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30 November, 2010

Popular song these days.



Sri Sri in Montreal


Montreal, Canada, Nov. 25: 
Q. How can I not see ugly feelings behind ugly words?
Sri Sri: Sometimes people say words and they really don’t feel that way. Don’t you do it sometimes? As children, you say things that you don’t really mean. Kids usually say things they mean. As we grow older, our feelings and words grow apart. They are not the same. Now, don’t worry about what other people are.

Sri Sri in Montreal: "When I am happy, let me do seva and when I'm sad give me the strength to renounce."

Prison SMART in Tihar Jail


There are a total of nine jails within Tihar jail, that are divided area wise or court wise. Jail number 1, 3, 4, 5 is the old jail. Jail number 5 is for youths of 18-21 yrs old. Jail number 6 is for women. Every month two courses are conducted and follow up sessions are held every weekend. Since 2000 to date, 48000 prison inmates have done the course. Every year two courses are conducted for the prison staff and almost 130 staff members have done The Art of Living Introductory Course.

SRIJAN Project

SRIJAN - Social Rehabilitation of Inmates in Jail and Aiding the Needy

Ms. Vanika Gupta, an Art of Living trainer associated with the Prison Program, initiated ‘Srijan’, a project to channelize hidden talents in a productive way. ‘SRIJAN’ not only channelizes the talents of these inmates into a productive arena but also releases their stress. It gives them a set of skills and lets them earn a respectful living.

Workshops

Two workshops are conducted in Jail number 3 and 4. 20-25 prison inmates are involved in the project from each cell. The prison inmates who have been released are still with SRIJAN and are paid for their work. So far 175 inmates have benefitted from the project.

Products

SRIJAN produces paper bags, office stationary, lampshades, photo frames and boxes etc.

Suppliers

These are then supplied to companies such as TATA, HCL, ‘Sabka bazaar’ a departmental store – ‘Mehranagar’ museum, Udaypur, Rajasthan. SRIJAN also provides products to other companies like EXL, BPO, CSC, Steria, Convergys, Amex, Arcent, Polaris, IBM, Tech Mahindra, Perot system, ST Microelectronics, GE money and GE capital to name a few. The products are also provided to The Art of Living Divine Services and the Sri Sri Rural Development Program (SSRDP). Products have also been exported to Austria and Singapore.

Testimonials

"I found The Art of Living Course very easy to practice on a regular basis and very effective. Inmates and officers have derived immense benefit by way of physical, mental, spiritual and social well being." - D.R. Karthikeyan, Former Director General, National Human Rights Commission
The Prison SMART program has been effective with prisoners who are high security risk terrorists, dreaded criminals, dacoits and murderers. The program has had a positive impact on the mentally imbalanced and highly aggressive. The cooperation and efforts extended by The Art of Living has been a great boost in our endeavor to reform the misguided men and women to deviate from the path of crime and to become useful citizens to this country.
”In a pessimistic state of mind, I was introduced to the basic course of The Art of Living. It was a revelation, an eye opener. As I had left the dreams of being released behind, so also the fear of not ever going back outside also left. I stepped forward into a new consciousness, which told me that I would eventually be released with dignity from the stain upon my reputation. Through prayer and meditation I drew upon inner reserves of strength and courage which propelled me to join SRIJAN, the handmade paper products project begun by The Art Of Living." - Sunil s/o Sri Hukiram

When knowledge lodges itself firmly in your heart, then it is wisdom

Canada, November 26:


Q. Why do so many religions face east when praying? Is it good to face east when meditating?
Sri Sri: Different reasons exist. The sun rises in the east. So, in the morning, you meditate facing east. But in the evening, you face west because the sun sets in the west. Energy flows from where the sun is. So, when you face the sun, you are balanced. For prayer and meditation, you need balance - balance of mind, posture… See, it does not matter which direction you face when you meditate, as long as you are facing a direction and meditating.
Q. Why did God create so many galaxies, universes, people etc? What was His purpose?
Sri Sri: Well, he couldn’t find a better job to do (smiles)!
It’s obvious - you ask someone who is playing soccer. When so many people are fighting over that little ball, if an alien comes and watches 22 people fighting over one ball, he will ask, “This world has so many things, why don’t you just give a ball to each player? They are busy falling over each other and kicking that one ball into the net, and so many people are happy about this. Why cause such a commotion? Just give them a ball and let them put it through the net.”

