A version of this article first appeared in ‘Indianz Outlook’, May 2010

 

A crowd of over 200 people filled Auckland's Mahatma Gandhi Hall to hear a free talk on meditation by visiting UK presenter Devashishu Torpy. He told the audience that meditation was a practical skill for solving both global and personal problems. Many participants reported feeling happier and more peaceful after the evening sessions.

 

Over two evenings, Devashishu had the mostly Western crowd chanting Sanskrit mantras and practising meditation techniques to calm their minds. Devashishu related how he became a student of spiritual master Sri Chinmoy at the age of 8 along with his parents. His Guru taught him how to meditate early on and when he became older Devashishu started to travel the world giving lectures and practical workshops on the subject. He said Sri Chinmoy believed world harmony was possible if human beings used their heart more than their mind.

 

Mr. Torpy’s visit was arranged by the Auckland branch of the Sri Chinmoy Centre, which offers a large number of free meditation classes throughout the year. Sri Chinmoy also founded a biennial torch relay for peace called the World Harmony Run which includes a free programme of peace education in schools.    

 

Several members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre recently returned from New York where they competed in the Self-Transcendence Six and Ten Day Races, some of the most gruelling long-distance running events in the world. The fastest New Zealand competitor, Dharbhasana Lynn, ran 555 kilometres in 6 days. He will return to New York on 13 June as the first Kiwi to enter the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race, the longest certified footrace in the world. Sri Chinmoy, who passed away in 2007, was the founder of these races which give people an opportunity to combine physical endurance with spirituality.