Latest news and features
Festival of Meditation
Dublin's now-established annual ‘Festival of Meditation’ took place this June, with eight days of events in three different venues attended by approximately 325 people. The festival included talks, workshops and a public concert of meditation music with two international groups. The concert featured guided meditations and mantras so that the public could join in.
The concert groups
Both of the groups have played meditation concerts in many countries, and are very popular with audiences.
Mangala's Group - an international female singing group led by Mangala from the Dublin Centre
Ashru Dhara - male instrumental group from the Netherlands, Germany, France and Ireland.
The festival also included a weekend workshop on sports and meditation given by guest speaker, Abhinabha Tangerman from Amsterdam. Abhinabha has a 2:27 marathon personal best, and has recently entered the world of Guinness record-breaking, setting records in unique disciplines such as one-handed clapping and keeping balloons in the air.
The week finished up with an Evening of Music & Mantras which incorporated excerpts from Sri Chinmoy’s book ‘The Source of Music’
As the event was considerably over-subscribed, a follow-up week of introductory classes were organised which are currently on-going.
Impossibility Challenger 2018 in Portugal
Impossibility Challenger is a festival dedicated to pushing the limits of human possibility and achievement. The event was founded in 1982 by Sri Chinmoy and this year's (2018) edition was recently held in Leiria, Portugal. The event was organised by a team of volunteers from the Portuguese Sri Chinmoy Centres who welcomed participants from around the globe. During the event new personal, national and world records were set, ranging from long-distance swimming and one-handed clapping to successfully reciting poems.
Impossibility Challenger is open to anyone who wishes to try and set a world record or personal best in any non-Olympic discipline. Participants are free to tackle existing records and also create their own unique personal challenge.
The spirit of the event is to encourage individual self-transcendence in a joyful and supportive environment. It is a non-commercial event with participants motivated by the wish to challenge themselves and inspire others through their own unique ways. The event welcomes participants from all over the world and a diverse range of backgrounds.
Highlight from 2018 edition include
Abhinabha Tangerman (Netherlands)
- Completing 615 alternate one-handed claps in one minute.
- New record for consecutive one-handed claps in one minute.
- Successfully keeping two balloons in the air using only his head for 1 minute 9 seconds.
- Successfully keeping three balloons in the air for 39 minutes 49 seconds.
Ashrita Furman (USA)
- Catching 40 marshmallows with his mouth in one minute, that were shot to him with a home-made catapult.
- Extinguishing 102 burning blow torches in one minute using his tongue.
- Breaking 64 pencils with his head in one minute.
Ashrita has been the holder of the most Guinness World Records for over 25 years.
Andrea Mercato from Italy
- Swimming 200 km in a 25m pool in a total of 7 days.
The International Sri Chinmoy Centre Girls Music Group
Consecutively performing 1,397 songs, for 27 hours 27 minutes 27 seconds.
Isilda Ferreira Duarte from Portugal
Creating the biggest cloth wheel "mother in law" with 1.98 metres in diameter and 6.18 metres in perimeter, using the traditional Portuguese technique. (World Record)
Núcleo de Espeleologia de Leiria and friends
Vertically ascending 5730 m and descending 5730 m on a climbing rope in 12 hours.
Gustavo Fonseca from Portugal (7-years old)
Folding seven different origamis with seven folds each in 27 minutes.
Hugo Rito from Portugal
Running a half-marathon distance (21 km) backwards in 3 hours 32 minutes 4 seconds.
Jorge Cardinalli from Portugal
Simultaneously spinning 21 plates on sticks for 1 hour 19 minutes 21.32 seconds.
Maria Leão and friends from the Sri Chinmoy Centre
Reciting 645 poems consecutively for 7 hours.
Radek Rosa from the Czech Republic
Pulling a 17,299 kg truck loaded with 13 people for 20 metres in 47.44 seconds.
Vaibhava Kuschnow from Austria
Climbing a 5B+ degree climbing wall, 10 metres high, with inline skates on his feet and without using the brake stopper. It took him only 56,20 seconds.
