Art of Living Review, Art of Living Wisdom, Movies to Watch.

Has it ever happened to you that you woke up from a dream, think you are awake, and then suddenly you wake up again and find yourself still lying in your bed? The problem is that you didn’t know that you were (still) dreaming, until you woke from that dream. However strange your dream may be, you do not realize how strange it actually is, until you wake up. So how can you be sure? Is this reality, or one more dream?

Inception is a fascinating movie that not only captivates you till the end, but also leaves you with many questions about the nature of the Reality. Cobb and his team use a technology that allows multiple people to share one dream, to ‘invade’ people’s minds and ‘steal’ information for clients. He is wanted by the United States government for murder on his wife Mal, and that is how he ended up in this not-so-legal business. When the powerful industrialist Saito approaches Cobb with the offer to use his influence to make Cobb’s criminal record disappear, so that he can finally go back to the U.S. and see his two small children again, Cobb cannot refuse. This is his one chance at being reunited with his children – but at what cost?

Saito asks Cobb whether he is able to perform ‘inception’ on another very powerful industrialist. Inception means ‘planting an idea in someone’s mind’. Saito asks him: “If you can steal an idea from someone’s mind, why can’t you plant one there instead?” One of Cobb’s teammates tells Saito that this is not possible, but then Cobb interferes: “I know it is possible… because I have done it before. You just have to go deep enough.”

Cobb and his team come up with a detailed plan for which they have to enter a dream within a dream within a dream, to place the most basic form of the idea into the subjects mind: the subject needs to form the idea so that he will believe it is his own. The whole planning gives a fascinating insight into how our mind works.

The movie Inception is based on spiritual knowledge from Yoga Vasistha

Source: 4.bp.blogspot.com

For this project Cobb also needs a very good ‘architect’, and he recruits the young Ariadne. Her job is to ‘design’ the dream world. However, Cobb warns her: “Never recreate places from your memory, always image new places. Because building a dream from your memory is the easiest way to lose your grasp on what’s real and what is a dream.” It is then that Cobb shows her a small spinning top. “All of us carry a totem with us. It is a small object, that you carry on you all the time and that no one else knows about – only you should know all about it.” He explains that by checking it, one knows for sure that he is not dreaming. Cobb uses the top – if it keeps spinning, without falling over, he knows he is still dreaming.

Cobb also tells Ariadne how he knows inception is possible: “My wife Mal and I were exploring the concept of a dream within a dream. I kept pushing things, I wanted to go deeper, go further. I just didn’t understand the concept that hours could turn into years down there, that we could get trapped down there, so deep, that we lost sight of what was real. To wake up from that, after years, decades, to have become old souls thrown back into youth like that, I knew something was wrong with her. Eventually she told me the truth. She was possessed by an idea, this one very simple idea, that changed everything: That our world wasn’t real. That she needed to wake up and come back to reality. That in order to get back home, we had to kill ourselves. She thought our children were projections. That our real children were waiting for us out there somewhere. She was certain. She killed herself. So I ran, left the country.”

In the end, when the job is completed, Cobb wakes up again on the airplane. His team members are sitting in different seats nearby – their job is done. They just look at him, one smiles. There are, however, no conversations, no interactions. When Cobb goes through customs, he is asked no questions, just allowed – the industrialist has kept his word. It makes you wonder, however, if the whole movie was not a dream he had while on the flight back to the United States, and his ‘team members’ are just different people on the flight that happened to smile or look at him…

Spinning Top in Inception - What is Reality?

Source: blastr.com

When Cobb comes home, he almost can’t believe he’s finally home again. Cobb spins his top, to check if he’s really back to reality, but then he sees his children in the garden, he finally sees their faces again, and runs out to meet them. In the mean time, however, the top has still not stopped spinning… so we are left to wonder: is he still dreaming? And if so, was his wife Mal coming into his dreams maybe not his own projection, but his actual wife who, after ‘killing herself’ finally woke up to the real reality, and who keeps coming back into his dream, trying to get him to wake up…?

Those who have read the thrilling ancient Indian scripture ‘Yoga Vasistha’, can recognize instantly how the movie Inception has been inspired by the book.  In Yoga Vasistha, young prince Rama is disillusioned with life and Sage Vasishta gave him advice and knowledge. The book has many stories, told by sage Vasishta to Rama, that deal with the Ultimate Reality vis-a-vis the illusionary nature of the Universe.

