....a universally-loved world figure had written into one of his books to give as a gift to Sri Chinmoy - "Best wishes to a powerful group with an equally powerful message for the world". Sri Chinmoy repeated the words emphatically: "A powerful group with an equally powerful message for the world"...
After meditation, I set about filling in as many notes for this diary as possible. Ate breakfast: filled in notes. Practised flute: filled in notes. Went to Aspiration-Ground: filled in notes. And I wasn't written up even as far as Wednesday yet. It got to a point where I just asked myself: what, am I going to be spending my whole trip writing about my trip? It was then I decided not to write another note until I was firmly seated on the plane home on Sunday. As it turned out, I was still able to remember everything that happened. Er, except for a couple of glaring lapses today, that is. You'll see.
The morning I can still remember. Utpal was sitting in his jeep reading the paper when I put away my notes. He had come across a review of a book on string theory which he thought might be of interest to me. String theory is one of those things I have always been meaning to get to grips with; my area of physics research is fairly well back from the cutting edge of physics and it is very easy to succumb to the temptation to specialise in your own little patch and not find out what progress is being made in the rest of physics. We chatted for a while about that and the two mile races (aside from producing the marvellous Inspiration-News on Sri Chinmoy TV, Utpal stands at the one-mile mark every Saturday morning and shouts out our split times to us as we go past, which can be either very encouraging, or the complete opposite)
Guru had brought in his cycling machine again today and was meditating on us all as his legs pedalled away. Then he talked about a friend of his who is a world-renowned bodybuilder and has given Guru so much encouragement in the weightlifting world. Something really struck me about the end of meditation: amongst the prasad was a copy of a message that a universally-loved world figure had written into one of his books to give as a gift to Sri Chinmoy - "Best wishes to a powerful group with an equally powerful message for the world". Guru repeated the words emphatically: "A powerful group with an equally powerful message for the world". Personally, I find that I cannot hear this kind of thing often enough. Sometimes, when the human mind has its way, it can make one view the approach of changing the world by being happy and inspiring others seem very ineffectual, wimpy even, in the face of so much all-pervading negativity. It is only when one is in the heart that one sees what a powerful effect it has on the world, how being in the heart is a magnet that brings the good qualities to the fore in everyone around you.
It was a year to the day when my brother Colm became a student of Sri Chinmoy. In the Indian tradition, when there is a birthday or any kind of anniversary, the celebrant buys gifts for his friends. Colm was very inspired by this idea, and so tonight everyone will find in their prasad a little apple pie, courtesy of Colm. There's only the small matter of busting them all out of their boxes and packing them; Colm needs a little help and obviously I'm first on the volunteer list. Runar from Iceland also lend a hand, and before long everything is packed and ready to go. More Ph.D. related work to do that requires the internet; I traipse down to the library with Runar. Back for food in Annam Brahma; we are joined by Purnahuti from Guatemala. He is really looking forward to his tofu burger; there aren't any tofu burgers in Guatemala, apparently.