Carlos Vieira from Portugal
Cycling one-handed for 8 hours 6 minutes and covered a distance of 74,4 km.
Our 6-day Race champion Petra explains the link between running and meditation
Petra Kasperova from the Czech Republic took won 2018 Sri Chinmoy Six Day Race in New York this April with a total of 370 miles - at only her second attempt at running a multi-day event. Petra is a meditation student of Sri Chinmoy, who felt that sports and meditation could go hand in hand as part of a fulfilling life. As well as offering free meditation classes and concerts around the world, Sri Chinmoy's students also organise athletic events, and have become especially well known for organising ultramarathon races such as the 6 day race that Petra won.
On the surface, these races are quite gruelling and the runner has to overcome many obstacles. However, as Petra explains, the key for her is just to stay happy.
"I try to go with the flow and do what gives me joy. Because it is about joy! Do not underestimate the power of joy. I mean, suffering and pain is part of it, but overlooking it all should be your fulfilled, joyful you."
Participants in these races are often out on the course for many hours at a time, and so learning to deal with having so much time on your hands is essential. For Petra, the practise of meditation is key:
"(Meditation) has been part of my life since 2010. It has transformed my life and I cannot imagine my life without it. It is something very natural, something that we all can do if we try to stop the constant flow of thoughts flooding our minds. It takes practise, patience, perseverance but it is 100% worth it."
"The techniques can change from race to race and even during a race. I like to repeat mantras, qualities and prayers...I try not to think at all, just to be focused. Repeating qualities like gratitude seem to keep my mind clear and make me more aware of what is going on inside of me and also outside of me...
I love identifying myself with the beauty and vastness of nature. I get a lot of inspiration and joy from Mother Nature. I also like to sing songs. I find that when the mind is focused, not roaming about thinking and daydreaming, I feel a constant flow of energy flowing in and through me, my intuition seems to work better, I am more present in the here and now and I feel more conscious of what I am doing and why."
Of course, one big question is why people would want to do these kinds of races. For Petra, these races are part of a quest for greater self-discovery and to be a better person. Her teacher, Sri Chinmoy loved the concept of self-transcendence - the idea that one could get tremendous joy and fulfilment by going beyond their perceived limitations. Petra describes running as "part and parcel of our spiritual path... Running is a symbol of self-transcendence, physical fitness, discipline, self-giving... which are all pillars of Sri Chinmoy's path."
"I find that running has made me stronger, not just physically but on many different levels. It is always when we go outside our comfort zones, outside what we think is possible, when we transcend ourselves in any field of life (not just running), that's the time where we need to dig deep, and when we do, we get glimpses of who we truly are and who we really want to be – for a happy self and a happy world."
Petra was recently featured in a new inspirational book 'Superhuman' by Rowan Hooper. The book highlights a range of people who have achieved notable features of self-transcendence. Hooper examines the inner strength, discipline and motivation of these different individuals who have achieved extraordinary things.
- Petra's Victory in the Six-Day Race 2018 at Run and Become
- Six-Day Race at Sri Chinmoy Races
- Superhuman by Rowan Hooper at Amazon
Photos: Utpal Marshall. Perfection Journey (Blog on finish of 2018 race)
New recordings at Radio Sri Chinmoy
At Radio Sri Chinmoy there are new recordings of music from groups within the Sri Chinmoy Centre. It includes performances from meditative functions and also a humorous play. The music includes a sitar performance by Adesh, soulful Sanskrit chants from Vedic Fire and more dynamic arrangements by Jagadhata's Group.
Radio Sri Chinmoy regularly publishes new music from groups within the Sri Chinmoy Centre. It is also a store of many recordings made by Sri Chinmoy during his Peace Concerts and recording sessions.
“Music is psychic enlightenment. Music is the supreme fulfilment of the aspiring human soul.”
Sri Chinmoy 1
- Flute music playlist - A selection of Sri Chinmoy's numerous flute performances, using a variety of different flutes.
- Sitar music by Adesh - The sitar is a haunting and soulful instrument from India. On this recording, Adesh performs his interpretation of the music of Sri Chinmoy.
- Jagadhata's Group - a dynamic and joyful arrangement of Sri Chinmoy's music.
