Yet again the media team had to leave base before breakfast, no big bananas, bread, nothing, at the slightly less ungodly hour of 6am! Breakfast TV beckoned once more and the virtual media angels had yet another job to do. Squirting vibrated water as we went, we ventured playfully through the TV3 compound, the commercial ITV to GTV’s state-run BBC.
This time we were determined to trouble-shoot the things which had stymied us at GTV. Firstly we had a great chat with the presenter who although she was a right-on bible bashing toe-curdling Christian, was in fact a good old laugh. When we mentioned that we wanted to put more emphasis on the actual experience of meditation, she kicked off her shoes and sat cross-legged on the floor in readiness to try it out. I’m not quite sure what she actually felt, as she was completely reluctant to put her hand anywhere near the top of her head as she was wearing a wig (as many Ghanaian women do). Actually I missed most of the conversation with her, as I had to dash off to the, err, ‘wash room’ and take a couple of swift tablets to keep me in my seat. When I returned I found her a little changed – and not in a good way. Something had raised her Christian hackles and I was a little dismayed to find her poring through a very Indian introductory booklet on the subject of Sahaja Yoga, proclaiming it to be the Maha-yoga. What is about books and Christians? Give them a text and their Agnya sphinctates.
On set, the cool-guy presenter reviewed the day’s newspapers and marvelled at the towering inferno that was the Foreign Ministry and rattled on about the latest scandal involving some corrupt businessmen doing some deal with some corrupt politicians. Our Christian friend gave us an uplifting Bible quote for the day and before we knew it we were on air and broadcasting to the nation again.
This time the conversation flowed much more naturally, as the presenter actually listened to what we had to say; and even though she never strayed away from her solid Christian agenda, she actually afforded us lots of open opportunities in which to express Sahaja Yoga and its principles. Best of all we were given ample space and time to give realisation to the nation on air. Tim had the wonderful opportunity of leading the exercise and had the most blissful and fulfilling experience. We really felt we could take our time as if it were a regular Sahaj meeting and it was the most uplifting of experiences to feel that so many people across the nation were following us into meditation. As we raised our hands above our heads, Kundalini was pouring out like river Ganges and for a few precious moments there was a deep silence flowing across the whole land of Ghana.
Again the presenter felt a little challenged by the actual exercise (again afraid of dislodging her shiny plastic wig on national television) and started to ask more searching questions and asserting her own Christian beliefs. The vibrations were so strong that each time she tried, one of us would come up with some brilliant response that would instantly turn it around and again proclaim the Spirit and the Truth. Somehow even her closing remarks seemed to say the opposite of want she intended, as she proclaimed that she was herself connected with the power that made her and everyone took her to mean Sahaja Yoga.
Within minutes the phone lines went crazy and we took phone call after phone asking about the public programmes and how they could learn to meditate. The response was instant and overwhelming. Within hours we had taken over 600 hits on the new website and the mood among us all was absolutely triumphant! One phone call was from the chief of a village called Sankor, near the town of Winneba, about an hour away from Accra. He and his son Jacob were so impressed by the meditation that he invited us all to his palace (the village meeting place) to give realisation to the whole village and do a programme especially for them. We agreed and later we fixed a date for the following Friday (Day 15). Fully satisfied, we headed back to base for a slap-up breakfast and a well-earned rest, for ahead of us in the evening was the first public programme.
One of the more unexpected revelations was a growing taste for reggae. I mean, back in grey ol’ England, Bob Marley just doesn’t work for me, but out d’ere in da heat a Africa – ah mean, man… it just makes sense! Before long we were calling out to each other with lines from Burning Spear hits: in da, in da, in da, in da hills! I guess a part of us just turned native. Maybe that’s also the part that kept falling asleep in the back of the taxi in the sticky sauna heat of Accra. Sometimes you just couldn’t stay awake, no matter what.
The first public programme
Later that afternoon we gathered at the Ghana National Association of Teacher’s Hall for our very first public programme in Accra. After dowsing the hall and all the seats with vibrated water, we had to struggle with a rather obtuse caretaker to get everything ready. Projector and screen were a particular trial which seemed to demand the weirdest assortment of connections, wires and adaptors to actually make it work. Luckily the dynamic music duo of Tim and Anand were on hand to settle the gathering masses with bhajans and shlokas, and prepare them for their evolutionary leap while others fiddled with wires.
About 30 came, which at first seemed a little anti-climatic after the deluge of interest we had received after the TV appearances. As the meeting progressed however, we soon discovered that all of the people that came were very deep and extremely sincere in their seeking. One man had come all the way from Tamale which lies hundreds of miles to the North in the Upper Volta region and another from Kpetoe on the Eastern border with Togo. We were amazed.
They also asked very sensible questions which you would expect from genuine seekers who were hungry for the truth and who were tired of being spoon-fed agnostic Bible quotations by the churches and their ministers who generally ranted at them at the tops of their voices.
I must say that Obi spoke very well and introduced things brilliantly. Manitu also had a clear and gentle way of putting things, all of which with the music made the evening run very smoothly indeed. But it wasn’t until the realisation exercise that the vibrations really started to flow. Up until that point a subtle battle had been waged by word and music to turn back the tide. With the opening of the Sahasrara, the new people really started to open up and during the workshop we were at last able to connect with them on an individual basis. Most felt something quite definite in the hands and head. They were very appreciative and many stayed long after the meeting had officially ended, chatting to the yogis with genuine warmth and affection.