One such story is about a lady called Leela who takes several births and dies several times and is then born as a queen. One day she goes off to sleep and dreams of dying and being reborn as a holy man who dies at an old age. Vasistha then explains to Rama that all this was happening in a dream inside a dream inside a dream in the mind of the ‘original’ dreamer, who was a poor lady in a hut and who had been asleep for only a few minutes! Rama was completely bewildered and asked Vasistha how the lady could dream of epochs in a few minutes. Vasistha said that in a moment of a dream an epoch can be dreamed of.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of The Art of Living says: “When you see everything as a dream, then you abide in your true nature. As you keep wondering whether all this is a dream, you will wake up to the real.”

Enjoy watching the movie (again)! And post any other interesting elements or dialogues of this movie that you find, as comments to this post! There are many more 😉

Shiv Sutras.

  1. Knowledge is like soap, if you will keep it as it is after applying it. It will indeed create more dirt. It needs to be washed away.
  2. Krishna says in Gita that there is no supreme thing other than knowledge which will purify you.
  3. Illusion of “I have too much of knowledge within me” is itself a dirt.
  4. The characteristic of light is to spread up similarly the characteristic of  joyfulness in us is to spread up.
  5. A child when plays spreads joyfulness around him. It just attracts to anyone around him.
  6. Next sutra is  :The one who takes all his attention towards the energy plexus in the body becomes free from worldly worries.
  7. What is that bothers us? It is the feverishness in us that bothers us. The want of something more bothers us.
  8. It is surprising that we live with our body throughout our life but we never take attention to our own body.
  9. This body is wonderful. It is like Mega city. Crores of bacteria lives in our body. Some are friendly while some are unfriendly. Intestine alone has nearly 50,000 bacteria in it. There are 72,000 veins or highways running in our body. It’s all beautiful to observe it.
  10. The soul is also called Purush. The one who lives in Town. There is no gender discrimination over here.
  11. There are many energy plexus in our body out of those 7 are main.
    #Muladhar Chakra (Bottom of Spine) – At this Chakra either Consciousness dawns or Inertia dawns.
    #Swadisthan Chakra (Genital region) – At this Chakra energy is either in the form of Sex or Creativity.
    #Nabhi Chakra (Navel region) – At this Chakra energy is expressed in four forms Jealousy – Generosity. Contentment and Greed.
    #Hriday Chakra (Beside Heart) – At this Chakra energy is expressed in three forms Animosity – Love and Fear.
    #Vishuddhi Chakra (Throat Chakra) – At this Chakra energy is expressed in two forms Gratefulness and Sadness.
    #Agya Chakra (Between Two Eyes) – At this Chakra energy is expressed in two forms Awareness and Anger.
    #Sahasrara Chakra (Top of Head) – At this Chakra energy is expressed only in the form of Happiness and Celebration.
  12. When you observe this journey from bottom to top then you come back to source from outer world where there is only happiness and celebration.
  13. All these sutras though they are small but are very important. If you even pick up any one sutra and understand it. It’s enough to move ahead.
  14. That Innocence will dawn in you thereafter. Thus Lord Shiva is called Bholenath. The Lord of Innocence.

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Art of Living Recipes, Art of Living Wisdom, Others.

Art of Living Bloggers wish India a very Happy Independence Day. On our 66th Indpendence Day, let us pay our tribute to the freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives to win freedom for One billion Indians. Today let us renew our commitment to our motherland to reclaim its lost glory from the jaws of corruption and apathy.

Gurudev, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living has said, “India can be proud of seven things and showcase them to the World – Food, Tourism, Clothing, Music & Dance, Yoga & Spirituality, Ayurveda and IT.” (Watch Video) Nowhere else in the World is such richness found. These are the things that we need to put our attention to boost our economy and the image of our country.

 The beautiful tricolor of India being hoisted this morning at Art of Living International Centre. 

Let the spirit of the tricolour paint our lives with courage and sacrifice (saffron), truth and purity (white), peace and prosperity (green) and righteousness (Dharma).

Here are two recipes make your dining table tri-coloured!

Tri-Colour Idly
Idly mix/batter – 4 cups
Carrot – 3 cups
Spinach(Palak/Cheera) – 3 cups
Salt – As required


1) For preparing tri colour idly, cook carrots and grind it to a paste without water. Pour it in a bowl and keep it aside.

2) Steam the spinach and blend it with very little water. Keep it aside.

