Archive for August, 2012

by Aparna Chawla

Check out this article in the Home News Tribune by our New Jersey
Art of Living teacher, Aparna Chawla.


With the warm — I mean hot — weather here, we are spending more time outdoors and traveling with our near and dear ones. We are busy working out schedules and travel itineraries.

But are we really enjoying our summer time?

This is vacation time when we are supposed to be relaxing. But we are exhausted, with the mind running to keep up with our thoughts.

Have we thought about a time when we can clean the mind and give it some rest? We clean our teeth so that we don’t get cavities and bad breath, and we shower so that we don’t carry around bad body odor. But how about our mind? How can we and why do we need to clean the mind?

We fill the mind mostly with mundane and unnecessary thoughts. When it comes time for concentrating, we get sidetracked very easily and we get irritated when things don’t go as planned. When we are starting to have road rage or snap at our family members for the smallest things, we need to step back and see what is causing this behavior. Is it really the crazy drivers who are talking or texting while driving? Or is it the spilt milk on the counter or the dirty dishes in the sink that were not cleaned by those who used them — is that what is really annoying you?

It all comes down to our state of mind.

We tend to blame someone or something outside for our mood or emotions, but, in fact, it is how we feel inside. This is when it becomes important to give rest to the mind. We think that the mind is resting when we are sleeping, but only in deep sleep or meditation can the mind truly rest. Also, if the mind is cluttered with thoughts, worries and junk, how can there be space for clarity? We need to cleanse the mind and that can only be done through meditation as well.

We often think that meditation is for retirees and is to be done in quiet places.

In fact, it is very simple. We can begin by sitting detached and untethered from all our gadgets and closing our eyes for a few minutes every day.

Whenever we have some free time, we often tend to surf the net, read a book or watch some television. Again, another thing that can help us relax is eating food quietly without watching television or surfing the Internet or by going for walks and appreciating what nature has to offer — from the trees and flowers to listening to the birds.

This may sound “airy-fairy,” but what we do with our time reflects in our speech and actions.

Instead of multitasking and stressing ourselves, let us take a few moments every day — taking a few deep breaths — and settle our minds and our bodies.

So, this summer let us begin to enjoy every moment of our lives by bringing peace within ourselves.


Dr. Aparna Chawla is a general dentist practicing in Central Jersey. She has been a member of the Art of Living Foundation (, since 1986. She is one of the few certified instructors teaching the Art of Living course to adults and youth. She has been instrumental in bringing youth programs into NJ schools by working in association with its sister organization, (IAHV). She is also a professional Indian Classical dancer and enjoys playing the veena is her spare time.


Read Full Post »