A Fall That Became A Blessing

It all started with a fall.

Sunita, carrying her four month new daughter Drishya, was walking down the moss filled stony path leading to the road when she suddenly slipped. She fell with the little girl in her hand, and both injured their head-a bit severely. Right next to the place of their fall were few people who saw it. They rushed to the mother and daughter and after the essential first aid they took them to the nearest doctor- 13kms away. “Ridiculous!” said one of the men, “we need a hospital here, at least a primary medical center, it can save many lives.” The other men agreed. They were all ‘yuvacharyas’ of the YLTP.

In the beginning of 2012, a Primary Health Center was set up in Sunita and Drishya’s Kannavam, a tribal area in the district of Kannoor, Kerala. It was a collaborated initiative of YLTP Kerala and Kannoor Medical College, and the building was given to them by the Tribal Department. The health center lies in the center of Kannavam, in the midst of lush green. A misty water fall adds to the panorama. Filled with coconut, rubber, jackfruit and mango trees, this tropical tribal village is beautiful, a glimpse of why it is called ‘God’s own country.’ I was sure going to have an enriching experience.

The place was buzzing with people. Women with their children, men with their mothers, kids from a nearby tribal school in their blue uniforms, young, old and the ones in the middle—all present, to get themselves checked. Doctors and medical students scurrying with boxes of medicine, yuvacharyas passing chairs, water and tea and giving tokens with numbers for check up—the place looked nothing like a primary medical center, it looked more like a fair of some sort.

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Thousands of Argentines turn up to hear Indian guru

Cordoba (Argentina), Sep 6 (IANS): Over 16,000 people braved a chilly and rainy Wednesday in this South American nation to listen to Indian spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on the benefits of his teachings and breathing exercises to lead a stress-free life.

“We live in times of uncertainty with economic slowdown, political instability and stress taking a toll of us. We need to find a way out to free from this (stress) and cope with the pressure of competition to lead a peaceful life,” the Art of Living (AoL) founder said at Siglo 21 University in this provincial city, about 700 km north-west of Buenos Aires.

Hours before Ravi Shankar flew into the picturesque city, located in the foothills of the Sierras Chicas on the Suquia river, people from all walks of life, especially students, flocked to the campus in raincoats and pullovers to know about his value-based education with techniques that would help them to overcome stress.

“I want to give the best of the East to the West and vice-versa. The world has shrunk into a village, thanks to globalisation. We need to integrate wisdom as well. It is up to you to decide what you what you need in life beyond material existence,” Ravi Shankar said in his address in the open area that had a carnival-like atmosphere.

Demystifying Indian philosophy and its rich spiritual and cultural heritage, the guru told the gathering that there was life beyond material existence and everyone had right live happily discharging one’s duties and responsibilities.

“Though in the beginning it was difficult for people here to understand the system due to some prejudice, they are able to accept it now as they are seeing its benefits like peace and happiness. As more people experience the system, there is more openness to embrace it,” Ravi Shankar said in his 30-minute lecture, which was simultaneously translated into Spanish by one of his followers.

Visiting the pre-dominantly Catholic country’s second largest city for the first time, the founder lauded AoL teachers for having trained about 10,000 people during the last five years and inspiring many more as a role model to follow them.

“More and more people will get attracted to the system irrespective of religion, creed and nationality when they see the big change in your life, which is free from stress, violence, hatred, prejudice and discrimination,” Ravi Shankar asserted.

The hour-long programme concluded with a guided meditation and musical programme that had devotional songs in Hindi and Spanish.

The large audience also heard in rapt attention when hundreds of AoL followers rendered the Indian national anthem “Jana Gana Mana…” in unison through voice and musical instruments.

To mark the occasion, the university honoured Ravi Shankar with a doctorate degree that was presented by Cordoba governor Jose Manuel de la Sota in the presence of its rector, faculty and hundreds of students.

The 17-year-old largest private university in Argentina has about 30,000 students across the country and pioneered virtual education system through internet.

Headquartered in India’s tech hub Bangalore, the three-decades-old non-profit AOL works for the cause of humanity and offers yoga courses for stress management and welfare measures for the common good of people across the globe.

Spread across 151 countries the world over, it works for world peace with a universal society free from stress and violence.

Source: Yahoo News!

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar spreads the message of universal peace through meditation

Indian spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar arrived in Argentina late Tuesday to spread the message of universal peace and educate people on giving up violence to lead a better life. About 100,000 people in 300 cities across the world, including over 20,000 in this picturesque city, will pray and mediate Sep 9 for universal peace, a spokesman for him told IANS here Wednesday. The founder of Art of Living Foundation will also take part in a number of programmes including yoga courses, breathing techniques, experimental exercises and discourses on improving the quality of life.