For an alien, this appears unintelligent and purposeless. But fans of soccer will say, “Oh we had such a fantastic time!”  The one purpose of everything that man created is happiness. It is for the same purpose that God created all this. And He is enjoying it like He is watching a soccer game. No other purpose.
Q. I have gone through several relationships. I now feel detached from all relationships, but then I feel selfish. What should I do? 
Sri Sri: Love can resolve all relationships. See, it does not matter that people think you are a donkey. It does not matter! Just don’t kick them and prove them right! From your side, be pleasant. Expecting nothing from anyone is the way to be happy. When we start expecting, we become miserable.

When you are sad or miserable, have the strength to sacrifice the cause of sadness. All you can pray is, “When I am happy, let me do seva; when I am sad, let me have the strength to renounce.”

A lady once asked, “Why did God make this place so sad?” So that you can turn to Him. Even though the world is so sad, you still cannot drop it! Can you imagine what would happen if it was all good? You have to turn to the Creator through the creation, recognize the Creator inside the creation. It’s like a hologram.

During moments of misery, we need the strength of sacrifice. During moments of happiness, we need to share our happiness.
Q. I think the biggest botheration I have is my laziness. I don’t feel motivated. I want to do so much.
Sri Sri: Pay someone to be after you when you are lazy. Tell them, “If I am lazy, don’t let me sit and lie down. Come get me with a stick.” Laziness goes away when you have a buddy who is after you. Your spouse would be good here (laughs)!

There are three ways to get over laziness:
One, greed. If you are greedy for something, it will take you out of laziness. If someone tells you, “If you do this pranayama for 40 days, you will get $1 million.” You will say, “I will do for 45 days, just to be sure!”

Two, fear. Fear makes people fall into hoaxes. Some hoaxes even claim to cleanse Karmas. Karmas go away when you meditate. When you are in love, and serve, Karmas are erased. It is unfortunate that people don’t know anything about spirituality - they have neither the experience nor have they read scriptures. This is where the Vedic tradition is important. So many seers laid down the rules. And then authenticated it to make sure it’s not an illusion. But people still go into hoaxes, because of fear.

Three, love. When you are deeply in love, where is the question of laziness?

If none of these three work, revert to my first option. Pay someone to be after you!
Q. What are the qualifications to gain liberation?
Sri Sri: The fact that you are a sane human being is enough and the fact that you are a good human being. And ALL human beings are good!

Unfortunately, some scientists claim that human beings have dark and light sides. So the concept is that half of you is dark and half of you is light. That is not how it is. Just imagine someone coming up to you and saying, “You have a dark side. You could be a murderer.” You would say, “No, I didn’t even dream of something like that!” Then you start wondering, “Oh, maybe there is something like that inside me...” Then you put that seed in yourself and start nurturing that which was not there before.

There is a beautiful verse by the Indian poet Kabir, “I went to find a bad person in the universe, and I found none.” There are negative tendencies in people but that is not the basic human nature. That is only on the circumference. Why is someone behaving negatively? Because they are hurt. A happy, joyful, centered person will never do harm to anyone, even to animals. See, even lions go for prey only when they are hungry, not all the time. That too, they don’t kill other animals out of rage. They do it out of need.

So, these concepts that a person has a light and dark side are man-made, far from reality! Go into the soul, “Satchidananda”- true, blissful:  the Consciousness.

A desire has arisen and I want to ask you about this. Give me a glimpse of self-knowledge.

You are getting it. Just relax. See, to catch a train, you have to hurry up, pack your things, go to the train station and get onto the train or go to the airport and catch a plane. But once you are on the plane, relax. Running between aisles holding your luggage will not get you to your destination any faster! Once you are on the path, relax.

Lord Krishna tells Arjuna after he has told him all that Arjuna had to do, “Drop all that, I will relieve you from your sins. You drop all that you are holding onto. Drop even your dharma. I will relieve you from your sins.” Instead, people try to get rid of their sins. That will never happen. The Divine will relieve you of your sins.

