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Friday Night Meetings at Unity Church

We have started something new this year at our Toronto West End
group!

Members decided to have a different, rotating format and facilitator each week.

What follows is our rotational schedule:

Week 1 – The Joy of Chanting and Meditation


Week 2 – Shiva Mahimna and Meditation
Week 3 – Discussion and Meditation
Week 4 – Inspirational Sharing and Meditation
Week 5 (odd months) – Inspirational Movie and Popcorn Night

Here is a sample of what happens every week:

Week 1 – The Joy of Chanting

On our first chanting Friday many Blue Star members came out. The format is
informal and purposely dedicated to fun and fellowship. We let the evening
unfold by collective spontaneity.

We had many “leaders” who led their favourite chant and the group willingly
followed. It all fell into place; one chant finished and someone else would start
another. After an hour we all felt peaceful and joyful. We listened to one of Sri
Vasudeva’s talks on silence, after which we all went into the silence, a
remarkable experience of silence permeating within us and in the space around
us. Nobody wanted to open their eyes or disturb this profound silence. We sat
there for a few minutes then decided that we would listen to one of his
meditations.

The meditation, entitled “Become Love” (courtesy of Lee), was new to everyone
and led us even deeper into loving silence. Later, some members commented
that they had never felt their heart opening to that extent.

It was a magical evening. We finished with “Alleluia,” and still nobody wanted to
leave this incredible energy that we had created collectively.

We are looking forward to our next session – every first Friday of the month. All
are invited. 
Week 2 – Shiva Mahimna and Healing Chants

Our first Friday program this year at Unity Church began with chanting the
devotional Sanskrit hymn honouring the greatness of Shiva – “Shiva Mahimna.”
We then chanted
the “Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra” (Om Trayambakam) and the “Gayatri Mantra,”
with the intention of bringing healing to all beings in Haiti.

During the chant, we had a newspaper picture of some children from Haiti, which
helped us to keep focused on our intentions. These chants were followed by
repeating the
“St. Francis Prayer.” We concluded the program by meditating to Guruji’s guided
healing meditation.

At the end, many commented on the impact the healing meditation had on them.
They also felt honoured to be able to contribute in this little way to the healing in
Haiti.

Week 3 – Pranayama, Discussion and Meditation

Atreyi led us in Hatha Yoga and Pranayama for about 40 minutes. At the end of
the yoga, all felt relaxed and ready to read and discuss the topic, “Pray for
Understanding,” taken from Guruji`s book, You Are the Light.
Everyone took turns reading a paragraph, followed by group discussion. It was a
great and deep sharing of how we each understand the things that are
happening to us and what we are doing to overcome our obstacles. The night
ended with a beautiful meditation from the 40 Days, followed by a closing prayer.

Week 4 – Movie and Popcorn Night

This particular evening we watched the documentary, Jesus in India. The movie
was about an American, Edward Martin, travelling across 4,000 miles of India in
search of answers about where Jesus was, from ages 12 to 30, during his
“Hidden Years.” Edward Martin travelled to many monasteries obtaining the
Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish points of view.

For those of us who went to India, it was exciting to relive some of our
experiences of the places that we saw there.

We also enjoyed sharing popcorn, sweets and hot chocolate. We ended the
evening with our closing prayers. Special thanks to Maria for hosting this
evening.

by Selita Nandlal