If you see art, try to see the Artist inside it. You will do this only by taking them as one. When you see art, you will feel that inside the art there is something which you need badly, and that is the Supreme. The Supreme is both art and artist, both creator and creation. When you realise this, you can easily meditate on the Supreme in art. —Sri Chinmoy, Art's Life And The Soul's Light
Oct 12, 2007 WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Spiritual guru Sri Chinmoy, a peace activist who inspired his followers to feats of extreme physical endurance, has died at the age of 76 at his home in New York, a statement from his organization said on Friday. Chinmoy, who suffered a heart attack, died on Thursday. Chinmoy was born in India and in 1964 immigrated to New York, working in the Indian Consulate. He later started a meditation center that eventually spread around the world. A statement issued on behalf of Chinmoy's followers said he had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Friday. He was a strong supporter of the United Nations and his charities sent food and medicine around the world. Chinmoy's followers were said to take on a regimen of vegetarianism, humanitarian service and extreme physical challenges as a way to inner peace. He set an example by running ultra-marathons before switching to weightlifting. Acolytes said he was capable of lifting airplanes and had written more than 1,600 books of prose and poetry in his quest for world peace.Read more: ABC News: Peace activist Sri Chinmoy dead at 76.
“I don't think they respect the ball enough. It's got to become your friend, something you cherish and really look after...”By which I was reminded of something in character parallel, but form and shape entirely different, tangential flight of imagination embarked, as is often my wont. I am not infrequently reminded to respect meditation more, to make it my friend, cherish its practise and really look after the positive fruits it bears. It is too easy to let meditation become just another part of the day, to sandwich it between sleep and waking, but never snack in between. To not give it it’s due—due respect, gratitude and devotion. To not see the bigger picture that meditation is painting every day, one slow brush stoke at a time.
It is a slow and steady process. We are in the process of consciously becoming in the outer world that which we have always been in the inner world. But this process of growth has no end; we can grow eternally. We need never stop. We have sown the seed, and right now we have a tiny plant. If storms of doubt and hurricanes of jealousy come, then naturally the progress can be very slow. But if there is implicit faith and devoted oneness, the plant will very soon grow into a tree. Previously there was only a seedling, but now it has germinated into a tiny but healthy plant. So there is every hope that it will weather all the buffets and blows of human doubt and weakness and grow into a huge tree.
Excerpt from My Meditation-Service At The United Nations For 25 Years by Sri Chinmoy.
Respect the ball?Of course, a case can be made that some people “respect the ball” a touch too much. In the following (admittedly cool) video, several New Zealand All Blacks discuss what the “haka” means to them (a traditional Maori war-dance performed at the start of each match).
There were, in fact, many peaceful protests around the country, but sporadic violence attracted the press and led to the impression of a nation at war with itself. The police, on the other hand, prevented the release of 'provocative' images (such as an officer on fire after being hit by a molotov cocktail). These images were, however, shown to policemen to 'motivate' them before the Auckland test. Perhaps because of this, the tour remained a bizarrely civilised breakdown of order. Neither side used firearms or tear gas. There were no deaths, and no serious injuries. Some of the more violent policemen were quietly disciplined. Protesters who might, in another country, have faced charges of attempted murder or treason, were charged and convicted of relatively minor and unimportant disorder offences — or acquitted after defence by pro bono lawyers. Leaders of both sides went on to fill important roles in public life. Source: WikipediaI had an uncle in the “Red Squad” as it was called, the arm of the New Zealand Police formed to confront and disperse the protesters, which in effect equated to hitting unarmed members of the public with truncheons—the official protest movement chose Gandhian non-violence, and were a soft target for the specially issued long batons. My uncle left the police force several years later, officially because of stress, but no doubt several broken skulls were a contributing factor. Growing Up Rugby So what does all of this have to do with the Rugby World Cup? I grew up in the middle of the 1981 Springbok Tour, actually attended protest marches with flag waving mother and teaching colleagues, and like many of my age group, was forbidden to play the sport for years to come. Virtually a religion in New Zealand up to this point—playing the game, like church service, was compulsory for boys in the junior years of many high schools—rugby became a social and political issue during my childhood, and for the first time ever people questioned whether manhood and rugby were one and the same thing. Soccer, who adherents up to this point were usually foreigners, near universally decried as “poofters,” boomed in popularity—New Zealand reaching the World Cup finals for the first time a year later—and this period saw cultural high-points in music and theatre and film, often in direct reaction to rugby and its all encompassing “culture.” It is not an exaggeration to say there was virtually no culture besides rugby in New Zealand before the 1980s—a repeated subject of poet James K. Baxter’s often vitriolic Pig Island Letters fifteen years earlier.
