About twelve years ago a friend had come across a Learn to Meditate leaflet and casually asked if I wanted to join her. Thinking back, I probably went because it meant a night out to try something new. We also made it into a bit of a social event as there were 5 of us that went along to the evening classes.

Little did I know then that just by saying a simple yes to going along to that class that I’d embark on a journey of what I can only say as getting to know myself.

Thinking back I think the reason for carrying on with meditation is because I remember feeling a sense of joy after each of the evening classes. And I guess that’s something I wanted to maintain.

So I practised meditation on my own on a daily basis, with varying results. But after a year or so, my fiance (now husband) Clifford, and I decided to take a gap year to travel and ‘see the world’.

So off we went to England with our backpacks on hand. I had visions of finding work picking strawberries or something equally as grand, which would ultimately fund our adventures! And I’d come home to SA having a treasure chest filled with exciting memories.

As it turns out things weren’t as idyllic as I’d imagined. Although we travelled several thousand miles for a new journey and new start I realised that I couldn’t run away from myself. By nature I am a bit of a stress pot.

Before we set off on our adventures one of the things that Balarka said to me is that once one discovers the inner world the outer journey fades in comparison. It really stuck with me! But it was only when things were seemingly tough in those first few months away that I made a more sincere decision to keep practising my meditation.

If you look at me outwardly I’m the same me but I feel that I’m slowly growing into my true self – a me that I like that is not determined by my outer circumstances. Sri Chinmoy says that we all have a spark of divinity in us. And through the years of meditating, I feel a sense of closeness to the part of me, which i like to imagine, is God within which I hold very dear to me.

Sri Chinmoy has written thousands of aphorisms and the one that I always remember is, “Everyday there is only one thing to learn, how to be honestly happy.”

He also said that if we can imagine ourselves to be 7 year old children that we can solve all our worries. These are my daily reminders to try not to be so focused on my mental worries and stresses of the day but to be like a child who lives in the heart and is full of joy.

~ Penny Nam (23 Oct 2016)

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Penny Nam

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