News from San Diego

Recently members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre visited San Diego in California for a variety of activities, including a concert, art exhibition and the unveiling of a statue of Sri Chinmoy.

During the two week Christmas vacation, visitors enjoyed fun in the sun, five times a day meditations, excursions to inspiring sites around the city, and more. The trip culminated with a series of programs that showcased the product of team effort and enthusiasm. Here is a brief summary of the most significant events:

Sri Chinmoy’s Paintings for World-Harmony were showcased at a Jharna Kala exhibition in City Hall.

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It was an auspicious moment, as the newly-elected Mayor Bob Filner (who met Dr. Martin Luther King and was inspired to work for social change) said ““I have been recently studying Buddhism. When I heard the choir singing Sri Chinmoy’s song, A Moment’s Peace, I was reminded of the Buddhist practice called the bells of mindfulness. A few times a day someone rings chimes and everyone stops for a minute or two to focus on world-harmony. Then after a couple minutes people go back to their regular activities. What we want to do is re-focus on what we are all here for—and this is to create world-harmony.

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We all have a common objective, and that is what this art represents. I just love the titles of these art works. We all have a responsibility to further what Sri Chinmoy is giving us here. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to carry out this responsibility here in our city.” He was also awarded the Peace Run Torchbearer Award.

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Classes and workshops were held in Normal Heights at the Pilgrimage Yoga studio and the Jyoti-Bihanga classroom annex and featured the Sri Chinmoy Bhajan singers and lectures from Sujantra, Vasudha and Ashirvad.

A disciple art gallery was organized and offered by Papaha at his permanent studio in Normal Heights and featured artwork by Khipra, Olivia and Uhaina, Kaivalya, Jeff Steorts, Banalata and others.

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The Songs Of The Soul concert event was offered to the public in the Catamaran Hotel in Pacific Beach and featured international singers, Sahadeva’s group, Canadian girls, Sangit Desh, New York singers, as well as Sujantra’s Indian tabla teacher performing with disciples. The stage featured a picture of Guru and Ravi Shankar, who lived in San Diego and recently passed away, as well as artwork by Papaha.

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The Peace Park and Sri Chinmoy Statue were inaugurated on land offered by a neighborhood resident who has been a customer of Jyoti-Bihanga restaurant for many years and who has participated in our Los Angeles Masters Track & Field events. The ceremony opened with a live flute performance by Premik, and featured a talk by Nripal on Thomas Jefferson and his interest in the West, including California. Kaivalya who travelled all the way from London to be in attendance, spoke about his sculpture and of himself as a humble instrument of the Master.

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The event was organized by Papaha, who has been involved with the local community for nearly 30 years and helped coordinate the design and implementation of the garden. Also in attendance were Mahasamrat Bill Pearl and his wife Bhavatarini Judy Pearl. The landscape design was made by Papaha’s childhood friend, who actively participated in all aspects of the project. Dozens of disciples worked for days during the trip to fulfill his design vision.

Challenging Impossibility and Ocean Monk, films by Sanjay and Natabara, were screened for the public at the Catamaran hotel, with a question and answer session following the movies featuring Mahasamrat (four time Mr. Universe), Bhavatarini and Frank Zane (three-time Mr. Olympia).

Text and photos from Agragati

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