Before I became a student of Sri Chinmoy, I would spend long stretches of time dreaming and thinking of how to make society better - the system of government, relations between people, the colour of traffic lights, you name it...then I started meditating and realised that I should really make myself better first, because societal ideas in themselves have struggled to change the world for the better in themselves, whilst the personal example of great men and women have been a much more powerful force for good. Sometimes, like today, an idea still comes to me about how one might integrate what I have learned from my time on Sri Chinmoy's path into some wider societal picture, and the pen still compulsively reaches for the paper; one never seems to be able to express oneself as clearly as one would like. One enters into the world of the mind, and all sorts of caveats and alternative possibilities spring up to what you have just written down. And after a while you realise it wasn't such a good idea after all. This is what distinguishes these momentary inclinations from the dictates of the soul; fulfilling the inmost dictates of the soul has this constant assured quality to it that leaves no room for doubt. Sri Chinmoy has compared the two to two ways of filling a glass of water; one can fill it really quickly so half the water spills out of it, or one can fill the same glass surely and with utmost certainty. What I was trying to do might well be the lifetimes's purpose of someone else; it's just not mine.
I sit during meditation and the voice comes to me - the sweetness is back, the feeling of joy had been missing from my meditation for quite some time. I generally meditate twice a day plus a short one before I roll into bed; in my early days of meditation this was complemented by singing, mantras reading, but recent months have really cut into that time and reduced it to the no-frills minimum that my soul refused to cut any further. But this is the way it's supposed to be, I say to myself, the childlike joy and sweetness and freshness, this is the way its supposed to be; I resolve to bring my meditation back to the way it was when I always had that feeling of sweetness going out the door in the morning.
As well as offering his services back to the world at large, Guru also tries to give something to the local community as well. There was a very sweet ending to this afternoon's meditation function with children from one of the local schools.
The Irish Centre are going to perform two of Guru's songs in a week's time - we arrive for the first practice for our performance since we got here, but much of the time is taken with excitedly discussing plans for our new meditation centre back in Dublin. The Dublin Sri Chinmoy Centre has grown over the years, and our current location has become much too crowded for the people that are there at the moment. There are all sorts of renovation and other issues to talk about and we barely manage to get a couple of run throughs of our performance at the end. The sun has been blasting away all day and I'm feeling quite lethargic, so I go off for a half hour run. I manage to keep the tempo up and really enjoy myself - around 4 or 5 miles at a good canter is one of my favourite types of running.
There is another practice on and I end up arriving quite late for evening meditation - the Czech girls are doing a play that Sri Chinmoy wrote about Krishna, one of the great Indian spiritual figures. Then there is a video showing the progress of the World Harmony Run in Europe so far. The European leg of the run started in Lisbon at the beginning of March and has gone through Portugal, Spain, France and Italy so far. It's really inspiring to see the teamwork involved and to see communities all over Europe getting behind the run and making it their own. Such a simple metaphor; a lone runner with torch in hand, but one that brings out the goodness in people all over the world.