Largest birthday cake for Sri Chinmoy

On his 74th birthday on August 27, 2005, Sri Chinmoy received a huge birthday cake with more than 27,000 candles, complied by record champion Ashrita Furman (see video). 11 years later on August 27, 2016 he transcended his record by lighting 72,000 candles on an even larger birthday cake. Both records were made in Queens, NY, Filmed by kedarvideo, Switzerland.

Deluxe ice cream in Reykjavik inspired by spirituality



Joylato is a perhaps one of the most interesting ice cream shops in Reykjavik. The ice cream is frozen with liquid nitrogen, everything is organic or locally sourced and almost everything sold is also available vegan. There are no additives, no corn syrup or refined sugar and no binding agents. It’s pretty much as healthy as ice cream can get. Joylato is located both on Njálsgata 1, central Reykajvik, and on Laufbrekka 30, Kópavogur. The staff at Joylato makes just about everything from scratch, or as much as they can. The flavourings for the ice cream, the vegan base (from coconut, cashews or other). The dairy comes straight from a farm in West Iceland.

The ice cream is blended and frozen to order. There are seven flavourings, in addition there’s a special that changes every week (one in winter, two – three in summer). The ice cream shop is completely gluten free. There’s a wafer that comes with the ice cream, which is gluten free, you can also get gluten free waffles. It’s a nice place to come and sit down for a cup of something warm if you’re not in the mood for ice cream. There’s latte, tea, cocoa (which is available dairy free made from their own nut milk), and more.

There are minimum 8 flavours available each day at Joylato.

There are minimum 8 flavours available each day at Joylato. Photo: Anna Kolbrún Jensen

Faces of spiritual leaders decorate Joylato

Joylato is owned and run by Pranava Rúnar Gígja and is inspired by the ideals of spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy. Pictures of him and other spiritual leaders decorate the shop. According to Rúnar Sri Chinmoy spoke highly of ice cream and said that it brought out happiness in people, along with childlike joy. Rúnar has been meditating and following the ideals of Sri Chinmoy since 2003 and is very fascinated by him, but first got the idea to open Joylato while participating in the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run in Australia in 2009. The idea evolved over the years and according to Rúnar, much of his inspiration comes through meditation. “The ideas just come to me when I meditate.” Rúnar also runs health store Mamma veit best (Mom knows best), health is something he has been interested in for a long time. “This has nothing to do with life expectancy, it’s about feeling better and aging better. Being able to do sports longer and better. To think better, have a better life. The ice cream that we serve is just food, healthy food with no additives and nothing bad for you.”

Meditation and healthy living go hand in hand

“If you meditate, healthy living follows. Weather it is the external and internal. As soon as you look inside, you see what is good for you. It‘s common for people who start meditating to eat healthier to feel better. When you are conscious of yourself, you don‘t want to put anything in your body that make you any less conscious.”

Despite the amount of work and expensive ingredients, the price of the ice cream at Joylato is very reasonable. “This isn‘t something you get rich doing, but I like it. I don‘t want the ice cream to be very expensive, even though the raw materials and the liquid nitrogen aren‘t cheap. I just work harder myself. It‘s fun, and it‘s a part of my spiritual life.”

Piano performance in NY April 2002

To celebrate his 38th Anniversary of his arrival in the West, Sri Chinmoy gave an open-air concert with 38 different instruments on his “Aspiration-Ground” in Queens, New York, on April 13, 2002. This is the final performance: a piano piece. The bird illustrations are also created by Sri Chinmoy. He calls them soul-birds! Filmed by kedarvideo, Switzerland.

William Sichel will join 3100 mile race again

sichelOrkney-based ultra marathon runner, William Sichel (63)shows no sign of slowing down as he has accepted an invitation to return to New York, for a second time, to contest the 21st edition of the World’s Longest Road Race – the Sri Chinmoy 3100 Mile race beginning on June 18th 2017.

“I must admit that I feel privileged and delighted for my family, my support team and for Orkney, for being invited back to this prestigious event. Quite an honour for someone of my age, with only about 10 people getting an invitation this year.” Described by the New York Times as the “Mount Everest of ultramarathons”, competitors must average 60 miles a day, every day in order to complete the distance inside the strict 52 days time limit. “It’s certainly a formidable task as I know from experience. It really is the most incredible test of a human being mentally, physically and spiritually.”

William became Britain’s only ever finisher of this event within the time limit in August 2014 when recording a time of 50 days, 15 hours, 6 minutes and 4 seconds.  This also meant that William became the oldest ever finisher and the first person aged over 60 to finish, since the event’s inception in 1997. William will run a 24 hour track race in Crawley on April 1st/2nd 2017 and then have 10 days warm weather training in Lanzarote as part  of his build up to the event.