3) Take a spoon full of the idly batter and pour it in the carrot mixture with salt. Mix well and keep it aside.

4) Take another spoon full of the idly batter and pour it in the spinach mixture with salt. Mix well and keep it aside.

5) Spoon a little idly batter into the idly mould. Put a little spinach mixture in the centre of the idly batter.

6) Take another spoon of the carrot mixture and put it in the centre of the spinach mixture.(Do not put too much of the spinach and carrot mixture. The tri colours should be seen) 

7) Steam it till cooked.

8) Tri colour idly`s are ready. Serve with chutney.

Tri color pudding

For Green Color
Avocado, ripe-1
Pistachios, shelled-1/4 cup
Milk- 1 1/2 cups
Condensed milk- 4tbsp or according to your needs
Agar-Agar strands- 6gm

Preparation:
Place agar-agar strands in 3tbsp water and heat it by constantly stirring to dissolve in water. Strain it to remove any tiny strands present in it.
Blend avocado and pistachios into a fine paste by adding little water to it.
In a saucepan, heat milk and condensed milk.
When it comes to a boil add the dissolved agar-agar and combine well.
Remove from the flame and when it is slightly cooled, add the avocado-pistachios puree and combine well.

Pour this mixture into a cake pan, dessert bowl or ramekin, after it cools down refrigerate to set.

For White Color
Apple-2
Almonds-1/4 cup
Milk-1 1/2 cups
Vanilla extract- 1tsp
Condensed milk-4 tbsp or according to your needs
Agar-agar strands-6gm

Preparation:
Place agar-agar strands in 3tbsp water and heat it by constantly stirring to dissolve in water. Strain it to remove any tiny strands present in it.
Blend apple and almonds together into a fine paste by adding little water.
In a saucepan, heat the milk along with condensed milk and vanilla extract.
When the milk comes to a boil, add the melted agar-agar to it and combine well.
Remove from the flame and when it’s slightly cooled, add apple-almond puree to it and combine well.
Slowly pour this mixture on top of the green pudding that has already been set in the refrigerator.

Let it cool and place in the refrigerator for further setting.

For Orange Color
Cantaloupe juice or Carrot juice -1 1/2 cups
Milk- 1/2 cup
Condensed milk- 4tbsp
Agar-agar strands- 6gm

Preparation:
Place agar-agar strands in 3tbsp water and heat it by constantly stirring to dissolve in water. Strain it to remove any tiny strands present in it.
Blend fresh cantaloupe and strain it to get the juice out of it and keep aside.
Heat milk along with condensed milk.
When the milk comes to a boil, add dissolved agar-agar and mix well.
Remove from the flame, let cool slightly and add the cantaloupe juice to this.

Pour this mixture on top of the white pudding that has already been set in the refrigerator.
Again, keep this in the refrigerator for further setting.
After the pudding has set well, cut into different shapes and serve.
Happy Independence Day 🙂

Find here more Art of Living Vegetarian Delights

Art of Living Stories, Art of Living Wisdom, Others.

Sharing this truly wonderful story sent to me by an Art of Living volunteer on e-mail:

On 13th April 1971 Shri Sadhan Chandra Mistry, aged 35 years a vegetable vendor in the obscure village of Hanspukur, District South 24-Parganas, West Bengal, died of a very common and minor ailment, only because he could not get access to any medical attention whatsoever.

He left behind his illiterate wife Subhasini (23 years then) with two sons and two daughters four to eight years in age. Naturally, the family plunged into utter poverty and Subhasini was forced out of her home within one month of her husband’s death, to sell vegetables in that hamlet market. That day, while she sat under the scorching sun selling vegetables and worrying about her children, she took a vow that one day she will build a hospital in that very village so that no poor villager would die for want of medical attention.

Her fellow vendors and every person who heard of her vow laughed and made fun of her. How can she build a hospital, they jeered, when she cannot even mend her own thatched hut? She had to feed a family of five and marry two daughters. The village elders concluded her vow was all humbug and pure day dreaming out of having lost her mind.

However, day in and out, Subhasini continued selling vegetables silently and looked after her children never allowing the fire in her frail body to douse even for a moment. After persevering for twenty full years, ultimately she could start a clinic at her home for poor people. She managed to coax a doctor into coming to her village every week. And week after week, while tens of poor patients got medical attention from this lone clinic in the region, Subhasini became the most popular household name in her village. Now her fellow vendors and all others started respecting her. That was enough of a support for her.

