Sumangali Morhall's Home Page
Sumangali is a member of the Sri Chinmoy Centre in York, UK. Sumangali's favourite occupation is writing, and she has published a book called Auspicious Good Fortune, about her life with Sri Chinmoy and in the Sri Chinmoy Centre. She has also published a book of plays, based on Sri Chinmoy's stories. Sumangali offers meditation classes in York and Leeds.
Who am I? This is the main question that has led me to the spiritual life...
I was born in England at the beginning of the 1970s to a loving family of mechanical engineers. After traditional education in the UK and the USA, a Diploma from Art School and a Degree from Business School, I meandered through myriad occupations. It seemed I had not inherited the engineering genes, so I went from lead singer in a fairly unsuccessful band, to teacher of English for a Japanese motorcycle company in Thailand, to computer programmer for a phone company, and many other diverse roles in a catalogue of locations. All this probably taught me more about who I am not, than who I am. Wherever I went, I always felt there was something missing, and I was constantly looking for it outside of myself.
I was introduced to meditation at age sixteen, and if I am honest I always somehow knew it would bring me the answers I was seeking. However, I never made anything straightforward in those days. I continued for ten years, practising irregularly on the whole, and with not much sincerity. Without the support and encouragement of a spiritual teacher or spiritually inclined peers, my journey certainly lacked momentum. I used to think that the spiritual life is only for those who are ready to live in isolation from the world. I therefore never considered it a route open to someone who loves the world and loves to be in it.
After I seemed to have exhausted my outer search, I finally realised it was time to look within! I was sure meditation would help me discover some truth at last, and that’s when I found a meditation course offered by the Sri Chinmoy Centre. Here were people who seemed ready to accept themselves and the world in a light, unencumbered way. Not stopping there, but trying to transcend their own limitations, while searching for a higher and deeper truth. I immediately felt an affinity with Sri Chinmoy’s teachings on spirituality, and this affinity grows constantly the more I learn. To me it seems I always knew these universal truths somewhere inside myself, but I just didn’t know how to access them. I can at least now start to see them being revealed through my meditation and through Sri Chinmoy’s inspirational guidance.
Practising meditation every day brings benefits I would never have imagined. It provides a wealth of inner strength, which can be drawn on in any situation. This kind of inner safe harbour is something I can carry with me regardless of where I am or what I am doing. It has been a great comfort to me in difficult times, as well as being a source of joy, creativity, energy and confidence.
Music was key in kindling my initial interest in this spiritual path. I had always been a great lover of music, but Sri Chinmoy’s music, composed and performed directly through meditation, was beyond anything I had ever experienced. Though I always knew meditation was simple, I had never found it easy. This meditative music opened a new door for me and showed me a route, free from obstructions, to a higher realm of consciousness. Whether alone at home, or performing for others with a group, singing plays a significant role in my own daily practice.
Sri Chinmoy expresses the essence of meditation and spirituality through his art and writing, which is a constant source of inspiration to me. I am always finding a variety of outlets for my own creativity in the Centre. There is always a lot of scope for channelling creativity here, and always a chance to enjoy the creativity of others. My favourite form of creativity is writing. I write about whatever inspires me. It seems the longer I try to lead a spiritual life, the more I observe the beauty and happiness in the simple things around me. I write about nature, about people, and about ordinary things that happen in my life, from which I derive extraordinary value. I have also written a book called Auspicious Good Fortune about my life with Sri Chinmoy and in the Sri Chinmoy Centre.
My name, Sumangali, is a spiritual name given to me by Sri Chinmoy after I had been his student for a few years. A spiritual name is like a mantra, reflecting the essence and purpose of its bearer at a very deep level. The root of my name, ‘mangal,’ means ‘auspicious’. To me this is an answer to my initial question, as well as the beginning of a new question: how to find that quality in myself, and put it into practice? The end of one journey is the beginning of a new one in this great adventure!