As a new disciple, I was keen to go and take part in as much as possible. In 2001, I travelled to Oslo, Norway, for a week of peace activities by Guru; it proved to be a unique experience. There was an opening ceremony on the Oslo harbour. Sri Chinmoy played the flute and meditated by the Eternal Peace-Flame, which was very evocative of the human aspiration for peace. The week sped by – concerts, Jharna Kala art exhibitions, using the famous athletic track, and meditations with Sri Chinmoy. We were travelling around Oslo on their very efficient public transport system, visiting all corners of the city. It was a great combination of meditation, spirituality and an opportunity to enjoy such a beautiful city at the height of summer. As on many occasions, it was also great fun sharing a hotel with so many other disciples. On these kinds of 'holidays' it was easy to forget all the pressures of life and work and enter into another world, a world that was naturally more joyful and enjoyable. Before going, you worried about the cost, taking time off work, etc. But, as soon as you went, you never regretted it.
One experience that stands out is visiting a lecture given by Sri Chinmoy at an auditorium in Oslo University. In the morning we had taken a train up to a hill on the outskirts of Oslo. It was beautiful in the forested heights, overlooking the city and the sea. Time flew by, and before we knew it, it was getting late for the talk. With a less than peaceful and detached attitude, we rushed down to the train and scrambled to the university, struggling to find exactly where we had to go. The lecture had attracted quite a few local students, and so, as we got to the hall, it was standing room only. I squeezed in at the back, not exactly too comfortable, but at least I was in. Of course, I was regretting not being more organised and getting there much earlier to get a nice comfy seat. But, despite being ruffled and uncomfortable, I tasted this otherworldly consciousness of peace. There was little reason for it. I wasn't physically comfortable, my mind was tense, and I wasn't even trying to meditate. But, I was there and having this great experience. It often seems there can be no explanation for good meditation, and the feeling stayed for a considerable time.
The overall experience of the few days I was in Oslo was really good. Spending time with Guru and other disciples truly left you with a different outlook on life. I was so grateful to get a brief glimpse of the peace Sri Chinmoy was trying to share.