Day 18: Monday, 7 November – Fly away home

As we sit on the plane reflecting back over the tour, we feel a great sense of satisfaction. We managed to break into the media at a fraction of the cost of previous tours and made some good contacts in TV and radio. We gave three major TV interviews in English – two on prime-time breakfast TV and one on the evening news – and Koby and Diana will be giving a fourth in Twi (the local language) on Tuesday morning. That’s an audience of around 10 million people, all introduced to the experience of Sahaja Yoga and Self-realisation.

Although less than a hundred people came to the public programmes in Kumasi, Takoradi and Accra, many hundreds got realisation in the streets, in the market places, in the universities and in the polytechnics. Over 100 students got realisation in an impromptu community programme at the Takoradi Polytechnic and over 60 primary school children from the Ato All-stars football team. Those who did come to the public programmes were all good quality seekers and sincere. At the follow-up in Kumasi on Saturday 5 November, not only did ALL the people who came to the public programme come again to the follow-up, they also brought another six people with them!

Best of all, we have made good contact with the King of the Asante and his Chiefs and have every hope in the future of being able to hold a special conference to demonstrate to them and their communities the benefits of Sahaja Yoga Meditation and give them all realisation. This is the key to Ghana and we can hear it turning in its lock!

Jai Shri Afric’eshwari! Jai Shri Mataji!!

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Day 17: Sunday, 6 November – Saluting the Commander of the Ganas

The next morning we felt pretty wrecked, as our subtle systems had been on overdrive. Absorbing the vibrations of the new people was quite tough – a bit like trying to swallow a sweaty old football. On reflection, I guess this was probably why the number of new people had been rather modest. Perhaps the Divine had only sent as many as the local yogis could handle for now. When the Ghanaian collective grows in strength, then things will take off. Just now, ensuring that they meditate and footsoak everyday and regularly meet together would be a major victory!

The Ghanaians said they would like to have another puja, so together we worshipped Shri Mataji in Her form as Shri Kartikeya, the commander of the Ganas, in this Land of the Ganas. So we began as usual with Shri Ganesha, sang the 108 names of Shri Kartikeya, and then worshipped them both in the form of Lord Jesus Christ: like the Divine Cosmic Egg, the subtle body of Christ is derived from Shri Ganesha and his spirit from Shri Kartikeya.  Also the negativity of the Christian churches here is to be seen to be believed!! Hence the desperate need to recognise and worship the TRUE Christ.

The weekend being dominated by the various churches, our TV3 interview the day before had been sandwiched between that of an American Pastor from the Deep South (with a very annoying wife) who had written some crack-pot book supposedly ‘explaining’ the Book of Revelations; and some Ghanaian lunatic who proclaimed in all seriousness that God was an eagle. Even Moon was laughing.

I digress. Suffice it say that the puja cleared the air massively and the vibrations were flowing again. The Spirit was happy. As they say: Let him that hath an ear hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

We went out to eat together in the local shopping Mall and ironically our last African meal was a Chinese. We spent most of the evening chatting and hanging out, and our last evening meditation together was very powerful and silent.

Day 16: Saturday, 5 November – A day to remember

Up at 4 am for collective meditation, then off to TV3 for 6 am, for another TV interview on their breakfast TV chat show, ‘Sunrise’!

This time we had even more viewers it being a Saturday and the vibrations were intense as we gave realisation with the attention of millions of Ghanaians beaming onto us. The interviewer, Moon, was in good spirits and had a stronger experience this time, as last time she had been thinking about her next question. Also this time she was more relaxed and weekend-ish, allowing a little more silence and space for the realisation exercise. It’s really quite an amazing feeling when you sense the pure attention of a whole country on you as it gets realisation. Slowly Sahaja Yoga is entering the Ghanaian collective consciousness.

The first of our public programmes at the First Choice Hotel was at 11 am (Swiss time), but people were still rolling in at 1 pm (African time)! This meant that effectively we had three concurrent groups of people who had or had not experienced various aspects of the programme. Complicated. At least everyone was there for the workshop, so every one of the 15 or so people that came received a lot of individual attention as the Accra collective was out in force. Though few in number, the new people were very deep and all had a good experience of thoughtless meditation.

After lunch, the second programme was even smaller, but had even stronger vibrations. The 5 or so people were very attentive and also went very deep into thoughtless meditation. One was an events manager that worked all over Ghana and gave us lots of helpful tips for the next tour, promising to help us find better venues and attract more people to the programmes.

The day ended with a chatty social evening, a collective footsoak and a meditation with the locals.

Day 15: Friday, 4 November – Jai Shri Hanumana !!

