Meditation Nights at the Sri Chinmoy Centre
Our Centre meditation nights are a highlight in my week, when I always have my best meditations and my aspiration seems to multiply.
My spiritual family – seventy other members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre in Auckland also join me in our meditation room, which is abundantly decorated with flowers, spiritual books, photos and Sri Chinmoy’s beautiful bird paintings. The incense is wafting through and the room is pin-drop silent. A few of us are reading on cushions while we wait for more to arrive. The singing starts in the next room led by melodies on the harmonium.
As meditation night approaches we all know how sacred a night like this is where the collective aspiration of many people meditating together can attract a lot of grace and can provide the ideal conditions for a great deal of spiritual progress.
Tonight I am reading some questions that people have asked Sri Chinmoy on various topics. I put my book down and head into the next room where the harmonium is being played and songs are being sung. Sri Chinmoy has written thousands of songs both in English and in Bengali. He writes them with so much feeling right from the soul that they have profound depth, embodying the infinite, the eternal, and many secrets of the way forward for spiritual seekers. It is often said that the infinite cannot be expressed in the language of the finite. That there are no words to describe what it is like to experience pure divinity. I think music, the language of the soul, must come closest to capturing it's true essence. Sometimes with the most beautiful, hauntingly soulful songs, without even understanding the literal meaning of the Bengali words, tears can well up in my eyes and I feel deeply moved.
Now with the days events gently erased from our thoughts and the resonance of music inside our hearts, we silently fill the meditation room with intensity and aspiration to go beyond our previous and unveil a little more of our true divinity. We sit in complete silence for some time until the restlessness of the body gives in to the enveloping stillness of the whole room. Soon I am so overwhelmed by how still it feels, with seventy individuals feeling like one, that I sometimes overlook my own breathing and have to remind myself to take a breath. Soaking up the stillness, my whole being seems to go into economy mode, leaving all my energy free to be directed towards meditation.
Music begins to sound from the speakers. Tonight it is Sri Chinmoy’s piano music playing. My mind initially follows the composer’s movements as this mighty composition travels from the thunderous depths of the keyboard up to the delicate twinkling of the high notes, like little droplets. Evolving into a fullness-medley of sounds, this very unconventional piano playing has the listener sure that Sri Chinmoy must have more than the usual two hands at the time of his performance to possibly create such a masterpiece! The high notes, the low, the thunderous booms and the rolling scales all mix together simultaneously in a miraculously harmonious sound. It is reaching crescendo point and I feel my mind give way to it's overwhelming depth and power, helplessly left silent in the wake of the storm. Too much for my mind to grasp, this music leads me directly into my spiritual heart and into meditation. I get a feeling that only the soul can fully comprehend this language. Every note that is played I feel that it is I who is being played. My heart reverberates and my whole being is entirely claimed by this creation of sound. Down into the depths of the thunderous rumble and up with the delightful tinkling, wherever the music dances, I too, go. No longer is it a combination of notes but one delightful existence. No longer is it music but a reality of it’s own. Heavenly, powerful, captivating and enchanting are the only words that come close to describing such an experience. And just when I think it can’t get any better, emerging from the very depths of the sound… a glimpse of silence.
For some time I sit assimilating the experience I have just lived which will surely be a permanent part of me forever, in some form or another. Possible only in the conditions that our centre meditation nights offer, where collective aspiration and a lot of grace are present, I am filled with gratitude for these opportunities and regard meditation nights as the single most important thing in my life now.
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