Recently attended the first course of the Art of living – Happiness program which is conducted under the divine blessings of Shri Shri Ravi Shankar Gurudevji. This is indeed a gem of a program which should be attended by each and everyone who wants to gain a better understanding of self or just be happy! You could have n number of reasons to attend it or no reason at all.. But I feel at the end it will be worth while.
It has brought such a peace and tranquillity in mind, which is very difficult to even imagine in this busy and stressful lives of ours.
I heard about the course long time back and thought will do it one day. After marriage my sister in law, who is a ardent follower of Shri Shri, recommended that me and my husband do this course. Finally got an opportunity when we heard that the beginner course is being conducted very near to where we stay. Really didn’t want to miss this chance! And I am so glad we didn’t :)
The course stared on the day of my birthday and I thought this is the best birthday gift I could ever get. Waking up at 5 in the morning, feeling the fresh morning breeze, meeting Jayaram Bhat Guruji, other participants and facilitators , there was something pious and positive about everything. During the course, we were guided on how to do the stretches for all the body parts, pranayam (3 stage and basrika).We were guided on performing the sudarshan kriya, meditation. Have never felt anything like this before. While doing the sudarshan kriya and meditation, there are moments when you just loose all sense of the world, you feel one with the source, it’s simply amazing!
There were also some games where we were taught how to live in the present. We observed that we were so happy when we live in the present instead of drooling in the past or worrying about the future. Just like children, they are happy because they live in the moment. Also creativity thrives only in the present moment. We cannot be creative thinking about past or future. Its the now that makes our mind think creatively.
The sessions started with asking some of the most basic questions in our life, like what is it that we want from life, what will give us happiness.
The questions are very basic but we hardly think about them. We all want to be happy, but we never sit down and think what will make us happy. How can we contribute towards happiness of others. We worry all the time, but we rarely sit down and write what is it that we are worried about. Discussing these in the course and hearing other perspective, adds so much to ourselves, our thinking, which remains unexplored most of the time. Adding to it the vast knowledge that Jayaram guruji shared with us, made for an unforgettable experience.
Some takeaways from the course that I would like to mention:
1. We all have ego. Should it be there?
a. It should be there, but in the right proportion. It should be like salt in food. Too less won’t make the food taste good and too much will make it inedible! How nice a comparison! And it makes perfect sense!
2. We all greet each other with “Jai Gurudev”. Jai means victory. Guru is the enlightened one. Why do we need to pray victory for him. He does not need it.
a. There are two mann in each one of us, bada mann and chota mann. Chota mann always seeks comfort and will try to do things which are easier or comfortable. Bada mann knows what is good for you. So even if that thing may cause temporary pain, bada mann will ask you to do it. Often we ignore the bada mann and listen to our chota mann. Bada mann is also called guru. Hence by saying jai gurudev, we wish each other that let the bada mann within you win. Love the explanation!
3. You can attain happiness when you do selfless service and sadhana. You feel a sense of fulfilment when you do anything for someone without expecting anything in return.
4. You are not alone anytime. Just as you trust your mom/dad with anything, you share your problem with them and feel lighter, similarly guruji and the art of living family is always there with you. You can leave your worries with him and be happy :)
I feel really fortunate to be associated now with such a wonderful community. Also feel proud that it is made in India :)
Not limiting the entire experience of 6 days in one post, will come back again with some more learnings from the program.
Have you also experienced art of living? Do share your thoughts, views.