I have been associated with Art of Living Austin for more than five years now and I have witnessed its progress as an organization. It was just a couple of years ago when some of my friends took the initiative and decided to have a place we can call a center. There were lots of logistics to be worked out including but not limited to, how to finance the place?, what would we like to accomplish from this place? and aren't we good the way we are?.
I too had all these questions and to say the least was not too interested in the center. Thanks to the YES mind of some of the people who just dedicatedly worked towards changing everyones attitude (including me) from a NO to at least a May Be and we had a place.
The center presently sits in a commercial complex at 5555 N Lamar and does not seem much from the outside. Inside are two halls, one with yoga mats spread over uniformly (which we call the meditation hall) and other a lounge for people to hangout while some activity is going on in the meditation hall, but this is the place we can call our own. Here we are not dependent on others schedule to host an event or organize a course. No fear of getting kicked out for we ran out of time. We no longer have to hunt for a place to hold a satsang and because of its central location and accessibility by bus route makes the place even more attractive. Just a couple of days ago I celebrated one of the most awesome shivratri's.
Kudos to the people who truly drove the initiative and made it all happen. May be my perception, but it seems that we are having lot more events and activities now that we have a center.
Yes, I do see that the whole thing could have gone south and the skeptics like me could have bragged that "we been right from the beginning". But I am glad to say that it is not the case and the center is thriving (from what I can see). It is truly an example of great vision and leadership.