Creating Space for People, Events and Things

It was a jam packed hall last night in Los Angeles, where Guruji was giving a talk, and in the middle of the talk, he stopped and saw that couple of folks were standing at the back. He asked the audience to raise their hands if they had open seats next to them and then asked those seated to move a seat so that those standing can be accommodated and then he said spontaneously:

This is what life is all about. Keep shifting your position. Don’t be stuck somewhere….make room, make space. It is all about creating space. Create space for events, for people and for things to happen as and when they unfold. Every event, every person you come across in your life is contributing to your life in some unimaginable way.

Rest of the talk and transcript is here

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Enlightenment

Back from a wonderful course at Mundra, 60 kms from Bhuj, in Kutch District of Gujarat. Never in my wildest dreams could have I imagined that I would be travelling to remote corners of the country to teach the Art of Living Corporate Program. I continue to be amazed by the rich talent pool that our country has. The folks in small cities/towns also come to the course with a sense of openness, to learn, to imbibe and to take in as much as they can within a short span of time. One can feel the sense of ambition permeating all around.

The company (I don’t disclose the name of the Organizations, so please do not ask 🙂 ) which is in the stage of inception, opted for the Apex Program in order to build a sense of belongingness and bonding within the Organization. They are a start up with high energy, enthusiastic workforce that came in from different parts of India. The participants were a mix of Senior Leadership including their Managing Director, HR Head, Finance Controller, Plant Operations Head etc , mid management and also fresh new joinees. In fact the Organization had also flown in folks who were yet to join the organization, but were serving their notice period in previous organizations. Needless to say we all had a blast! The HR Head after the program came by and told me and Sunil (my co-faculty on the program): “We decided to have this program to cultivate a sense of team spirit within the organization, today I tell you we achieved much more than that in a relatively short span of time and I am certain that we will achieve the goals what we had set to do”. As a Art of Living trainer, we are used to getting fulsome praise and it doesn’t really surprise us anymore, but nevertheless the acknowledgement was so genuine and it came right from the heart and it really made us humble. This opportunity to reach out and touch people lives is a gift of grace!

After a year of teaching corporate courses, making several mistakes, at times coming out elated from sessions and at times absolutely dejected, learning from every situation, improvising myself, experimenting in my Part 1 programs, I am now really, really enjoying teaching the program. I go and sit to teach with a sense of ease and comfort that had so far eluded me . I think I have become more natural and also far more centered. And in two words – “it shows”. Earlier if someone had a bad body language in the class, it used to effect me and I used to direct all my energy at that individual. Now I come from a different space altogether and have learnt how to draw the person into the same space. Not for a second, am I claiming that I have become an expert, but my journey towards excellence has began and I am enjoying every bit of it.

And then last evening it was back to the Ashram to be in the presence of Guruji. For couple of days, maybe it was the outside food, the quality of my mediation was poor, last evening as I sat in the presence of Guruji, I closed my eyes only to open them at the same time that Guruji did. What a deep meditation! The Q&A was superb as well. Two answers that I really liked:

Q. Can we aspire for something higher like enlightenment at the age of twenty one?

Sri Sri: Definitely. You should aspire for enlightenment and enlightenment is unconditional happiness, unconditional love and a life in which you are in the driver’s seat. You must aspire for enlightenment. Right from when you recognize to aspire anything in life. Go to the highest first and all the good things will come along, you don’t have to make an effort for it.

When I say you don’t have to make an effort, I mean you don’t have to sit and worry about it. When you aspire for the highest, your action will be spontaneous and in the spontaneity you will see things have started falling into place.

Q. How do we gear up for enlightenment?

Sri Sri: Wanting it, itself is half done. The rest is a little discipline and you should know that you will get it. It will be given to you. That’s why you have the path, the guru. You will just get it. Shama jali hai tere liye, tujhko kuch nahi karna hai (The candle is lit for you, you don’t have to do anything). You don’t have to do anything just be hollow and empty from inside.

So come, let’s aspire for the highest and see where it takes us 🙂

Bathing in The Presence!!

Growing up in a large family full of relatives, I was called by different names by different folks – some of the names being that of the Divine. It is a different story how I got the name that I have now, but that we will keep it aside for some other time. One of my maternal grandmother used to call me “Vittal Babu”  since I was a kid all the way till she passed away. I have this very strong affinity towards the word “Vittalla” – a name for of Lord Vishnu – for reasons unknown to me. And needless to say I love the Vittala Bhajans!

This last week I was in Pune for an Apex program and had originally planned to go to Pandharpur given that it was just a days visit from Pune. However as things turned out, I changed plans and decided to fly back to Bangalore without making the trip to Pandharpur.

