A few of us just returned from an absolutely incredible week of silence, celebration, wisdom and joy in the presence of our dearest Guruji His Holinesss Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. I'm very privileged that this was my 12th Guru Purnima with Guruji but he never ceases to amaze! It is very hard to put into words the depth of the experience we had. As many of you have already experienced many times, it is an amazing phenomenon to witness Guruji: tirelessly giving unconditional love and care to all that come, taking away everyone's garbage & burdens, and transforming tears of sorrow into tears of gratitude, such profound wisdom one moment and then playing pranks and mischief the next. The gratitude and fullness everyone felt in the room on the day of Guru Purnima was so palpable. (I know some of you are new to the Art of Living and/or have not been around Guruji yet. I would ask you to not believe a word of this and go seek and trust your own experience. Definitely be sure to find yourself in Guruji's presence anytime he visits this part of the world!)
One of the many beautiful things Guruji said was this: He asked everyone if we could all do just one thing: DO NOTHING! For 20 mins everyday atleast, do absolutely nothing! The mind is constantly engaged in doing, in planning, in analyzing throughout the waking day. And the highest is achieved not by our effort but through effortlessness. It takes a certain effort to get onto the train (taking the course and doing the practices everyday for example) but once you are on the train, it is time to let go completely and sink inwards. All the veils, desires, impressions, patterns, cravings and aversions that the mind is caught up in prevent us from experiencing our own depth, our own divinity. And meditation along with Sudarshan Kriya are the surest means to lift ALL those veils so our essence may shine forth in its full splendor. (the complete video of his morning talk on Guru Purnima day can be seen here.)
There are two very wonderful opportunities where you can learn and practice DOING NOTHING :) coming up:
1. If you have not learnt the Sahaj Samadhi meditation practice taught on the Art of Meditation course, there is one coming up soon July 22-25. The priceless gift of meditation is something you can give yourself everyday for the rest of your life along with the Sudarshan Kriya.
2. We shall be having the next Art of Silence program offered at the Texas ashram over the Labor day weekend Sept 2-5. For this one, you won't have to take any days off work and it will be conducted by none other than senior teacher Philip Fraser! Even this time in Canada, Guruji said that in a world and lifestyle so full of noise, it is absolutely essential for everyone to take 2-3 Silence programs every year. So if its been more than 6 months since your last Silence program, I'd say just jump in! You'll be so glad, promise!
And as we take care of ourselves, let us take care of of our global family and share & care. If you have any ideas on how we can bring lasting relief and celebration into the lives of our fellow beings, do share!
Jai Gurudev! ("Victory to the Highest within us")
Much love & gratitude,
"There is a place you can come where everything is beautiful. Tourists travel from place to place looking for beauty. With photos and souvenirs they try to take the beauty back home with them. They only get tired and tanned. Yet the most beautiful spot anywhere is right here. When you come here, you find that everything is so beautiful wherever you are. Where is this place? Don’t look here and there; come within you. When you are here, then any place becomes beautiful. Then wherever you go, you add beauty there. If you are unhappy, even the moon irritates you, sweet things nauseate, music disturbs. When you are calm and centered inside, noise is musical, clouds are magical, rain is liquid love. Book yourself on a trip to this most beautiful place in the universe. Then you’ll find that every day is a vacation and a celebration."