After meditation and breakfast we headed into town to give street realisation in the market and at the local Polytechnic. People seemed a bit more open-minded here than in Kumasi, especially among the students, and lots got realisation and were interested in the programme.
We went to various administrative offices at the Poly to see if we could arrange an impromptu community programme. After being shunted from office to office in some kind of Kafka-esque adventure, we eventually met with the Dean of Students who was keen to help us, and arranged for us to speak to the students for about 15 minutes during the break of the debating society that afternoon. Wow! The rewards of persistence!!
By 3.30 pm the main auditorium was beginning to fill up with about 100 eager students. The main topic was Homosexuality of all things, but in the lead up they were (frankly) wittering on about relationships in general without much insight or knowledge. Guys were shouting out all kinds of dodgy things that had more to do with street humour than any sense of rhetoric or debate.
As the likelihood of me getting up in front of this testosterone-fuelled mob grew ever nearer, my thoughts turned to Socrates, the master of rhetoric and debate, as to how to better the situation. Luckily inspiration came when one of the girls mentioned that in a relationship ‘you should be yourself’, and echoes of the Delphic oracle came into my mind: Know Thyself. I decided that to have any chance of winning these guys over I would have to pose them some well-chosen rhetorical questions that grew ever more challenging. So I worked the audience with questions such as: Do you know your Self, your true Self? When you are angry, are you able to bring yourself into peace? When you have been studying late for an exam, are you able to sleep at night? Some cocky ones were always going to say yes, so I threw in ones they wouldn’t be so confident about like: When you feel lust for some girl walking past are you able to stop yourself? Aha, no response, we had them. Then we could talk about Kundalini and awakening their full potential: Wasn’t that why they had come to the Polytechnic? To realise their FULL potential?
All of the students did a very simplified realisation exercise and they all seemed to feel it, some said they felt amazing cool. Certainly the atmosphere was transformed from a vocal zoo to a very tranquil, pleasant atmosphere. We told them about our public programme and as we left they gave us a very warm farewell. Something had definitely awakened and changed them.
We had hoped to dash to the beach, but the sun was fast descending in the sky by the time we left the auditorium and the mini-bus driver with whom we thought we had an arrangement seemed to have evaporated away in the heat. Also, apparently no Ghanaian ventures onto the beach on a Tuesday, as it is the day they worship the goddess of the sea.
That evening we were due to have a programme with the local yogis at the Sahaj centre, or ‘temple’, as Joseph liked to call it. As we were many and they claimed it was not far, we walked all the way there. Hell’s flip-flops, it was far!!!!!! 🙂 We passed the miles by singing bhajans through the darkening streets. Actually it was extremely joyful and the heart was overflowing with vibrations that poured into the streets of Takoradi. When we arrived at the centre we kept going, singing and dancing, filling the room with vibrations. Particularly strong was when we settled down and sang the Devi Suktam (Ya Devi sarva bhuteshu), after which everyone was plunged into deep meditation.
Albert and (Rasta) Ray arrived and it was a great joy to see them both again. We ended the programme by having a workshop and talking together in the collective.
By the time we were out it was 9.30 pm, and every eatery in Takoradi seemed to have closed. Dragging the collective body around the deserted streets was both fruitless and exhausting, so we had to pay through the nose to buy rubbish snacks from a garage. Annoying and dissatisfying in equal measure.