The Dublin Sri Chinmoy Centre is more than just a meditation space for its members; it also provides an opportunity for us to bring a meditative awareness into everything that we do.
Unlike the sages of the ancient past who chose to meditate secluded away from the world, Sri Chinmoy's philosophy sees meditation as a way of accepting the world around us. We may not be able to meditate 24 hours a day, but we can keep the inner peace and sense of purpose gained through our morning meditation alive during the day.
To this end, Sri Chinmoy encouraged his students to blend meditation with other disciplines - singing, athletics, creativity, sports - that sustain the inner momentum of meditation and help spread its fragrance throughout the day.
We meditate every day individually – and often twice or 3 times a day – and meet together twice a week for group meditations at our respective Centres. This process allows us to grow into our true selves and discover our real purpose in life.
You can read more in our meditation section, which included information on our free meditation classes and a meditation Q&A section. Sri Chinmoy also wrote over 1,500 books covering all aspects of the search for the true self, which serve as an invaluable guide for his students on the meditation journey.
Songs of the Soul
Sri Chinmoy felt that after meditation, soulful music is the next most effective way to go into the heart and get in touch with your deeper nature. There are many music-lovers in the Dublin Centre, and at our Centre meditations usually take place with some of Sri Chinmoy's music playing - it takes much of the 'effort' out of meditating when one can just listen to such soulful music with the heart.
The songs we sing are mostly selected from the more than 20,000 songs Sri Chinmoy composed from the depths of his meditation. Such music resonates readily with the soul, making it an easy and joyful way to enter into a meditation.
Many students of Sri Chinmoy enhance their morning meditation by singing a few of the vast number songs he has composed over the years, and they find that soulful singing can sometimes quiet a restless mind at times where silent meditation has not succeeded. Such songs can be used to lift us out of states of depression, loneliness, insecurity and all the other limitations that bind us. They can also help expand our higher more illumined feelings of gratitude, divine love and inner peace. Many Sri Chinmoy Centres have singing groups accompanied by instruments that record albums and perform concerts in their own countries and internationally.
Usha Bala Elo is a song we often sing with people in our meditation classes, here is the score along with an arrangement by Ananda, a group from the UK and Ireland.
There are many exceptional musicians on Sri Chinmoy's path, and you can listen to and download music fom Sri Chinmoy and his students on Radio Sri Chinmoy.
Mangala's group is an international singing group headed by Mangala from the Dublin Centre
Sadanand Magee has been giving concerts with his friend Kanala Auer all over Europe and Russia
Healthy body = healthy everything else
In addition, sports also provides an opportunity to overcome our limited perceptions of what we are capable of, and expand our horizons further and further. Over the years, Sri Chinmoy vividly demonstrated this to us through his remarkable achievements in running and weightlifting, and some of his students have, through their athletic achievements, provided powerful proof of how the inner life can expand our belief in what is possible in the outer life.
However, the goal for all of us, elite or beginner, is progress rather than success - in performing any activity we try only to better our previous achievements, competing against ourselves rather than against others. People of all ages and capacities participate in races organised by the Sri Chinmoy Centre in the knowledge that everyone is only out to have fun and challenge themselves.
The Dublin Centre holds a 2-mile timed run on most Saturday mornings, and members of the public are most welcome to participate. Get in touch with us to participate...
The power of giving
One of the beautiful things about meditation is that, with increased self-awareness, one begins to realise that you are only truly satisfied when you are trying to make other people happy. When we give of ourselves, our heart expands, and we feel something of the deep and beautiful interconnectedness we share with our fellow inhabitants on this earth. Sri Chinmoy asked his students to spend at least some time every day doing something that is not just for oneself, and this "selfless service" can take many forms, such as offering free meditation classes, organising athletic events for the general public, or organising deliveries of humanitarian aid. This kind of service allows us to see how the inner peace and happiness derived from daily meditation can flow naturally to the world around us through our own poise, a smile and a few kind words.
In many places around the world, some of Sri Chinmoy's students have come together to set up a little enterprise, such as a coffee shop, a music store or a restauraunt. As well as being a space where people can work in a meditative atmosphere, they also offer members of the general public an oasis of calm where they can take some time away from the busy world.
A meditative community
Those who have been to a meditation group before know how meditating together can definitely help you go deeper within and have better meditations. In addition, a meditation group is a valuable source of support to share any experiences or problems you might be having with your meditation.
As well as our Centre in Dublin, we are also part of a global family of thousands students around the world. Twice a year, Sri Chinmoy would invite his students to visit him for a couple of weeks in New York where he lived until his passing in October 2007 - we still make those trips now to catch up with all our friends from around the world, but also to revitalise our spiritual life with meditative power that our teacher embodied, still as strong as ever even though he has left his earthly frame.