Inspiration-Letters: writing by Sri Chinmoy's students
A forum for inspired writers with a multitude of backgrounds and interests.
|On this page: Introduction • Browse issues • Meet our contributors|
Inspiration-Letters seeks to offer interesting and original articles on any topic. Authentic, well-written prose is hard to find on the Internet; and we hope that our magazine may help to fill that gap. We warmly welcome our fellow word-lovers and yarn-weavers to join us in this great project.
The word "letters" immediately implies disclosure or revelation. "Inspiration" ultimately derives from the Latin word "inspirare", 'to breathe in'. Taken together, the phrase "Inspiration-Letters" suggests a magazine that features uplifting personal narratives. But, like most literary journals, we're not seeking articles on just one topic or theme. We're hoping to offer prose pieces which will appeal to readers and writers of all spots and stripes!
Franz Kafka once wrote that "writing is prayer". And Jean-Paul Sartre expressed in an essay that we never write for ourselves alone. Without a real or at least an intended audience, the writer is meaningless. I sincerely hope that the stories and articles featured here ring true. Like Cezanne, we strive to offer inspiration and joy by telling the simple truth of our lives and dreams.
Open Issue: our writers were free to write on any topic of their choosing, and the results range from soulful meditations on travel and friendship to a wild and funny take on Lord of the Rings. Read on...
Dreams Issue: Reflecting on dreams, their human and spiritual significance.
Time Issue: Reflecting on the issue of time, timelessness and what time can mean for spiritual seekers
Creativity Issue: Reflecting on the expressive urge from both mystical and pragmatic points of view...
What is the 'Sunlit Path' of devotional spirituality? Find out from 8 different writers' experiences.
Overcome it or roll with it? 8 writers pipe up on one of life's constant companions: Destiny...
In the Silence Edition, 7 writers recall places and times of quietude, and reflect on their influence...
This edition is all about Grace, and the various ways it touches our lives, reaching from the simple everyday to the life-changingly profound...
Six writers talk about their travels with Sri Chinmoy, from Ofuna to "Tobulu", Manhattan to Buffalo, including sheep, cows, and a Wurlitzer organ...
Six tributes to Sri Chinmoy, who passed away on the 11th of October 2007.
What is a sacred space? A temple? A meditation? Could it also be a bike path, a run, a wilderness, a school room, or a dumping ground? Find out in the Sacred Space Edition.
Miracles: From Mexico to Hollywood, from oceans to glaciers, and Koto the Clown to JS Bach.
Book Reviews: featuring a humble horse, an extraordinary egg, oodles of heroism, and a generous helping of grace.
Great Poets Issue: William Shakespeare, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Virgil, Hafiz and... Paul Simon? Well... why not.
Skiing scrapes, racing cars on ice, a 3100-mile run, upside-down juggling, a dauntless swimmer and...how did butterfly collecting get in to the Extreme Sports Edition?
Via popcorn, pianos, chocolate on a mountain-top, a lost novel, and a dropped handkerchief, a diverse group of writers talk about their meditation experiences...
From John Cleese to Shakespeare, via tree branches, cookies, tennis racquets, mountain rangers, the World Cup, and chocolate fish, it's the humour issue...
Getting to the heart of a prolific photographer, a sentimental collector, a great Czech master, some profound Italian frescoes, and a group of very mysterious Romanian visitors...
Einstein to Marx, via saints and rabbits, stars and revolving cars, instincts and intuition, a statistical look at birthdays, a naturalist slant on artistry and spirituality, and a great deal of water...
Climb the mountains of Western China and Europe, run the Philadelphia Marathon, see inside the soul of a house, follow the fate of a tartan scarf, and find God in a chestnut...
From Kung-Fu to treacherous mountaineering, contemplate the sacredness of birthdays and music, run across Italy with a flaming torch, win cycling races, gaze at rainbows...
Mahiruha Klein (Editor)
I write mostly because I would like, in some small way, to emulate those great writers that I so admire. I particularly admire Herman Melville and Somerset Maugham among novelists. My favorite poets include Emily Dickinson, Adrienne Rich and the ancient authors of the Iliad and the Mahabharata.