- Meditation performances from New York, 31 May. Two different groups - an all female acapela singing group and a male instrumental group. Both performing the music of Sri Chinmoy with different contrasts.
- The Astrologer fulfils his prophecy - an original story by Sri Chinmoy adapted by Suren Leosson from Iceland. The story has been given a humorous twist and flavour of "Jeeves and Wooster."
New Book on Nature and Spirituality
Durjaya Thomas Pliske is a university professor and co-leader of the Sri Chinmoy Centre in Miami with his wife, Drishti. He has been a nature-lover since childhood, and last year he published a book called Light, Truth and Nature which attempts to integrate the spiritual, artistic and scientific perspectives of Nature.
How did you become interested in Nature?
In this life, it started when I was a very young child, probably age 2 or 3, but who knows how far back the roots go. I was lucky to live my early childhood in a rural part of North Carolina surrounded by forests, meadows, farms and gardens. Some of my earliest memories spring from my curiosity about living things: insects, spiders, birds, reptiles, flowers, our pets (dogs and cats) and the farm animals that were our neighbors. I was a very tactile kid. I wanted to catch things, hold them and examine them, not just observe. I learned the hard way about bees, wasps, spiders and some snakes, luckily not from any of the poisonous snakes that are common in the American South. Once when I was five I managed by stealth and stalking to catch a woodpecker by hand in front of my parents and relatives. They couldn’t believe it. “Did you see that? Tommy caught a bird! He just picked it up!”
Butterflies were my childhood embodiment of absolute beauty and soul’s thrill - I became a lepidopteran expert while still in elementary school, and began to collect them. Over the years I amassed a huge collection, but when I met my Guru, Sri Chinmoy, in the early 1970s and began to see Nature from a spiritual perspective, I gave up accumulating dead specimens and reverted to my childhood appreciation of their living beauty. At our Miami Sri Chinmoy Centre we have planted butterfly nectar flowers and larval hostplants, so we can always enjoy their presence - more than 30 species as regular visitors.
How did you become interested in spirituality?
My mother was my first spiritual teacher and guide to the inner aspect of Nature. Wherever we lived, she was the gardener and ecosystem manager of the family. She taught me about the sacredness of life and the natural cycles of the environment, with a perspective that was a combination of Christianity and indigenous spirituality. My father was a biological/medical scientist and taught me about the physical side of Nature, but he left the spiritual instruction to my mother. Both parents encouraged my wildlife and ecology interests, even when I started keeping reptiles in my mother’s laundry tubs in the basement. Once when a big water snake escaped down there, I confided first in my father. He said, “Tell your mother you found it and let it go, unless you want to wash your own clothes for the rest of your life.”
My first contact with Eastern spirituality came in 1960 when I bought a book at the Amherst, Massachusetts, town fair for 25 cents: Yoga Psychology by Swami Abhedananda, a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, a great spiritual master who lived in Kolkata, India in the 19th century. I began reading it and at some point showed it to my college psychology professor - he advised me not to waste my time. Still, I found echoes of my mother’s teachings in Abhedananda’s writings and kept it my library.
In college I learned about Charles Darwin and the doctrine of evolution. This was a major revelation. I gradually came to conceive the universe as a single event unfolding in time and space, each part, including myself, playing a specific role in the cosmic drama. I recall discussing my views of existence with one my fraternity brothers, a philosophy major. He asked me, “What about philosophy and religion?” I replied, “I don’t need them; all I need is Nature and evolution.” He looked at me in exasperation and told me, “You’re a barbarian!” I agreed. There was nothing left to say.
When I became Sri Chinmoy’s disciple in 1973, I discovered that the universe had more to it than the river of changing forms. There was divine consciousness within - Love - something again I had learned from my mother, but Sri Chinmoy’s radiant glance communicated and anchored this Truth - experience deep inside my heart. A few years later I asked a question at a public meditation, “Guru, what is the supreme goal of science?” He replied (my paraphrase), “You are a biologist. You must learn to see life in everything - not just in plants and animals - in everything.” In a few words he had unified Love, Life, Nature, Purpose, Joy and my own existence. I was stunned and grateful, and have spent all the years since aspiring to grow into that wisdom.
