Ananda Kalyani is a new Master Unit, located in the center of Portugal, south of “Serra da Estrela” Natural Park and aiming to be a model of all-round service and a rural multipurpose development center. In the last two years different volunteer programs took place at the Master Unit, leading to invaluable contributions and positive benefits for the volunteer as well as for the center. The article below is written by a volunteer that worked in Ananda Kalyani for the past year. To read more about the project please visit:www.anandakalyani.org and related Facebook.
Master Units of the Soul
A Journey in Ananda Kalyani Master Unit–Portugal
by Miguel Pacheco
How can a person become more him/herself than ever before, finding bliss that never was thought possible? I will tell you how. This is my story, but I’m sure you can all relate in some way or another. This is a story of self-development and growth, of battles, challenges, of ideals and ideations, of friends and fun. A lot can be said of what happened to me in these last months, since I first had contact with Ananda Marga. Not everything can be put into words, but somehow I believe that you who are reading this will get the message in its fullest form. In the end, it doesn’t really matter what I really intend to convey, but how you will make sense of it and the meaning you get from the message. That’s the true power of the written word.
It all begins with luck
The calling from an invisible force that draws everything, the desire for more, to make sense of a world that doesn’t. The right people are found – the most wonderful group you can ever imagine. Joy, peace and a burning desire for the betterment of the whole planet move them. A united team of people with a dream. I began to learn all I could from them. In the beginning it all seemed so strange, so ambiguous, so out of this world… But that’s what really inspired me – kind of a lust for the unknown, for the limitless, an endless road. A path full of obstacles nonetheless. Society doesn’t usually admit such an alliance with the infinite, with the uncompromising, with the outermost part of a place without any box. Clearly this was my place.
And now a project. The passion that moved me to find myself and God, was the same that compelled me to share what I have discovered with the world. But how to do it? Once again, luck was to be placed right in front of me on my path. An idea, the will of an inspiring and inspired group to create a place where everyone could have the same opportunities as me, to discover themselves, develop themselves. A wish to live in harmony with the community and nature brought them to the mountains where I was born. Near the biggest natural park in Portugal, close to the thermal waters where childhood games gave birth to the imagination, they wanted to create a community of self-realized people working towards the happiness of humanity. A Master Unit. Ananda Kalyani.
The new-found need to help humanity into a brighter future led me to do my best to help those who already knew how to do it. Though I had very little knowledge and even less understanding, help was to be found wherever and whenever it was needed. The first agricultural project of the Master Unit was my first opportunity to be of service to something that was bigger than me. A student with no previous contact with what it meant to grow your own food, I found myself learning a lot. Not the least of my discoveries was that the harshness of agricultural life is balanced and counterweighted by the thrill of seeing the fruits of your labor in the form of a plentiful bounty to share with everyone. More than two thousand new expressions of life were planted. More to come, but for now let’s rest.
A Crowdfunding campaign to help the Ananda Kalyani become a fully established functioning area to help the development of this planet. A new way of gathering a community behind an idea, engaging their dreams and aspirations. With the land bought, several projects developed, and an experienced and eager team ready to work, we only needed that last step that to make it all possible and sustainable. Funds. From a Communications student to a Crowdfunding manager is only a small step, but it felt enormous. For the first time in my life I had the responsibility of creating something that, if it worked, could have a clear impact on society. Fear mixed with cheer, an anxious serenity that troubled a troubled mind… a roller-coaster of mind-states translated into emotions. It is not easy to make a change. With all the help I could ever want, we set this new project, this new aid to our Master Unit, in motion.
Working on a daily basis for the crowdfunding project with this team made me realize exactly what kind of future I desire. I’ve learned that it’s possible to accomplish goals and have the time of your life doing it. For the first time the preconceptions constantly instilled by the buzzing pressure of an over-heated society were lifted up from my mind a new kind of light-heartedness possessed my heart. A blissful feeling, accompanied by the sensation of accomplishment that came with the job. Clearly this was where I belonged. Not the why or the how, but the who which makes a project like this a great adventure. And I’ve learned it the easy way. Constant trips to the land where all the effort was made visible flamed my desire to make it blossom and transform the lives of mankind. Like myself, Ananda Kalyani is an always-developing organism. Soon, I trust, others will join and be a part of this joy.
A purpose, a goal, an empowering sentiment. The first Event in Ananda Kalyani. Seems appropriate. In this weekend I have learned what it means to set objectives for yourself, see them through and fight for what you believe. Unleashing your warrior spirit. An opportunity to discover the Master Unit area even further, exploring every bit and corner of it. Learning about its potentials, we really got a glimpse of the future. An environment where everyone can come, explore the inner-most corners of their minds and progress into a new understanding of themselves. A 15 hectare training hub for self-realized individuals.
As my inner self gets through the metamorphoses of apparent centuries, the quickening of life is all but certain. A gladiator without an enemy, except for the mirror in front of him and audience that cheers for him. The motions of life feel like waves from a vast ocean that momentarily pull you back in order to push you forward. Gasping for air the cold, icy water gives you a thrill that runs through your spine. Never does a person feel more alive than when he is drowning.
Like a piece of glass that horizontally rotates my light, projecting it into the sand and gravel of an ever-reborn piece of land, Ananda Kalyani is being revitalized. Every day, new challenges, new missions, new opportunities to express its life path. Like a teenager full of energy, it has bursts of stubbornness, rage and sadness at the same time that gives you the biggest life-filling, spirit-elevating moments. It was a month of conclusions and new plans. For the first time since I can remember I wasn’t a student anymore. A new kind of feeling that anything is possible began to surge through my mind and an infinite number of possibilities occurred. Comparison is impossible. Nothing can be similar to standing in an open room, decorated with all the marvelous paintings of life, with no corridor forcing you to walk straight. Just breathing, and enjoying. The first steps of the Master Unit are almost done. With the crowdfunding campaign close to being ready to start, the basic structures to support full-time inhabitants completed, it’s a new step that we have climbed. The foundations have been set, time to spread wings.
Present… and future
A new beginning. It’s been with a sense of profound accomplishment that this last year has passed. It has represented the first steps towards the future my heart knows is possible. Self-emancipation from old dogmas, while helping to materialize a project aimed to help people do the same. Now, I am starting a new life abroad, with new friends, volunteering in another Master Unit. Fully established, it’s a symbol of what these kinds of projects can bring to society. We are working to develop it even further, and I’m here to make sure that will happen!
Engaging in the community and disseminating the same words of love and revolution (a revolution of love) that has allowed me to bloom. That is what motivates me, that is my dream. What’s yours? At what do you gaze at night, when sleep struggles to come?