We were lucky with near perfect weather for August celebrations, rarely too hot and only the occasional rain. As ever, our Aspiration-Ground was beautifully decorated and was open for many hours during the day - giving us the opportunity to meditate in this sacred place. Even if Guru was not present in person, one could still feel the same meditative consciousness that has built up during the past 25 years or so.
On the 25th August there was a concert of music dedicated to Sri Chinmoy. A variety of musicians and groups entertained a packed audience hall for over 3 hours. Amidst the many highlights a soulful rendition of Ami Jabo by Samir Chatterjee and his wife sticks in the mind. It was wonderful to hear Guru's songs performed by such talented professional musicians.
During Guru's birthday, we witnessed a new Guinness world record of 47,000 candles by Ashrita and his team of 88 people to light the massive cake.
Aside from the mediation, plays and soulful music performances, I seemed to spend quite a bit of time in the cafes and restaurants of the local area. A combination of good food, good coffee, attractive decor and the chance to meet old friends made it a very enjoyable way to spend time. (especially talking about the 2008 Olympic medal table with my Australian friends)
It often surprises me how quickly on arriving for celebrations old problems feel insignificant and you gain new enthusiasm and inspiration. I look forward very much to returning soon.