This is a personal account by Suswara on Sri Chinmoy's concert of meditative music in Prague in October 2004.
I love these trips!
So many experiences, so much inspiration, in such a short time.
I left behind a cold and wet Bristol to arrive a few hours later in sunny Prague. On arriving in a foreign country you begin to notice the differences straight away. However, when you meditate regularly you become aware of subtle things more easily – inner qualities, and so as well as noticing that the cars, buildings and language – outer things – are different, you also get an inner feeling for the place you are visiting.
In Prague the two qualities I felt were simplicity and purity. If you want to understand what I mean by these two qualities then I would suggest reading some of Sri Chinmoy’s writings. However, I wish to say that by simplicity I do not mean stupidity, but the absence of stress and complication in life, which is a good thing!
On arriving at the concert hall you start to see familiar faces – your friends from the Sri Chinmoy Centres around the world. These friendships are so special – you have with them a relationship like no other. These friendships are based on the heart, the centre of oneness. With each of these friends you feel a common bond – you are connected in some way, and you can feel this even if you can’t speak to each other in the same language.
As you greet each friend and share a few words there are so many smiles! Each smile comes directly from the heart – they are expressions of the joy and peace found in meditation - and with each smile you feel an inner thrill, a swell of joy in your heart. Ten minutes ago you were feeling tired and exhausted after travelling for hours with heavy luggage, but now you feel fresh and alive. You feel energised and inspired; you feel part of a larger family; you feel you have come home.
Then, the concert itself. How to describe this experience of experiences! Of course, the experience varies from concert to concert, but I always feel it is like an inner journey.
Each instrument brings forward a different quality – from the haunting intensity of the Indian esraj to the meditative peace of the flute, from the sweetness of the recorder to the powerful splendour of the piano. And then there is the singing, which is a world in itself. Some songs have such a tender sweetness to them, while others have tremendous devotion while still others have a powerful intensity. A whole spectrum of spiritual feelings are found in Sri Chinmoy’s songs. Some songs are sung unaccompanied and others are sung with harmonium, cello or other instruments.
In this concert my favourite instrument is Sri Chinmoy’s new synthesizer – a really diverse mixture of sounds and dynamic drum rhythms. It is loud to say the least! Listening to it I feel absolutely engulfed in a powerful sea of sound - a tremendous divine transforming force – filling the hall and willing me to lose myself in it.
It feels like we have come a long way on our journey and now it takes a new turn. Some people leave, feeling that this is not the right music for them, but others come forward to the front as if drawn by the music. Near me, in the aisle, a child appears and sits cross-legged, meditating. It is the first time she has been to a concert like this and she is transfixed.
Eventually the concert draws to an end and to laud applause Sri Chinmoy bows to the audience with his hands folded in silent meditation. The journey has come to an end but our hearts are filled with joy and our minds are filled with inspiration as we peacefully make our way back to our hotels.