Archive for July, 2012

by Heena Dhruv

My journey with the Art of Living organization began in March 2011. What is “Art of living?” I thought when I first read about it online. I pondered over it for several days. After all is it just a catchy logo or a phrase – “Art of Living?”  As I began the quest, I decided to sign myself up for the Art of Living Course (Basic course).

Since then, I have been practicing breathing techniques taught in the course, which have helped me stay calmer and focused even in the most stressful of circumstances. For example, when I my husband just recently had a car accident, he called me at work all shaken up because the car was totaled, and we had to immediately get a replacement. My reaction on the other hand was very calm and cool. After all, it was it was just car damage, it can be easily replaced.  I got on the phone with the insurance company and some local dealerships searching for an old/ new car.  After I was done with my phone calls, explained the situation to my co-worker, and her comment was “My God! You are as cool as a cucumber, I would be freaking out right now – accident, new car, more money, and cost.”  At that moment, I realized certainly there is a positive shift in me. Whereas before, I would have gone into a web of thoughts about how worse the accident could have been, what if this happened, what if that happened, what would I have done etc. etc.

In my personal experience, Art of living is about having a balance of the inner and outer world.   Although it sounds fairly easy to do, it requires practice and skill that can be acquired through a breathing technique called Sudarshan Kriya.  The masterpiece of the Art of Living course is Sudarshan Kriya, which incorporates specific natural rhythms of breath to release stress and bring the mind to the present moment. Have we wondered on how routinely we clean everything…our teeth, face, body, clothes, house, cars etc?  But what do we do to clean our mind? Have we ever considered emptying out all that garbage we have been collecting over the years? In fact the better question is HOW do we clean and empty out our minds? Sudarshan Kriya does exactly that – it is a powerful breathing technique that helps release stress, toxins and accumulated impressions. It offers tremendous benefits to one’s wellbeing. It provides more energy, creativity and clarity of mind. One becomes more self-sufficient, confident, and learns to manage various emotions. It improves our perception, expression and observation.

As my journey continued, I also enrolled in the Art of Meditation course. Meditation is the new word on the block. It is a new trend and most of us have at least heard and / or read about it. But I was not so sure that it was my cup of tea. Although it felt like it was something beyond my reach, something only very serious-minded people would practice, I decided to give the much talked about “meditation” a try as a few of my colleagues had praised it so much.

On the first day of the course, I did not know what to expect, and although I was nervous, I was very curious.  Without going too much into details of the course, because it is an experience that one should go through on his/her own, it was fantastic. The course was refreshing and uplifting, and the teachers were very knowledgeable and helpful.  Although I had just learned to meditate with a special mantra or sound, it was still very challenging. Lots of thoughts and urges to concentrate would make me even more restless.  Giving up would have been a much easier option, but instead I continued to practice meditation as instructed in the course.

Now one year later, it has become an integral part of my daily routine just like the breathing technique – Sudarshan Kriya. The key is to meditate regularly; practice makes perfect!  I am very happy and delighted to have taken up this challenge because it is extremely beneficial and rewarding. It has made a world of difference in such a short span of time.  Meditation in addition to Sudarshan kriya is like icing on the cake and then some. The benefits of meditation to your mind and body are immense.  Nothing can compare to the feeling of fullness and whole.

I was one of those people who thought that life will be complete after I achieved certain things – marriage, kids, job, better title, more money, nicer vacations, nicer home, nicer car etc.  But the truth is, there is no better time to be happy than right now. These practices have made me realize that challenges are part of life, but the art is how we deal with it. Taking the initiative to take the Art of Living and Art of Meditation (Sahaj Samadhi course) is one of the best decisions I have made in life.   One can only value something as powerful as breathing and meditation only after having tried it oneself. One must learn and practice it.  Breathing and meditation are simple, easily-learned tools. Being complimented on your calmness during difficult situations or showing gratitude to those who otherwise would have not expected is breathtaking!

To me Art of living is a journey from head to heart. And I must admit, it is a beautiful journey that words cannot do justice.  It is a way of life! It is about expanding our vision about ourselves. It is about making life a celebration rather than duration.  It is about walking through life with a smile even in the unfavorable conditions.  Someone wise once said “Living in the favorable conditions and unfavorable conditions is part of living, but smiling in all those is the ‘Art of living’.”  I feel more whole and complete. This is the power of Art of Living.  It is priceless!!!!!

Don’t postpone good things in life. Breathe, Meditate and be Happy!

 

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Game of Thoughts

by Mumukshu

I sometimes wonder at the stubbornness of the mind
How it tricks me to to bow and bend

How these thoughts are so convincing
and specially when I am not noticing

they make my heart dance and dance
they don’t stop the song until I glance and glance

how I sometimes sway to all their tunes
without a care to all that is true

Thoughts! You sweep me away from the shore
And take me into the storm of the ocean

wonder where you come from and where you go
you stay for a moment and take away my peace

can you stop there and be still there forever?!
can I ask silence to marry you forever?!

For my home is beyond your realm
For I am love, I am peace , I am…

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