Hi, I’m Abanna, from the Seattle Sri Chinmoy Meditation Centre. I would like to warmly welcome you to our website. We are so glad you are interested in learning how to meditate. It is very precious to aspire to grow spiritually and begin a meditation practice. We hope you will find inspiration and encouragement here!
My own meditation journey officially began more than 17 years ago with a free introductory class offered by the Sri Chinmoy Centre. My children were young and my husband watched them so I could attend. I remember the class like it was yesterday! I was charmed by the woman who taught it, a long-time meditator and student of Sri Chinmoy. She had a lovely demeanor and shared some of her personal history. She showed us how to set up a shrine (sacred area) in our home for meditation. She led us through several different concentration techniques, including meditating on a candle flame, meditating on a flower, and meditating on a recording of flute music composed and performed by Sri Chinmoy. The music was beautiful and haunting and I felt it travel up and down my spine. I was entranced. The instructor said Sri Chinmoy teaches that world peace begins with each individual’s peace, and that the way for each individual to achieve peace is through meditation. It made total sense. I bought a recording of the music we had heard in our class, “Flute Music for Meditation,” and I bought a book by Sri Chinmoy called, Meditation: Man-Perfection in God-Satisfaction.*
A very short time later, I was invited to take part in a free, month-long follow-up meditation workshop. I was excited by the opportunity and I couldn’t get over that it was free. It was explained that according to Sri Chinmoy’s philosophy, it is every person’s birthright to learn how to meditate, and in keeping with Indian tradition, there is never a fee for any classes offered by Sri Chinmoy Centres worldwide. This continues today.
During the workshop, I experienced how helpful it is to meditate as part of a group. Each person brings something unique and special to the gathering and we all inspire each other consciously or unconsciously. I realized the group meditations supported my individual meditations at home and vice versa. I also learned the importance of regularity: regularity in my daily meditations and regularity in attending group meditations. Meditation is like a muscle that must be used regularly to build its strength and if not used it will lose its strength. We learned quite a few meditation techniques, read poems, stories and writings by Sri Chinmoy, sang soulful songs composed by Sri Chinmoy and watched a video of Sri Chinmoy. The instructor, also a long-time meditator and student of Sri Chinmoy, was friendly, experienced, and encouraging. The classes were so enjoyable. There was a nice sense of camaraderie and support as we discussed meditation questions and experiences as well as our favorite flavors of ice cream. We learned ways to help increase the power of our meditations and how to lead more spiritual lives, including adopting a vegetarian diet, being physically active, abstaining from alcohol and drugs, and more. I purchased a number of books written by Sri Chinmoy and devoured them. The more I understood of Sri Chinmoy’s philosophy, the more it resonated with me.
At the end of the month-long workshop, there were decisions to be made. We were all encouraged to continue meditating. Some of us might to continue meditating as individuals on our own, without the support of a group; however, it was noted that many people find it challenging to maintain regularity without the support of a group. Another option was to explore various meditation groups in our area and continue meditating with one of them. Or, the third option: Those of us who felt a connection with Sri Chinmoy and his philosophy could continue meditations with the Sri Chinmoy Centre as a student of Sri Chinmoy.
I did not hesitate: I wanted to continue! The classes made me happy. I became a student of Sri Chinmoy and have been meditating with the Sri Chinmoy Centre ever since. Meditation continues to increase my sense of well-being. It helps me start my day with a smile and a glow in my heart. I like myself better as a person.
Meditation can transform your life! It all starts with a meditation class.
*Books and CDs are available for purchase at: http://www.heart-light.com/