On Thursday the 29th of December 2011, a team of a dozen yogis presented a Sahaja Yoga meditation programme at ‘The Bank of Ideas’. The ‘Bank of Ideas’ is a large building located in central London, and one of the current bases of citizens protesting against social and economic injustice. It is part of the global Occupy Movement. By Shri Mataji’s grace, the programme went well.
Among the people there, we found much interest in meditation and spirituality. We spoke to them about the potential for an ‘inner revolution’, in order to truly ‘become the change they wanted to see in the world’. Photos and a short summary of the event can be found here (try to see it in Picasa rather than Google Plus, it’s better like that. There is an option at the top of the screen).
During the course of 2011, remarkable and unprecedented events took place on the global scene: Huge numbers of people from many different walks of life joined in a single aim, and rose up in strong, determined protest against growing social and economic injustices, and the policies that support them. The ongoing ‘Occupy’ Movement has manifested in over 80 countries, including the most developed western nations, and is to a great extent peaceful, conscious protest of an urgent nature against our self-destructive trends.
On November the 18th, Occupy London legally took over a disused, empty building belonging to the Swiss investment bank UBS. They renamed it ‘The Bank of Ideas’, and in an interview with the Guardian newspaper, spoke of their desire to use it for the purpose of various community events, including dance, comedy, music, yoga, philosophy and spirituality. They soon had their own website, which even provided the opportunity to submit proposals for new events.
They immediately accepted our proposal to conduct a meditation event. “It sounds great… Can't wait to see it,” they replied, adding “A lot of people here are interested in meditation.” They posted our Sahaja Yoga meditation event on their website, on their Facebook page and printed out A4 copies of our poster, which they placed in their reception area. We were told our event would take place in Room 1.08.
From the moment we arrived, we felt that we were in a special place, and among special people. These were courageous individuals engaged in a monumental effort; a peaceful struggle to achieve deep social and economic transformation. They wanted a fairer society, and we could see that they were striving, through inner and outer challenges, to become that new society.
After our meditation programme, we were shown to a room at the very top of the building, accessed by crossing over the roof terrace. They had set it aside as their Meditation Room! Later on, one of the occupiers would state: “It would be great to have regular meditation events as a small group of us try to do it daily, but inevitably life gets in the way and we don't manage”…