I was born in New Jersey, which is fitting because it is a transitional place. You pass through New Jersey to get to where you want to go. But if you stop on any one of the hundreds of miles of highways which criss-cross the state, you will see that it is filled with green parks and rivers, summer opera festivals and a college on every corner. It's a state that is always struggling to define it's own identity. I can identify with that!
Writing is an act of self-discovery. For me, writing has always had very important therapeutic uses. By setting my feelings down on paper, they no longer overwhelm me. I can make sense of them and put them in their proper context. Writing is also useful to me to make sense of who I am and what I'm supposed to do with my life. It's a way for me to understand myself better and I am fortunate if my journey of self-discovery through writing can inspire others at all.
- Arizona Strings • Philadelphia Marathon • World Harmony Run: Reflections On Water • Memories Of Collecting • Milk And Cookies • Why Do I Meditate? • Ben Jonson On Grief And Faith • An Extraordinary Egg by Leo Lionni • A Miracle Story Told In Music • Spaces And Learning • Sri Chinmoy, Bach & Beethoven • Silence • Overcoming Destiny • Reflections on the Sunlit Path • Beethoven and Spelling Bees • Time
Sri Chinmoy expresses the essence of meditation and spirituality through his art and writing, which is a constant source of inspiration to me in the Sri Chinmoy Centre. There is always a lot of scope for channelling creativity here, and always a chance to enjoy the creativity of others. My favourite form of creativity is writing. I write about whatever inspires me. It seems the longer I try to lead a spiritual life, the more I observe the beauty and happiness in the simple things around me. I write about nature, about people, and about ordinary things that happen in my life, from which I derive extraordinary value. I am very glad to be able to share these writings through Inspiration-Letters.
I became a student of Sri Chinmoy in 1998. Being a member of the Sri Chinmoy Centre has enriched my life in many ways, offering me the opportunity to discover, unfold and develop qualities and capacities I never knew I had and giving me a sense of spiritual well-being and fulfilment. I like the idea expressed by Sri Chinmoy of combining an inner, spiritual life with a dynamic and versatile outer life. As an art-lover I enjoy writing prose and poetry - both on this forum and on the Sri Chinmoy Inspiration Group - and also like playing music, singing and acting, but my main passion in life is running, especially the marathon. In my daily life I am a freelance journalist living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
New York, USA
I started writing many years ago just as a way to express what was happening in my life from time to time. I usually just write whatever happens to come into my mind, hopefully from my heart. Although I do not consider myself as a serious or adept writer, I try to offer something meaningful, or at least of some inspirational value, through writing in my own simple way. Because I have been quite serious about running, meditation and spirituality for most of my life, that is what I usually am inspired express through words. I do hope that my words do not get in the way of truly expressing the depth and meaning of the experiences that I attempt to write about.
New York, USA
Auckland, New Zealand
When the great Pope John Paul II visited New Zealand in 1986, he pointed out that the Otago/Southland diocese in New Zealand was the region of the Catholic Church furthest from Rome. It is also true that the mosque in Christchurch is the mosque furthest from Mecca. New Zealanders like to think that living as far from the centre of things as it is possible to do, gives them a perfect perspective on things. From their little slice of clear-skied, green, nuclear-free, South Pacific paradise they can cast a clear and unjaundiced eye over the world. Barney McBryde was born in Invercargill, the southernmost city in New Zealand . . . the southernmost city in the world. This, he claims, is the only credential he needs to write about . . . anything.
- Of Saints And Rabbits • The Universal Language • Loitering With Intent • The Extremes Of Sport • My Friend Nick • The Year of the Horse by Sam Mahon • Cuauhtlatoatzin: The Miracle Of The Humble • Sacred Space Memoirs • Journey To A Lamb's Heart • Lessons from Laetitia • Seven Drops of Silence • Sunless Wood: Sunlit Path • Ten Days To Learn About Time
Bristol - England
I am a ceramic artist and part-time visiting instructor and research assistant in enamel at the University of the West of England. My work is based upon and flows from my inner life of prayer, meditation and service, during which I focus on the spiritual heart. This is for me the source of joy, love and oneness. These qualities I hope to offer to people who see the work. Focusing on the spiritual heart also encourages a childlike simplicity which I feel shaping my life and work. This may also explain my preference for bright colours, simple shapes and cheerful, beautiful things. As a medium, I am particularly drawn to clay because of the infinite ways it can be shaped, treated and used. Its scope and potential are a continual inspiration to me. Ultimately, I like to make pieces that make people smile. In this way I hope the world to be a happier place. You are most welcome to visit my website
Auckland, New Zealand
They say that putting pen to paper's turning blood to ink
and others scrutinize your thoughts—you really need to think!