In the meantime, her children grew up. The two daughters were married off. The eldest son chose to be a labourer in the farm. Her other son, the youngest of the lot, Ajoy Mistry was chosen by Subhasini to carry on her mission. He successfully completed his secondary education and passed the All India Medical Entrance Test. Aided by the German Scholarship, he joined Calcutta Medical College where he completed his medical course. He worked hard as he studied, ran around from friends to well wishers to any person/organization he had access and managed to raise Rs.50,000 for his mothers mission.

In 1993, Ajoy Mistry authored the trust deed of Humanity Trust with his mother Subhasini Mistry as the co-founder trustee. On 5th February 1995, the foundation stone for the Hospital was laid and on 9th March 1996, the Humanity Hospital was inaugurated and opened to public. The Hospital is a testimony of the will and spirit of a woman who defied social norms and a long series of obstacles to establish the first hospital in her backward village. Within one year, the trust could raise ten times the initial money to complete the first structure of the hospital. Soon, more donations followed and today, Subhasini Mistry can say with pride that she has fulfilled her pledge made to her husband two and half decades earlier.

Humanity Hospital is certified and registered as a Hospital under the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Act. of 1950, managed by Humanity Trust formed on 4th March 1993. In the year 2000, Subhasini Mistry and Ajoy Mistry were honoured and named as the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary International, in appreciation of their service to humanity and poor people in particular. Today, despite the financial crunch to meet recurring expenses, the Hospital provides best services to poor and underprivileged sections of the society.

Subhasini Mistry still sells vegetables in Kolkata market to sustain her family.

Art of Living Wisdom, Yoga and Meditation.

When I decided to do the Art of Living course more than  ten years back, I wasn’t looking for any spectacular transformation/miracle to happen overnight. And it didn’t.

But what did happen was the continuous practice or Sadhana and the gradual transformation – in all aspects of life – mental, physical, emotional and spiritual.

Having attended numerous “Personality Development & Public Speaking” workshops, I was obviously cynical about how different this Art of living course would be – after all they also promised same things – confidence, self-motivation, stress management, pep talks(knowledge), etc.

I remember, as a gawky rebellious teenager enrolling for theArt of Livingcourse – my parents were very very hopeful – they thought finally I was going to sober down.. Did I ? Well, that’s for another post 😉

But when I came back from the course that evening, I vividly remember that I was floating somewhere. My parents had this doubtful look on their face – “err…”  😉

Most of you would recall your 1st experience of The Sudarshan Kriya – that powerful breathing technique which works on your 7 levels of existence.. It was addictive, mind-blowing (literally!), epitome of peace experienced. I was not sure which ‘Aandhi’ had hit me but I was smiling ear to ear J I knew my life had changed.

And what remained with me was this “experience” – of The Sudarshan Kriya. What brought me back again and again to the various higher level courses was also just just that – “the experience”.

I realized this was it!

Reminds of Buddha’s four easy steps to enlightenment:

Kayanupassana, Vednanupassana, Chittanupassana and Dhammanupassana.

Observe the body, the sensations, the flow of mind and nature of truth.

Buddha’s disciples were intellectual prosperous people. (no, am not making any comparisons here 😉

That’s why he never spoke about topics like – ‘God’, ‘where does the Atman go after death’, ‘beginning of the universe’ & such subjects. He kept it simple and at the experiential level.

The above four steps towards ‘Nirvana’ come as one’s own experience – through Sadhana.

He is stressing on the personal experience. When we move beyond the intellectual understanding of things , into the “experiential” understanding, a whole new world opens up.

All the “Personality Development Workshops” had told me to overcome lethargy, be confident and not to get angry. But nobody had ever told me, HOW?

Having crossed 84 lakh births and finally taken a human form, I firmly believe it would be a waste if you cannot experience the Sudarshan Kriya in your lifetime J

In glory of my Gurudev, HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji, who is the grace behind the experience.

Guru of Joy!!!

The author – Deepika also blogs at http://dimpsdawns.blogspot.com She would like to know all your experiences – of the 1st Sudarshan Kriya J Don’t forget to leave the comment.

Art of Living Stories, Art of Living Wisdom, Others.

We were pleasantly surprised to find many people at the Art of Living Ashram looking forward to Sri Krishna Janmashtami Celebrations. Krishna Janmashtami, also called Gokulashtami, celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna. Many educated urban Indians, we knew, thought of Janmashtami as just another holiday for indulging in good food and putting their feet up.

