United States 9 October: Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, New York
Sri Chinmoy Heart-Garden Dedication Observance
Today we celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Dedication of Sri Chinmoy Street and Sri Chinmoy Heart-Garden in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens. We began with the annual Two-Mile Race.
Despite some chilling rain and wind, there was a very enthusiastic spirit amongst both the runners and supporters!
After the race was over, we all shared a moment of silence in observance of Sri Chinmoy’s life of service and love for World Peace.
Ranjana Ghose, President of the Sri Chinmoy Centre, spoke about the important role Mother Nature plays in giving us peace. She shared some of Sri Chinmoy's heart-felt words from the Inaugural Dedication Ceremony on October 11th, 2006. A short excerpt follows,
"...at every moment I try to see a beautiful garden, a most beautiful garden, not only inside my heart, but inside each and every human being. Garden gives us beauty, all its beauty. Garden gives us all its fragrance. We all embody beauty and fragrance in abundant measure. First we have beauty deep within us. Then we offer it to the world at large. So the garden of beauty and the garden of fragrance will inundate the passers-by with beauty and fragrance. We need beauty, specially inner beauty and fragrance, to establish here on earth a garden of peace..."
United States Peace Run Coordinator, Harita, introduced the Peace Run, mentioning that this year the run has visited over 100 countries, including some new countries in Micronesia and most recently Greenland, which she was thrilled to visit, and just recently returned from!
Our international team, looking a little dishevelled by the elements but still smiling, sang the Peace Run song.
As the rain blessingfully descended, Sri Chinmoy's indomitable spirit of optimism and enthusiasm pervaded the gathering!
Our first recipient of the Peace Run Torch-Bearer Award was our dearer than the dearest friend, Jimmy Gennaro, pictured here with Natabara. Jimmy shared some fond memories of the Inaugural Dedication Ceremony, which he was present for.
Jimmy served as our own City Council Member for many years and we will always treasure him. Currently an adviser to the Governor, Jimmy has always been an ardent supporter of all of Sri Chinmoy’s projects, and we are forever grateful to him!
The second recipient was our long-time dear friend, Nikos Spanakos. Nikos was an Olympic boxer representing Greece at the 1960 Rome Olympics. He was also the winner of several Golden Glove championships.
Nikos shared his appreciation for his longstanding friendship with the Sri Chinmoy Centre family. He also shared a sweet story about his roommate at the Olympic Games, Cassius Clay, who became the great Muhammad Ali, also a dear friend of Sri Chinmoy.
Our third most deserving recipient of the Torch-Bearer Award was Coach Jim Hurt. Coach Hurt has been a track and field coach at St. John’s University for many years and always encouraged Sri Chinmoy and all his students. From the day they met, he immediately gave permission for Sri Chinmoy and one of his students to train at St. John’s.
Coach Hart has whole-heartedly enriched the physical capacities and lives of countless young athletes over the years. He told us that his day was always better when he was able to see and be inspired by Sri Chinmoy training at St. Johns.
As the rain increased in intensity, our treasured friends, and most deserving Torch-Bearer recipients, led us all for a soulful commemorative walk down Sri Chinmoy Street.