"Don't Forget to Smile"
Br Shubamrita's whistlestop tour of southern England took in Bath, Brighton and London in three days at the end of June and were an insipration to all those who came to see him.
On Wednesday 13th July, we were treated to an evening with Br Shubamrita, who delivered an inspiring talk entitled “Don’t Forget to Smile” to an audience of more than 50 people in South London. Br. Shubamrita started by conveying Amma’s love and best wishes to all those present. The talk was filled with practical suggestions for incorporating spiritual principles into our lives and was illustrated with anecdotes from his time with Amma. Afterwards, there was a guided meditation followed by bhajans. The programme ended with Arati and then Br Shubamrita distributed Prasad.
Amma says that we have both an outer smile and an inner smile, the smile of the heart. She says that if we can express the inner smile through our outer smile, it can have a really transformative effect. Amma says, “Our smile is the signature of God on our face”.
Br. Shubamrita said that the smile of great masters, such as Amma, doesn’t change with different situations and circumstances in their life. He suggested four important changes we can make that can help us to remain smiling most of the time.
Change from Resistance to Acceptance: Accept the present moment, make it your friend. We can conserve a lot of energy by accepting situations without judgement - “It is what it is”. Acceptance leads to peaceful emotions. When we accept uncertainty in our lives, it can lead to a sense of adventure rather than fear. Shift from Possessiveness to Detachment: Change is the nature of this world and everything will eventually disappear. We should not get over-attached to people or to objects. We are tourists in this world and many of us have collected lots of baggage! The fast track to smiling is to have less baggage. Change is the only constant. We need to focus more on the changeless and this will help us to smile in any situation.
Shift from Doubt to Faith: If we are connected to the Supreme Power within, we can keep smiling no matter what. Br. Shubamrita said that when we pray, we continuously tell God how big our problems are but that we should actually be telling our problems how big our God is. Faith is like Wi-Fi , it is invisible but it connects us to what we need. We are instruments and God’s power works through us and helps us to keep our smile even in difficult or challenging situations. Shift from Grief to Gratitude: The most powerful mantra in the whole world is: “Thank You”. People who smile a lot always possess this quality of gratitude. People who are always grieving for what they don't have will find it very difficult to smile. Gratitude is like a muscle; the more you use it the stronger it grows.A personal reflection on the evening:
"What a wonderful evening. I feel totally refreshed and rejuvenated after this opportunity to spend an evening with one of Amma’s closest disciples. The evening started with a meditation that allowed everyone in the hall to drop into a space of total serenity. Then there followed a talk where Swami delivered a message of deep wisdom in ways that everyone can relate to. As Swami said, in the presence of Amma, there is no difference of class, race, religion or status, just pure universal love.
"After this, I really feel encouraged to keep smiling no matter what happens, giving thanks for everything. This is the immortal essence of spiritual teachings and Amma’s message. The evening ended with some bhajans and also divinely inspired songs in English that Swami led and we all sang together. Everyone I spoke to afterwards expressed the wish to have more events like this." — Antarma
Inspiring Series of Talks by Br Shubamrita 2015
Bath: Living a Life of Purpose
On one of the hottest days of the year so far, Brahmachari Shubamritaji was welcomed into the beautiful Friends Meeting House, under the spires of the Abbey and right next to the Roman Baths in the heart of the city.
As ever, Swamiji spoke with such wisdom and humour, quoting not only Amma and the Bhagavad Gita but Nietzsche, Victor Frankl, Rumi and others. He has a gift of expressing ancient spiritual truths in a direct and pragmatic way, drawing parallels with management philosophy and the laws of physics and other modern concepts. Many of the newcomers, who had never met Amma, asked for a recording afterwards.
Br Shubamrita in BrightonEven my restless seven-year-old nephew chuckled at his jokes and enjoyed a riddle. And at the end of the evening, while Swamiji sat to eat his dinner, two seven-year-old girls hung around like groupies, keen to chat with the “Special Man”!
In his talk, he reminded us how customs officers at airports will ask us: “What is the purpose of your visit?” and the importance of contemplating the purpose of our journey in life. He reminded us that we are often much bigger than we realise and that we live on after death through the legacy of our actions. He encouraged us to follow our unique path and to be of benefit to the world: we will be known by what we give out.
My favourite part was: “Our heart is like a parachute: it is dangerous when it does not open.” There was certainly a room full of wide-open hearts that evening. Swamiji fully lived up to his suggestion that we try to “Spread happiness wherever you go - rather than spreading happiness whenever you go!” We keenly wait for his next visit.
Make Your Life a Celebration -- London
A young man, an advanced soul...driven by divine inspiration, completely devoting his life to spiritual philanthropy & benevolence is rare to meet... I became aware that there was an opportunity to meet such a soul last Thursday at the Moravian church. He is widely known as Br Shubamrita.