But here the story was different. Probbaly, because of the gusto and fullness with which the celebrations are held in the presence of Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji. From Makhan Mishri and Chappan Bhog to rocking Krishna bhajans and beautiful decorations, the festivities make one feels so complete and fulfilled. Well, Krishna himself is supposed to be a “Purna Avatara,” complete in all aspects!

As Sri Sri says, “You see from any angle, there is a totality in Krishna’s personality. This indicates that your innermost has these qualities just like a ray of sun which has all colours. Janmashtami is the day when you enliven the cosmic vision of Krishna in your own consciousness, once again. Letting your true nature manifest in your day-to-day life is the real secret of Krishna’s birthday”

Seeing Krishna reverentially and fondly as a complete incarnation of Divinity is deep rooted in the Indian tradition. How about taking a look at Sri Krishna as a historical figure?

HISTORIC KRISHNA

The practice of Sri Krishna’s birthday being celebrated year after year for 5000 years, confirms that he is a historical figure. This year we celebrate 5124th birthday of Sri Krishna.

Krishna’s birthday is called by different names such as Janmashtami, Sri Krishna Jayanthi, Gokulashtami and the likes, since Krishna was born on the 8th day of the increasing phase of the moon, which in the Indian Calendar System is called Ashtami. The word Ashtami is etymologically similar to Octa in Greek, from which comes the word ‘eight’ in English.

Janmashtami: Since Krishna was born on the day, which was the 8th phase of the moon (Ashtami) and Janma means “birth”, the day when He was born is called Janamashtami.

Gokulashtami: As Krishna’s birth was celebrated first in Gokul, Vrindavan, the day is also called Gokulashtami. The word Gokula means, “place of cows”, Go meaning “cow”, and Kul meaning “lineage”. Gokula is the place of the lineage of people who nurtured cows. Even though Krishna was born in Mathura, His father was in chains along with His mother in prison, where they could not celebrate His birth. They sent him away to safer place, away from His maternal uncle, the vile Kamsa. So, His birth was first celebrated in Gokula, Vrindavan and this day is also called Gokulashtami.

Sri Krishna Jayanthi : Krishna’s birthday is also called Sri Krishna Jayanthi.
Why is it called a Jayanthi? Some aspects in astronomy continue to remain mysteries. Ancient Indian astronomers seem to have fixed certain nomenclature for certain configurations, besides the names of the stars.

The lunar phases occurring at certain stars seem to have been accorded special names. For example,

  • Those that occur at Punarvasu star is prefixed with Jaya. Jaya Mahadwadasi is the Dwadasi, 12th phase of moon, during Shukla Paksha, bright fortnight and when the moon is found at the Punarvasu star in Gemini constellation.
  • Similarly, Jayanthi is prefixed when the moon is at the Rohini star, Aldeberan in Taurus.
  • Nasini is prefixed when the moon is seen at the Pushya star in Gemini constellation.
  • Vijaya is prefixed when the moon is seen at the Sravana star in the Aquarius constellation.

Since on the night of Krishna’s birth, the moon was at Rohini star, a Jayanthi configuration, the day has come to be called “Sri Krishna Jayanthi.” From then on the word Jayanthi, has also come to mean “celebrations”. Over time, every birthday celebration has come to be called a Jayanthi and today we have,

  • Buddha Jayanthi
  • Mahaveer Jayanthi
  • Shankara Jayanthi
  • Shivaji Jayanthi
  • Gandhi Jayanthi
  • Ambedkar Jayanthi and so on…..

 Jayanthi has become popular because of her association with Krishna!

Krishna’s exact birth date

From the unique star configuration described in the Puranic texts and searching for the same back in time, using the planetarium software, one can date the star position when Krishna was born in the prison at Mathura.  The date of His birth in the modern calendar works out to 27st July 3112 BCE.

Krishna’s birth chart

Krishna was born in 3112 BCE. This year is 2012 CE. The difference between 3112 BCE and 2012 CE is 5124 years. So, this year we are celebrating the 5124th birthday of Krishna.

A few Learnings

Every year, Janmashtami reminds us to celebrate the historical, the divine and the adorable Krishna along with all the knowledge that He gave us through his life and the Bhagavad Gita.

