Sri Chinmoy has been undergoing a hectic schedule of concerts recently, and his latest took him to Paris and Italy, only a short plane ride away. Shane and Colm went over to Paris a couple of days earlier to assist the French in their preparations, staying in a French student's apartment that was located seven floors up a narrow spiral staircase - just what we wanted to see after dragging our bags all the way from Dublin...
The tour began with a concert at the Cirque D'Hiver, a circus amphitheater turned theater that has still retained all its old ambience. The sound crew did not have much time to set up the many instruments Sri Chinmoy was planning to perform on, and as a result there was quite a few problems during the course of the night - it struck me how Sri Chinmoy played on, completely unperturbed by the sound or what the audience might be thinking. Exiting the building at the concerts end, I could see the expression on the faces of some of the members of the public who had come to the concert, a mixture of astonishment at what they had seen combined with a feeling of something deep within being awakened and nourished.
The next day was a busy one - the World Harmony Run was hosted at the UNESCO building in Paris, and a selection of Sri Chinmoy's Jharna-Kala paintings were on display in the Louvre...That evening Sri Chinmoy again performed a concert at a function explaining the Oneness-Heart Tears and Smiles humanitarian initiative.
Early in the morning we were on a train speeding towards Milan. Sri Chinmoy had agreed to play two concerts that day because the venue was not big enough to accomodate all those that wanted to come. Many of Sri Chinmoy's students had come and he was extremely happy to see them - we had a meditation function afterwards that had all the air of one big family gathering. The next morning Sri Chinmoy collected an award from an organisation that promotes the union of sport and spirituality before leaving for Turin where he still had one concert more to play...despite the exhausting schedule he still had time for another meditation function, during which he gave a lot of inspirational advice to his Italian meditation Centres and exhorted us all to aspire more so that next time we see him in New York in August we would have shining eyes and shining faces.