Latest news and features

from Sri Chinmoy Centres around the world.
31 MarchWicklow, Ireland

If I were a book, what would my title be? - a creative project

Sri Chinmoy asked his students to meet together frequently for meditation, spiritual activities and fun that he called Joy-Days. Very often, these happen over a weekend when people from all the Sri Chinmoy Centres in a country, or even in different countries, can come together.

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On one such recent weekend in Co Wicklow, Ireland, students of Sri Chinmoy from Ireland and England came together. As part of the weekend, different members engaged in a spontaneous creativity project given the simple question 'If I were a book, what would my title be?'. Ambarish from the Dublin Centre collected all of these questions and made some charming videos, which you can see below:

Whatever we do in life — whether we are praying, talking to our friends or participating in sports — we are trying to receive joy at every moment. But joy we can have only when we have a peaceful life. We are all longing for joy, and joy abides only in peace. At every moment we are given the opportunity to feel peace in the depths of our heart on the strength of our prayer-life and our meditation-life.

Sri Chinmoy 1

Some of the participants in a recent Joy Day in Co.Wicklow

 

20 March

International Day of Happiness 2018

In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly designated 20 March as the International Day of Happiness, and Sri Chinmoy Centres around the world have been marking this day with workshops, poetry readings and cultural events every year since. Dublin and New York were just two of the Sri Chinmoy Centres that organised events to celebrate this day.

Dublin

Workshop and poetry reading

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This years' programme was an hour and a half long, interspersing meditation exercises and songs with poems on the theme of happiness. The audience was welcomed by Mangala Keenan from the Dublin Centre, who introduced the event with some background history of International Happiness Day, noting that the first year's events organised at the United Nations incorporated readings from the book Jewels of Happiness by Sri Chinmoy. Mangala spoke about Sri Chinmoy’s service to the United Nations for over 35 years and how, as his students, we continue to offer such events to the public.

Some of the poetry readings were by members of the Dublin Centre, including Cathy Torres, who read Sri Chinmoy's poetry along with her own composition Happiness in Silver, Gold and Diamond, which by the end had the entire audience smiling.

New York

Panorama Cafe, in Queens, an enterprise owned by Sri Chinmoy's students, hosts regular poetry readings, music performances and other cultural events - including one to celebrate this year's Day of Happiness.

Sri Chinmoy wrote many poems and gave several talks about the importance of cultivating happiness.

Sri Chinmoy’s book The Jewels of Happiness was released on 20 March 2013 to honour the International Day of Happiness and includes writings on how we can cultivate real happiness in our daily life. It was later released in audiobook form, read out by such luminaries as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Roberta Flack and Carl Lewis.

Audio:Desmond Tutu reads from the opening chapter, titled 'Peace' of the Jewels of Happiness

You can listen to a selection of recitations from the book at Radio Sri Chinmoy.

 

“If you are happy, it will help you to a great extent. If you are unhappy, you won’t make any progress at all. On the contrary, you will be marching backwards. Real outer happiness is not self-deception. It does not come from wasting time and indulging in pleasure-life. Real outer happiness is something totally different. It comes from inner joy and inner satisfaction.”

Sri Chinmoy 1

Sri Chinmoy suggested an integral approach to happiness. Both prayer and meditation are important, but he also encouraged a dynamic approach to life - he felt happiness could be cultivated through sport and serving the world.

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Launch of the Jewels of Happiness on International Happiness Day, 2013

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19 March

Seeking Perfect Health - New book

 Perfect Health is a new book which compiles the writings of Sri Chinmoy on the subject of health.

perfect healthPerfect Health looks at the important subject of health from a spiritual perspective. In particular, Sri Chinmoy mentions how our state of mind can have an influence on our body and mental health. This book includes a question and answer section, where Sri Chinmoy advises on practical steps that readers can take to improve their overall health and well-being

Topics include

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  • How to deal with stress and depression.
  • The link between health and karma.
  • How to maintain healthy weight.
  • How to get the best night’s sleep.

Link between health and meditation.

This book will be relevant to anyone who is interested in a spiritual perspective on life and good health. It gives an insight into how we can cultivate our life energy, peace of mind and live more in harmony with our body, environment. Sri Chinmoy's book will inspire us to gain more satisfaction from looking after and appreciating our health. 

“It is one thing to have good health and another thing to deliberately maintain good health. Unless you are consciously keeping good health, at any moment you may be attacked by some forces. It is like having a large amount of money without knowing about it. If you are not conscious of it, you may easily lose it.”1

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6 March

Shamita's Run across Austria

During the depths of winter, Shamita Achenbach-Konig undertook a challenging seven day run across the length of Austria. She ran 640km over a total of seven days to take her from her birthplace of Bregenz, in the very west of Austria, to her home in Vienna.

