- At the risk of over-using phrases such as "no words can express it" or "it was so inspiring", I cannot find adequate expressions to convey just how special the Silver Jubilee Weightlifting Anniversary weekend in New York truly was.
Those in attendance were treated to displays of Sri Chinmoy's weightlifting equipment and apparatuses presented alongside museum quality presentations in print, picture and video which explained and demonstrated Sri Chinmoy's use and achievements with the apparatus on display.
Much of the equipment on display included custom designed workout machines that Sri Chinmoy used during his lengthy daily training sessions. Considering the countless hours he might have logged using any and all of the equipment on display, a certain cosmic logic could be extrapolated to explain how just even walking past them carried a vibration and ambience of Sri Chinmoy's spiritual consciousness and light. The consensus amongst the disciples? We felt his energetic presence so strongly it was hard to believe he had not returned to Earth and stood amongst us.
In fact, I found it to be the most powerful of functions held in New York since his passing and perhaps the most powerful of anything period since October 2007. It easily surpassed anything I have felt during April or August Celebrations or the Samadhi Anniversary observances. Those of you who know me well also know just how many superlatives I typically express about the inner sublimity of a Samadhi Anniversary. Or how I feel about Pujaloy. Or how deeply I have been moved meditating at one of the life-sized statues of Sri Chinmoy that have been erected around the world.
If I am bluntly sincere, I think they all have to bow down to the Silver Jubilee Celebration. I will always cherish Pujaloy and the statues and Aspiration-Ground Celebrations, etc. Yet the magic and majesty of what happened in New York on June 26 and June 27 soars to a loka uniquely magnificent.
So what else happened besides the outdoor "museum" of displays? It makes my head tired to even think about how to summarize it. I can only hope others who frequent this news group who were present will chime in with their impressions.
Some elements were familiar to regular visitors to Aspiration-Ground. Satyajit's group performs a soul-stirring mix of singing and recitation. Music groups perform. Premik's flute escorts you to paradise. Palash's play tickles your funny bone. The costumes for Homagni's play paint a permanent grin as well. Databir in a clown costume more impressive than anything Ringling Brothers could offer... A multi-course vegetarian meal is served in Goose Pond Park and the Chittagong Chai Hut provided lemonade, water and iced chai all weekend to help beat the steamy August-like heat.
Other elements were singularly linked to the occasion. A very long professional quality film about Guru's weightlifting made you feel like you were watching a PBS special (if you subtract the microscopic HD close-ups of people's faces). The special guests like Bill and Judy Pearl, Hugo and Nadine Girard and Cathy Oerter to name just a few added so much to the conversations, reminiscences and reflections on Sri Chinmoy's weightlifting career.
Prasad late Saturday night included an ice-cream sundae line served up by the boys wearing special light blue polo shirts with the 25th anniversary imprinted on the shirt. You could have your choice of flavors with chocolate sauce, walnuts, coconut flakes, chocolate sprinkles and marshmallows. Is that enough sugar for you??!
If a DVD gets sold of this special occasion, I will be first in line to purchase it. Considering just how much of Sri Chinmoy's activities and mission included weightlifting from 1985 forward, I ask myself why didn't I think of it sooner? His essence comes through in this arena just as powerfully or even more so than when viewing his paintings, reading his books or listening to his music. And considering that my most powerful experience of God's unconditional love for us as God's children came to me while being lifted on the overhead apparatus, why would it be anything but superlative, soulful and sublime? That it was and more. And I haven't even mentioned the display of the 7,000 pounds rack and plates or the smart car on display on that lifting apparatus down at the end of the driveway...
Long live Guru's weightlifting memories. As Sudhahota Carl Lewis, so perfectly described, he did it all for us. And with regular coverage worldwide on shows like CNN, ESPN or your town's local news, the "all of us" included all the world.
- Thanks for sharing so beautifully, Sharani! You make everyone wish we were there!
Guru said (as far as I know) quite of number of his disciples were not able to understand the meaning of his weightlifting - and it IS hard to understand, if you never tried to lift any of those weights yourself! But who needs to understand - the power of Guru`s weightlifting can be felt!
Just looking at the small weights in Guru`s room in Pujaloy and meditating on them can give you an idea. These solid weights in Guru`s delicate hands, Guru`s concentration, intensity, determination, regularity, discipline, self-giving and even surrender (he always said weightlifting was not his favourite sport, he was just following an inner command) - just so incredible and inspiring.
One of my most special experiences with Guru's weightlifting was the big event in a hall in Manhattan where he was lifting for hours first and giving a concert right afterwards - just how he was able to use his fingers to play music after such a heavy workout was absolutely mind-blowing.
- Just to add:
On PerfectionJourney.org Utpal has another great post with an interesting interview with Cathy Oerter, the wife of Al Oerter, who was a long time admirer and supporter of Guru`s weightlifing (he also left the physical in 2007). She came to be part of the Weightlifting Celebration and was of course deeply impressed by the 3100 mile race. In her interview she speaks about the race but also says very nice things about Guru and his life.