Archive for March, 2011


It was just a few months after I had taken the course and Guruji had come to the New York / New Jersey Area in August of 1996. Janael persuaded Guruji to ride in my car. I found out at the last moment that I was to drive Guruji from the public talk venue in New York to a home in Westchester. I had never driven to Westchester and had no idea about how to get there. Keep in mind that this was way before cell phones and GPS systems. Guruji was in the passenger seat along with three women in the back seat, all from outside the tri-state area. A gentleman shouted the address and some sketchy directions on how to get to the destination. I remembered the initial part of the directions and then got totally lost. I have the Guru in the passenger seat, who is smiling, and three women in the back seat who are constantly giggling and I have no idea where I am or where I need to go. He asks me gently, “Are you lost?”. “Ummm, Yes Guruji !!”, I sheepishly replied. He says with a twinkle in his eyes “Do not worry !!”. “Take left from here, then take a right , now take this exit” and soon enough we were at our destination.

This was a huge lesson for me. I, for one, neither believed in any Guru nor thought that I had a need for one in my life. In retrospect, he was just showing me that he could guide my life when I was totally lost. He was just showing me that he could become the GPS of my life as long as I had faith in him. That is what a Guru is. He helps us navigate through life when we have no idea which direction to take and takes us right to our destination.

~~ Vikas Chawla

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Check out a new article on meditation in the New Jersey newspapers, “Home News Tribune” and “The Daily Record” by our pioneering New Jersey Art of Living teacher, Vikas Chawla: “Meditation helps you discover humanity’s connectedness”. Vikas Chawla has been teaching meditation, yoga and breathing techniques for more than 10 years. From the article:
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When we are very young, we do not experience a feeling of separation. We see beyond the color of the skin, the label of religion or the difference of opinion.

The process of growing up changes a lot of things.

As we experience life, our interaction with people and situations leads us to become prejudiced and form very strong opinions of “should and should not’s,” right and wrong, etc. This causes us to create boundaries around us that create a separation between us and the world. Ultimately, we have a feeling of belongingness, at most, to a limited few individuals, such as our friends and family.

During my adolescent years, I had a very small circle of friends with very firm views. I constantly judged people, which had become an innate part of my mindset.
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Full article at
In Home News Tribune: Meditation helps you discover humanity’s connectedness
In Daily Record: Meditation helps you discover humanity’s connectedness

Join us on April 9th for Meditation and Yoga 2011 with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar !

Another news article by Vikas:  “Meditation helps you recharge, rejuvenate and reflect”

blog posts by Vikas:
Got Milk?
Snakes and Ladders
The Chaos Theory
Acceptance, Meditation and Guilt
Enthusiasm

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On Feb 17-21, 2011, the Art of Living center at Metuchen, New Jersey hosted an Art of Silence course with senior teacher, Azah Mulchand. In the Art of Silence course participants experience deep rest with guided meditation, silence, yoga and breathing techniques. It gives the body and mind a real vacation rejuvenating the whole system. Congratulations to Sumathi, Naval, Amrapalee, Selva, Kandavel, Dixita, Mark, Preethi, Prashanth, Mahalakshmi, Kaarthiga, Sunil, Kumud and the other volunteers for organizing the course and thank you to Azah Mulchand for teaching it! Here are some experiences of participants and organizers.

class photo

“The course was outstanding. The biggest thing for me is when it is over. I feel so peaceful, so calm and so much at home with myself. It was just a beautiful experience. So many good things happened. I met so many good people. Somebody came from Raleigh, North Carolina. It’s a beautiful group, very dynamic and a lot of fun. I feel definitely deeper and deeper in touch with myself and who I really am. I am looking forward to doing it again a few months from now. I advice anybody if they want to take a vacation. This is the best vacation they can take. Art of Silence.” ~~ Faisal

“I am Soma. This was the third time I did this course. What I am taking away from the course this time is an understanding of the tendencies in us. It felt like that we are such so pure inside and the outside tendencies are just a covering. It almost felt like all those things are totally separable from the inner Self. That experience is coming more and more and I hope I am able to use this understanding when the tendencies actually come into my mind and am able to understand that it is a passing phase and will go away.” ~~ Soma

