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All-Local Performance

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  • inspiration_sun_1
    by Palash A few weeks before Celebrations, entering the gate of the tennis court for Saturday afternoon meditation, I received a brightly coloured flyer from
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 2, 2008
      by Palash

      A few weeks before Celebrations, entering the gate of the tennis court
      for Saturday afternoon meditation, I received a brightly coloured
      flyer from Paree. It was an invitation to each local disciple to join
      an all-local Celebrations performance, the first of its kind. Paree
      made many heartfelt appeals to singers and non-singers alike to take
      part, and was so sincerely earnest in her plea for our participation
      that she inspired many to join in who might not have otherwise. Paree
      told me later, "I was pretty driven. I tried not to let anyone escape!
      When I approached Salil for the third time, just to make sure he
      picked up his practice CD, he said, `You're amazing. You're kind of
      like a pitbull!'" Paree wasn't sure if that was a compliment or not!

      At the first rehearsal, Paree passed out an outline of music and text.
      As we sat together in the sun on that cold day in March, I felt a very
      special and sweet oneness with my spiritual brothers and sisters. As
      we had been blessed to be in Guru's physical presence so often, my
      focus was always forward, on him. Since his passing, I have had a
      different opportunity to take more notice of my surroundings. Looking
      around at the group of over ninety souls who gathered that afternoon I
      felt such gratitude to be a part of this special family. I was happily
      surprised and encouraged by the presence of so many of our brothers
      and sisters, who came in a spirit of pure oneness and enthusiasm. As
      we went through the selections of songs and texts that so closely
      mirrored our collective experience over the past six months, there
      were many tears, but also a powerful sense of oneness.

      Paree talked about the selection of songs and text she chose for the
      performance, saying, "I was actually a little apprehensive that it
      might be too intense, or too sensitive a topic. I had to really keep
      the faith that the inspiration came from Guru, and that we would all
      benefit from it. In fact, the response I've received from many people
      has been overwhelming. I'm surprised how much it seems to have moved
      people. The scariest thing was trying to present the locals with a
      performance that they would be proud of. I was a nervous wreck,
      thinking that maybe I wouldn't come up with something worthy of their

      Paree worked to make the performance an all-inclusive experience in
      which each person was encouraged, valued and appreciated for their
      participation. She explained in the cutest of ways that this was
      basically "…a ploy to get Guru's attention. We basically never had to
      function as a Centre until now. And Centres, well…perform together! I
      thought, `Guru would never believe this. He'll definitely want to see
      it for himself.' I guess it was my clever way of trying to get Guru to
      come to the function that night!"

      Paree also shared her thoughts about the final song that she chose for
      the performance: "The song Your Victory will blossom in my life. My
      world will have only the Dust of Your Feet became sort of a personal
      mantra for me in these last six months. It gave me a prayerful focus.

      But it also served as a reminder that our progress doesn't end here,
      that our golden days with Guru are actually ahead of us, not behind
      us. The rest of the performance grew from there – the journey of the
      seeker from a despairing `How can I go on?' to the conscious awareness
      of the Master's inner presence, to the ultimate ideal of declaring the
      Master's victory."

      In the runup to Celebrations we gathered each week, even twice a week,
      in a very sweet shared spirit, to rehearse Paree's soulful
      compilation. Personally, I never made it through a practice without
      shedding a few tears, and probably I was not alone. But it was so
      inspiring and healing to work together with such a spirit of oneness.

      On the Friday night that we were scheduled to perform, we gathered
      early at Aspiration Ground and ran through the performance a few
      times. I'm sure everyone was a little concerned about how it would go.

      We needn't have worried. Guru's grace descended in torrents, and our
      performance went according to plan – even better! To see everyone from
      Ashrita to Vijaya standing together and offering our hearts as one to
      our beloved Guru was an experience that I shall never forget. I shall
      always cherish and be grateful for this opportunity. It was a powerful
      moment in each of our lives – and well, yes, I think Guru noticed us!
      Mission accomplished Paree! I think she has her work cut out for her
      all the Celebrations to come!

      By Palash.

      From: Inspiration Sun edition 3

      Related Post:

      New York Locals' Performance at April Celebrations by Prachar
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