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.
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.
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.
- Original article at the Guardian
- 24 hour race at Sri Chinmoy Races
- News article at Sri Chinmoy Centre News