“I am Ruchika. I’m from Secaucus. This is my sixth course and the third one with Azahji. Every time it is different. This course was an amazing experience once again. And Azahji has done such nice things on the course this time and I had a lot of fun. Its never boring. So its amazing that after six times its still got its ras(juice).” ~~ Ruchika

“I was very sick for the past two and a half months. I came home from college. I was going through a lot. I took this course for the third time and each time I feel like it unravels something new in me and exposes me to the innocence that I am and its great to be able to come back to that. My body feels a lot better. My mind feel healthier. I feel more connected with my heart and who I really am and there is a lots less fluctuation in my mind so its been a really great experience for me. I think everyone should keep doing this.” ~~ Megha

course participants

“My name is Satish. I am fortunate to be attending this course, Art of Silence with Azahji. I came from Raleigh, North Carolina and I feel so happy that I made the journey. These four days I learnt a lot, I grew a lot, I evolved a lot. I am sure that I’ll continue this evolution, this change in me. Hopefully I will not just do good to myself but I will do, as Sri Sri has adviced and suggested, I will do good to others as well. One of the good things I learnt from Art of Living and Art of Silence courses is “let it go”. And the meditation is really touching. Thank you for giving me this opportunity. I advice anybody new to Art of Living that this is a very effective course and it will bring about a change in you, a change in your circumstances and make a different person out of you.” ~~ Satish

“My name is Pragnya. This is the first time I did this course. This course taught me a lot of things. The first thing is that my patience level has improved a lot. I am able to sit still for meditation for a longer time. The meditation is amazing. Overall I got some tools, some nice tools, with which I can move forward in this world with a lots of confidence and overcome my problems peacefully and easily.” ~~ Pragnya

“It was an amazing course. I feel so blissful and a lot of realization came to me about certain issues in my life. I see them from a different angle now. I really feel so joyful and grateful. There are no words to express. I am speechless. That’s the beauty of it.” ~~ Nimish

“My name is Raj Tirumalai. Its been almost a year since I did the course. Last time also I did the course with Azahji. The course is absolutely absolutely great. I have a one and a half year old baby at home so I didn’t get a chance to do the course in the last one year. He is in the present moment and we are not. That makes it a little interesting. The course is fabulous. I wish I could do this course again and again and again as many times as possible.” ~~ Raj

“I would definitely recommend Art of Silence course to people. The best part is seeing what being in silence means. You’ll enjoy the three days. You can accomplish a lot more things with silence. The best thing is the peace of mind that you get out of that and you probably won’t want to talk much afterwards once you’ve been in the silence. If you really are looking for peace of mind I really would recommend this course. And especially seva  (volunteering) with lots of groups. You’ll have lots of fun. I definitely recommend it” ~~ Srinivas

organizers

“Hi, I am Sumathi. I am a teacher with the Art of Living foundation. This is the first time I am one of the main organizers of the Art of Silence course and it gave me tremendous happiness and an immense pleasure doing such wonderful seva (volunteering, service). I feel nothing in this world can bring fulfillment in one’s life other than being in knowledge and in seva (service), being instrumental in bringing people to this knowledge, boosting their confidence and making them experience their real potential and strength. Getting connected to people, showing them meditation is the only way to get back to their inner calm serene nature and to live with that innocence and the undying smile that they are bestowed with. It was such a fulfilling experience throughout. There was a feeling of abundance in all the participants and so much belongingness towards each other as the course started unfolding. Everyone had such a deep experience with the meditations in the presence of the wonderful teacher and so did we, as organizers. If one gets an opportunity to do seva (service) in life, I will say don’t miss it, just go for it.” ~~ Sumathi

“Hosting Azahji is always a pleasure for me. This time it was a unique experience. It felt like my body was being purified just by being in the presence of a senior teacher like Azahji. At every moment there was learning and with every word and every gaze. I would love to host him again or any other teacher since being with them is like being in knowledge. It was like I was swimming in knowledge during the last few days and I am looking forward to the next time.” ~~ Sunil

“My name is Naval. I helped organize the course. It was really a pleasure because it changes the state of mind completely when you take the responsibility for the well-being of everybody. The experience is just so amazing and fulfilling.” ~~ Naval

blog post on Thanksgiving Silence course with Swami Pragyapad

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