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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Inner World of Silence and Truth to Outer World of Deceit and fraud!

I am back from the Ashram after a wonderful 4 days spent mostly in silence and lot of awareness of what is happening within my body-mind complex using the power of breath. It is interesting to observe this complex phenomena of mind-body complex with awareness.

After a point of time, as one starts observing the body with awareness, one gets to listen to the body and to all the small aches and pains…and then the mind.. one watches the hundreds and hundreds of thoughts coming in and going out in your mind and then your mind latches onto a thought that it finds fascinating and is out on a journey of its own, carrying you away into some fantasy land and then as long as one is with that thought, one begins to intently lead that life for that duration of time and then with a jolt, as if breaking the spell, the awarness comes back, taking you back to the breath and through the breath to the body and back to the mind. And then as this scene starts playing over and over again, un-noticeable in the begining and then slowly as the mist clears away, one gets to see, the whole drama from a spectators point of view.  

Slowly something magical starts happening, one starts re-establishing the connection with our own inner landscape. I am unable to put this in words, all I can say it is so refreshing and so rejenuvating….leaving one washed and cleansed from deep within. 

And then came back to the outer world of action and drama from an inner world of silence and observation where in a space of 4 days the whole corporate India has been thrown in disarray and disbelief by the actions and inactions of one organization! 

I will reserve my judgement till things become clearer and we know the extent of deceit and immoral behavior put on display by the so revered corporate leaders in this country! What a shame! What a disgrace! And then the race by other leaders to condemn and distance themselves from someone whom they used to hobnob with at every other media-do.

Srikumar Rao puts it across so nicely in his book “Are you ready to succeed?”

“The reality is that we have very few leaders in any of our major institutions. We don’t have them in education, or government or business or unions or not-for-profits. We have large number of people in positions of hierarchical authority. They wield great financial and social power, often unwisely. They can certainly impact your life for good or ill. But they are not leaders. They care not if you achieve your potential, and you matter a little to them except as a means of helping them achieve their objectives. They have neither overarching vision nor the intuitive knowledge of how this translates into the next step nor the manifest life force that wins dedicated converts to their vision. What they have is a small coterie of followers who have hitched their stars to them in a calculated bet that this is a route to personal advancement.”
It is probably imperative to revisit a riveting conversation that took place over 5000 years ago on a battlefiled between a prince torn admist his duties and his charioteer Lord Krishna and apply the teachings in of Shri Krishna in the context of the degenerative behavior seen on display. Some verses from Chapter 16 (all translations are from the book of Jack Hawley)
Look more closely at the degenerative behavior – not to dwell on negatives, but to guard against them.

Degenerate beings, because they have no sense of truth or right conduct (dharma) do not know what they should do  or should not do. There is no purity in them.

Without thinking of the consequences of their actions, they cause destruction and suffering. If left alone to their self- indulgence they would heedlessly destroy the world.

Stuffed with endless, insatiables desires, they are arrogant, vain, and prideful. They live in delusion and chase blindly  after evil (those things that lead to suffering).

They are blindly certain that gratifying their own lust is all is there to life.

They are bound on all sides by by scheming, greed and anger because, being hurtful themselves, they attract hurtful  people to themselves. They amass and hoard wealth for the sole purpose of indulging senses and whims. Grabbing for  riches governs their every thought and move.

They arrogantly proclaim “I wanted this or that and I got it! Tomorrow I will get more. These riches are mine and I will  spend my life making more and more. I  have destroyed this and that enemy and I will get rid of rest of them. I am indeed mighty. I am the ruler of my domain. I love having things of the world. I am successful, powerful and rich. Who  can compare to me? I will buy my way, making lavish contributions to the poor and the weak, and revel in my own  goodness” That is how far blindness and ignorance has eaten into their soul.

These degenerates, bewildered, trapped in their addiction to sense gratification, are stuck in the spiderweb of  delusion. They spiral downwards into the filthy painful hell of their own foul minds.

Stuffed until choking with pride and conceit, drunk with their own wealth, they pay mere lip service to Divinity. They make offerings to the deities only for name and fame, outward show and self-promotion.

The three main causes of this depravity are the so called three gates to hell: desire, greed and anger. Any one of  them in enough to bind you to this darkness, so abandon all three.

Jack writes,
Reading the Gita we come to a better understanding of life as an inner battle, a struggle for the mind, heart, body and spirit. And, make no mistake, it is a fight to the death. We learn that our real enemies are not outside, but within: our own desire, anger and greed. This is what makes it so hard. These archenemies have linked forces so powerfully that they are all but unbeatable. We’re losing. The Gita boldly declares that spirituality is the only winning solution. Turn inward, it directs us, and upward. Look no further than the True Self Within.
In the Satsang during the advanced course, I had the opportunity of writing out a question for Guruji to answer. I do not have the verbatim answer, but here is the essence of what he said “Sprituality is not against prosperity. What Spirituality is against is greed. Look at what happened at Satyam and with Madoff….This was because they did not follow Spirituality. If leaders do not have spiritual values, people will not have trust in them. Prosperity devoid of ethics and morality cannot be successful. What the Gita says is don’t be greedy. It is not against progress, you move, you progress, you prosper in life. Your needs will be taken care of…the world has enough for your needs but not for your greed…..We need to work towards bringing ethical and spiritual values in society at a faster pace. Only when human values come into play will frauds cease! 

How does one guard one’s against these degenrative tendencies? How does one not get carried away in the emotions of greed and desire to make more and more? How do we make sure that we are not acting on the impulse of the desires? 

The scriptures talk of several ways, the easiest of course, is the Sudarshan Kriya and practice of regular meditation and that is why it is important to take some time out for own selves, to understand who we are and where we are headed, so that we are not carried away, as I described in the first paragraph in the dust storms of thoughts. To start off on a personal journey head off to the nearest Art of Living course  To lead many, you need to be able to lead one! To start your team on a journey of authentic leadership, check out Apex Program.