April 2nd Day 1
Wake up call was a knock on the door at 7am so that we could all go to our first breakfast together and be back on time for morning meditation and music practice. For most of us, a Japanese breakfast was going to be a new experience, so we all eagerly (and cautiously) joined the queue and watched what the others were doing in front of us. I think most of us were surprised at the choices we had.
We first picked up a bowl of rice and miso soup, then moved on to choose between bread, scrambled eggs, fish, vegetables, fruit, and to drink tea, coffee or juice. Our trays had bit of everything on them and we carefully watched the other Japanese guests around us to learn how to eat all this food. I would say we all fared quite well and knew we didn’t have to worry about what we would get for breakfast over the next two weeks. Some of our Chinese brothers and sisters were quite impressed at our chopstick abilities and stated that we were all ready for the next China Tour.
After a wonderful meditation guided by Sanjivani from Italy we were ready for the day. First item on the agenda: Music Practice. We had three hours to prepare a few songs and come up with a plan for the program we had scheduled that afternoon in Ikebukuro, one of the vibrant districts of Tokyo.
We gathered together feeling relatively confident about our afternoon program schedule and made our way to Ikebukuro. Surprisingly we all arrived at the meeting point on time and without losing anyone. Aunty Dilia happened to walk by our group and guided us to the hall. Our audience was the Japanese collective and a few regulars who have been coming to the weekly meditations.
We had some wonderful moments during our first program with the Japanese collective.
When we started, we were all still absorbed in our daily lives, which was reflected in all our faces. Once we began singing, the vibrations started to flow, the mood lightened and smiles appeared on everyone’s faces. Some of the audience members even started dancing while others clapped along with us.
We had decided beforehand that during the realisation program a few yuvas would share experiences and insights on how Sahaja Yoga impacted their lives. Three volunteered: Omar from Romania, Katherine from Canada, and Qian from China. No one had heard their stories yet and as they stood up one by one to share we were all as amazed and deeply touched by their words and sincerity. Their innocence and vulnerability was truly heart opening; a testimony of how our Mother’s love has no boundaries and touches all cultures and backgrounds.
After the program, the Japanese yogis prepared some refreshments and we could all enjoy the incredible cooking skills of our hosts, a special mention to Mako’s unforgettable chocolate cake and banana tart, and Vandana’s pink Onigiri. It was a beautiful opportunity to get to know this humble and dynamic collective as well as cherish their heartwarming hospitality.
One particularly joyous moment was when the Japanese collective asked us to join them to sing a Qawwali, Mahamaya Mahakali. It was a spontaneous moment that brought a lot of joy and energy to all. Their desire for us to sing together was a perfect beginning to our tour and we could feel that we had their full love and support. This program set the tone for what is to come, and its just the beginning!
Bagus, at the harmonium, announced the Indonesia Tour from May 11 to May 17. He told us how there is a story that when Ravana kidnapped Shri Sita, a piece of her sari fell in Bali. Bali is also one of the names of Shri Rama. Let us all come together and help the right-heart countries of the world.
We spent the rest of the day exploring the OYC and surrounding parts of Sangubashi. We learned that the Cherry Blossoms had for the first time been 1 week delayed in their blooming, but once we all arrived, the trees started their blooming, welcoming us to Japan.
Follow our journey for daily news/updates on the Japan tour. We appreciate your attention, love, and bandhans as we give realisation in these next two weeks.