Joyday in Berlingen, Switzerland
- Dear family and friends,
A month had passed quickly and again a large group of around 250 people met for a Joyday in Berlingen, Switzerland. Berlingen is a little village nestled in beautiful landscape; a lake on one side and a forest on a hill on the other side, both expanding to the horizon.
When we arrived after only an hour ride from Zurich it began drizzling but some of us used the chance anyway to walk a little along the lake watching swans, Eurasian coots and seagulls and to inhale the peaceful atmosphere of the whole area.
More cars arrived from distant countries like Czech Repbulic, Germany and Austria. I might mention Shushamipan who often flies in all the way from Greece.
I thought for the sake of sharing I might try to give a little report about the happenings that were definitely inspiring as they always are. Please bare with my limited capacity to write in proper English as it is not my native language.
The Joyday started with singing spiritual songs selected by the Heidelberg centre, offered in the form of a little song-booklet and confidently led by Tirtha from Munich. For me it is always an opportunity to learn new songs I have not seen before. This time some were really special, particularly their melody (unofficial):
Is God lonely?
Yes, he is. Why?
Because I forgot to invite him
Is God lonely?
Yes, he is. Why?
Because I am still here,
And I have not gone to visit Him
And play with Him.
The acoustic in the hall and the melody of the song made me feel like in a church.
Lack of money
Delays your world journey.
Lack of love delays your life journey.
Lack of aspiration
Delays your God journey.
Yet if you can remain happy
Money-seeds will grow in you,
Love-river will flow through you,
Aspiration-mountain will wait for you.
The singing was followed by a twenty minute meditation, singing the Invocation and singing the Joyday song.
After a delicious dinner that was prepared and served by disciples of the Zurich centre the evening program started. I am sure everybody present there would agree that the highlight of the program was a slideshow shown and commented by Kailash from his recent trip to Shakpura, Guru's birthplace.
He went there with Dharmik from Czech Republic and Ekagra from Austria. They had only a photograph of Guru's house with them and showed it to people asking them if they would know where to find the house. They spent a whole day looking for the house as it turned out that the house looked like any other house and so they were sent from West Shakpura to East Shakpura until they finally stood in front of it. Kailash kept saying, "Here is the proof that we were there" proudly showing us pictures. It was easy to imagine that the trip must have been exciting for the boys especially as they had to return to the airport in the evening as it was part of the Songs of the Souls concert in Bangladesh. He repeated how simple the place was but how nicely arranged and kept clean.
They quickly found out that the family that lives there currently are distant relatives of Guru's family with the same name Ghosh. They didn't really know Guru but they remembered him. Inside the house the family had put up pictures of Sri Aurobindo.
Kailash said that because of language barrier they were not able to communicate much but the people were very nice and they felt very welcome. One interesting thing is that they have a little boy of two and a half years that was born the day Guru left the earth. We saw pictures of him, a little, sweet boy with bright eyes. When they parted they were invited back to visit them again. They also visited the Kali temple Yogamaya, Guru's mother, used to go and pray for Guru when he was sick. She didn't believe much in doctors she would always pray to Mother Kali for help .
Another inspiring story was told about what happened at the Mazatlan statue in Mexico. As there are only a few disciples living there one day the girl who visits the statue regularly found out that somebody had left shells and flowers at the statue's feet. She could not account of it and as this happened regularly one day she waited for a long time to see what would happen. A poor fisherman appeared and brought shells and flowers and placed them at the statue's feet again. She asked the man how come that he would do this and he told her that he felt that this statue embodied a very holy man and he began praying to Guru because he was not able to take care of his family. Since then he would always catch enough fish and was able to feed his family members. Out of gratitude he comes to the statue of Guru regularly and places there shells and flowers. What a blessed place!
I may share a few more things the way they come to my mind and heart:
We watched a video Guru meditating for a long time and playing the piano some years back in Ludwigshafen, Germany. I liked it so much!
Three boys recited Guru's poems. Here are a few:
The human in me wants the way out.
The divine in me wants the way up.
Anything divine that is shared
Is immediately doubled.
Divinity shines bright
In the thick of darkness.
Is divinity's only aim.
Love is beauty's sweet touch.
Devotion is intensity's tender touch.
Surrender is divinity's tender touch.
- (Sri Chinmoy)
Some more videos were shown about Iceland's beautiful landscapes, that were quite impressive, an Austrian girl recited Twenty-First Century poems by Guru in a video that led us into space, Tulasi entertained us with new magic tricks, a harp was played by a Czech girl, Mountain Silence sang two new songs, Aruna had just returned from New York and shared news about the Meditation Week in New York (see also Arpan's # 24421) and last not least we had an All Swiss performance that served as a rehearsal for April celebrations. It was a very soulful performance singing two Chittagong songs as they went well with the slides we had seen before about Shakpura.
Around midnight all went to sleep to meet again in the early morning hours in the hall for a half-hour morning meditation. The "Children Singers" sang three or four soulful songs as regular part of the program, a two mile race was announced, and some used the opportunity to meet with friends and acquaintances to share news, have breakfast together or to run individually. I heard people saying they enjoyed the homemade Prasad
It was a very nice family gathering much too short for my personal feeling.
- Thank you for sharing, it was very sweet. At some point, I felt transported there by your heart-felt description.