During the meditation we listened to a talk of Shri Hanuman, and from that moment on some amazing vibrations began to unfold.  Friday was a serious leafleting and street realisation day. It was pretty hot again, so we had to keep finding shaded areas with a bit of breeze, or else we would keel over. Out of the blue we met with a guy called Francis from Adom FM radio, which was pretty amazing as we were about to meet with someone from Joy FM, which is its sister station! We took his contact details for the future.

Meanwhile, we had a fantastic meeting at Joy FM. Shri Hanumana’s powers were buzzing through the ether of communication. We met a Rasta called Bosco who ran all the radio programming.  Although we couldn’t arrange a radio interview in the time left, we were able to set up another television  interview on Multi TV, on a programme called ‘Badwam’ in the native Twi language for the local yogis. So Koby and Diana will give realisation to potentially another few million people in their own language, just before we fly out on Monday! Jai Shri Mataji!!

Another fantastic piece of news is that we were able to secure a regular room at the Accra Technical Training College, where the Accra yogis can hold regular weekly meetings. Everything had finally fallen into place. This has been a problem for the last year. Now we could give the new people at the programme concrete details of the follow-ups and the weekly meetings.

Day 14: Thursday, 3 November – Back to Accra

The morning was relatively free, so we decided to return to the beach and enjoy the ocean again. We met with some people from the programme and worked on them at the beach, which was quiet and awash with golden sand and coconut palms.

At 5 pm we had a follow-up programme at the centre, and about 5 people came from the programme the night before, plus about 5 brand new people. The meditation was particularly cool and settled – much better than when we had first encountered the room two days before.

As soon as the programme was over, we jumped into a mini-van and headed back to Accra. By 1 am we were back in our rooms at the First Choice Hotel. You could still feel the vibrations of the Shri Gauri puja we had celebrated there ten days before!

Odo Nyera Fie Kwan

“Love does not lose its way home”

Day 13: Wednesday 2 November – Din-Day

The day started pleasantly enough, with our first visit to the beach and swim in the ocean! The sun was very fierce, so you couldn’t splash about for long without getting burnt and the oceanic breakers threw you about like a cork. It was bliss to immerse and offload all the voidish rubbish of Takoradi into the warm crystal water.

We stopped to print off some handouts for the evening programme, and then hightailed back to the Teacher’s Hostel for some lunch and a quick rest before the programme. The programme was set to begin at 5 pm, but by 5.30 pm still very few people had arrived. Tim and David cranked up the music and sang the Mahamantras followed by the Shri Hanuman Chalisa – which had practically become the tour anthem! The good news was that by the end of it more people had arrived. The bad news was that the Charismatic Christian lunatics from two years ago were back to wreck our meeting with their rabid demonic chanting. How to practice silence in the midst of such a demonic din? The only solution was to sing the loudest most upbeat bhajans in the repertoire to mask this churchy Chernobyl and block it out. Luckily this time we had hired the PA!

We sent down the useless caretaker to tell them to be quiet (as we had been assured by the booking administration that these nutters would be quiet until 7 pm and they had started at 5.45 pm), but they did not. So we sent in Manitu instead to sort them out! They were subdued for at least a minute then started bawling at full throttle again – if only we could throttle them… This repetitive obsessive trance-like chanting is one of the most disturbing vibrational experiences and it completely wrecked the programme. In the end we held the programme outside with the ten or so people that had come and the vibrations were actually very good. Surprisingly the new people had a very deep experience. In spite of the pandemonium, the divine had done its work with ease.

Day 12: Tuesday, 1 November – What would Socrates have said?

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.

Day 11: Monday, 31 October – The Long Road to Takoradi

There was just enough time to jump into an internet cafe and send off the blog. The netbook was still down and Shalini’s laptop had no internet connection. So at last the blog was up to date! Hurrying back to the hotel by 10am the sun was burning hot as we jumped into the van on the long road to Takoradi.

After carving through thick tropical jungle and dodging in and out of sticky hot sleep, we arrived in Takoradi on the western region coast at around 5 pm. We settled into the Teacher’s Hall Hostel, where the men were able to share a dormitory together which was great for a nurturing a deep collective feeling.

Next we headed into town to eat and meet with some of the local yogis, Joseph Lokko and Nkrumah. The plan was to visit the local SY centre at the back of Joseph’s electrical shop and meditate together, however for various reasons, including the difficulty of finding somewhere where 13 people could eat without massive expense, this was not possible.

We headed back to the Teacher’s Hall Hostel, had the mother of all footsoaks, a collective meditation and then slipped into bed, pretty exhausted from heat and travel.

Day 10: Sunday, 30 October – Not quite the day we expected

We had intended to have puja at 8 am, have breakfast, and then head over to the palace for the Akwaasi-dae ceremony – the Divine had other plans. In retrospect, it is clear now that Shri Mataji prevented us from going to the ceremony, probably due to some inauspicious subconscious aspects better not to put attention on. As I write the words akwaasi-dae in the blog, a bizarre wind comes from nowhere and knocks over Shri Mataji’s picture, and outside a storm is brewing.