Over the years how has your love of Nature and spirituality developed and influenced one another?
For me they are inseparable. It is a matter of identification. Guru showed me, as he is showing all of us at every moment, that using our heart power we have to expand beyond our little I and lay claim to our transcendent cosmic I which is our spiritual goal.
As a teacher and a disciple of Sri Chinmoy, I felt the need to begin moving away from scientific research and toward sharing what I was discovering about myself and about Nature. So I transitioned from a research-focused university professor to a lecturer, where my main duty was teaching. I began looking for ways to introduce spiritual themes into science education. This proved to be easier in the subjects of evolution (continuity of relationships in time) and ecology (continuity in space).
Eventually, an opportunity opened to teach an interdisciplinary course called Deep Ecology where I could present perspectives of Nature other than the in the physical-scientific paradigm. My students read some of Sri Chinmoy’s writings as well as spiritual poetry and philosophy from several other sources, in addition to the more scientifically based writers. University openings for spirituality have come and gone over the years, but as one closes another appears. Currently I am concluding four years of winter studies abroad programs in Costa Rica for small groups of Honors College students and looking forward to teaching a course on environmental sustainability and spirituality in a Religious Studies department - from bugs to the Beyond!
You love Nature, but you are the co-leader of the Sri Chinmoy Centre in Miami, a bustling city. How do you make it work?
Well, for me, Sri Chinmoy’s path isn’t an either-or proposition, it’s a both-and deal, provided the activities are aspiring and progressive. My view of Nature is inclusive - all of Prakriti, the Creation, the Divine Mother. Whatever my spiritual teacher tells me or inspires to do, I try to do to the best of my ability. At our Centre we recycle everything, we compost, use no pesticides and have quite a variety of native plants to support the fragments of native wildlife that still call the city home. We grow organic pineapples, mangoes, coconuts and avocados which we share with our brother and sister disciples and our neighbors as food and prasad. Both of us feel that inner peace and harmony for ourselves needs to be mirrored in lifestyles harmonious with Mother Earth. It is a true blessing to be the caretaker of such a sacred place.
I am so proud and happy that Drishti’s journey has taken her from an expertise in health foods, and nutrition, into therapeutic yoga, and now she is completing studies in Ayurvedic medicine, which is the medical aspect of the Vedic wisdom. With her immersion into Ayurveda, we have become closer partners in our love of Nature’s cosmic wisdom and are trying to use what we have to be instruments of service.
How did Sri Chinmoy encourage your writing?
In 1976, Guru asked two boys in the Centre to write books. He said that both books would be published by Agni Press (the Sri Chinmoy Centre publishing company). One boy wrote on Guru’s music, and he asked me to write about his path and philosophy. The title was Human Nature and its Transformation. He told me (my paraphrase), “Most publishers would give you six months to write a book, but I am giving you six weeks.” Guru had told me many months before that he wanted me to use my writing skills. I’d been on the path for only three years and I recall experiencing great inner joy at the prospect but also being filled with doubt that I could please my teacher with so little spiritual experience under my belt. I told my brothers and sisters in the Centre, “You won’t see much of me for the next six weeks.”
I moved onto the porch of the Centre with a card table, my typewriter (no computers in those days), and a dictionary. The Centre had a complete library of Guru’s writings, so I had everything I needed. I just remember typing and typing and typing for hours each day until the manuscript was done. Guru had put me into a special space where ideas and understanding flowed from within and were more or less immediately transferred to paper. I don’t recall pondering over how to write what came to me, only that I had faith that he would give me whatever capacity I felt that I lacked to accomplish the work he had set me to do. In retrospect I realized the truth of Guru had always told us - that whatever he asked us to do, the capacity would be given. I finished early and sent the manuscript to him. It was duly published by Agni Press and made available to disciples. I have two copies in my library; God alone knows if any others survive anywhere. That was 42 years ago, but the experience and inner force that Guru communicated has energized my writing ever since.
