Tuesday 15th - A Path with Two Wings
...on one hand we meditate, on the other hand we use the fruits of our meditation to serve mankind...
Determined to have a good meditation today after a couple of bad days in a row. I must admit writing a public journal helps a little in this regard, the thought "Do you really want to begin every weblog entry with 'Bad meditation today'?" was floating around in the back of my mind as I satarted meditating... I start with some repetitions of the mantra "Supreme", invoking the supreme Reality within myself, and then read some of Sri Chinmoy's soulful aphorisms; the mind is occupied with their outer structure, allowing their inner meaning to melt into my heart. Not exactly my highest meditation, but a definite improvement.
Have to do laundry today; I packed in a hurry and didn't bring enough clothes. I normally do laundry in a place just across the road from Aspiration-Ground so I can run across and back in between gaps in functions; today I think I'll try a laundromat a few minutes down the road which is owned by a student of Sri Chinmoy's who also happens to be a dentist (Someone I meet there jokes that he's not paying for his laundry until the owner fixes his front tooth properly). The laundromat is such a nice place, and the machines are so big that I can fit in my sleeping bag and all my colour clothes into a 'standard' machine! Plus a table where I can sit, listen to meditative music in the background, and write notes for this diary! The other laundromat may be more convenient, but I'll definitely try and come here in future.
I have the washing and drying done by nine. I wander on down to Aspiration-Ground; Bipin has some work for me to do. Bipin is the main helper for multiple Guinness world record holder Ashrita Furman as he attempts to adds to his tally of 103 records. Four days ago, Ashrita broke the record for the fastest mile carrying someone else in a fireman's lift, and Bipin was the human cargo! I hope for his sake Bipin didn't have a full dinner before the record attempt... you can see footage of the record on Inspiration-News on Sri Chinmoy TV.
There are some new wooden fences being constructed around the ground; they are a real work of craftmanship, with lovely timber lattice work. Myself and Rastio are working on a fence behind an area that has informally become known as the "French Quarter", on account of all the French boys that are invariably found perched there in April and August. The fence is up, but there is still a gap between it and the ground which has to be filled in with planks. The planks are first bevelled with an electric plane for appearance's sake, and then screwed in. It's a funny thing, I tell people I do particle physics and they're all amazed, but at heart, it's no different to what I'm doing now; at heart it is a challenge plus the tools to solve it. It's a real boon, having something like this to do. There is no way I could go from spending twelve hours a day doing a Ph.D. to spending the same amount of time meditating, I need something like this to channel all that mental energy in a positive direction.
Meditation is about to start. Guru has arrived; I enter to find him sitting in his chair, meditating, head tilted back as if bathing in the rain of peace and light he is bringing down. I sit down, and it is not long before I am having an extremely nice meditation myself. The difference between yesterday and today is very apparent to me as I meditate; a good morning meditation really enhances the quality of your subsequent meditations during the day. Looking at Guru, I am swept away by a feeling so intense as to cut away all the moorings of the mind, all the moorings of the body, even, and that Guru is also floating, unweighed down by arms or legs, just there, eternally there.... I didn't want the meditation to end.
But it did: back to the work I was doing before meditation started. Some of the bleachers in Aspiration-Ground were taken up by people laying down wires; myself and Steve and Runar are working on putting them back into place. I worked on building sites every summer as a teenager, doing very similar kind of work; it's so different doing the same job with people who meditate. No shouting, cursing or swearing, just laughs and encouragement. Once that's done, I have to talk to a friend about computers. It starts raining as I'm talking to him, and I realise I've left my jacket outside, I don't know where. It's not in Aspiration-Ground; I find it outside a garage we were moving a few things into, fortunately it's not too rainsoaked. I go home and play flute for an hour or so. Colm brought over a fairly comprehensive book of Sri Chinmoy's songs with him, I leaf through that picking out songs I can play, I should do that more often.Down to Annam Brahma for food; I hear that Guru won't be coming tonight, but we can go to Aspiration-Ground to meditate and pick up prasad. So I do just that. Once again, a very, very sweet meditation, just listening to the higher voice within and inwardly going wherever it bids me; again I cant help feeling that my morning meditation was the catalyst for all these good meditations I'm having now. On my way home, I'm talking to Steve and Balavan; Prabhakar pulls up and asks if we can help at the printing press; they're trying to get a compilation book of English songs Guru has composed in the past year out for tomorrow. I'm feeling a bit tired but I wander along anyway; sometimes the tiredness goes when you start doing things. Before starting, I meditate for a minute. It is one of the most intense minutes of meditation I can ever remember having, I can feel new energy pouring into every corner of my body. I start work feeling much more refreshed. The work itself is simple and meditation-friendly: folding covers, compiling pages, that kind of thing. The time flies. On my way home, I buy a smoothie and some choice Indian sweets and walk home chatting with Steve. It's still only ten o'clock, but I suppose an extra hour's sleep would not do me any harm. I read the book I bought consisting of stories by students of Sri Chinmoy for a while, meditate, and turn in.