After one month into what is probably half the time of the total, strict confinement period in France, due to the coronavirus, we would like to share with you how our Centre is experiencing this special time.
Of course, there is no one coming to our place anymore as this is strictly forbidden in France. From the very first day of the confinement, we invited our Centre participants to join every evening in a 20 to 30-minute meditation on love, peace and forgiveness. We also sent everybody the guidelines for the loving kindness meditation, because it is such a good example of a meditation on those three qualities. We know that many people join in this meditation very regularly, and we also invited people who do not come to our Centre and are not devotees of Swamiji – some friends who live further away and some family members – and many people seem to really like the idea and practise it regularly. We felt, too, that it is very important to pray to the Divine Mother, and also to support her work, so we decided to perform a puja or an abhishekam to her every Friday evening – and, of course, we continued with the other pujas and abhishekams. We also invited people to, at the same time, recite the Gayatri mantra or to do a puja to their statue of the Divine Mother, if they have one.
Having received the official procedure for performing a yagam from the Ashram, we had planned to perform one on Easter Monday. And, even though no one could attend, we decided to do it even without any other participants. It was a great experience!
We dedicated the yagam to the Divine Mother and had given simple instructions to our Centre members so that, if they wished, they could also make offerings to the fire whilst reciting the Gayatri mantra, in their own places. Those who did so said they also felt a powerful energy.
During this month we’ve stayed in contact with most of the people who regularly come to the Centre by phone, email or WhatsApp. We also organized a meeting using an independent internet platform (Framatalk). During this meeting we chanted an astotra, which was nice, but we quickly noticed that the internet connection in our area is not good enough to chant or sing together. So we just shared our experiences of how everyone is living through this particular period, especially with regard to their spiritual practices. However, since several people were unable to join in due to technical problems, we will not be having this kind of meeting again.
It was with a lot of joy that we also “participated” in the Ashram’s live webcasts of the Amman abhishekams on Wednesdays and Sundays – sometimes we showed arati and offered flowers etc. at the same time. We know many people from our Centre who did the same and who felt very blessed by doing so.
In the routine of “Centre life” we had sometimes asked ourselves who – apart from those who come very often – is really reading all the messages we send and whether they are in any way benefitting from still being in the mailing system. But now, with the corona crisis, we have heard from quite a few people who we hardly ever see in the Centre. They told us they participated in all the meditations or that they viewed all the Amman abhishekams. This was a nice surprise that encourages us to continue to communicate often and propose different activities. Also, we feel that, at this time, when so much fear and confusion is being spread by the media, people are very happy to be part of a “positive and supportive movement.”
Jai Prema Shanti!