Yesterday was one the most spiritually enriching days I’ve had in recent months and I would love to share my beautiful, emotionally touching experience with YOU, my dear bloggers. And because healthy lifestyle initiates in the health of our minds, let’s spend following minutes by inspirational reading, moving speech and heavenly music, which I hope will feed your minds and souls 🙂
When my friends asked me to join them for some “Sacred Forest” event at Brunei Gallery of the SOAS University of London yesterday, I immediately reacted with an a positive answer: YES!! And if you think of all these events you went to and then regretted going because it did not work for you, well, this one wasn’t one of them. And you will see why.
The Sacred Forest was an event organized by a registered charity FOOD FOR ALL (“FFA”), which is based in London and believe or not, every single day distributes over 900 free, nutritionally balanced meals to different groups of people with the main focus on homeless people and students, as they regularly queue in front of the University of London. Me and my friends had opportunity to taste this delicious Hare Krishna food yesterday after the event, and I must tell you that we’ve literally licked our plates clean. Smiling lady served us with variety of very well seasoned vegetarian food which, when combined together, made your taste buds satisfied as never before.
The Sacred Forest was a special charity fundraiser event, which included many beautiful moments, starting with drama performances that helped us to leave our everyday problems behind the door of the gallery, and take the most of this evening with clear souls and minds. Later on, the group of students made us laugh with the very creative and funny video called: “What would life be like without the Hare Krishna lunch queue at SOAS? I posted the video here for you, it’s really worth watching (otherwise I wouldn’t post it 🙂 ).
This was followed by beautiful musical performance from the Launchpad, from which I got goose bombs all over my body, and when watching the audience, I am more than sure I wasn’t the only one. I quickly grabbed phone and camera and tried to record a video for you, so I advice you to take a couple of deep breaths and relax your mind and soul with this magical melody from Sacred Forest. So now relax, enjoy….and maybe sing :).
The next big, not big….huge part of the program was the speech of Radhanath Swami, who is a Hare Krishna guru, author, social activist and spiritual leader who explained the importance of discovering and growing the sacred forest in the depth of our souls. During his one-hour speech, Radhanath took us back to world of humility, humbleness, gratitude, grace and unconditional love…the world that silently lives in everyone us, but it’s being locked by all the society’s conventions and simply can’t be let out. Swami started his speech with words:
“I remember in my travels, meeting a very gracious and holy person who told me the the greatest need of the world is food, nourishment. The greatest problem in the world is hunger…but not just hunger of the stomach. Because if you give some food, you can solve that problem. It is hunger of the heart. What is the need of a heart? If we have enormous amounts of wealth, fame, power, prestige, but we don’t have inner fulfillment. Can it be happiness?”
Swami made us laugh and cry at the same time by telling us all the, sometimes hardly believable, stories of his travels around the world, ending in the Indian holy town of Vrindavan, where he found his path amongst the Bhakti-yogis. Swami told us where is the origin of his decision to direct his life in the way of spirituality:
” What really is it that I am looking for in life? There was a silent call in my heart that day by day was calling me away from all of the pursuits that the whole society around me were telling me; to find the purpose of life.”
Swami recalls meeting his spiritual teacher who taught him: ” The real hunger is of the heart. The only thing that can satisfy the hunger of the heart is to love and to be loved.” Swami beautifully compared human body to a vehicle:
“The body is like a vehicle. On the road in London, some people are driving Rolls Royce, some Mercedes, some Toyota, some are riding on motorbikes, some bicycles..there are all different kinds of vehicles. You can change your vehicle, but you can’t change the needs of the driver. The needs of every driver is to love and to be loved.”
Swami talked us through the negative impacts that today’s materialistic society has on people’s perception of each other:
“The real wisdom is the ability to see every living being with equal vision, because when we experience this spiritual essence within ourselves, we see that same spiritual essence of heart of God, of child of God in heart of everyone. Whether they’re black or white, yellow or red. Whether they’re of one religion or another religion, or no religion. Male or Female. Human or elephants, cows or dogs. Wherever there’s a life, it’s sacred.”
Despite all the delicacies we’ve been served after the performance, I have to say, that it wasn’t the food that nourished me yesterday. It was Swami’s unforgettable, touching and purely true sharing of wisdom with all of us who were looking up to him as flowers look up to the sun to gain at least one ray of light. And this light of Swami’s teaching fed us as any food possibly can. I am happy to share with you the extract from his speech.
After this soul uplifting experience, our emotions were hit by another and final musical performance of Kirtan yoga from Jahnavi Harrison. As I have never been to any Hare Krishna spiritual performances, I was speechless from what I saw and heard. Listening to their heavenly voices, singing and moving with the rhythm trully opened a door to a special place within our hearts, to the place with no mundane limitations, with no envy and no pride…to the sacred forest.
Listen to the whole performance and watch how the musicians played with the rhythm of 2 verse composition and the reactions of the audience within this musical crescendo 🙂
While writing this post, I received an email from the organizers of The Sacred Forest event, with a huge THANK YOU headline, giving us their sincere gratitude to everyone who came along and supported this project. The last part of the email consisted of three lessons, that had been picked up on the virtual journey through The Sacred Forest. And as a big THANK YOU for all of you who read and enjoyed this post, I would like to share with you these three simple wisdoms, that have always been and always will be subjected to the laws of universe.