February 2008 - Shane, Colm, Matthias and Ambarish take a trip to Middle England to meet up with fellow students of Sri Chinmoy for a weekend of joy, meditation and fun....
The weather, it appeared, had decided to stop sulking and be good for a change. We were staying in an area of Derbyshire known as the National Forest, although you had to look pretty hard to find trees worthy of the name. We arrived hours before everyone else, so we took the opportunity to going running along some of the local trails, and then unearthed a game of Tension Tower back at our accommodation.
In the evening everyone had arrived from the various parts of the country and Steve from Cambridge cooked a fantastic meal to satisfy any hunger. We then had a meditation with lots of singing and inspiring video footage of Sri Chinmoy’s September 2007 trip to St. Petersburg.
Following meditation bright and early the next morning we met outside the hostel for the traditional two mile race. We had found the perfect course for the race right beside the hostel - it was frosty and very very VERY chilly but that didn’t dampen any spirits. In fact with the added enthusiasm everyone managed to run excellent times: Colm came home in a personal best of 11:14 with Shane only a few seconds behind.
The morning and afternoon was spent with meditation, music and fun and games. The first game of the day was one where we had balloons tied to each other’s legs and had to burst everyone else’s whilst keeping your own unbursted. Shane was spotted bursting away long after his own was burst, although he innocently maintained he never heard the sound.
Next we had a hilarious quiz concocted by Bithika from London – the previous night we wrote down all kinds of weird and wonderful things about ourselves were now read out and we had to guess who the person was. We had a lot of fun trying to guess who participated in a dance troupe in Japan or who turned a car upside down whilst learning to drive! Then it was time for a game of Pictionary, with five teams competing against each other. There was joy and laughter all around as one team member tried to draw and the rest of team would frantically try to guess.
There was a short break before an afternoon of music. Some of the boys took this opportunity to play a game of soccer while many others just enjoyed the beautiful weather and went strolling along walking paths. Once we reassembled we enjoyed music performances from the Cambridge Centre and the English music group Ananda. Our day ended with a trip to an artificial ski slope nearby, which had a long toboggan ride and also snowtubing. It’s hard to believe you can pack so much fun into a weekend, but it really recharges the batteries and leaves you coming home with a new lease of life.