Saturday, February 16
Pieni Robertinkatu, 22:25
We followed our normal Saturday routine. We slept later than usual, cleaned and showered, and then sat down to a late brunch.
In the afternoon we drove to Vantaa where we successfully got completely lost. Eventually we found the house that we wanted and stopped. Shefali Arora had invited us to join her and her husband at their monthly prayer meeting, and Irma had accepted.
We went downstairs to discover that they had converted the basement of the house into a large temple. Another two people arrived, a couple from Mauritius and the USA, and the satsang began. We received books with lyrics which we chanted as best we could, and during the period of meditation three other people arrived silently. I learned that the guru currently “on the seat” had five predecessors, and that the group began in the 1840s. I never learned the names of either the group or the guru.
The prayers continued for two and a half hours, and then a couple of people told stories about themselves and how they had found their way. At the end Shefali and her husband fed the photographs of the six masters, with specially prepared food.
Finally we ourselves ate a delicious array of homemade food.
We had to leave while everyone else sat eating because we had another date. Eva Aminoff had invited us to join her for an evening meal. We drove home briefly and then drove to Eva’s apartment, where we found a parking space spookily easily.
We had never gone to Eva’s before but we both felt immediately as though we had visited lots of times before. I sat there feeling as though we could have known each other since schooldays, and I found this entertainingly odd.
She had five other guests, all of whom seemed to know each other, possibly through a connection with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. We sat and talked, and laughed, and drank warm water. We sat down and ate brightly coloured plates of different foods: some red, some, green, some yellow, and some purple.
We both felt as though the evening had exuded warmth and hospitality, and a pleasurable feeling of just knowing people.
As we leave Eva’s at about 22:30 I notice the window display of a small flower shop almost next door called My Garden. It shines out in the winter darkness and I stop to photograph it.
We will drive home and go straight to bed. I will fall asleep within seconds: a long, deep sleep.