Archive for November, 2010

Swami Pragyapad with partipicpants


At our center, we celebrated Thanksgiving in silence with an Art of Silence course taught by Swami Pragyapad. The Art of Silence course, (also called Part II Course) provides optimal conditions for going deep within, quieting our mental chatter, and experiencing deep rest and inner peace. A big thank you to Swami Pragyapad for honoring us with this visit as his last stop in his tour of the US. Congratulations to Manoj, Kandavel, Selva, Dixita, Vamsi, Prashanth, Atul, Shivani, Ketan, Anushka, Vikram, Santosh, Nandini, Annapoorani and the other volunteers for organizing the course and making it so enjoyable for all of us. Here are a few photos and participant/volunteer experiences.

What brings you here? “I am a school teacher in New York City so to try to let go of some of the stress from the classroom. It can be quite exhausting and intense. I teach in New York City in the public school system.” Thanksgiving is a major holiday, so what is the attraction? “My family gives me a free pass every two or three years to go on a mediation retreat. This time of year I get quite tired and in just a few days I feel very restored by doing some meditation and relaxation practices with some yoga. I feel quite cleansed in a short amount of time. It can take much longer otherwise. It’s a very efficient way to practice. We did yoga and the breath and we talked about different ways to process information to be more relaxed.” How do you feel? “I feel very well. Thank you for asking! This is a very happy holiday.” – Paul Okin

Manoj leading yoga in the morning

“It was one of the most memorable courses of my life. In my 10 years with Art of Living I’ve never seen such a course where I announced the course and within 3 days the course was full. I had to literally put people on the waiting list. Eventually everyone got in. There were 60 people on the course: the largest ever Part 2 in Metuchen center. And I am happy that everyone had a good time. Thank you!“ – Manoj Warrier, the lead organizer.

“What was I but a dirty piece of rag when I entered the center on Wednesday: feeling heavy and fatigued with layers of dust on me. A good spin into “hollow and empty” and other meditations, in Guru’s amazing grace and in the presence of beloved Swamiji, today I am completely refreshed, contented and HAPPY! Words sometimes fail to express our true feelings. Especially after silence I find myself struggling to say what a unique experience it was. Full of joy and in complete gratitude,” – Madhuri

“My name is Ilona. I am a social worker in New York City. The course was amazing. I know I’m not supposed to have any expectations but I did expect that it’s going to be amazing because Swamiji is teaching it. I have taken a Blessings course with Swamiji and it was great and Swamiji is an exquisite teacher. It was beautiful, just beautiful.” – Ilona

Volunteers Kandavel and Annapoorani serving lunch

“A deep dive into the spirituality processes. Felt very calm and peaceful. Thanks to everybody for organizing the course” – Suresh

“It was a great experience. We had to set up all the food items. It was nice. I love seva (service). It was wonderful.” – Selva, volunteer

“It’s great. It’s beautiful. Every one of these courses is fun. I come back because in 6-9 months you build up enough garbage to come and do this program and clean up and go back.” – Anand

“When I started off, the first day, I had a headache and I went to Swamiji and told him and he said it will go away by tomorrow evening. And exactly that evening when I slept and when I woke up in the morning I had this whole different level of energy. And that day my meditations were very, very quiet. I felt very nice.” – Jaya

Participants, Sonpreet and Vidur cleaning blinds

“I am Sonpreet Bhatia. I run a company. I am a co-founder of a company called “MyCityWay”. We do mobile applications for cities. About Art of Living that’s where I met my other two co-founders and ever since then it’s no looking back. Meditation is one of the things that has made all three of us, all three co-founders of MyCityWay, very successful. I hear a lot of good stories about health and meditation and Art of Living. Personally myself and my family have gone through a lot of health benefits with Art of Living. With these Art of Living courses and especially with the Art of Silence course we connect. We connect more with the world, with our families and we go deeper into mediation. What that means people need to experience for themselves but from my side, it is highly, highly recommended.” – Sonpreet Bhatia

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YES Plus – Discover Your Enlightened Side

The YES Plus course for college-age youth and young professionals is a more dynamic version of the Art of Living course focused on leadership and empowerment. The enthusiasm and idealism of youth finds its natural expression with the stress relieving breathing techniques and the practical wisdom taught in the course. Here are some experiences from the Nov 18-22 course taught by Gayathri Uchila at the Art of Living center at Metuchen, NJ.

