I left Germany and flew to Milano where we began 5 days of special events for the Italian celebration of the Global Garland, events that take place all over the globe. Parvathi Faini hosted me graciously and orchestrated a creative series of programs.
I taught three Hatha Yoga classes, each with a special theme and an attendance of 25 – 30 students.
I emphasized that the attitude while practicing asanas and pranayama is more important than looking good or doing it ‘right’. We practiced with gratitude and contentment, instead of a habitual sense of lack, of needing to achieve or acquire something to be successful. We experimented with creating an inner sense of peace with the present moment, with what true joy might feel like, and how to allow our movements to be guided by those feelings.
The events culminated with a special program Saturday evening that was held at a nearby school. About 100 people gathered for several talks about Sri Swamiji’s life and the far-reaching effects of his teachings which are still spreading through more than fifty centers and thousands of teachers worldwide. I spoke about our difficulty to grasp all the qualities we saw in him, all the ways he inspired and guided us, and all the hearts he touched with untiring travel and a life of service.
I performed a puja at the elegant altar they had created and everyone had a chance to offer rose petals as we chanted serenely for peace in the world. We enjoyed some finger food in the lobby and then returned to a heart melting kirtan with a local group. Many of us ended up dancing as we chanted and celebrated the gifts of Yoga in our lives, and we felt Sri Swamiji’s presence with us, smiling with our joy.
We will complete our own celebrations of Sri Swamiji’s 100 year birth anniversary this December with a special satsang on December 20th, and a day of celebration on the actual birthday, December 22. I hope you can join us for some of the programs we’ll offer.