In the last days of 2018 and the beginning months of 2019 we were seeking ideas for growing community through sadhana at our homebase of Shree Peetha Nilaya (SPN). While there are many ways of engaging in the community at SPN, sadhana has rarely been a focus point for this. But as events were added to our yearly schedule and more guests were coming, it became increasingly important to us to foster this community in sadhana as well.
In early spring of 2019 the idea for a 24-Hour OM Chanting came around. Someone shared his experience attending one in Lithuania. As he was talking, we could imagine the power and the beauty of such an event. It seemed like the most natural step for us to follow. And so the planning process began.
The Week Before
As we reached the week leading up to the event we were severely lacking in registered participants. We did not have enough people to fill each circle over the course of 24-Hours. For a moment, we even considered cancelling the event. But only for a moment.
Our goal was to bring the community together but up until this point, we hadn’t spent much time actually engaging with the community personally. So the primary team started reaching out to our peers, asking for their seva and participation.
Quickly, they jumped to the call. Several people offered to stay up the whole night as organisational support. They rallied, gathering people to fill the circles. By the day before the event, each blank spot in the schedule was full.
As people joined, more ideas rolled in. We heard that in Lithuania during their 24-Hour OMC, they had a snack bar for people to enjoy throughout the night. We reached out to a community member, asking if she’d help us with this. She graciously went above and beyond for all the guests who came to chant with us.
The 24-Hour OM Chanting
A movie night ran alongside our OM Chanting thanks to the initiative of another organiser. This way people could have snacks, tea, and coffee while watching a movie in between OM Chantings.
All throughout the night, people would arrive for their OMC, excitement and joy shining behind tired eyes. They shuffled from the movies and snack bar to the OM Chanting, laughing and giggling with each other. A gentle joy and contentment hung in the air that night. People who hadn’t participated in OMC in years came out of the woodworks just for this event. Brand new people came around for the first time as well. We always had people to welcome any newcomers and guide any sleepy but motivated chanters to their places.
After the Event
It all started with an idea. But like most ideas, it could not be achieved alone. It required a family willing to make it a reality. This OM Chanting felt like family. It felt like home. It became the Sadhana Family Event of the year. This was only possible because we did not do it alone. We had our whole community come together, to share, to serve, to participate, and to love.
For the SPN Sadhana team, it was one of the most beautiful displays of our community gathering together in sadhana.The energy of the event could be felt throughout the entire centre.
We were reminded of what really matters, which is to make space in our lives to gather as a family and be together in the presence of the Divine.
In case you were wondering, we already have one on the calendar for 2020. We hope to see you there!
24-Hour OM Chanting
2-3 July 2020
Shree Peetha Nilaya
(And yes, we will still have movies and a snack bar.)
12-Hour OM Chanting
Shree Peetha Nilaya
24-Hour OM Chanting 2020
The SPN Sadhana Team