When I finished Guru’s assignment, I still felt the creative power that had been with me for weeks. With this impetus I immediately began to write Jose Mariposa. This is a work of fiction, a sort of short story or allegoric parable. I fancied that it was for children, but it has a serious side and could be roughly analogous to the Narnia stories by C.S. Lewis or Le Petit Prince by St. Exupery. The tale grows out of my many years spent in the tropical forests of South and Central America and also of my acquaintance with indigenous peoples of those regions.
Jose is a simple Costa Rican village boy of a mixed indigenous and Catholic heritage who loves Nature and butterflies in particular. He meets an old indigenous man in the forest above his village who sets him on a quest to experience the ultimate beauty within the natural world. The quest takes years, and spiritual seekers will perhaps find similarities to their own sadhana (spiritual journey).
I submitted the story to Guru in the fall of 1976 shortly after Human Nature and its Transformation was printed. He said that Agni Press would not be able to publish it, but that I should definitely publish it somewhere. Over 40 years later the work is finished, and Drishti wants to illustrate it once she finishes her medical studies. At this point I have no publisher, but some of the girls in the Centre have begun to translate it into Spanish. We’ll have to see what comes next.
Tell us about Light, Truth and Nature, and how you were inspired to write it. What effect do you hope it will have?
The book is really a series of memoirs, based on my life’s experiences with Nature and as a spiritual aspirant on Sri Chinmoy’s path, but it has the formatting of an academic study, with footnotes and cited references. I recount many personal experiences but try to couch them in a universal frame, and with a logic and breadth that a technically trained person can understand. Since the essays are partly autobiographical, it is hard to place a starting point for the process. One of the sources of necessity for its writing was the feeling of inadequacy and frustration that contemporary science education evokes in attempting to convey the profundity, at a personal level, of our connection with universal Nature. What is missing is the heart-consciousness so integral to Guru’s message, and related to this problem, is the widely accepted idea that Truth is nearly exclusively the domain of science and intellectual enquiry.
I wanted to hold up an even higher standard for Truth, the one that stares us in the face in Nature and in masters such as Sri Chinmoy, Sri Aurobindo and other great souls whose teachings are embodied and founded upon their direct inner experience. As all the great masters have said many times and in many contexts, spirituality doesn’t negate anything; it only adds to everything. Science would be completed and guided by spirituality to become the boon for humanity that is its true destiny as the mind expands.
I’ve met scores of people including trained professionals in different fields all of whom had a deep love and respect for the earth and universal Nature, but the mental-intellectual strictures of scientific analysis gave very little room to express or even tolerate our pervasive appreciation of Nature’s poetic beauty, mystery, scope and consciousness.
On the other hand, in teaching Deep Ecology I had to reread a great deal of Guru’s writings as well as a variety of other spiritual masters, philosophy, poetry, spiritual fiction and the experiences of indigenous people. I saw it was possible to integrate spiritual, artistic and scientific perspectives of Nature and that my students were responding enthusiastically. I hoped to inspire a wider audience if all the inner and outer pieces of the mystery, heart and mind, could be assembled in a way that addressed both the searching mind and the illumining heart.
As the last version of the Deep Ecology course closed in 2013, I felt a surge of inspiration-power to write a book that would bridge the abyss between the two disparate systems of thought and experience. I started making notes and outlines and drafted some partial chapters, but was accumulating a box of fragments rather than any kind of synthesis.
At this point, I asked Guru inwardly whether I should persevere with the project, and every time I did so I got blaze of affirmation. In 2015 many of the fragments began to cohere and I began to see a vision of what the completed book should contain and how it might be organized. I hadn’t a clue about how or where to publish it, but felt it would have to be an outside publisher to give the book credibility with non-disciple readers. I discussed the project with one of my sister disciples in our Centre, a philosophy professor, and she connected me to a mutual friend, one who had actually been a guest lecturer in Deep Ecology some 30 years previously and who was the editor-manager of a small publishing company that specialized in works connecting spirituality and science. Once I explained the premise of the book, he accepted it sight unseen based on the mutual respect we shared.