With paints you're fine, a six year old can obfuscate, conceal,
while others think their dabblings do a genius reveal.
Take poetry too, e'en though you fail to scale Elysian heights
the mysteries of your quirky style will always bring delights.
But prose! Your very souls's laid bare, the critics draw their knives,
they carp and quibble, nitpick, send us fleeing for our lives.
So gentle reader, overlook my literary transgressions
and if my thoughts show symptoms of a cranial regression
encourage me to paint or sing, choose anything at random,
I'm really not much good at prose, quod erat demonstrandum.
- A Spiritual Memoir • At The Beach • Myth And Moment • Stories From The Path • Fast Track To God • Living On The Edge • Tears For Dead Children: An Incident From Malaysia • Grace by Sri Chinmoy • Four Mini-Miracles • Sketches From A Traveller's Journal • A Few Reflections • Inner And Outer Journeys • Of Grace and other Secrets • Remembering October • Some Thoughts On The Way Forward • Down by the River: Remembering My Grandfather • New York Interludes
Auckland, New Zealand
Writing is something I never considered myself to be particularly good at, but practising meditation as a student of Sri Chinmoy has changed my conception of self, writing included.
Meditation teaches us to put aside attitudes and ways of thinking that limit our potential; it opens to those who seek it a whole new world of imagination and creativity. So it has in my life: graphic design, web-development, video-editing and writing are just some of the creative activities I pursue—even make a living from—and all have emerged from my daily practise of stilling mind and opening heart.
Writing for me is all parts inspiration and self-discovery. It is inspiring to do, inspiring for others to read—hopefully—and by approaching it as another form of meditation, it helps me to uncover a wiser, deeper, more illumining part of myself—an inner voice of inspiration.
I'm a student of Sri Chinmoy, based in Canberra, Australia. I also happen to be a freelance writer, and some of my work can be found on my website, which was recently updated for the first time since about 1964. Also, I write regular articles about Sri Chinmoy Centre activities.
Rhode Island, USA
As a librarian and bibliophile, I especially resonate with the written word. I began studying meditation as Sri Chinmoy's student in 1985 and my spiritual strivings and creative expression are primarily a spirit of delight in the supernal beauty of God. I often find an act of centering prayer in artistic expression, especially when harmonising with Nature. I am happiest when the writing of prose and poetry or the taking of photographs leads me to a hushed place of kneeling in awe of a universe of oneness much vaster than myself. I live and work in adjoining New England states, both located near the Atlantic Ocean's coast. As a transplanted New Englander, I find that living near the sea nourishes me deeply and sparks creativity on many levels.
- Rainbow Visions • Finding the Right Portrait • Artistry In The Sand • Paris, Je t'aime! • Say No To Woe • Meditation Is A Wisdom Messenger • Change Ringing • RX: Write a Poem, Read a Poem, Find Vision's Shore • The Divine Hero by Sri Chinmoy • Miracle In Jamaica, New York • Nothing To Declare? • The Tallest Tree • The Perfect Day • Pennies from Heaven or The Coin of Grace • Solo Style Silence • Devotion to the Feet of God • Creativity is a Pineapple Omelette • 2 Hours 40 Minutes - Timeless Trek
The world of languages beckoned to my present lifetime when I was a child. Letters and postcards were the only messengers to unknown horizons in the dialogue among cultures.
Having received later the influence of three great South American women poets—Gabriela Mistral, Alfonsina Storni and Juana De Ibarbourou—I rather felt the inspiration to write short rhyming poems on spirituality in Spanish at the time Maestro Sri Chinmoy founded the first Meditation Centre in Argentina nearly 27 years ago. Since then his ever transparent and sublime poetry has invited me to undertake a new challenge—writing in the English language.
If you empathize with any of these poems, it is all due to my Guru´s unconditional and benevolent guidance, which is carrying me to share the music and images words may convey in their celebration of Life.