Two members of the Centre had their birthday this month, which made it a very good month for the ice-cream manufacturers.....
Birthdays can be quite a special time for a spiritual aspirant; a time to reflect upon one's purpose here on earth and how far one has gone towards fulfilling it. Many students of Sri Chinmoy use the day to spend some time with themselves in meditation and reflection; for some that means a quiet walk in the country, for others a long run to clear the cobwebs.
Centre meditation nights are quite special when someone has a birthday. In the Indian tradition of self-giving it is the one whose birthday it is who provides gifts of food; for example, on Sri Chinmoy's birthday he cooks a meal for all his students who have come to New York.
In a manner perhaps symbolic of the marriage of East and West that is Sri Chinmoy's path, we in the Dublin Centre informally combine Eastern and Western birthday practices - we all team up to get a card, cake and present, whilst the birthday boy or girl brings prasad for the Centre meditation. Prasad, in the Indian tradition, is food that is placed in front of the meditation shrine so that it can absorb the qualities recieved during meditation; usually people put a lot of effort into making imaginative and varied prasad on their birthday. There is a soulful moment at the end of meditation where the birthday recipient comes forward and has a quiet moment of gratitude for the opportunity to continue the journey to fulfill his purpose on earth.
Of course, fun is also had, particularly when there's ice-cream involved, and some do-gooder insists that it's terribly bad for him and that he can't have any.......
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