Over porridge and fried pizza bread in the spacious, sun-filled kitchen at Gidgegannup, Australia, Frank Giannasi told us of his recent adventures in the fog of Milan.
Passing through, he contacted the Sahaja Yogis and they arranged transportation for him to attend the local programs - not an easy thing apparently, as few yogis have cars and the cost of living is so high they cannot afford a place in the center of the city. It costs about $500 a night to rent a hall and there's no parking.
He was ferried from one program in the northern suburbs to another in the south on a night when visibility was just a few meters.
The yogis at the south end rent a room on the fourth floor of an old factory building in a small village. They have to pay the equivalent of $1000 a month for this space, which is reached by a ride in a dilapidated freight elevator or by means of four flights of stairs. Most use the stairs. Frank met them at the top.
The northern program is held in various yogis' flats. That night there were about fifty people squeezed into a small living area. Frank said it makes for great bhajan singing - easy to involve everyone and opens the heart so wide. It was like in Rome, where they start at the front of the songbook and go through to the back.
For new people's programs, the yogis rent halls, sometimes with a rock band next door. They get good attendance, but there's nowhere for follow-ups, so they take them on a one-to-one basis in their small homes.
Listening to stories like these makes you reflect on the contrasts in "working conditions" in various countries. We are all doing the same job, but in Australia we have it easy in many respects - at least on the outside.
The physical space we enjoy can become distance between brothers and sisters in the same collective. Here in the Western Australia, we have almost as many cars parked outside the venue, as there are people inside and sometimes an embarrassing number of empty chairs.
Maybe it's easier to keep your attention on the river of love flowing over the top of your head when there aren't so many distractions outside. The warm weather means more picnics for spreading vibrations in public areas along physical rivers. So it's all a matter of making the most of what we have and introspecting often to make sure we're not missing an opportunity.
After this story, we won't forget to send love to our brothers and sisters in Milan regularly!