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji says, “Krishna was so attractive and mesmerizing. There are so many stories to indicate that the Divine is extremely attractive. This is so that the little attractions that the mind hankers after are freed and that is why he is called Mohana. The Taste of love hooks you on to the infinity, to the Divinity and intoxicates you. That with the knowledge brings stability in life”

Krishna always stands with a perfect balance — with one foot firmly on the ground, the other foot crossed over, as though it is touching, but not really touching. Life is about balance. Through his life Sri Krishna showed how to balance materialism and spirituality. He ruled the country, advised as minister and so on… and He gave the highest knowledge to Arjuna and Uddhava. Hence the most authentic way of celebrating Janamashtami is knowing that you have to play a dual role — of being a responsible human being on the planet and at the same time to realize that you are above all events, the untouched Brahman.This could perhaps be the secret of Krishna’s ever present smile even though his life was filled with troubles of many kinds.

Imbibing a bit of avadhoot and a bit of activism in your life is the real significance of celebrating Janamashtami.

On the auspicious occasion of Sri Krishna’s birthday, let us renew our commitment to imbibe these noble virtue of Krishna in our everyday lives. Happy Janmashtami to you and your near and dear ones.

D.K. Hari and D. K. Hema Hari are authors, research collators and founders of Bharath Gyan. They may be contacted through bharathgyan@gmail.com . Follow Bharath Gyan on Twitter@bharathgyan and join on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/Bharathgyan

About Art of Living, Art of Living Review, Art of Living Stories, Art of Living Wisdom.

Some books have a longlasting impact on us. ’29 gifts’ is one such book.I read the book almost six months back and was deeply moved by the autobiographical account of the author.29 Gifts shows how a simple, daily practice of altruism can dramatically alter your outlook on the world and make you a master of the Art of Living.

At age thirty-three, Cami Walker was burdened by an intensified struggle with multiple sclerosis, a chronic neurological disease that left her depressed and she was barely able to walk.This happened just a month after her marriage.Then she received an uncommon “prescription” from South African healer Mbali Creazzo: Give away 29 gifts in 29 days.“By giving,” Mbali told her, “you are focusing on what you have to offer others, inviting more abundance into your life.”

29 Gifts is the insightful story of the author’s life change as she embraces and reflects on the naturally reciprocal process of giving. The gifts were simple—a phone call, spare change, a Kleenex. Yet the acts were transformative. By Day 29, not only had Walker’s health and happiness improved, but she had created a worldwide giving movement.

By the time I finished reading the book, I signed up for the 29 Days Giving Challenge and have been on the giving journey since then.It’s great to be a part of this wonderful community and have met some amazing people there: Deb,Lois,Ann,Michelle…It’s inspiring to read the amazing stories about the power of giving.This small community is working towards reviving the giving spirit in the world.

I had written the following post on my personal blog some time back…Am sharing this here as a tribute to Cami Walker- a living inspiration for people suffering from multiple sclerosis.

Random Acts of Kindness

What this world needs is a new kind of army – the army of the kind.  ~Cleveland Amory

What is it that brightens up your day when you are feeling a little low ? A gentle smile , a kind word or a friendly hug ? You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you. Imagine how beautiful the world would be if everyone is kind to others.

Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns. Giving begins the receiving process.Whatever you want in your life,give it to others.If you want joy then give joy to others.If you want happiness,spread happiness wherever you go.If you want love, give love. You will see how abundance increases in every aspect of your life if only you learn to be kind and generous.

A random act of kindness is a gift that costs nothing but is always appreciated.And the giver too receives the return gift of joy and happiness and a sense of fullfilment.So how to get started ?

Here I have listed a few ideas.Put them into practice and also create your own:

