Britain’s Devashishu Torpy visited Perth for a number of free lectures and meditation workshops in early March. Meditating since of the age of nine he has found that it benefits him in all aspects of life. An accomplished actor, playwright and speaker, his Perth metropolitan tour was an exclusive, being the only place he spoke in Australia after a nearby visit to Bali then a Peace Run on the east coast of Australia. Devashishu learnt meditation under at age of nine from meditation teacher Sri Chinmoy who was one of the first Indian spiritual leaders to give a lecture at the University of WA (one of the venues Devashishu spoke at) way back in 1976 in Winthrop Hall.
“I find meditation gives me inner peace as well as happiness and energy,” commented Devashishu on his love for meditation. He uses the skill in many situations. He has acted in front of royalty, performed in front of rock stars and has also visited and lectured in over fifty countries around the world, sharing his insights into the meditation lifestyle. Participants learnt practical techniques such as breathing and concentration, how to live more in the heart and heard stories and anecdotes from his multifaceted life including the political division in his own country, a meeting with Mother Teresa and his Indian born father sculpting a statue where the public can meditate outdoors at the scented gardens in Perth. “I really enjoyed Perth. It is beautiful here and getting to talk about meditation is something very close to my heart,” he said.
He gave lectures in Bennett and Co Law Firm, Curtin University, the University of Western Australia and his weekend workshop in Subiaco was attended by a crowd of 247 people. Overall over 300 came to his talks. A great crowd to hear an accomplished speaker. Afterwards he relaxed and visited the beautiful Caversham Wildlife Park where he spent time handling and petting koalas, wombats and kangaroos but understandably he wholeheartedly rejected the opportunity to hold a native python! Caversham dedicated itself to peace in 2013 as a Sri Chinmoy Peace Blossom Wildlife Park joining with many other significant locations around the world. The plaque still looks great and the park is stunning, filled with the fauna and flora of Australia.
The Perth Sri Chinmoy Centre conducts free meditation classes in many locations around Perth both North and South of the River. Some locations we commonly use for free meditation classes include Melville, Inglewood, South Perth and Subiaco. Usually the free meditation classes are held one night a week for four weeks. We also run free weekend workshops, almost like a meditation retreat whilst sleeping in your own bed. Visit our calendar or phone 61614156 for more information on our free meditation seminars. After the classes interested people are invited to attend our regular free meditation group.
Meditation is being in silence. Free from the constant unending stream of uninspiring and irrelevant thoughts that usually enter into our minds. To meditate we need to stop thoughts. It is simple to do, but difficult at the same time because we incorrectly learned from a young age that the mind is what needs to be developed. Meditation takes us away from our intellectual and analytical mind. To something deeper within. In a meditation class I attended once, I heard the instructor mention to the students: “When you are beginning, consider it a success if you can reduce the number or volume of thoughts.” True, to a great extent but as you improve, in deep meditation, you have no thoughts. Says Sri Chinmoy “The surface of the sea is a multitude of waves, but the sea below is not affected. In the deepest depths, at the bottom of the sea, it is all tranquility. So when you start meditating, try to feel your own inner existence is like the bottom of the sea—calm and quiet. Feel that your whole being is surcharged with peace and tranquility. Then let the waves come from the outside world. Fear, doubt, worry—the earthly turmoil—will all be washed away, because inside is solid peace.”
Thinking Too Much
So how do we stop thoughts? There are various practices you can employ. Below are three which we teach in our free meditation classes (as well as many others).
- Concentration: this involves focusing awareness and not letting your mind to wander or drift off. “In concentration we focus our attention on a particular subject or object and do not allow our mind to roam,” says Sri Chinmoy. “Thought-waves must stop in concentration. We are like a bullet entering into something divine, or we are like a magnet: we are pulling the object of our concentration towards us. This is concentration.”
- Visualisation: one of my friends liked to visualise himself ducking when a thought came in meditation, or he felt a thought to be a bird he just let it fly past overhead. Another took a more aggressive approach and imagined he had a samurai sword and was cutting them to pieces!
- Access your silent loving heart: Sometimes beginners are under the impression if you have no thoughts you will be a simpleton. It is not like that. You can access more fulfilling parts of your being. The heart for instance Sri Chinmoy describes as like a Himalayan cave or a beautiful garden, peaceful and tranquil. Conversely the mind is like Times Square on New Years eve or a dense jungle. Where would you rather be?
It takes daily meditation practice and attendance at a regular meditation group to get really good at meditation. You will gradually learn the art of meditation and unlearn thinking too much! Attend some of our free classes or free meditation workshop retreats to learn more about it.