Meditation and fun in the Pentland hills...
The day after our March meditation classes ended (and after a frenetic late night session taking down all our meditation posters) saw us all heading up to Bonny Scotland to join the English, Scottish, Welsh and French members of our meditation family. Sri Chinmoy always encouraged us to get together for weekends of meditation and fun, and now that he is no longer physically here with us, we are very grateful to keep that spirit of joy and oneness which we all felt when we were around our teacher.
The weather was absolutely dreadful when we arrived in Edinburgh – attimes the rain seemed like someome was pouring a basin full of water ontop of us - and we were more than a little worried that it would persist right into Sunday. The Scottish - who were working so hard to make the weekend a success - drove us up to the beautiful village of West Linton at the foot of the Pentland hills.
Thanks to the sterling efforts of Elizabeth, ably assisted by our own Paula who had flown in a couple of days early, we had the most gorgeous food throughout the weekend- the highlight of which was vegetarian haggis, neeps andtatties for dinner, and for which we all went for seconds, and sometimes thirds depending on who you were!
Evening meditation was very nice - a long silent meditation punctuated by chants from the ancient Indian Vedas put to music by Sri Chinmoy. After that we were treated to the heavenly voice of Adarsha from Glasgow (who incidentally will becoming to Dublin to treat us to his music in May), and then the Irish Centre put our recent concert experience to good use by performing a couple of songs. Then we had a couple of extremely entertaining plays - one was a re-telling of a favourite story of the 19th century spiritual Master Sri Ramakrishna, about a thief who pretends to be a monk in order to marry a king's daughter and get all the accompanying wealth – except the 'thief' in this case happened to be two Scousers from Liverpool called Terry and Barry, ably played by Steve and Amit. Afterwards came another short sketch, which Devashishu wrote on the plane over featuring Shane, Colm, Adarsha and Balavan.
The next day we had meditation at 6am, before heading for our Sunday Morning 2 mile race on a very scenic and not too hilly course – about half way through the race the path broke out of the forest and into open mountain country, complete with a very nice rainbow. Adelino from Paris came first, very quickly followed by our own Colm. Despite our fears, the weather was absolutely perfect the whole day. After breakfast we embarked on a hill walk - over 50 of us tramping up and down the mountain and eventually ending up in the scenic village of West Linton.
The scenery was absolutely beautiful, but even better than the scenery was the sight of looking down the mountain and seeing all of us from many different countries making our way up the mountain together. Over the years, Sri Chinmoy's meditation path has brought together so many people of different backgrounds and personalities - creative types and rambunctious athletes, introverts and extroverts, humorous wags and wise heads - all connected by a common love of spirituality and self-discovery.
After great lunch we had afternoon meditation with performances by British singing group Ananda . Some of us had to leave at this stage, but others managed to make it down to Edinburgh to visit the Sri Chinmoy Centre and have a very nice evening meditation. It was a great end to a great weekend - next time will be in London in May when the World Harmony Run will be visiting and renowned Russian musician Purushottama Boris Grebenshikov plays the Royal Albert Hall supported by musicians from the Sri Chinmoy Centre. Can't wait....