Video: What the Dublin Sri Chinmoy Centre did in 2017
It was a busy year for the Sri Chinmoy Centre in Dublin! The Centre gives free meditation classes every couple of months, and also organised two big meditation events with invited speakers. The Festival of Meditation in June featured talks and workshops by Pradhan Balter from Chicago, as well as concerts from British group Ananda and Glaswegian singer Adarsha Kelly.
The concerts also featured Mangala's group, an international female instrumental group led by Mangala from Dublin. Earlier in the year, the group had just released their first album, a live recording, and afterwards they visited Nurnberg in Germany to play a concert and record their second CD.
Meanwhile, Sadanand Magee, a tabla player who has toured many countries playing Sri Chinmoy's music, toured many cities in Russia with his friend Kanala on sitar, giving concerts for over 3000 people.
Then in September, we had another in our popular Let's Meditate series of meditation workshops, which featured Jogyata Dallas. Jogyata is a much sought after speaker on meditation, and has visited Ireland many times before to give classes.
In November we started a monthly series called Music, Mantra and Meditation where people can get together and sing simple mantric songs, supported by members of our centre playing harmonium and tabla - if you like, you can also grab a simple instrument like a bell or a shaker and join in. We also had Art and meditation evenings, where people could try meditating and then painting in silence from that inner source.
Our teacher, Sri Chinmoy, believed that sport and meditation were natural complements, and encouraged his students to stay fit and try and transcend their capacities through sport. We had a very nice surprise in October, when our friend and fellow student of Sri Chinmoy, Sammunati Nataliya Lehonkova, came over from the Ukraine and won the Dublin Marathon. Samunnati has won the Dublin Marathon before, and represented the Ukraine in the 2016 Olympics in Rio. In addition, Nirbhasa Magee completed the worlds biggest ultramarathoning challenge - the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race - for the second time, taking almost three days off his previous effort.
This April also saw many of us go to Galway to attend the opening ceremony of the European leg of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness Home Peace Run, the worlds largest torch relay run for peace. From Galway the Run travelled a distance of 5000km through every European country before finishing in Minsk, Belarus.
Of course we also found a lot of time for our own inner disciplines, organising meditations and events just to keep us happy and making progress in our spiritual lives. Sri Chinmoy encouraged us to have regular Joy Days - days or weekends where we could meet together for meditation, singing, impromptu plays, fun runs and games - so we had these both for our own Centre and travelling to other Sri Chinmoy Centres in the UK and France. In addition, we organised one-week 'aspiration challenges' amongst ourselves, where we each tried to commit to a certain standard of spiritual practise for one week.