In the morning we celebrated Diwali puja by worshipping Shri Mahalakshmi. There was a left-side heaviness in the air and everyone seemed to be battling with fatigue. We pushed against it with the music and tried to lift things. Outside, all manner of Christian musics twisted the ear in a cacophony of shouting. As we sang the Sahasrara mantra we suddenly noticed that everything had gone quiet, and at last were able to meditate in peace. Vibrations were flowing nicely.

Time had moved on, though. By the time we arrived at Manhyia Palace, the ceremony was over. We made our apologies to Monica and exchanged contact details. She was very sweet about it, and hugged all of us in turn.

After that we made our way to Bantama to hold a community programme with Ato’s All-stars, that is, the community football club run by Ato. When we arrived, we were met by around 60 very enthusiastic primary school age kids.

Shalini took command of them and led them through some simple techniques she had used in schools in India. Within a short time, they were sitting with their eyes closed in meditation. They were very loving children and afterwards were most keen to hug us all, and hold our hands – oh, and to show us their football shirts! This was exactly the kind of community programme we had been aiming to do. It was the first time during this tour that it had worked out, and it was all thanks to Ato, who got his realisation just days before.

Back at the hotel we meditated and ate together and told each other stories of our Sahaj experiences. It was fascinating to hear them tell of how Sahaja Yoga had changed their lives, rid them of bad habits and furthered their seeking. One boy mentioned how it had literally saved his life. What touched us most was the deep love that they all had for Shri Mataji, even if their faith in themselves was not as strong.

Afterwards we gave out some Sahaj presents and materials and said good-bye to our Kumasi brothers – all except Ato. He’s coming with us on the rest of the tour. Jai Shri Mataji!

Boa Me Na Me Boa Wo

“Help me to help you”

Interdependence, cooperation.

Day 9: Saturday, 29 October – Water, water everywhere!

We awoke about 1 am to find our room about 10 cm deep in water!!!!!!!! Someone had left the tap on when the water wasn’t working, and for the last two hours since it had returned, water had gushed all over the place, filling footsoak bowls and soaking everything. Dada practically floated around the room on his mat and was the first to wake. I shouted over to him to switch off the mains plug as an extension lead with a myriad of plugs attached dangled into the water… Thank God nothing happened. We were being looked after.

After about an hour of bailing water into a bucket with a footsoak bowl and a mop, we were able to go back to sleep. Never had the room been so clean. It had had its own personal footsoak! Shame we couldn’t wipe away the awful satanic Christian chanting that had been screaming through the air all night. They were literally causing us to feel nauseous, with some repetitive so-called Christian chanting that was designed to send people into some kind of subconscious trance. I have never heard such a horrible din. Better to be awake during such things I guess, than let it seep into the back Agnya.

Saturday morning began in earnest with a dash to Luv FM radio for an 8 am meeting. David the programme producer had been a little vague, but the expectation was that we would be live on air to field phone calls from the public and answer their questions. Unfortunately we had been supplanted by some emerging local issue that meant that we would not get another slot until next Wednesday, two days after we would have left for Takoradi. Darn! We managed to keep the ball in the air by suggesting that Joshua, one of the Kumasi yogis, take our place and that one of us take part in the discussion via a phone line. Agreed. Also we managed to get David to contact his counterpart at Joy FM in Accra, with every chance of a live discussion on the Friday before the Accra programme.

After a little more street realisation, we headed back to the hotel for lunch and a rest, as that evening was the public programme. We arrived at the venue around 3 pm, to find that the outbuilding hadn’t been cleared or swept! Luckily we still had 2 hours to transform our barn into a temple, before the first people would arrive. Everyone worked quickly and harmoniously with a wonderful collective dynamic. In no time the place was ready and looked great, with lamps to beautify it.

A TV crew came from TV3 news to interview us and film the meditation. I did a quick spot to camera about Sahaja Yoga, and when asked about what message we wanted to convey to the Ghanaian people, spontaneously replied:

“The Kingdom of Heaven, as we know it says in the Bible, is within you; but how to awaken it? This is the means to awaken it.”

Meanwhile, we had a very good programme with very nice vibrations. As the place was outdoors, there had been no heaviness in the vibrations. At first we were a little worried about the weather, as rain began to fall when we arrived. Luckily it stopped very soon after and a beautiful rainbow appeared above us in the sky.

There were only about ten new people at the programme, but they were all very attentive and had a strong experience of the vibrations and of meditation. The atmosphere was very peaceful and magical, and it was a long time before people began to leave.