(Debut blog by a guest writer: my partner in spice)
After a few weeks of being overwhelmed by the colour and chaos of Colombo, I checked in for 7 days of 1 hour meditation classes for some much needed physical and spiritual refuge. The nearest spiritual clinic known locally as “that Om Shanti place” is located right next door to our apartment – nothing like convenient karma.
Every day for a week, I donned on my most conservative outfit and headed next door for some spiritual healing. My Jedi was Seelan, a chillaxed middle aged man, full of smiles who spends his days at the centre meditating, taking classes, cooking food ‘with joy’ and occasionally going out to teach those suckers in the corporate world about stress reduction.
For each of the 7 days we covered a new topic:
- Day 1: Soul Consciousness: you are not your body, you are your soul, your body belongs to you, you are the master of your ship. Empowering.
- Day 2: The Supreme: meditating allows you to connect to the supreme, the supreme is whatever form you prefer ie God, Shiva, Allah, Buddha, the force, the flying spaghetti monster, some power greater than ourselves. I got it.
- Day 3: Karma: Karmic law will get you, you can’t escape it. People who suffer do so because of bad actions in this life or a past one. You get what you deserve.
- Day 4: Cycle of World Drama: Every 5,000 years the world repeats a cycle going from a few very good spiritual beings to heaps of shit blokes. We’re at the end of the cycle. World War 3 is imminent.
- Day 5: Pillars of Raja Yoga: Celibacy, Vegetarianism, Good people and Meditating. I can do half of this.
- Day 6: History of Raja Yoga: Rich good guy, started his own following, became the perfect human being. Sounds easy.
- Day 7: Get amongst it: A group meditation class at 6am with 80 devotees all dressed in white, sitting in a room with red lighting silently meditating (why did I wear a green dress?). We heard the ‘teachings’ for the week which are brought by carrier pigeons from the headquarters in India. It was a bit like the Yoga UN General Assembly as devotees can get translations in Singhala or Tamil through special karma headphones.
It was about Day 3 that it all became a bit too spiritual for me so when Day 7 came around I politely thanked my Jedi for his services and confessed I wasn’t ready to join my brothers and sisters in meditation at the Centre. I assured him I would take what I had learned and meditate on our balcony each morning with some affirmations like ‘I am powerful’ and ‘I will not get dengue fever’. May the peace of the force be with you all.
Postscript: Turns out, I accidentally joined a cult. The centre is officially known as the ‘Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University’ – I guess the karmic retribution, apocalyptic predictions and celibacy-in-marriage should have given it away. Oops. Greece declared them an “enemy of the state”, France classified them as a “cult” and Poland accused them of being a “dangerous sect”. Eeekk. Having said that, they were nice to me and we still see the Brahma Kumaris every day, but I think I’ll just keep my distance. Phew.