All that you need to do is to let go of everything you are holding on to. It is beautiful. First, Lord Krishna makes Arjuna understand Dharma. Then, Arjuna is made to drop all of it. Lord Krishna says, “Take refuge in Me and Me alone. I will relieve you of all your sins.”
Q. Thank you for being a part of my life. I worry that I have missed my purpose, or that my purpose is not as great as the one I hoped for.
Sri Sri: You have an important role to play in this phenomenon called Art of Living. Next year, we celebrate 30 years. Drop by drop, what so many people have done has contributed to these 30 years. Be part of satsangs, seva projects. In Haiti and India there are so many seva projects. Even in Canada, Native Americans need help. There are so many things to be done here in the Ashram.
Q. I am practicing awareness all the time. Will it bring me peace?
Sri Sri: Just be natural. For God’s sake, relax. Don’t practice awareness all the time. Awareness is essential, but don’t practice it. Even The Gita says no extremities. Just relax.

Imagine listening to music being completely aware. No, music is to be enjoyed in relaxation. Doing is always limited. This applies to anything you do, including meditation. That is why meditation is something that must be allowed to just happen.
All the techniques create a situation for the mind to experience and go beyond its limitation. Even music creates an atmosphere to boost consciousness. Music is “Laya Yoga.” Laya is dissolving. This is the highest form of Samadhi (unity with the Divine) that should also happen.
Bring a balance between awareness and this dissolution.
Q. Please comment on animal sacrifices and tongue piercing in Hinduism.Sri Sri: Hinduism is a way of life, and it has been around for millions of years. So many practices are just interpolations or add-ons. Imagine that in the winter you have a coat. You come into the house and hang up the coat before entering the house. This then becomes a practice and a rule comes that you can enter the house even in the summer only if you have a coat to hang up. The same applies here. Animal sacrifices have no scriptural sanction. The same thing is true for tongue piercing. Even Lord Krishna says that only a fool would torture his own body.
Q. During my meditations, I get sexual feelings. What do I do?
Sri Sri: This is only a stage. It happens in the beginning, when the energy is rising through the chakras. It will pass. Just observe it, honor it, and let it pass.
Q. Are we all part of the Divine Light Source?
Sri Sri: Of course. But until it becomes your experience, keep it at the back of your mind.
Q. Can you equate knowledge with wisdom?
Sri Sri: When knowledge lodges itself firmly in your heart, then it is wisdom.
art of living TV

{Daily Sutra} Subject: Dakshina


Divinity permeates everything in this Earth. Puja is not complete without honoring the trees, mountains, rivers, Earth and the people living on the Earth. Honoring everyone is Dakshina. Da means to give and Dakshina means giving something that will cleanse us of all impurities. Offering with which all your sins vanish. No puja is complete without Dakshina. When we act in society with skill and free from the distortions of the mind, all negative tendencies like anger, worries, sorrow are destroyed. I will say give your tensions, worries and sorrows as Dakshina.

{Knowledge Sheet} Subject: Look around and see who is not smiling. Now for the next few days you should take care of them.

Q: I am often outraged by the injustice happening around me, but realize there is also a need for love and understanding. How can I balance these feelings?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When many bristles are put together to make a broom, they are far more effective in sweeping a large hall than they would have been individually. Similarly, as sangha (group), you can achieve more. Whether it is for service or justice.

Guruji's Knowledge Sheet: Faith & Alertness
Faith and alertness appear to be completely opposite in nature. When you are alert, usually there is no faith and you feel restless and insecure. When there is faith the mind is secure and rested and you are not alert.

There are three types of faith:

Tamasic faith which is because of dullness. Like when you do not want to take responsibility or action and you say, "Oh it doesn’t matter, anyway God will take care of all these things!" (laughter)

Rajasic faith which is brought on by intense compulsion of desires and ambition. The ambition keeps the faith alive.

Satvic faith is innocent and is born out of fullness of consciousness.

Faith and alertness, though apparently opposite in nature, are actually complementary to each other. In the absence of faith there can be no growth, and without alertness there can be no correct understanding. Faith can make you complacent. Alertness makes you tense.

If there is no faith, there is fear. And when there is no alertness one cannot perceive or express properly. A combination of both is essential.

In Gyana (state of wisdom) there is alertness without tension and faith without complacency. The purpose of education should be to remove the element of dullness from faith and the element of fear from alertness. This is a unique and rare combination. If you have faith and alertness at the same time, then you will become a true Gyani (the Wise One)!

