The Hangout word reminds me of a few incidents from early childhood. I was born and brought up in a big joint family with around 25 cousins. We used to play in a big compound with many flowers, plants, and fruit trees like guava, amla (Indian gooseberry), etc.
Every day we played together for some time, studied together and ate together at night. Hanging out on trees, playing indigenous games like chauka-bara, hop-scotch, etc was real fun. Slowly, days passed and our lifestyles also changed with the introduction of TV in India. we started to pass all free time watching TV. The joy of outdoors and fun of playing games was suddenly lost.
As we moved into teenage years and got into college, our favourite hangout places were movies, theaters, coffee shops, restaurants, food streets, etc where we chilled out, had lots of fun and enjoyed.
As we grew older and got into jobs , slowly the burden of responsibility at office and home increased. Stress, pressure, targets, complications of relationships increased. We friends used to meet on Sundays and what was evident in all these meetings was -everyone was stressed out and one remedy for this was Hangout in pub or bar.
As days passed, Hanging out in pub and bars became almost regular. When I observed myself and my friends, I realized that the charm in our faces was missing . We used to have fun but joy, real joy was missing. Everyone was struggling to balance everything in life. I could see the lack of confidence, fear of non success , stressed out due to office politics, etc… But I used to always question, “will this drinking/smoking give the solution to your problems?” Their answer was ‘no but it gives some kind of numbness to our problems when we drink’! It was sad because they were lying to themselves and succumbing to alcohol, tobacco and fulfilling their lust with strangers.
While I was lost on how to help my friends, I suddenly chanced upon Art of Living. In the last week of December 2004 two people from Art Of Living gave an introductory talk in our office on the Sudarshan Kriya and I immediately joined the course. 4th Jan 2005 was the first day of my Art of Living Part 1 course and from then on everything changed in me. It was a six-day course with just 2.5 hours each day and I never expected it can bring in so much joy, peace and happiness within me!
My family and friends could see the transformation that had happened in me and were surprised. I had now found the solution to not just my problems but also that of my friends!
I am grateful to Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for everything that he has given and also for everything that he has not given. Sri Sri taught me the sattvic way of hangouts. Sharing your happiness and joy increases your energy – so doing Seva (selfless servie) is fantastic!
If you are stressed, worried , disturbed , no clarity about what to do, fed-up with work etc, then just come to Art of Living International Centre and hangout in the weekend advance course and become hollow and empty.
Iam thankful to Sri Sri for giving us one more platform, where people and communities can get direct advice on their problems. Yes! Gurudev will answer all your questions directly on the World Wide Web!
If you have problems/want to do something good for the society/ have many ideas but don’t know how to get into action/ don’t like Sri Sri/like Sri Sri/ want to get rid of bad habits/ want to raise voice against corruption/anything just register for #SriSriHangout and talk to HIM directly!
For Mobile users: You can watch this event live on www.youtube.com/artoflivingtv. Mobile users need to install the following apps as per your phone to watch the same
Blackberry : YouTube app
Android: Google+, YouTube app
iOS: Google+, YouTube app
How to participate?
Register for Google Plus Hangout with Sri Sri here : http://goo.gl/ATWDz
To ask your questions to Sri Sri during #SriSriHangout
- Please visit Sri Sri’s Google Plus page and click “follow”.
- In the comment section, please type your questions by using a hashtag #SriSriHangout
By Bhavana Sunitha