Art of Living Experiences.

I met him when I was sixteen. There was something about him but I didn’t quite know what which made me feel that feeling whose name I didn’t know. Was it those eyes flowing with kindness? Or that smile that conveyed “Everything is alright. I’m here.” He had a soft and reassuring presence and I wanted more of that.

It got very quickly to the stage where I could not take him out of my mind. I was surprised, “Why is my first thought of the day as I get off the bed about him? Who is he? Why does he seem so important to me?” But I did not search intensely for answers partly because I knew nobody could tell me and largely because I was enjoying whatever was happening to me. There was a spring in my step, even when things weren’t smooth, like during exams :)

Life had suddenly become beautiful because his eyes, his smile, his words and his silence had somehow conveyed that he knew. I had no idea what, but it was something I knew nobody else knew. Did he know what life is and why it is like it is? This made it all the more exciting because so far, I hadn’t seen anybody interested in finding out or in letting me find out. But if he really did know, he seemed in no great hurry to share this secret. I figured I was going to have to wait.

However, I could not stop wondering how he could make so many people so happy? And without doubt, he was having the same effect on me. What was he up to? What did he want? Because everybody wants something. I watched him over the years, from a distance and up close. If there is something he wants, it is to give, that’s where his joy lies. Making people smile is not that difficult – a little charm and wit will suffice. But keeping the smile on them even when they are going through adversity is a tougher gig to pull off. It means hours and hours of listening each time they are going through a breakdown; it means hand-holding them each time they cry out for help. It means being prepared to wait for years just to allow them to realize that all they have to do is smile.

If the measure of a person lies in what he shares, Sri Sri’s vastness is hard to put within boundaries. The mad rush of people forever running after him is only an outer reflection of his inner richness. It is a sign of what he has given to their lives that they so desperately want to thank him for, not knowing how. When everything that you can wish for is dwarfed by what you are being given anyway, what do you wish for?

If I had to ask for something, what would it be?

Comforts had their charm earlier but after meeting You,

I realized that the pain of love is the only comfort for lovers.

I thought all my desires had left me wiser

but my desire for You has only grown not sated.

I felt blessed for all that had been given to me until it dawned

that the greatest fortune is to be ruined in love.

I believed wealth, power and fame counted in this world

but they are just toys in this enchanting toy shop.

I was frightened by the thought of being separated from You

and now waiting for You is what keeps me alive.

I trod cautiously because I thought I had a good chance

but am unstoppable now that I have lost all hope.

I was afraid I would forget You for this world

and now everything in it reminds me of You.

I thought all I had to do was to stay in my senses

and here I am, unable to hide my madness anymore.

I remember the moment time stopped forever

when You turned and looked into my eyes

I knew life was made and all else was mere detail.

Art of Living Experiences.

 

I was going through a very rough patch in my life. I’d just lost my father to cancer and my relationship with my boyfriend was also ending. I was in bad shape, really bad shape. I wasn’t sleeping well and I felt reluctant to get out of bed every morning. I went to my doctor and became one of the millions dependent on anti-depressants.

 

This was my existence until the summer of 1999. A friend of mine had taken this “Art of Living” course and he insisted that I do it too. After months of pestering, I decided that I would take the course only to see what sort of cult he had gotten himself into. I decided that my last act as his friend would be to see what sort of de-programming he would need.

 

art of living pranayam

The first session of the program we learned a strange thing called, “Pranayama.”  It was more than foreign to me, but it seemed harmless enough so I participated. That night when I got home, I slept better than I had in at least ten years. So I decided to show up for the next session.

 

Then we did this breathing technique called Sudarshan Kriya. I found it very difficult to do. I peeked at what was going on around in the room, basically minding everyone else’s business. But even though I had my eyes open most of the time, not keeping the rhythm, I still felt really good afterwards. Someone made some funny noise in the room and that was it. We laughed for what seemed like an hour. That afternoon I did many things in which I had not done in years. I felt energised as well as a sense of peacefulness I had never felt before. Most importantly I slept the deepest I had in years.

Sudarshan kriya

 

Next day we again did the Sudarshan Kriya. But this time I decided that I would keep my eyes closed and see what happens. It seemed so much easier this time. I felt extraordinarily different when I opened my eyes. I noticed the sky through the open window, and it was as if it were the very first time I had seen the sky in my life! Then I looked around the room and for the first time, made real eye contact with anyone in I don’t know how long. Their eyes were so bright, so beautiful. I felt like I just fell in love with each and every one of them.

 

Shortly after practising the Sudarshan Kriya I was able to stop taking anti-depressants. This was just the beginning. From that very moment in which I opened my eyes after the second Sudarshan Kriya, I realised that the entire fabric of my life had changed and I began LIVING again!!!  Smiles returned to my face.  Kindness and warmth began to radiate from my heart to others. My entire life began to transform from one of bitterness and sadness to one of richness and beauty.  I began experiencing more beauty and love than I had ever experienced before. The purpose of my life became clear and a contentment I had never known came.

 

I have no words to accurately capture the magnitude of the gratitude I feel for Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

 

Diane

Art of Living Review.

Bang On the Door by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

BANG on the Door”, as the name suggests is actually a bang on the door to your trapped inner soul! A Bang so loud, yet so soft and loving that you can’t help opening up to welcome all that the book has to offer.

Bang on the door - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

 

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, known for his compassion and wisdom, delivers the most complex and deep knowledge with an amazing simplicity and wit. The book is a collection of short talks by Sri Sri during his tour to the United States in 1989-1990.

As I started on this journey with a gentle knock by Sri Sri, I realized how the profound knowledge in the book strikes a chord not only in a spiritual seeker like myself, but also resonates with everyone looking for freedom from self created bondages. The truth in its purest form reflected in each word and no attempt is needed to read between the lines.

 

BANG_ON_THE_DOOR_SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR

“BANG on the Door” decodes the fine intricacies of the interplay of religion and spirituality we face in daily life. It takes you through the emotional roller coaster, prompts you to question and then answer your own mind. Gently flowing from Love, to intelligence, to innocence..it takes you through the dilemmas you could have faced through various stages of your life. It rids you of the complexities of the outer world that have kept you away from yourself- from your home.

Fear, Dispassion, Rejection, Acceptance; Bang on the door proved to be an encyclopedia to silent the turmoil my mind was going through. It brought me back to my tiny humble abode; my soul! For its size, the book is an ocean of wisdom locked in your palms. I simply had to peep in, and it has possessed me face on to stay with me thereafter. Each time I lose the moment, I know where to go back to seize it again.

For all those who are thinking of knocking on the door to your soul, may the force be with you friends! The loud noises outside need to be shut with a Bang! And this book can be your Game changer!

Quoting what Sri Sri says in the book, “You are locked out of your own house. Bang on your inner Door. Right now you are on the doorsteps. Do not delay a moment. All wealth is within you. When your inner door opens, there is Love, just Love…..don’t move an inch’.”

~ Anamika Khosla