- Sri Sri

|| Jai Guru Dev ||

Guruji's Knowledge Sheet: Faith Is Your Wealth


Sri Sri: Faith is a wealth. If you think, by having faith in God you are doing a favour to God, you are mistaken. Faith gives you strength instantaneously. Faith brings you stability, centeredness, calmness and love. You having Faith In The Guru Or God, Does Not Do Anything To Guru Or God. Your Having Faith Gives You Immediate Strength. Faith is a great wealth; it is a blessing.

If you lack faith, you have to pray for faith. But to pray, you need faith. This is a paradox. (Laughter)

People have faith in the world - but the whole world is just a soap bubble. People have faith in themselves - but they don't know who they are. People think that they have faith in God - but they have no idea of God. If you want to doubt, you have to doubt everything

There are three types of faith : faith in yourself, faith in the world, and faith in God. You need to have faith in yourself -- without faith, you think, I can't do this. This is not for me. I will never be liberated in this life. You must have faith in the world. Without this, you cant move an inch in the world. Banks give you loans having faith that you will pay it back. You deposit money in the bank having faith that it will be returned. If you doubt everything in the world, nothing will happen. The same is the case with faith in the Divine - have faith in the Divine and you will evolve. All these faiths are connected. You must have all three for each to be strong.

Bill : Atheists have faith in themselves and faith in the world, but not in God.

Sri Sri : They don't have complete faith in themselves. Lack of faith in God, in the world or in the self brings fear. Faith in the world cannot be constant because there are always changes.

Faith makes you full - faithful. If you have faith, you are full.

Rajesh : What is the difference between faith and confidence ?

Sri Sri : Confidence is the result. Faith is the beginning.

Faith in yourself brings freedom.

Faith in the world brings you peace of mind.

Faith in God evokes love in you.

You can be at peace by having faith in the world and without faith in God, but it is not complete peace. If you have love, there is automatically peace and freedom. People who are extremely disturbed should only have faith in God.

|| Jai Guru Dev ||

29 November, 2010

Guruji's Knowledge Sheet: Sound Faith



Have faith in the sound and move on to have faith in the silence. Have faith in sound when it is pleasant and have faith in the silence when the sound is unpleasant.

When some one says something bad you immediately believe it and the mind becomes more disturbed. Believing in an unpleasant sound creates more turmoil in the mind. In that situation shift your faith to silence.

Have faith in the sound, like the chanting of mantras.

People seem to have more faith in chatting and gossip rather than chanting and knowledge. Have faith in the knowledge and chanting and have faith in silence.

- Sri Sri

Anecdote:
On the day of the full moon, Sri Sri visited the ancient temple of Kollur where there was an elaborately decorated chariot of the goddess being pulled around the temple. Explaining its significance, Sri Sri said that each one of us is like a chariot carrying the power of God within. We are the real chariot of the Divine. Our body is the chariot and the soul is the deity which is being pulled around the world to purify.

|| Jai Guru Dev ||

SUTRA: "Take the challenge. Whenever someone is nasty towards you, do something so nice that it takes them by surprise." - Sri Sri...



Daily Sutra} Subject: Criticism!
Whatever you do, someone will criticize you. You will be blamed if you act, and even if you don’t act. If you speak, or don’t speak. You can’t keep pleasing everyone. If your focus is on finding shortcomings, either in yourself or in others, you cannot raise higher. Recognize that if someone gives a comment, reflect on it. If there is some truth, accept it. If not, then thank them and move on.


{Knowledge Sheet}Subject: 'I am nobody' is a shift in identity'

Q. What does 'I am nothing' mean ? Are we negating our own existence?
Sri Sri: You know everything else can be explained but emptiness cannot be explained. You are asking me to explain the emptiness. A substance can be explained but lack of all substance cannot be explained.

Art of Living: Biggest Yoga Class in Africa

Kingdom of Dreams

This weekend, I went with family to Kingdom of Dreams, India's answer to Sydney's Opera House, Paris's Moulin Rouge, Thailand's Phuket FantaSea, Singapore's Esplanade and London's Broadway. 

Set up by `Great Indian Nautanki Company' in the Millennium City. It is built at a cost of more than Rs 200 crore and will emerge as a major tourist destination.

