Good news does exist

Last year (2016), I spent a lot of time reading the news.  I also felt I was wasting my time – just getting frustrated with things out of my control. In Greece, I took a break from news, and surprised myself that I kicked the habit almost completely. In summary, the news embargo gave a feeling of great joy and freedom – and perhaps it was a little easier to meditate too. I wrote an article at Write Spirit about spending less time online.

Back in Britain, I have somewhat slipped from the purity of this ‘ignorance is bliss‘ motto, and always seem to come across the days headlines. Although I have a general knowledge of what’s going on, I do tend to stay well clear of online news, with its capacity to suck you in. Occasionally, I have taken a weekly print newspaper which gives a summary of last week’s news. One thing I noticed about taking a break from the news – is that afterwards – you feel you have less appetite for it. When staying with my parents, I just couldn’t eat a meal and have the six ‘o clock news on at the same time – it gives me ingestion. To be fair, after an unorthodox life of meditation, vegetarianism, intense cycling and alcohol abstention – they took my ‘dislike of news whilst eating’ in their stride.

Anyway, I received a tip-off from a friend to buy The Week – a weekly summary of British and International News. I found a copy in local newsagent and bought it. I flicked through the pages and saw a litany of difficult and depressing news items, but the very last two pages was an article about the Sri Chinmoy 24 hour race in Tooting Bec, London.

Images from the 24 hour race

I often help out at this race as a counter; I always gain inspiration from the efforts of the runners and the attitude of self-giving which pervades the event. I made a short video after last years race.

The article was a very good summary of the spirit and feeling of the event. There’s much going on in the world at the moment which is quite challenging, but this was a simple and genuine reminder of the essential good nature of the human spirit. The race is nothing spectacular or dramatic – just a diverse group of people trying to transcend their previous efforts in a spirit of good-natured competition and individual self-transcendence.

I also liked the photo of Sri Chinmoy the magazine chose.

It is Sri Chinmoy playing the esraj, in front of his lifting apparatus. It means he was offering a meditative few minutes of music before lifting someone in his “Lifting Up the World With a Oneness-Heart Award“.

It is an example of the integral approach Sri Chinmoy took to spirituality; in one photo we can gain a glimpse into his meditation, music, physical self-transcendence and self-offering to individuals from all walks of life.

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