of the more practical tips given. He sang a mantric song composed by Sri Chinmoy and then the audience joined in chanting ‘Shanti,’ the peace mantra. The second exercise was a concentration exercise. “Concentration automatically expands into meditation. If we concentrate on a candle flame we can identify with it. Concentration means identification. The heart can easily do this as it has the quality of oneness,” said Kishore. The audience was encouraged to sit at arm’s length from a candle at home, which wasn’t feasible in such a large meditation class. So a candle was placed on a beautiful holder around 40 centimeters high so everyone could see it. We were then guided to rest our gentle gaze on the flame without staring to hard. Keeping the eyes half open and half closed many of the meditation class members had great experiences of concentration and meditation and they were happy to share them afterwards. The table with a large selection of meditation books and meditation music CD’s was descended upon afterwards as was the remaining cakes and cookies!
The how to meditate books and meditation music CD’s
The whole weekend was very inspirational and fitting as well. There are further free meditation classes and workshops in the Perth area and the audience was invited to attend these meditation classes to find out more about meditation and its benefits. Also much of the music performed and composed specifically for the video productions was by Monk Party, father and son duo from New Zealand who will be visiting later in the year as part of a larger concert of meditation music.
The Sri Chinmoy Centre runs regular sessions offering practical advice on what is involved to meditate. All the classes are free and offered as a community service. Visit the calendar or phone 61614156 to inquire about a free meditation class nearby. We use a variety of locations north of the river and south of the river throughout the year. We also sell incense, meditation books and meditation music at the classes which everyone seems to like.