Dublin, 2pm - Early morning finds me hunched over a computer, checking my watch to see what time the plane is leaving. It's OK, I'm still on schedule. The plan is to get all the bits and pieces cleared up, sleep on the plane, which should go some way towards helping with the jetlag. Still have packing to do too.
Have to keep focused. Have to check bus timetable. Also must check situation on airport as a result of the recent bomb scare. Where has my internet gone? Colm has inadvertently (I hope) put a child protection lock on my browser, which means I cant access anything! (except probably Barney's website : ) Luckily I know the password to his account, heh heh.
Colm arises from his meditation at around seven - I thought you said you'd leave an hour ago, he says. I know, I know. I'm out the door in ten minutes. Have I forgotten anything? Probably. My brain is mush.
Ffteen minutes of baggage-lugging to bus stop. I thought they were supposed to be coming every fifteen minutes. They are the other way alright. Finally. Conk-out time. I wake up and we're nearly there; ahead of schedule too. Good, they must be finally clearing up the port tunnel roadworks. Arrive with hour and a half to spare.
Check-in girls look so stressed, poor things. And of course Ive gone and entered my name wrong in my reservation; surname where first name should be and vice versa. Trip to ticket office and back. Okay. Now to get me some dollars. And then security. I get through rather easily actually, considering the pandemonium. I'm carrying a harmonium, an Indian instrument that is used to great effect as an accompaniment to mantric singing; boarding the plane I have to give an impromptu demonstration.
OK. A quick meditation before takeoff. Then into the world of sleep. Thanks be to God I have been blessed with the ability to conk out anywhere. Awake in time for meal; because of the name mixup they dont have the vegetarian dish i requested. Extra portion of cold pasta instead. Not bad.
Into airport, grab bags and straight onto the train. Thank God we cleared immigration in Dublin, I just want to get out of here. Another fifteen minute lugging of bags from the train station. Man its hot here. Already im thinking of things ive forgotten; Colm can bring them on Sunday.
I am here. I was talking to a friend testerday, saying it felt as my soul was already here and my physical had to catch up. Now all of me is here. Present and correct. I hear there will be a meditation function at 5; Sri Chinmoy will be meeting with and honouring a noted philanthropist. I have a lot of things to get sorted out before then. And of course in the meantime Im getting waylaid by familiar faces and stopping to have a chat. I stop to sup some carrot juice with Sundar, who is originally from Belfast but now resident in New York. Then I bump into Rathin, who last week completed the 3100 Mile Race, the longest road race in the world. We were talking about the media coverage the race has recieved this summer; the incredible thing about it wasd that none of the coverage was planned by the race organiers. It all started with a couple of curious journalists who got inspired, and then the whole thing snowballed via word of mouth. Prime time crews arrived from all over the world, the runners were speaking live on radio shows and running at the same time, and some very nice articles were written (for example check out this 3100 mile article on yahoo.com_ .)
The meditation function has started already, and in the distance I can hear Sri Chinmoy playing his beloved esraj; I still have to get settled down first before I pay a visit.
It turns out to be quite late by the time I finally arrive. Sri Chinmoy's students are taking prasad, I am one of the last ones to go up. The first time when you see your teacher after a long absence is always quite special.
First-hand experiences of meditation and spirituality.
Muhammad Ali: I was expecting a monster, but I found a lambSevananda Padilla San Juan, Puerto Rico
I was what you call a classic unconscious seekerRupantar LaRusso New York, United States
Running for PeaceJogyata Dallas Auckland, New Zealand
Meditation: Touching The InfiniteJogyata Dallas Auckland, New Zealand
Learning to follow my intuitionSaranyu Pearson Geelong, Australia
It does not matter which spoon you useBrahmacharini Rebidoux St. John's, Canada
If I could remember this in my daily life now, I'd be a very high soulCharana Evans Cardiff, Wales
Is it unspiritual to care about winning?Tejvan Pettinger Oxford, United Kingdom
A barrage of Candy BulletsJogyata Dallas Auckland, New Zealand
My inner callingPurnakama Rajna Winnipeg, Canada
In the Right Place, At the Right TimeEshana Gadjanski Novi Sad, Serbia
If a wish comes from the soul, it will be grantedKamalakanta Nieves New York, United States
interviews with Sri Chinmoy's students