Within the centre, Culture Gully, Patli Gully, Nautanki Mahal and ShowShaa Theatre each offer a unique entertainment proposition. Culture Gully, an air-conditioned boulevard spread across 100,000 sq. feet, showcases India's cultural and artistic diversity, heritage crafts and culinary delights  under India’s first ever sky dome.There are theme restaurants and over 350 exotic food preparations by certified chefs from across 14 states. There are performing arts, which are beautifully synchronized with spectacular technological wizardry.

But the centre of attraction and jewel in the crown at Kingdom of Dreams is Nautanki Mahal. Built like a palace, it is India's first state-of-the-art, futuristic 848-seat auditorium.  

In Nautanki Mahal we say a musical theatrical named Zangoora. And I have to say that it was SPECTACULAR. It surpasses every live performance that I have ever seen. The sets, performances, aerial acts, costumes, dances, it is to be seen to be believed. Photography was strictly not allowed there. So I do not have anything to share. But I highly recommend every one to experience this.




Description

Zangoora is a fantasy tale set in the fictional Kingdom of Shaktishila. It is a classic story of good vs evil, as a gypsy boy Zangoora makes his journey towards his true destiny of being a prince. A love triangle emerges between Zangoora, princess Sonali and a feisty gypsy girl Laachi. Strung together with Bollywood music, the story explores a larger-than-life world full of magic, music, dance, color and all things Bollywood. Romance, drama, action, magic, scintillating performances and foot tapping music that promises to enthrall audiences like never before. 

Cast: Hussain Kuwajerwala, Kashmira Irani, Gauahar Khan, Sadanand Patil 
Music composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.
Story, screenplay and dialogues written by Javed Akhtar
Dance direction and choreography by Shiamak Davar
Costumes for actors and performers are by Neeta Lulla. 
On-stage stunts directed by stunt director Alan Amin.





I wore
Woolen top: DKNY: Gift from sister
Tights: Forever21
Necklace: Gift from sister
Bag: Tom $ Eva, Paris: Gift from Husband
Shoes: Louis Vuitton








28 November, 2010

Guruji's Knowledge Sheet: The Arrow Of Faith

Sri Sri: It is only through merit that you can have faith. When you lack faith, happiness is neither in the inner nor the outer world. Happiness springs forth from faith. Happiness is forgetting the body consciousness. Pain or sorrow is holding on to the body consciousness. Whenever you are happy you don't feel the body and when you are miserable, you have aches and pains.


Question: Then why in meditation is the attention taken to various parts of the body?


Sri Sri: For an arrow to go forward, you have to pull it back. In the same way when you take the attention to the various parts of the body, it frees you from body consciousness.


* * *


NEWS SPLASH!
Nov. 28, 1996.


Guruji's first whirlwind tour in the Punjab was exhilarating.


Joginder Sing, an 86 year old man, was color blind for the last 10 years and he regained his sense of colors. The world which was black and white once again became a color movie.


Mr. Sunif Gulati, the Director of the Government Dept of Health, had lost mobility of his neck due to an accident in 1984. Guruji casually put his hand on his neck and the next day, to his surprise, he gained back total mobility!


Another man, who had varicose veins and had an appointment for surgery, disappointed the surgeon because it was healed on the fourth day of the course.


During the Whole Life fair, Nityanand found a new style of introducing people to the course. Two gentlemen who came to our stall in the Whole Life fair asked of Nityanand, "What is this?"


Nityanand replied in rhythm, "Neither I know nor you, just sign up!"


The gentlemen, who were tired of listening to the lengthy explanations from all the other stalls, jumped up and said, "Wow! This is the real thing!". They signed up for the course!


|| Jai Guru Dev ||


SUTRA:"When this poison that is hatred is removed from the body, this very body becomes Divine. That is when the Divine fully shines in your body. - Sri Sri...