Throughout 2016 and the first half of 2017 I worked at writing in whatever moments became available. The more I worked, the more quickly and things fell into place. I hope that at some point it will serve as a springboard from which a Nature lover can enter into a deeper identification with glowing, dynamic and stupendous Creation in which we all partake and which is our birthright.
- Light, Truth and Nature - by Thomas Pliske at Amazon
Oneness-Dream tour the Czech Republic
Recently Oneness-Dream, an international group of male acapella singers, visited the Czech Republic where they performed the songs of Sri Chinmoy at various sacred sites. They have been touring different countries with acapella performances since 2011, allowing the purity, simplicity and soulfulness of Sri Chinmoy's songs to touch the heart of the audience.
(Sample song from a concert in Croatia, 2015)
The singers came from England, Scotland, Australia, Germany, Serbia, Holland, France and of course the Czech Republic.
Oneness-Dream were founded in 2011 and have recorded four albums. The singers are drawn from different Sri Chinmoy Centres around the world.
Sri Chinmoy composed over 22,000 songs - expressing a range of spiritual emotions and devotional sentiments.
“Soulful music is the music that wants to eventually transform our consciousness. It carries us into the Universal Consciousness and makes us feel that we are in tune with the highest, with the deepest, with the farthest.”
– Sri Chinmoy1
- Oneness-Dream at Radio Sri Chinmoy
Peace Run video from Nepal
Recently, the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run visited Nepal. This video gives an insight into how the Peace Run touches many people, who take the opportunity to share in the spirit of the Run. It also gives a glimpse into the natural beauty and rich cultural heritage of Nepal.
During the week long visit, the Peace Run visited several schools, with children taking part in ceremonies focused on the message of peace. The Peace Run was also warmly welcomed by a variety of dignitaries and local people who offered their prayers and good-wishes for peace.
"May the flames of peace-torch
Kindle and awaken
Each and every world-citizen."
Sri Chinmoy 1
The Peace Run is co-ordinated by an international team of runners from around the world.
Sri Chinmoy Ten and Six Day Race 2018
Recently, the 2018 edition of the Sri Chinmoy Ten and Six Day race finished in Flushing Meadows, New York. For this testing multiday event, there were over 80 entrants who braved the cold, wind and rain in an unusually cold edition. The winner of the men's Ten Day Race was Ashprihanal Aalto from Finland, an accomplished multiday runner and World Record holder for 3,100 miles. Despite health issues, he managed a daily average of 82.6 miles. In the women's Ten Day event Ilvaka Nemcova from the Czech Republic completed 621 miles.
Ten Day Race
- Men: Ashprihanal Aalto - 826 miles
- Women Ilvaka Nemcova - 621 miles
Six Day Race
- Men - John Geesler (USA) - 403 miles
- Women - Petra Kasperova, Czech Republic - 370 miles
The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team have been organising multiday events in Flushing Meadows, New York since 1985 and the inaugural 1,000 mile race. Over the years this has evolved into the present format of a six and ten-day race. The race was founded by Sri Chinmoy who saw running as an opportunity to enable physical fitness but also spiritual self-transcendence. To put on the race, a team of volunteers work around the clock to set up the race, count runners, cook food and provide medical support.
A multi-day event requires the runner to dig deep and use all aspects of his being to overcome the physical and mental challenges of the event.
“We compete not for the sake of defeating others, but in order to bring forward our own capacity. Our best capacity comes forward only when there are other people around us. They inspire us to bring forward our utmost capacity, and we inspire them to bring forward their utmost capacity”
– Sri Chinmoy 1
Other photos of the race
Petra Kasperova - 6 day winner
Yuri Trostenyuk - a former 10-day and 3100 mile Race winner
The race goes on through the night - the clock runs 24 hours a day.
The final runner to cross the line
- Six and Ten Day Race at Sri Chinmoy Races
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.
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
- 1. Sri Chinmoy, Aspiration-body, illumination-soul, part 2, Agni Press, 1993
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.
Workshop and poetry reading
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.
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.
- A Quest for happiness by Abhinabha
- Jewels of Happiness website
- Poems on Happiness at Sri Chinmoy Poetry