Video
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Shamita, a member of the Sri Chinmoy Centre, undertook this feat of endurance to put into practise Sri Chinmoy's philosophy of self-transcendence.

“I do not have any set goal; my goal is self-transcendence. I always try to transcend myself. I do not compete with the rest of the world. I compete only with myself, and I try to become a better human being. This is my ultimate goal.”

– Sri Chinmoy 1

Sri Chinmoy teaches that physical self-transcendence can also enable us to bring to the fore our inner capacities such as endurance, patience and faith. As Shamita says:

"When we run, we connect with a higher world, with a divine consciousness that is the same as meditation. For me, running is meditation or a long prayer in which thoughts become still…one gains access to levels of consciousness that bring light, joy, peace, and happiness."

During her run, Shamita had to contend with 4,000m of ascent and descent, plus the harsh weather of an Austrian winter. Shamita is a professional cellist by profession but has been running ultra-distance races with the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team for over 25 years.

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2 MarchSofia, Bulgaria

European Peace Run begins in Bulgaria

Heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm for the start of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run in Bulgaria last weekend.

Members of the Peace Run visit a local school

The run, which aims to promote peace and harmony, began it’s 2018 journey from the capital of Bulgaria Sofia.

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The Peace Run begins

The start of the run was witnessed by a cross-section of the local community who offered their good wishes to the runners.

The Mayor of Sofia offers her good-wishes to the Peace Run.
 
peace-run
The Peace Runners will covers several thousand km and cross several countries before it finishes in Lisbon on 8th Oct. The run continue in all weathers!

 

The Peace Run Torch
The Peace Run Torch

“No price is too great to pay for inner peace. Peace is the harmonious control of life. It is vibrant with life-energy. It is a power that easily transcends all our worldly knowledge.”

- Sri Chinmoy 1

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26 February

Abhejali completes the 'Oceans Seven' swimming challenge

Recently, Abhejali Bernardova, a member of the Sri Chinmoy Centre from Zlin in the Czech Republic, successfully swam across the Cook Strait of New Zealand to become only the 10th swimmer and 4th woman to complete the global Oceans Seven challenge.

abhejali

The Oceans Seven Challenge was founded in 2008, creating the challenge of swimming seven major crossings of open water around the world.

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The swim crossings include The English Channel, the Strait of Gibraltar, Catalina Channel in California, Tsugaru Channel (Japan), the Irish Channel between Ireland and Scotland, Molokai (Kaiwi) Channel in Hawaii and the Cook Strait. The swims have to be completed under traditional English Channel rules (unassisted and no neoprene suit)

With the support of fellow members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, Abhejali successfully completed her seventh and final challenge between the two major islands of New Zealand. 

Abhejali's swim occurred in the aftermath of cyclone Gita hitting New Zealand just a few days before.  During the swim, she had to overcome seasickness, jellyfish, strong currents, cold water and many other challenges to finish the 22km distance (as the crow flies) in a time of 13 hours, 9 minutes and 48 seconds. However, Abhejali remarked on how the tides were so strong, that she spent time swimming but effectively going backwards.

"Maybe for about three hours, or a little longer I basically swam but still actually the current was taking us back, the direction to Wellington and then there were big swells and I was seasick for the first five hours and then a little bit more." (Radio NZ)

Asked how she felt after finishing the epic swim, Abhejali remarked: "Grateful and happy."

14 February

Peace Run visits Nepal

Earlier this week, the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run visited Nepal, including a visit to the sacred Shanti Stupa (Peace Shrine) in Pokhara on top of Ananda Hill.

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During the opening ceremony, Mr Tej Bahadur Gurung offered his gratitude to the runners and expressed a strong hope that the message of the Peace Run would spread from this part of Nepal to all over the World.

nepal

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Many distinguished guests from the city of Pokhara (2nd largest in Nepal) came to take part in this ceremony - to join in with an international team of runners from several countries around the world.

The shrine of Shanti Stupa features four statues of the Buddha facing in four different directions.

peace-run

The runners also met with schoolchildren and locals who were moved to see the Peace Run pass through their city.

peace-run

Previously the Nepal Peace Run had started at the Sri Chinmoy Statue in Nagarkot in the foothills of the Himalayas.

During his lifetime, Sri Chinmoy visited Nepal on a few occasions, meeting with His Majesty Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, King of Nepal in Feb 1998. Sri Chinmoy considered himself a student of peace and by travelling around the world sought to inspire others to follow a more peaceful approach to life.