I reached Pune late night last wednesday and all along the city I could see banners with the images of Vittala.  Not knowing Marathi, I didn’t knew what was written on them. It was only the next day, after reading the papers, I figured out that the varkaris (pilgrims) were on their yearly pilgrimage to Pandharpur – I had first read about Varkaris couple of years back and somehow this wish has stayed that I should probably walk with them at least for a few kilometeres to feel the energy and the joy. The desire to visit (Pandharpur) was there and I then thought why not go to one of the temples in the city itself, but that did not materialize either.

Vittala

Vittala

Once the course was over, Sunil who was with me in the course, offered very graciously to take me to the Art of Living Ashram (Triveni Ashram) on the outskirts of Pune. The Ashram is situated on the banks of river Indrayani and is a beautiful place to go to. Rishi Nitya Pragyaji was in the Ashram taking an Advanced Course and we went into his room to meet up with him. And there on the cabinet was a very beautiful carved statue of none other than the Lord Vittalla!! Oh!! I can’t describe how happy I felt!

Yes, one can call it a coincidence…. but I know it is much more than a simple coincidence. This is how it has been ever since grace has dawned in the form of Master.  Truly as so many times I have experienced, desires get fulfilled even before they are expressed. So what If I couldn’t make it to the temple town this time round, the master made sure that I get the Darshan somehow!!

As Guruji says “God is not an object of the senses – God is the feeling of feelings, the presence of presence… The presence is a feeling – it has to be felt by the heart.”

For me, The Presence is irrefutable!! Just bathing in it!!

And it is pure Bliss!!!

Take a cloth, drench it in mud, dry it and then wash it…

Back from Hyderabad after a wonderful course at Satyam School of Leadership, there is some media coverage as well -clipping below. This course was very special for me due to one reason – the presence of Rajesh Sarma, my co-faculty at the course – He is the prime reason for me and Meena being in Art of Living today, a wonderful teacher and a gem of a person. This was the first course that I took along with Rajesh and had a chance to learn so many things from him. Also met with some wonderful teachers from Hyderabad – Dr Alka and Aruna. And not to mention an opportunity to catch up with some school classmates after almost 26 years! More later, this is a busy week for me…

India Today writes

“Take a cloth, drench it in mud, dry it and then wash it.” That’s how Kiran Kumar, a Satyam manager, describes his experience at a stress relief course that concluded in Hyderabad on Saturday.

The future is suddenly looking negotiable for around 50 employees, including some spouses, who took the Art of Living Foundation’s four- day pilot course to cope with the ongoing turmoil in the company.

Uncertainty, anxiety and despair are in the past for most of them. The results of the course are tangible – each talks of a huge sense of release and a burst of energy, at the very least.

The pilot was undertaken at the initiative of the Foundation, and lapped up by Ed Cohen, chief learning officer, Satyam Learning World (SLW), which conducts professional courses to lift employee morale and spirit.

After company chief Ramalinga Raju botched up, it has been a tough time for the 50,000- odd employees of Satyam. In its bid to help them cope with the resultant anxiety and stress, the SLW has been advising them self- help books, meditations and a special stress reduction programme called ‘ Restore’ which helped them open up.

“We have done a series of programmes to rebuild Satyam. The course helped us forge a sense of bonding among participants, apart from making us all feel enthused and energetic,” said Vikram Bector, vicepresident of SLW. Personally, Bector also experienced clarity of thought after the course.

“Now, I can choose my response, which is good at this time, because you don’t want to respond to anything in a hurry.” After the crisis, the company began to focus on stress reduction, fitness and health through their web broadcasts, said Cohen. “If we earlier broadcasted for four hours, we do it 24 hours now,” he said.

The art of living course was the first personal transformation course undertaken by the group. Given the “outstanding results,” Cohen plans to continue it for other staff. “We’ll consider running it on weekends so that the families of our associates can participate as well,” he said.

Employees from various departments, such as corporate services, administration, and human resources, participated in the three hour long sessions every morning for the past four days. They did yogasanas , pranayam , and the patented sudarshan kriya – a powerful breathing technique, which seemed to have worked wonders.

“After the crisis, we began putting in thrice the amount of work. My eyes would hurt when I woke up each day. But after the course, I can run a marathon,” said Kavitha Thonangi, head- global operations, SLW. “The kriya is amazing,” says Kumar. “My body felt so light, recharged and refreshed.” His wife, Harika, who took the course with him, said it helped the family to cope with the stress together.

“We emphasise practices that help them relax and give them perspective. It is important to show them that regardless of disturbances, they can stay centred,” said art of living instructor Raj Waghray.

Courtesy: Mail Today

Clipping from Mail Today:

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