On Tour with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
1st Dec 2010 to 10th Dec 2010
Art of Living International Center,Bangalore, Karnataka, India

3rd Dec 2010 to 5th Dec 2010
Art of Living International Center,Bangalore, Karnataka, India
NGO Conference

10th Dec 2010, Bangalore, Karnataka, India. World Ayurveda Conference

11th Dec 2010, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

14th Dec 2010 to 17th Dec 2010, Orissa, India

18th Dec 2010, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India

19th Dec 2010 to 22nd Dec 2010, Andhra Pradesh, India

22nd Dec 2010 to 24th Dec 2010
Art of Living International Center, Bangalore, Karnataka,
India

25th Dec 2010 to 31st Dec 2010
Art of Living International Center, Bad Antogast, Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Germany

12th Jan 2011 to 15th Jan 2011, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

29th Jan 2011 to 31st Jan 2011, Chennai, Tamil Nadu,India

1st Feb 2011 to 4th Feb 2011, Karnataka, India

12th Feb 2011 to 15th Feb 2011, Kerala, India

2nd Jul 2011 to 3rd Jul 2011 Berlin, Germany
Celebrating 30 years of The Art of Living

Gathering Relief After Mount Merapi Volcano

Merapi Volcano


In the aftermath of Indonesia’s volcanic catastrophe, the country is gradually on the road to recovery. Mount Merapi or The Mountain of Fire, which erupted five times since October 26, 2010, has left in its wake, chaos, death, a ruptured economy, non-existent agriculture, and so many missing and homeless.
On November 2, five days after the deadly eruption, The Art of Living Indonesian chapter sent aid in the form of blankets, sarongs, milk, medicine, masks and toiletries. Volunteers visited a few shelter homes, camps and a village at the base of the mountain.
Followed by yet another eruption on November 11, thousands of inhabitants were relocated to temporary shelters near the central Java city of Yogyakarta (famous for the Borobudur temple, and hub of higher education).

Evacuees Anxious

An Art of Living volunteer team from Jakarta visited the evacuees on November 22. It was found that although their basic needs had been met, they were living in cramped, unhygienic conditions and much remains to be done. Houses in the radius of six miles were still covered with thick layers of volcanic ash. Cleaning operations that include uncovering dead bodies and animal carcasses from the rubble as well as clearing the great volumes of ash and debris are in progress.
The displaced expressed their wish to return to their villages on the slopes but were fearful of another eruption as Mount Merapi continued to spew hot ash. The whole city was covered with thick ash and it would take several weeks just to clear the dust and thin rocks. Despite wearing masks, people felt congested and it was difficult to breathe.
While children played in the camps, the elderly looked on, anxious and worried. The crop of maize, rice and cassava was totally destroyed. Their other source of income, tourism to the Borobudur temple, was at a halt.
The Art of Living is involved in rehabilitation work and welcomes funds. For information, sonialakhiani@gmail.com

miracle story-13-Mamta Kailkhura - Art of Living Experience


Since a young age, life and God presented a constant puzzle to me. Nowhere God to be found and the purpose of life seemed hidden. I voraciously devoured all great literary works, biographies of stalwarts, philosophies of Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, Mahatma Gandhi, Nietzche, etc.  While the intellect delighted in the temporary pleasures of books, life remained empty of meaning and purpose. Soon after finishing my studies in social sciences, I joined India’s top media house and made quick progress in career. Yet I was bothered by the inner urge to find the real purpose of life. Sudarshan Kriya Experience

As if it was a divine intervention, an elderly Reiki master advised me to join the 
Art of Living classes. I immediately signed up for the course. Though I started with lots of doubts, I was totally bowled over by the Sudarshan Kriya and the knowledge sutras. I felt very pure and clean from inside.

The course rekindled my faith in the goodness of life. The cynicism born out of harsh experiences of life was replaced by faith that it is possible to live the values of love, sharing, compassion, honesty and selfless service.  
Something very deep in me was touched, filling me with a joy and bliss I had never experienced before.  All the questions about life and its purpose disappeared; At last I had found what I was looking for since so many years.

I met Sri Sri in a darshan line on the last day of the course. 
I was struck by his uttersimplicity, beauty and innocence. A week later, when I met the Reiki master she remarked that my aura was unusually clean and bright compared to other people who came to see her. She enquired whether I had done anything new. I told her that I had just finished the Art of Living Course. She said that was the reason for such a remarkable change in me.

Very soon I became a frequent visitor to the 
Art of Living International Center on the outskirts of Bangalore, waiting eagerly for the days when Sri Sri would be there. He would take questions from the audience and impart deep wisdom so simply. Sitting in his presence, listening to simple words of profound wisdom, my spirits would stay uplifted for days together. His words would ring in the heart with such force that all the bookish knowledge now seemed dry. Sitting in the presence of an enlightened master, my real learning had started. The only regret was that it came so late, at 23!