  1. Smile Today, give a stranger one of your smiles.  It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.
  2. A word of appreciation Sometimes all we need is a little appreciation. At the same time, let us not forget to appreciate others around us.
  3. Hugs There’s something in a simple hug That always warms the heart, It welcomes us back home And makes it easier to part…. ~Johnny Ray Ryder, Jr., “A Simple Hug”
  4. Donate old clothes or toys to a charity or an orphanage
  5. Feed the hungry While eating out or when you see someone hungry,don’t forget to share a slice with the less fortunate.
  6. Flower power A bunch of flowers is the sweetest gift that can be given on all occasions.Try the flower power by giving out rose buds to strangers.
  7. Volunteer for a cause Find a cause that interests you and be a volunteer by devoting some hours from your busy schedule.
  8. Spend time with the elderly The elderly have so much to offer, not the least of which is valuable life experience. Visit old age home or spend time with the elders of your family.They will love it  and this is certainly a time well spent.
  9. Kindness to animals Feed a stray animal or keep an earthern bowl filled with water outside for the birds.
  10. Online donations You can donate online for some NGO. There are so many organisations who are doing amazing work for different causes and they are constantly in need of money to support them.
  11. Thank You Cards Put your creativity to use ,make some beautiful thank you cards at home and send them to the ones who have helped you in the past.
  12. Books Gift a book to a friend or donate your old books to a library or old textbooks of your child to someone needy.
  13. Be anonymous Send someone a small gift anonymously.
  14. Surprise treat Treat a friend to the movies for no reason or pay for the drinks on the next table at a café or buy chocolates to a kid in the departmental store.
  15. Domestic chores Help your mother in the kitchen or walk your friend’s dog.
  16. Cleanliness drive Pick up some rubbish in the road which would otherwise be lying around.
  17. Giving up Give up your seat for someone, not just an elderly person.Give another driver your parking spot.Let someone jump the queue at the bank or ticket counter.
  18. Stretch your hand first Stretch the hand of friendship to someone new or if you have fallen out with an old friend, be the first to set things right.
  19. Sharing your talents If you are good at cooking,painting,dancing,public speaking or any other creative form then you can teach it to others for free.
  20. Drop boxes We find donation boxes placed at departmental stores or hospitals etc.Make sure to put in some change in the drop box.

Keep doing the random acts of kindness.Don’t think what difference it will make.Just remember that no matter how big or small, every act of kindness makes a difference!

About Art of Living, Art of Living Experiences, Yoga and Meditation.

“To be beautiful is to be yourself”

“If you need be accepted by others, you have to accept yourself”

Does looks matter? This is a question that we all face at some point in time. When our priorities change in life, often looks take a back seat and by the time we again consider it important, it is beyond repair!

For your information ,. I am 36 years with two children … With every baby, I gained about 4kgs forever … I never bothered really until it crossed beyond what was acceptable to myself

Not that I m fat … a little overweight! But that indeed did affect my self esteem!

Life is a garden of flowers with thorns & fragrance

It was the time I have achieved some control over my mind through Art of Living. Yet my looks continued to dominate my body. Whoever says size does not matter? When the size has to do your own body, it does matter!!

At some point in time I started trying to get back my previous body! I tried a lot of things to get it back.. But phew, nothing worked!

One day Art Of Living announced Yogathon…. with a challenge to do 108 Surya Namaskaar… Well, I can be obstinate when I am convinced of something. I readily took up the challenge!

I started with 75 Surya Namaskaars and gradually increased the numbers. Now I am doing complete 108 rounds! As a result … My belly fat has disappeared!! I feel light …. I feel as if I am flying …

I don’t have to write here about my weight … But the change that made in me…what I am today, I was not yesterday!

The Beautiful Me – Inner and Outer Beauty Personified

Yeah… You just read it, SIZE DOESMATTER!! When it comes to your looks and your

self-esteem! (Size Matters – humorous spoof was published earlier on this blog)

Along with Surya namaskaar, I been doing very regular with Sudarshan Kriya too… Together, they were causing some changes in me!

I remember in my early days of Art of Living, I was told by so many people that everything will be the same and yet, something will change! I always wondered, ‘Arey Bhai what will change?’

Well, I followed the Patanjali Yoga sutras … Kept doing the kriya and finally I have started looking beautiful …Naah I am not complimenting myself.. But its men & women of all ages keep saying so …

Well, and I believe so! I started loving myself! To love one’s own self is the first thing we must do…. Yes, of course without encouraging our ego!

It boosted my morale… I knew that now all what I do is not perfect … I do make mistakes … But for me. my health, my body, my spirit must remain positive and nothing should bother me….

I kept that smile…sometimes even faked when there was none .. I haven’t hurt myself or cried for so many years now! And yes I am still emotional and compassionate.

To cut it short, Surya Namaskaar takes care of body, Sudarshan Kriya takes care of soul …. When both combines it makes you a beautiful soul in a beautiful body … That’s what others see … and you feel wanted and valuable, FINALLY !

The Surya Namskar Lady a they call me after the event

I am a living example that there’s something inside you which changes with Art of Living…and when you are happy about yourself, it shows up the BEAUTIFUL YOU to the world 🙂