From an old house shaded with macrocarpas Rises my malady. Love is not valued much in Pig Island Though we admire its walking parody.At my mother’s insistence, I went to one of the few high-schools in New Zealand where there wasn’t a rugby team—one of the few schools in fact without a school uniform—and soon a young, effete “artist,” I looked down my upturned nose at the “rugby-heads” from other schools—beer-swilling, muscle-bound neanderthals as I and my friends saw them. Over-reaction or exaggeration on my part? Arrogance and excessive pride? I had long-hair in my teens, and during a brief visit to a small rural town, had within half-hour of arriving been told to “get a haircut,” my Cambodian friend called a “gook,” and my other friend’s manhood questioned by the rugby shirt wearing locals. We moved on before insults turned to blows. Rugby and it’s culture of confrontation reached far beyond the four corners of a grassy field. And so I have mixed feelings about rugby. Growing up hating it, hating the people who played it and the thoughtless, violent culture it represented, I have slowly learned to admire it’s positive side—the courage, strength and skill required to play a most brutal of sports. I admire the discipline and comradeship of those who play it, the breath-taking talent and athleticism at the highest level. At a simple level, I enjoy rugby now as just a game, rather than symbol of culture or identity, and am happy to sup lightly national pride and fervour when it is played. But you still won’t catch me playing the game.
James K. Baxter from Pig Island Letters, No 2
Your self-transcendence-marathon Has shattered the summitless pride Of your ruthless life-devouring dragon. Sri ChinmoyWish me luck, because I’m running a marathon tomorrow. I may need it. It’s been three years since I last ran a marathon, and the pain of that race has dulled just a little. After years of running marathons easily and without preparation, I had the humiliation of finishing almost an hour slower than expected, hitting the wall as they say despite the most training ever done. The account of my 2004 Self-Transcendence Marathon deserves a story in it’s own right—I have been meaning to write about it ever since I crossed the finish line—but in short it was a hot day, and from the start I was never able to feel comfortable, struggling to breathe, growing dizzy after 16 miles. A stop in medical was no respite—or desperately sought rescue—aside from “mental problems” they informed me, there was nothing wrong at all. Humiliated, but unable to justify quitting, I walked three miles on doctor’s orders and then jogged slowly, the slowest I had ever run—every step a battle with pain physical and mental—jogged all the way to the finish, feeling more of a loser than my actual time, 4:22, reveals. Believe it or not I will be happy with that time tomorrow. In my case, the pride of youth has since been replaced by the realities of ageing. And maybe just a little maturity... In retrospect, blisters healed and much fluid replaced, I learned a lot during those four and half hot hours in the New York sun. I learnt about pride and expectation, and conversely about humility and surrender. I learnt about determination and perserverence; harder to practise, yet infinitely more valuable when facing a task more difficult than expected, our capacities extended. Hopefully tomorrow however I will learn a little about joy. To be honest, I am not running this marathon because I enjoy running—not over body shattering, mind-cowering distances at least (I am a sprinter by preference and build); and I am not running it to do a good time—I did that last time, my ambition sorely defeated. Rather I am running to compete with myself. To do something I once thought easily within my capacity, now a true test. 42 kilometres of road to run, 42 hours of recovery, and hopefully, 42 days of feeling pretty good about myself afterwards. Wish me luck.
Excerpt from Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 23
The heart-runners Every day run The self-transcendence-joy-marathon. Sri ChinmoyA related story My Marathon Odyssey by Sumangali Morhall. An inspiring account of running a marathon, and in a time that puts my own personal melodrama to shame.
Excerpt from Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 209