After nearly a decade, Sadhguru arrived in Toronto on Saturday, May 28 for An Evening with the Mystic: the first large scale Isha event in Canada! The eight-week long preparations grew to a crescendo as the event approached and culminated with an overwhelming response of 1500 attendees. Volunteers had poured everything they had into planning for the event, not only in the hopes that this would be a successful event, but also that this would be a stepping stone for Isha to flourish in Canada.
Fuelled by the longing to welcome Sadhguru 'home', creative efforts were made to spread the word. Volunteers reached out to their families, friends and colleagues, and soon the buzz was in the air that a Mystic was coming to town! Articles and ads appeared in numerous newspapers. Thousands of posters were personally distributed around Toronto by dedicated volunteers at events, festivals, shows, and in restaurants and businesses.
In the last few days leading up to May 28, ticket sales skyrocketed and the Toronto volunteers shifted into high gear. On Saturday morning, volunteers gathered in the hall to transform a standard convention hall into a breathtaking space for self-transformation. Despite a short night of sleep, everyone worked together seamlessly, joyfully participating in the setup activities. Volunteers from Montreal had supported the Toronto team and over 50 people came for the evening, along with attendees from Ottawa, Calgary, and the US. The level of dedication and involvement was touching and the excitement was visible in everyone's eyes.
At 3pm, 2 hours before the talk, attendees started lining up, curious as to what was awaiting them behind the doors. At 4pm, just as the finishing touches were taking shape, attendees entered the hall, while melodies and voices soon filled the air as Sounds of Isha began to play soothing harmonies that set the tone of the event. After a short introductory video, Sadhguru gracefully entered the hall where wondrous stillness prevailed.
For many, it was a moment of awe, as Sadhguru appeared in the heart of downtown, Metro Toronto Convention Centre. One volunteer expressed with tears of gratitude, how this was nothing but a dream come true, after waiting 9 years for this moment. The encounter with the Mystic began with the characteristic jokes which quickly loosened up the crowd.
Sadhguru led all 1500 attendees into Isha Kriya, ensuring that not one person misses a drop of spirituality. One meditator who flew from Western Canada just for the evening, shared “It was something else. The 10 minute meditation was worth the trip. I had a feeling that I was in the presence of God ‘himself’.” Another meditator shared “Witnessing 1500 people from all walks of life becoming meditative in downtown Toronto was truly breathtaking. I have never experienced anything like this. It is overwhelming what is happening here.”
The Q & A session opened up the opportunity for seekers to ask burning questions. One woman wanted to know what Sadhguru’s experience of God was, and another person sought guidance on how to cope with negative family relationships. Each questioner was addressed with insightful and witty responses that kept the atmosphere intense without becoming serious. As the evening drew to a close, the shift in the audience was subtle yet noticeable and Sadhguru touched on the tools and technology for inner transformation through Inner Engineering Online. The closing note was a personal invitation by Sadhguru to come visit the Isha Yoga Center in India, a trip half way around the world, well worthwhile.
As Sadhguru left the hall to the evocative rhythms of 'Yogeshwaraya' by Sounds of Isha, the ambience took on a South Indian nuance, reflecting the scenes from Ananda Alai. The whirlwind picked up as Sadhguru detoured from the dais with the participants encircling the master with great longing. The book signing which followed continued for nearly an hour with the participants eagerly lining up to get a glimpse of the yogi.
The evening of May 28th will be etched in the hearts and minds of Canadians, and all those that received their first drop of spirituality through the Isha Kriya. The potential that had been lying dormant has now been ignited, and the possibility of Isha exploding in Toronto is a closer reality than we all imagined. Having hosted the biggest North American event of this type so far , Toronto is on its way to hosting yet another mega program: Shambhavi with Sadhguru this fall!
You can watch the archived video of this talk on Isha Live