“YES+ has a momentum for change and for us to think about the life we want. I personally feel it improves you in all aspects of life and helps you understand what humanity is.”

What did you like about YES Plus? “Just the awesome feeling it leaves you with. You leave feeling like this is who I really am.”

“Completely changed my life. Changed the way I deal with situations, changed the way I approach people. So much more confident/secure. Truly believe that deep down everyone has limitless potential.”

“Starting with Surya Namaskar, Pranayam, Kriya and meditations it really helped me go through a detox process. I feel much lighter after doing the course. I feel more confident than before. I live in the present and give my 100%. Saying out loud what I feel in public is one of the best things I picked up from the course.”

What did you like about YES Plus? “Team dynamic; teacher discipline; stress relief; let down your guard and be yourself and are accepted as yourself; leave with improved self-esteem.”

“The YES+ course has taught me so much! I am so thankful for being introduced to Art of living. I gained confidence and so much knowledge on the self, the body and the mind. I feel the Sudarshan Kriya is the most valuable thing I have learnt from this course. It has already made a difference in my life. Also the yoga was great. This course has opened up so many doorways for me.”

“It was a great experience because it is teaching us unity. It is teaching us how to be happy and love each other.”

Check out the US YES Plus website: YES Plus
Here is a video describing the program.

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On Oct 22-25, we had a rocking DSN course (“Do Something Now” course) with International Art of Living teacher, Sangeeta Jani. The DSN course uses a powerful combination of yoga, group processes, and deep spiritual knowledge to break through personal barriers and create personal empowerment. Congratulations to Anil, Anushka, Ketan, Manoj and the many other volunteers who made this course a success. Thank you to Sangeeta Jani for sharing her radiant presence with us!

Sangeeta Jani with DSN course participants at Art of Living center, Metuchen, NJ

Here is what participants said about the course.
“Until the last three days I did not realize how much this course is making a difference to me. I have not been purified enough to feel like gold but I realized last night during our most dynamic process that how much difference it made to my personality. Many times in my work I think I can’t excel because everyone else is so experienced so they always had an advantage over me but I could not have been more wrong. Excellence has nothing to do with experience, you excel the moment you give your 100%. I could not have been more blessed and lucky to do this course with Sangeeta Didi, immense love and blessings for her. This course rocks and its experience is just beyond my words. I wish I am able to continue this journey with everyone’s support. Jai Guru Dev!” – Annie

“Wow!! What a powerful experience! I feel I have made a Quantum Leap! Thanks, Jai Guru Dev” -Ed Mongeo

“DSN with Sangeeta Didi is great and rocks. This is the best course in the Art of Living that integrates every aspect of life and makes you a true yogi. I learnt so much about team work, leadership and amazing yoga techniques with deep meditations. All people who have done a basic course should do it. Feeling grateful.” -Garima Singh

“I had no idea what to expect, and for the first half of the course wanted to run away. Then, my resistance melted and I learned how it feels to engage in selfless action. I previously had many barriers to talking about my faith and practices and Art of Living, but these amazing processes helped me move past all of that as I connected with many people inside and outside of the course in a fresh way. Thank you and JGD” -Christopher

“Extremely fun course. And of course, opposite values are complimentary. Now I feel like rushing out there to do more. Anyone who is hesitating about the course. DO IT!!!” – Rui Jian

“The DSN course brought an awareness in me towards how I can be useful to the people around me. For the first time, I realized how it feels to look beyond myself and truly care about others. Also brought an awareness for the resources given to me and my attitude towards them. “ – Venu

check out
Sangeeta Jani’s Blog
blog post: “Sangeeta Jani talks about being a teacher”

DSN Class Photo at Art of Living center, Metuchen.NJ
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