In the Sri Chinmoy Centre, our members combine a deep inner life of meditation and spirituality with a dynamic outer life that emphasises seeing and serving the world in a childlike, joyful way. At the request of our teacher, Sri Chinmoy, we offer meditation classes, concerts and other spiritual events free of charge to the general public, out of a conviction that spirituality is a birthright and not a commodity.
Other things we do:
- We frequently offer concerts of meditation music – we have our own music group here in the Reykjavik Centre, and we also invite music groups from all over the world to come and give concerts.
- On Klapparstigur the cafe Garðurinn (Ecstasy’s Heart-Garden), the world instrument store Sangitamiya and the icecream store Joylato are owned and managed by our students. Sri Chinmoy referred to these as divine enterprises, because we try to see the divine inside each customer and serve them accordingly. In this way, our work becomes part of our own meditation practise.
- We strongly feel that sports and spirituality go together. We have an informal 2 mile run amongst ourselves every week, and we also organise a 5k race for the public in August.
- The Icelandic Centre has been a leading proponent of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run – the world’s largest peace torch relay – since its founding in 1987. Since then we have organised events every year, and have run around Iceland eleven times!
About our teacher, Sri Chinmoy
Sri Chinmoy was born in 1931 into a very spiritual family in the Bengal region of what was then British India (now Bangladesh). During his childhood, his older brothers had spent years in an ashram (spiritual community) in South India pursuing rigorous spiritual discipline. At the age of 12, both of his parents passed away, and the young Chinmoy and his brothers and sisters all went to live in that ashram. He spent over twenty years there, meditating for up to ten hours a day, and reaching and perfecting the state of enlightenment (Sri Chinmoy preferred to call it God-realisation – the realisation of God as one’s own highest self).
Sri Chinmoy felt that the best way to learn meditation is through silence:
In school you have a teacher who is teaching you and offering his wisdom-light to you through language. In the spiritual life also, the teacher teaches through language. But the language of the spiritual teacher is meditation. Meditation is the inner language, and the teacher teaches meditation through silence. It would not be easy for your professor to teach through silence, and for the student also it would not be easy to learn through silence. But a spiritual teacher will meditate for five minutes in silence and during his meditation he will offer peace, light and bliss. He can instruct you to meditate either by giving you specific instructions or through his silent gaze. But most of the time the spiritual teacher teaches through silence, because that way is most effective.
So when we give classes, we do not consider ourselves meditation teachers as such – our role is to lay out the ABC’s of meditation and the spiritual life, and then create a space where your own soul can come to the fore and teach you how to meditate.
Between 1964 and his passing in 2007, Sri Chinmoy lived in New York. At the request of then Secretary-General U Thant, he began a twice-weekly series of meditations for staff and delegates at the United Nations. Sri Chinmoy visited Iceland six times, giving lectures, concerts and honouring people from all walks of life.
Myndband: Sri Chinmoy in Iceland
For Sri Chinmoy, meditation and spirituality was something that could be expressed in an infinite number of ways. He created a huge œuvre of poems, songs, lectures, plays and answers to questions totalling over 1600 books. Among spiritual teachers, he was uniquely interested in sports as a means of spiritual progress. He founded the Sri Chinmoy marathon Team, which pioneered many innovations in the ultra running world and which has organised the world’s longest certified road race – the 3100 Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence Race – for almost 25 years.