Sahaja Yoga meditation was founded by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi who was internationally recognized for her contribution to humanity through a lifetime of work for peace and the wellbeing of mankind. It is the state of self-realization produced by Kundalini awakening and is accompanied by the experience of thoughtless awareness or mental silence. Shri Mataji charged no money, insisting that her lesson was a birthright which should be freely available to all. She advocates that there can be no peace in the world until there is peace within (Coney, 1999).
Sahaja Yoga meditation started in India and England and there are now Sahaja Yoga meditation centres in almost 100 countries around the world. It has been introduced in Australia for 35 years. Hundreds of thousands of Australians have experienced the state of thoughtless awareness using the simple Sahaja Yoga meditation technique, which helps to reduce mental and emotional stress.
Story angle and interview:
My feature article aims to let the public know about what is Sahaja Yoga meditation and what benefits can get through doing daily meditation.
I will start the feature story by presenting the 35th years celebration of Sahaja Yoga meditation in Australia. The celebration will be held in 260 Liverpool Road, Ashfield, Sydney in 30th April. The theme of this celebration is “Meditation & Music”. I will make an interview with Richard Kennett who is the responsible person of this celebration.
Questions for Richard Kennett:
- What is the aim of holding this celebration?
- What are stories behind founding Sahaja Yoga meditation by Shri Mataji? And what is her aim?
- Why it is free open to the public?
In the next part, I will focus on the Sahaja Yoga meditation class and its teaching content, benefits and effects on our daily life. I will participate in a local class in Mill Hill Community Centre, Bondi Junction in 10th May to experience what is meditation. Moreover, I will interview Clare Avoledo who is a instructor of the free class and participants.
Questions for Clare Avoledo:
- Where does meditation centres raise money to maintain the normal operation of free class?
- What is the aim of your centre? And what is the aim of meditation?
- What is the characteristic of Sahaja Yoga meditation? And what are differences from other meditation?
- What usually do during the class (the teaching content)? And can participants do meditation at home after this class?
Questions for participants:
- What lead you to start meditation? And And What attract you to join in?
- What is the most useful thing of the class? And does the class have any effect on your daily life?
There is an academic article that can be used as references to describe the function of Sahaja Yoga meditation, that is Effect of sahaja yoga meditation on quality of life, anxiety, and blood pressure control (Chung, Brooks, Rai, Balk & Rai, 2012) and there is an useful case study Influence of long-term sahaja yoga meditation practice on emotional processing in the brain: An ERP study (Reva, Pavlov, Loktev, Korenyok & Aftanas, 2014).
Target media and target audiences:
This feature story is about a kind of healthy lifestyle and it may fit the audience of Australian online publications such the Sydney Morning Herald or ABC news because they have the column about lifestyle, health and wellbeing. My target audience are people who are interested in meditation, who are under pressure from studies or works and who advocate a natural and healthy lifestyle.
Word count: 585
Coney, J. (1999). Sahaja yoga: Socializing processes in a south Asian new religious movement. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon.
Chung, S., Brooks, M. M., Rai, M., Balk, J. L., & Rai, S. (2012). Effect of sahaja yoga meditation on quality of life, anxiety, and blood pressure control. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.), 18(6), 589-596.
Reva, N. V., Pavlov, S. V., Loktev, K. V., Korenyok, V. V., & Aftanas, L. I. (2014). Influence of long-term sahaja yoga meditation practice on emotional processing in the brain: An ERP study. Neuroscience, 281, 195-201.