Peace Weeks 2001 and 2019
When I was a new disciple of Sri Chinmoy, one of my first experiences was visiting Oslo for a week of peace activities in the summer of 2001. During that week, Sri Chinmoy gave a lecture on peace at Oslo university as well as offering public concerts and meditations. There was also a beautiful art gallery of Sri Chinmoy's Jharna Kala paintings and poetry reading. The first day I arrived, there was a dedication of an eternal peace flame by the harbour. There is an iconic photograph of Sri Chinmoy playing his flute by this symbol of peace.
The peace week was in the middle of summer and one day we went for a walk in the hills surrounding Oslo, it was beautiful and we got a bit lost in enjoying nature. However, we then realised we were likely to be late for the start of a lecture by Sri Chinmoy at the university quite a few miles away!
We hurriedly ran down to the tram and waited impatiently. Eventually we arrived 10 minutes late. I was hot and flustered and far from a state of calm and poise - the opposite of preparation for meditation. I was annoyed with myself that I was late and - even worse - all the seats were gone. But, I squeezed in the back of the hall - standing room early.
Despite my lack of serenity in the mind, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace flow over me. It ignored the troubles of the mind and was a memorable experience - the peace I experienced despite my mind and I always attributed it to the presence of Sri Chinmoy and the power of his meditation in that lecture hall. I have never forgot that experience nearly two decades ago.
Recently, I was looking at the Peace Run site, and was very inspired by a week of Peace activities that took place in Palermo. The many activities and spirit of the Peace Run seems to have really touched a wide range of people. It is great to see.