Joy Days around the world
Sri Chinmoy encouraged us to come together every so often for Joy Days - spiritual gatherings that contain plenty of meditation, music and spiritual activities, but also games, the company of spiritual friends and a definite emphasis on happiness.
These Joy Days could be as small as a few friends meeting together for an outing, or much larger meetings lasting a few days with several Centres or several countries meeting together.
The largest Joy Days take place in Europe and Russia, often with over 700 students of Sri Chinmoy from many different countries taking part. In Europe, the Joy Days usually take place over a weekend, and is quite an organisational feat, with students from many countries giving soulful singing and instrumental performances, as well as sweet and funny plays and humourous sketches. On the Sunday morning, there is usually a group meditation at six o'clock in the morning, followed by a fun two-mile race - Sri Chinmoy loved running, and felt that the outer running and the inner running (i.e. meditation) complemented each other very nicely.
Sri Chinmoy believed that happiness and spiritual progress should go hand in hand:
If you are happy, it will help you to a great extent. If you are unhappy, you won't make any progress at all. On the contrary, you will be marching backwards. Real outer happiness is not self-deception. It does not come from wasting time and indulging in pleasure-life. Real outer happiness is something totally different. It comes from inner joy and inner satisfaction.
Sri Chinmoy 1
As well as Joy Days, Sri Chinmoy's students often meet together outside of our regular meditation for more formal occasions, for example to mark our teacher's birthday, or the anniversary of his passing on October 11, 2007.