How I wish I could tell
The whole world
That I wish to live only
At one place:
The foot of peace-mountain.

Sri Chinmoy [1]

peace-run-statue

After the event, Ashrita Furman endeavoured to break a Guinness World Record for flipping a lit sword in the air in as many times as possible in 30 seconds. He managed 28 in the allotted time!

More coverage of the Peace Run at

12 FebruaryLondon, United Kingdom

Purushottama Boris Grebenshikov in London

Recently, Boris Grebenshikov (Purushottama) offered a special concert in London dedicated to the musical legacy of Sri Chinmoy. Purushottama performed with a selection of international guests, including several members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre. The concert was played to a packed audience at Holy Trinity Church, London with concertgoers expressing their appreciation for the music and unique atmosphere of the event.

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Short video of the concert

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This video offers a few selected highlights from the concert and includes a song dedicated to Saraswati. Purushottama composed this song shortly after meeting Sri Chinmoy for the first time in February 2006. Sri Chinmoy was deeply impressed with the singer's soulful composition and offered a few Sanskrit words to help complete the song. 1


In 2007, Sri Chinmoy invited his good friend Purushottama to offer a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London and the United Nations in New York. Both venues were of great significance to Sri Chinmoy as he offered meditations at the United Nations since 1970; 2 and several Peace Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall.

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7 February

Mountain Silence perform at UN in Geneva for Indian 70th anniversary

To help celebrate the 70th Anniversary of India's Republic Day, the music group Mountain Silence were invited to offer a concert of music to those attending the celebrations at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Mountain Silence is an ensemble of women’s musicians who are based in Zurich, Germany and Austria. They have been performing the music of Sri Chinmoy since 1988 in concerts all around the world. The group was introduced by Ms. S.V. Klabnikova as follows:

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“The pure and uplifting tunes of these songs are characterized by deep inwardness and joyfully ascending dynamics... They allow the listeners to feel the peace and beauty of their own heart to be free to get carried away or dive deep in the enchanting melodies.”

"And it is on that note that the group strives to use this heartfelt music as a channel to promote harmony, oneness and understanding among all countries and cultures because there is far more that unites us than divides us. These are essentially the core principles that the United Nations is built upon and which we fully and proudly support.”

 

The celebration was held in the halls of the UN World Intellectual Property Organisation, with about 700 guests and friends in attendance. Sponsored by the Permanent Mission of India in Geneva, the evening aimed to celebrate the spiritual, cultural and economic strengths of India as it looks forward to the future.

Sri Chinmoy was born in 1931, in Bengal (then part of India) and grew up in south India, before moving to the West in 1964. Sri Chinmoy often spoke of his love for India and in 1997 he offered 50 peace concerts around the world to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of India’s Independence. Speaking on the divine mission of India, Sri Chinmoy wrote:

“Our Bharat Mata always beckons the length and breadth of the world. She inspires the seekers. She elevates the consciousness of those who sincerely thirst for a higher life, a life of illumination and perfection.

India, in its purest sense, is neither a matter-hungry nor a world-shunning country.

An indomitable will is energising Bharat Mata. Progress, both material and spiritual, is being effected with lightning speed." 1

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Audio: A sample of Mountain Silence's music from one of their many recordings over the years. More available at Radio Sri Chinmoy (see link below)

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5 February

Inspiration-Letters - Running issue

In this edition of "Inspiration-Letters," several writers from the Sri Chinmoy Centre share their thoughts on the topic of running. From reminiscences of coming last in a race to the spiritual odyssey of running a 47-mile race and thoughts on the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race.

To Sri Chinmoy, running was an essential aspect of his spiritual path, teaching that the inner running and outer running should go together because running can definitely encourage good qualities of dynamism, concentration, perseverance and transcendence of mental problems.

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“Running helps us considerably. Running is continuous motion. Because of our running, we feel that there is a goal — not only an outer goal but also an inner goal.”

– Sri Chinmoy [1]

Editor of Inspiration-Letters, Mahiruha Klein offers a suitable introduction - remarking on some of his memories of being inspired by running on Sri Chinmoy's Path.

"The longest race in the world is the Sri Chinmoy 3,100 Mile Self-Transcendence Race, held every summer in Queens.  The runners need to complete at least sixty miles a day (more than two marathons daily) to finish in the fifty-day cutoff.  I have often gone to see them; sometimes I just go and sit and read.  The feeling of self-transcendence is palpable.  Whenever I go to watch them run, I feel I should maintain soulful silence.  I feel like these runners are a symbolic offering to the world, through their own stamina, endurance, determination, they are pathfinders of a new world."

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