Miss Lillian welcomes the Meditation GroupMrs Lillian Carter met with Sri Chinmoy and the members of the Meditation Group in Americus, Georgia, on 7 October, charming them with tales of her experiences in India and vignettes about what it is like to be the President's mother. The group, in turn, meditated with Miss Lillian and sang a song composed by Sri Chinmoy in her honour, which brought tears to her eyes. This is a brief part of their conversation. Here Miss Lillian was talking about the U.N. Meditation Group's public concert that evening.
Mrs Lillian: Well, this is going to be a lovely night. I hope you have a crowd. People don't understand this. I don't know whether many people will be here or not. Have you heard?
Mr. Steven Hein: We really don't know if a lot of people will come or not. There was a little article in the newspaper.
Mrs Lillian: Yes, and weren't you in Plains this afternoon?
Mr. Steven Hein: Yes. There are a few posters up there.
Mrs Lillian: But here they don't understand I am the only one who does, and I wouldn't miss it but I hope you are going to have a nice crowd.
Sri Chinmoy: With your kind permission, may I meditate for a minute?
Mrs Lillian: Oh yes. [To the group] He wants me to be quiet!
Sri Chinmoy: Not in the least! Far from it Please forgive me. My students had informed me that you would like me to meditate for a minute that's why.
Mrs Lillian: Y'all better be quiet now, we're going to meditate. [Silent meditation for four or five minutes.]
Sri Chinmoy: Thank you.
Mrs Lillian: Thank you. Very nice.
Sri Chinmoy: Now I wish to offer a soulful song to you, which I composed yesterday. It is about you. First I would like to sing it and then my students will sing it for you. Could my students come in now, please?
[They open the door and additional members o the United Nations Meditation Group come in.]
Sri Chinmoy: Just yesterday I composed it in honour of you.
Mrs Lillian: Wonderful! Y'all come in! [Turning to the Secret Service agent accompanying her] Ray, you should see the little piano, little organ, or what-do-you-call-it! [To the members of the Meditation Group] Good afternoon.
Sri Chinmoy: These are the members of the United Nations Meditation Group.
Mrs Lillian: Beautiful, beautiful. The saris are gorgeous. I never could wear one because I couldn't put it on. Hello! Hello! How many are there?
Sri Chinmoy: Here there are about forty.
Mrs Lillian: Wonderful.
[Sri Chinmoy sings the song Compassion-Ocean, Mother Lillian, accompanying himself on the tote-a-tune.]
Mrs Lillian: That's beautiful.
Sri Chinmoy: Now they will sing.
[The members of the United Nations Meditation Group sing Compassion-Ocean, Mother Lillian.]
Mrs Lillian: You just don't know me. I'm not that good! Oh boy, this is wonderful! But I just really don't deserve all this.
Sri Chinmoy: You deserve all this and much, much more.
Mrs Lillian: Oh, no, no, no, I don't. This is just beautiful.
Sri Chinmoy: And we mean it. What we have sung, we literally mean it.
Mrs Lillian: Thank you, thank you, Sir.
Sri Chinmoy:...It is all of our hearts' feelings.
Mrs Lillian: Thank you very much. It is a great honour that you are doing this for me. But you don't know me. Ray knows me, though. He knows that I'm not that good. Don't you, Ray? It's beautiful. Let me ask you something. Do you go everywhere with…I call him Mr. Chinmoy… all together all the time?
UN Meditation Group member: As often as we can.
Sri Chinmoy: We have many more students. We have about eight hundred or so.
Mrs Lillian: I envy you your calmness. It took my best to sit still, much less meditate. I'm not much of a meditator. I did go to the meeting every Thursday night and I did meditate with them.
Sri Chinmoy: But you have meditated with me extremely well.
Mrs Lillian: Do you want me to tell you the truth? I don't know what I was thinking about, but I had a thousand thoughts. I can't get everything out of my head like you can. When you meditate, you completely bare your mind, don't you?
Sri Chinmoy: At that time, we do not have a mind at all. When we meditate, we only live in the heart and we become the heart itself.
Mrs Lillian: I have heard that and I think it is beautiful. But the only way I can meditate is to go somewhere by myself. I go to what I call my Pond House, I can go out and sit and look out over the pond, and then I can meditate.
Sri Chinmoy: We belong to the United Nations Meditation Group. This is for you, Mother, this is our offering. [Sri Chinmoy presents Miss Lillian with the United Nations Meditation Group banner.
Mrs Lillian: Oh, this is beautiful. Thank you. Oh it is beautiful.
At the concert that the UN Meditation Group presented later that evening, Sri Chinmoy played the Indian esraj and members of the Group sang several Bengali and American songs, including India's National Anthem and "America the Beautiful."
During the concert Sri Chinmoy commented:
Sri Chinmoy: I am a seeker. I have been here for six or seven hours. On the strength of my aspiration, I wish to say what I feel about Plains. Simplicity, sincerity, spontaneity, humility and self-giving are the birthright of this town. This is what my inner aspiration tells me and I wish to offer my soulful gratitude to the soul of this town where our dear President was born.