About Art of Living, Art of Living Experiences, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Sudarshan Kriya, The World Culture Festival, World Culture Festival.

It was almost 18 years ago that I chanced upon a poster with the mesmeric face of a spiritual master on it. Despite my self-censure about following a ‘Guru’, I was drawn to it and the very next day found myself, almost magically, enrolled in the basic course (now called the Happiness Program), which was to change my life forever. Initially, I had a lot of reservations about ‘following the herd’, about being looked upon as someone in need or trouble, about being perceived as un-intellectual. Friends and relatives often asked me, “How could you?” Self-doubt cropped up often, but my experience was so enriching that I knew I was on the right path. This is my journey:

  • The Sudarshan Kriya enlivened every cell of my body, waking me up from a stupor of several years.
  • It opened pathways in my heart and soul, making way for a fountain of love.
  • I started feeling a great connect with everyone around me, a heart-warming sense of belonging.
  • I didn’t have to make an effort to smile; nor did I feel alienated when with strangers.
  • I started paying close attention to my body and breath.
  • I became more aware of my words, actions, thoughts and feelings
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  • While my worries didn’t vanish overnight, there was a feeling of being looked after, cared for, slivers of hope that told me all would be well.
  • There was a sense of homecoming, of having found that elusive something we all yearn for.
  • The electric energy that coursed through my body often took me by surprise. Even at the end of the day, I was raring to go.
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  • Doors opened far more easily and I could manage the most difficult tasks by putting in my 100%.
  • My outlook began to change from, “Why me?” to “Why not me?” when challenges cropped up.
  • While earlier I would wallow in self-pity and focus on the problem, the Art of Living guided me to look for solutions.
  • Often, I used to be hurt by people’s remarks and jibes. Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar taught me to take such volleys in my stride.
  • Instead of deriding people for their strange or hurtful behaviour, I began to ask “Why?” That made me empathetic.
  • I felt compassion rising within me at the most unexpected moments.
  • I rediscovered the joy in random acts of kindness.
happiness
  • It became easier to take the initiative when faced with a situation, where leading a group was imperative.
  • I experienced a feeling of expansion, of knots being untied within me.
  • I found myself drawn to nature, to birds and trees, to the blue expanse above me, to the sun, the moon and the stars.
  • Gratitude welled up in me for the life I had, for the breath I had taken for granted.
  • I began to count my blessings.
  • Even at work, I felt an enhanced sense of creativity, could hone my skills with ease and move in the right direction with a sense of responsibility.
  • I began to delegate work and to understand the power of teamwork.
  • My habit of ruminating upon the past was replaced by living in the present moment.
  • Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s guidance enabled me to focus completely on the task in hand, with amazing results.
  • I marvelled in the fact that I could remember names and facts better and that my memory was sharper than ever.
  • Instead of trying to change people and situations, I began changing my outlook and attitude towards them.
  • I harnessed my breath to calm myself down when faced with stressful situations. “So Hum, So what?” Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s words rang in my ears.
  • I became more careful in using resources, and in preserving them.
  • The Art of Living taught me to go within, to places I hadn’t visited before. I established a connection with my Self.
  • It acquainted me with the power of silence and the refurbishing capacity of a few minutes of meditation.
  • Deep within, I felt a sense of calm, a stillness that strengthened my core.
  • I stopped feeling scattered or going on spiritual shopping expeditions. My restlessness was mitigated and a solid sense of security cocooned me.
  • The journey has been most joyful. The Art of Living as given me Physical fitness, Mental Peace and Emotional Tranquillity. What more does one want from life?

Jai Gurudev!

Archana Pai Kulkarni

 

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