November 2005

Every April, August and November, Sri Chinmoy invites his students from all around the world to visit him. November in many ways is my favourite of the three; there are less crowds, and the pace is a little less hectic. Plus there are the beautiful New York autumns where the clear blue sky shines its crisp clear light on the trees.

I arrived just as I was putting the finishing touches to my Ph.D. in particle physics; various references crop up to my research throughout the weblog. I flew over with my younger brother Colm, who is also a student of Sri Chinmoy.

In the weblog, I use the sobriquet 'Guru' quite frequently to refer to Sri Chinmoy. In the Indian tradition, this is how students adress their spiritual teacher; the very word for me embodies the inner connection between student and teacher. For students of an Indian teacher, referring to their teacher by name can sound a little formal (a bit like calling your dad Mr. Smith); in fact, in ancient times it was frowned upon. I feel that using the term 'Guru' makes the weblog much more reflective of my personal experience.

Another Indian tradition which crops up frequently in the weblog is that of prasad. Prasad is the name given to food which is blessed during meditation. Until quite recently, I have to admit I regarded the taking of prasad as little more than a welcome snack at the end of a long meditation; however, I have had some very nice experiences of how prasad eaten in a soulful mood can act on the physical body for its betterment. I was also very inspired by reading accounts of how the students of the great spiritual Master Sri Ramakrishna used to value the prasad given to them by their teacher.

Clever fellow that I am, I left my camera at home; I'd like to thank Igor Talevski and Amelia Lloyd for giving me their November photos to use. Now without further ado; I'll let you get on with reading it...I hope that, no matter what path in life you may be following, it will be of some value to you in your spiritual journey.

Shane.