Very soon, I finished the Art of Living 
Advanced Courses and was inspired by the service activities of Art of Living foundation. The win-win formula of spiritual practices for oneself and seva (service) for others appealed to me so much that within a year of doing the Art of Living Course I became a full time resident volunteer at the Art of Living Bangalore Ashram. Art of Living  Healing Experiences

A disturbed childhood had made me very wary of being among people. I had developed a habit of stammering and throwing violent tantrums. While unending sessions with my psychologist and speech therapist weren’t very useful, 
Sudarshan Kriya and service at the ashram worked like magic. In the loving care of Gurudev,I soon developed more confidence and got rid of stammering. I now frequently address crowds at different fora and receive many compliments for being a good speaker. The credit goes to Sri Sri.

For years, I had been carrying stones in the gall bladder, due to which I had to be careful about my diet. While, my liver and digestive system had improved considerably after doing the Art of Living course, the stones still showed up during ultrasound scanning. Though the stones were not troubling me, my doctor insisted that I undergo a surgery so that liver is not affected.  When I shared this with Sri Sri, he simply patted on my head and said everything will be alright. Two days later, the doctor, who was all set to do the surgery, was surprised to find no stones in the ultrasound report.
Countless times, I have seen Sri Sri downplaying miraculous healings that happen around him. This is contrary to the trend I have seen in faith healers who advertise healings in dramatic way to draw huge crowds. 

Sri Sri - Love, Patience and Service

The more I see Sri Sri, the more I wonder as to how it is possible for a human frame to express such unconditional love, patience and undying spirit of service. He seems equally available to all irrespective of rights and wrongs, titles and positions. I am grateful to Gurudev for radically transforming the quality of my life. 
Life is now enriched with a deeper joy and beauty and a sense of belonging with whole humanity. 

I am a witness not only to the turnaround in my life but also in the lives of many others. In the
 prison workshops that I have conducted in remote parts of India, I have seen hardened criminals wake up to the human values dormant in them, thankful for the break from their violent and disoriented past.  I have seen the gratitude in the eyes of weary and tired border security personnel after Art of Living teachers and volunteers reached out to them to give them deep rest at physical, mental and emotional level. A group of militant youth from Kashmir shared with me how after meeting Sri Sri they don’t want to pursue the path of violence any longer. I am witness to countless such experiences.
 
I am convinced that our planet can really become violence free if this 
wave of love and service started by Sri Sri is taken to every corner of the world.

27 November, 2010

Eat right

Do I recommend energy drinks to my clients? No.
Do I recommend supplements to my clients? No
Do I recommend steroids to my clients? No
Are my clients able to achieve their target fitness goals? You bet they do. I can vouch on my life that they do.
Do I formulate a diet plan for my clients? Sure I do.

Energy drinks- Coconut water is the best Gatorade.
I recommend having coconut water, buttermilk, lemon water, etc instead of so called and marketed energy drinks.

Supplements- Human body is the best machine made by God. It is perfect. It has the power to cure itself, survive on natural foods given by nature without the fancy supplements marketed by big companies.
Yes, with changing fast paced lives and imbalanced nutrition, what you can have are few basic things like calcium, protein, multi vitamin. But what I do not recommend is those big jars with a body builder's body on top, showing a flexed bicep. Those expensive supplements are recommended by personal trainers who make more money selling them to you, than by making you do the right workouts. I never sell any supplements or recommend expensive jars to my clients. I ask them to buy simple calcium, multi vitamins and may be protein from any chemist. Rest, you eat good food- vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, and your job is done.


Here is my typical salad. 

It has iceberg, zucchini (green and orange), and balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Chop and toss dressing and it is ready to eat.

Steroids- Steroids have serious side effects. Hence, when I can help a person achieve the same results without steroids, then why should I adopt a short cut?

Kiran Sawhney
Personal Fitness trainer
Fitnesolution
New Delhi
www.fitnesolution.com

26 November, 2010

Give me some sunshine







Winters are here and I do not like winters. I need lot of sunshine. 

What am I wearing
Top: DKNY: Gift from sister
Skirt: Ann Taylor, LOFT: Purchased with sister
Sandals: Charles and Keith
Ring and necklace: Forever 21
Watch: DKNY: All the watches are a gift from husband.