Archive for the ‘in the news’ Category

Here is an article by Maya Yajnik in the Home News Tribune.
an excerpt is below
meditationMeditation gives us the strength to gracefully deal with the complex situations in our lives. It brings peace, a sense of well being and a crystal-clear awareness that shifts our perspective. It makes us strong in the face of challenges.

Challenges are everywhere. Since we are fundamentally social beings, other people affect us, and this brings challenges.

Bullying in schools is very common. Aggressive behavior is common at work and at home. It is a form of violence that is woven into the very fabric of our society.

Have you noticed that there are some people who push your buttons? There are some people who get under your skin? Maybe the person speaks to you in a very condescending way, contradicts what you say, insults you and doesn’t give you credit for what you’ve done?

I’ve noticed that, despite my best intentions, sometimes when people criticize me or insult me, I feel a lot of negative emotions. Maybe someone says that the work I did on a project is worthless or criticizes my appearance. Fear comes up, anger comes up, and sometimes I feel hurt. My breathing becomes very rapid and my muscles become tense. My mind perceives it as a crisis and triggers a reaction in my whole system.

The tendency at that moment is to react by shouting back, insult in return or run away. From experience, I know that this does not always resolve the situation; although shouting back can give a deceptive sense of satisfaction. The intelligent way to respond is to remain calm and smile. Maybe it is wise to, in a moderate tone of voice, present my point of view. The question is how to remain calm and respond appropriately?

The ancient science of meditation can provide the answer. Meditation gives us the inner strength to stand up to stressful situations. Our deeper self is full of joy, peace and love. The tension in our systems clouds these feelings. Meditation helps us relax and let go of stress so that our deeper self shines through. The mind clears up. The body relaxes. It brings deep rest, allowing our system to rejuvenate. It brings a feeling of freshness. The world looks brighter, challenges look like adventures, and people look more beautiful. I feel better about myself. A weight lifts off my shoulders, and I feel I can move mountains.

Importantly, meditation increases awareness. We can impartially observe what’s going on inside us and outside us. This awareness is the key to intelligently respond to any situation. So when someone insults me, I can be more aware of the feelings rising up in me. The awareness gives me the choice not to react. I can wait until I am calm and make a suitable response that comes from a space of wisdom, rather than a space of fear and anger. I can be guided by my inner intuition.

Inner peace and happiness allow us to be kind and sensitive to others, giving us the wisdom to confront people in a constructive way.

We can embody the human values of compassion and courage. Peace in the world begins with each one of us.


Maya Yajnik has a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering and works as a researcher at a telecommunications company. She has been practicing the Sahaj Samadhi meditation technique taught by the Art of Living foundation daily since 2004. She is an active organizer of yoga, breathing and meditation courses with the Art of Living foundation ( Art of Living, a nonprofit educational and humanitarian organization, has launched a nationwide movement for nonviolence at


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Happy Diwali everyone!
May the light of happiness, love and wisdom shine in your life!
Here is an article by Aparna Chawla on Diwali in the Home News Tribune.
an excerpt is below

Originating from the Sanskrit word “Deepavali,” Diwali literally means rows (Avali) of lights (Deepa).

The festival of lights is one of the biggest festivals of the East, and is celebrated on the new moon night (Amavasya) of the Kartik month in the Indian calendar. It symbolizes the vanquishing of ignorance (darkness) by knowledge (light).

The oil-wick lamps are lit in every household. For an oil lamp to burn, the wick has to be partially immersed in the oil. If the wick is completely drowned in oil, it cannot bring light.

“Life is like the wick of the lamp,” according to His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living Foundation. “You have to be in the world and yet remain untouched by it. If you are drowned in the materialism of the world, you cannot bring joy and knowledge in your life. By being in the world, yet not drowning in the worldly aspect of it, we can be the light of joy and knowledge.”

There is exchange of gifts and the distribution of sweets during Diwali. Sweets and gift exchanges symbolize the dispelling of the bitterness of the past, and renewal of friendship for the times to come.

Diwali is celebrated for five days according to the lunar Hindu calendar.

In Hinduism, Diwali marks the return of Lord Rama to his kingdom of Ayodhya after defeating (the demon king) Ravana, the ruler of Lanka in the epic Ramayana. It also celebrates the slaying of the demon king Narakasura by Lord Krishna. Both signify the victory of good over evil.

In Jainism, Diwali marks the attainment of moksha by Mahavira in 527 BC.

In Sikhism, Diwali commemorates the return of Guru Har Gobind Ji to Amritsar after freeing 52 Hindu kings imprisoned in Fort Gwalior by Emperor Jahangir; the people lit candles to celebrate his return. This is the reason Sikhs also refer to Diwali as Bandi Chhorh Divas, “the day of release of detainees.”

Diwali is considered a national festival in India and Nepal; which is celebrated by each and every one of any age and every social class.

Any celebration is incomplete without the spirit of service. Whatever we have received from the Divine, we should share it with others because it is in giving that we receive — that is true celebration.

Dr. Aparna Chawla is a general dentist practicing in Central New Jersey. She has been a member of the Art of Living Foundation since 1986. She has been instrumental in bringing the youth programs into N.J. schools by working in association with its sister organization, International Association for Human Values.


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A recent article by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of Art of Living in the Huffington Post about meditation.

an excerpt is below.

Is Meditation Important?

Meditation is important for every human being. Meditation fulfills the natural tendency of human life to look for a joy that does not diminish, a love that does not get distorted or turn into negative emotions.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Meditation

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Some people ask me if meditation is foreign to us? Absolutely not! You have been in meditation for a couple of months before your birth. You were in your mother’s womb doing nothing. You didn’t even have to chew your food. Everything was done for you. So there is a natural tendency in every human being, in every soul, to crave for that state of absolute comfort.

You know why you want comfort? It is because you were comfortable at one point, because you have experienced a state of comfort called meditation. Meditation is absolute comfort. Getting back to that state that you experienced before coming into the hustle and bustle of this world is very natural because everything in this universe is cyclic. Everything wants to go back to its source. That is the nature of the world.

During autumn, leaves fall and go back to the soil and nature has its own way to re-cycle them. The natural tendency to re-cycle all that you have collected every day of your life as impressions, to get rid of them and to get back to the original state that you were in when you came to this planet, is meditation.

Becoming fresh and alive is meditation. Getting back to that serenity which is your original nature is meditation. Absolute joy and happiness is meditation. Pleasure minus excitement is meditation. A thrill without anxiety is meditation. A love without hatred is meditation.

read complete article at

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian leader, spiritual teacher and an ambassador of peace. His vision of a stress-free, violence-free society has united millions of people the world over through service projects and the courses of The Art of Living.


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