Amma is like the hand, and the swamis are like Her fingers.
When Br. Shantamrita Chaitanya visits, its as if Amma touches us.
His visit on May 4th and 5th was a welcome spiritual refresher to the Adelaide satsang in the wake of Amma’s tour – just as worldly life was beginning to exert its gravitational pull!
Shantamritaji’s ‘Conscious Living’ workshop on Tuesday night at the Burnside Community Centre aimed to enable participants to intentionally integrate spiritual principles into daily life.
Swamiji pointed out that while some progress has been made in improving the world’s problems – externally – not until we address the underlying project of understanding ourselves will true change occur. In an insightful and, at times, humorous talk he advocated personal spiritual transformation by performing practices such as yoga, meditation, spending time in nature, mantra japa, prayer, singing, and dance, and keeping a spiritual journal to help improve the physical, mental, and intellectual aspects of the individual.
To replace negative habits – living unconsciously – with conscious living constitutes a paradigm shift in a person’s life. The yoga of constant practice (Abhyasa Yoga) as taught by Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita could be seen as espousing the same approach. Shantamritaji reminded participants that bliss is our inherent nature, and sorrow is unnatural. By looking inwards, he said, we can learn to observe and transform our negative thoughts – consciously. Following the talk, the large group broke down into discussion groups, which later reported on their discussion topics. The workshop ended with a guided meditation, which was followed by chai and supper.
Cleland Park Visit
Cleland National Park is 20 minutes from the Adelaide CBD.
It is a large natural wild life reserve in the Adelaide Hills where you can wander and mingle at will amongst Australia’s best loved wild life (kangaroos, wallabies, betongs, emus, Tasmanian devils, wombats, dingoes, bandicoots, echidnas and bird life.
At a price you can hug a koala and have a photograph taken – Shantamritaji did this last trip in a flying visit. This time he wanted to stay longer and meet more of Australia’s wild life. The kangaroos are particularly tame and can be hand fed.
The day was quite cold so we enjoyed our picnic lunch of home made sandwiches in the warmth of the kiosk where a log fire was burning.
Shantamritaji was able to roam for hours (5 hours to be precise) and would have stayed longer if we didn’t have a program to run that evening.He even beamed some live pictures back to Japan and America.
On Shantamritaji’s second night in Adelaide he conducted an informal satsang at the M.A. Centre. A long, informative question and answer session was followed by several illuminating, and at times, hilarious stories, bhajans (including an impromptu bhajan class), group meditation and Arati. After satsang a delicious Indian meal was served. It was a wonderful, bliss- filled evening. By Amma’s grace may Br. Shantamrita Chaitanya return soon to Adelaide.
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