During 60 minutes of his speech timeless spiritual truths were imparted to an audience of approximately 150 devotees & reinforced by selected group of dedicated souls that were leading the Bhajan. It was most inspiring place to be.
He came & united all by his presence. The hearts of all were united like beads by the string of love...like in the song.
If not for the selfless devotion & tireless dedication of selected group of advanced souls to promote timeless spiritual truths & humanity's welfare I wouldn't have had a chance to experience such an uplifting atmosphere in the presence of inspiring souls!
My gratitude, admiration & love goes to all tireless souls who lead, participate and inspire by benevolent deed for the good of all!- Saulius Surya
Satsangs Day a Great Success
With Amma's Grace and everyone's help and support, this meeting went really well. Thanks to all who blessed and helped organise it. There was a good turnout with some people arriving the night before and others during the morning to join the Archana.
As we sat in a circle in the marquee kindly provided by Ganga and Balakrishna, the real need for such a meeting became crystal clear: a chance to let individual satsang co-ordinators and members speak about their personal relationships with Amma, how this had translated into their lives and into their satsang groups. Everyone had a poignant story to tell about Amma, some even had tears, such was the atmosphere present.
Barely had each of us opened our hearts before it was time to meet Br Shubamrita Chaitanya via Skype in the meditation room. That was a highlight and there ensued an enlightening discussion on aspects of growing the satsangs, being ambassadors of Amma, the problems and solutions, all covered in a Q&A style, with suggestions from various people too. After an hour of discussion Shubamritaji had to attend to ashram matters with Amma and it was time for lunch.
We ran out of time but it was clear that we needed more time to discuss the issues in further detail. What was particularly successful was that we got to know each other and renewed friendships and forged new ones. The visit feedback meeting followed lunch and was followed by the Shakti Dance lead by Diresh.
The evening concluded with Devi Bhava-like bhajan slots with each satsang group taking turns to sing, both traditional and kirtan styles culminating in a group arati. Dinner was followed by more impromptu discussions and a massive clear up that lasted till the following morning.
We raised an impressive £957.50 from auctions, the raffle, shops and donations which will go to fund Br Shubamritaji's London programme. —Yamunah and Vakees
Download a PDF containing feedback responses from the meeting and Br Shubamrita's feedback here.
Br. Shubamrita’s Retreat 1st June 2014
A packed hall of devotees eagerly awaited the arrival of Br Shubamrita on a sunny Saturday afternoon. As always he brought with him messages of love and greetings from our Beloved Mother and as always, all present were moved to hear that Amma was thinking of Her children in London.
Br Shubamrita’s theme for his talk was:
Change your Thinking, Change your Life
He began by saying that if we were told how wonderful we were and that we could have anything we wanted, we would find it hard to believe. In fact we would say that we were not that lucky. He told us that Mother says She bows down to Her children and that we are the embodiment of Divine Consciousness but we think “That cannot be about me”.
We are what we think but while we were taught to talk, to read, to write; we were not taught how to think. Our mind is never still and we have no control of our minds – in fact our minds control us.
When things go wrong in our lives, do we blame others or the situation? We may even blame God that this is happening but we create the problem and blame others for our situation. If we detect that wrong thinking created the situation then we will have control of our mind.
We need constant awareness to see that our pattern of thinking is on track.
Also we should have a higher goal to focus our minds. Our ancestors have always told us that we need a far vision and a near look to determine what steps we are taking. To change our pattern of thinking, we should check and analyse to see if we are doing this.
Meditation is important to keep our mind trained. When meditating the busyness of the mind drops and the number of thoughts decrease to one only. When we are able to stay absorbed in that one thought, eventually we will move beyond.
We also need a change in our attitude – which is about how we think. First change should be from negative self-talk to positive self-talk – most of the time we talk to ourselves in a negative way.
Second change should be from stiffness to flexibility. When we see a tiny baby we see that it is super flexible but we can become more and more stiff as life progresses. Amma will work on us for our own learning - she changes things constantly.
Third change should be to change our thinking from the future to the present. Having a goal is not wrong but enjoy the present – make the best use of every opportunity and relish the journey.
Fourth change is to change from control to trust – bring in that trust factor and leave the rest in the hands of the Divine. But remember that grace is like a travelator, it will take you ahead but you have to make the first step. And if you keep walking you will get to your destination faster.
Everyone present gained great benefit from Br Shubarita’s talk and as always, he gave us much to think about. After he held a Question and Answer session which provided insight for all the questioners and those who listened.
He bade farewell and told us that he would be with us again in September to celebrate Mother's birthday. Jai Ma!
Each year there is a programme of retreats. All the information will be on this website so visit regularly for updates.
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