The mega event will be guided by Ravi Shankar. The main purpose of the event is to spread the benefits of positive vibrations of meditation,” the organizer said. In Argentina, the event will be held at the crossroads of Pampa and Figuero Alcort in downtown, with youngsters, grown-ups and children in hundreds joining the devout members of Art of Living.

Headquartered in India’s tech hub Bangalore, the three-decades-old non-profit organization offers yoga courses for stress management and welfare measures for the common good of people. It has units in 151 countries. Our programmes help millions to overcome stress, depression and violent tendencies, the member said. The foundation also works on diverse humanitarian projects, including conflict resolution, relief in areas of natural disaster, sustainable development projects, empowerment of women and rehabilitation of people deprived of liberty.

Source: Health India

How anger hurts you

You may remind yourself a hundred times that you shouldn’t get angry, but when the emotion comes, you are unable to control it. It comes like a thunderstorm. Emotions are much more powerful than your thoughts. What can you do when anger rises in you?

Anger is a distortion of your true nature and it doesn’t allow the self to shine forth fully. The structure of human consciousness or the mind is very similar to that of an atom. The positively charged protons and neutrons are in the center of the atom while the negatively charged particles are only on the circumference. Similarly, even in human consciousness, mind and life, all the negativities and vices are only in the periphery. Your true nature is peace and love.

Showing anger itself is not wrong, but being unaware of your anger only hurts you. Sometimes you can show anger purposefully. For example, a mother gets angry at her children and can act tough or shout at them if they put themselves in danger. There are situations that warrant showing anger, but when you get angry, have you observed what happens to you? You are shaken completely. Look at the consequences of getting angry. Are you happy with the decisions you have made or the words you have spoken in a state of anger? No, because you lose your total awareness. But if you are completely aware and are acting angry, that is fine.

Being in the Present Moment

All anger is about something which has already happened. Is it of any use getting angry about something which you cannot alter? The mind always vacillates between the past and the future. When the mind is in the past, it’s angry about something that has already happened; but anger is meaningless as we can’t alter the past. And when the mind is in the future, it’s anxious about something that may or may not happen. When the mind is in the present moment, anxiousness and anger appear so meaningless.

Spiritual practices help you maintain your centeredness and not be shaken by small events. This is where a little knowledge about yourself, your mind, your consciousness and the root of distortion in our nature helps. It is when you are exhausted and stressed that you lose your nature and get angry. Every individual is bestowed with all the virtues in the world. They simply get covered-up by lack of understanding and stress. What is needed is just to uncover the virtues that are already there.

The Secret of the Breath

Breathing techniques and meditation are very effective in calming the mind. Learning something about our breath is very important. Our breath has a great lesson to teach us, which we have forgotten. For every rhythm in the mind, there is a corresponding rhythm in the breath and for every rhythm in the breath there is a corresponding emotion. So, when you cannot handle your mind directly, you can handle it through breath. Meditation is letting go of anger from the past and the events of the past. Meditation is accepting this moment and living every moment totally with depth. Often anger comes because you do not accept the present moment. Anger comes when one seeks too much of perfection. When you are joyful, you don’t look for perfection. If you are always looking for perfection then you are not at the source of joy.

The world appears imperfect on the surface but, underneath, all is perfect. Perfection hides; imperfection shows off. The wise will not remain merely on the surface but will probe into the depth. Things are not blurred; your vision is blurred. Infinite actions prevail in the wholeness of consciousness, and yet the consciousness remains perfect, untouched. Realise this now and be natural.

Click Here to watch the Science of Breath video!

Source: Huffingtonpost

Biochemistry of Sudarshan Kriya

“If we reduce the number of oxygen radicals, we improve the antioxidant status in our body and live longer.” – Manoj Jain

Ever wondered what causes us to age, resulting in death of our body cells over the years, or develop heart disease leading to plaque in the artery, or suffer from cancer causing cells to mutate and grow erratically? The answer may be simpler than we think.

Some researchers say the common denominator in all these conditions is the antioxidant status — the level of a chemical process that takes place in our cells and genes. Like we measure our cholesterol level, researchers argue, we can measure our antioxidant status and determine how vulnerable we are to diseases.

In a pilot study, biochemists at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) studied the effect of Sudarshan Kriya on the antioxidant status of individuals. Sudarshan Kriya is a well known rhythmic breathing technique promoted by The Art of Living workshops. It is preceded by Ujjayi Pranayam or long and deep breaths with constriction at the base of throat and Bhastrika or fast and forceful breaths through the nose along with arm movements.

Before we talk about their findings, let’s step back into our biochemistry class and understand what antioxidant status means. According to the free-radical theory, the cells in our body are being constantly damaged and destroyed by oxygen radicals, similar to what dirt and rust do to our cars. Oxygen radicals are different from oxygen gas in that they are molecules that are highly charged and detrimental byproducts of cell reactions.

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Meditation for Parenting Toddlers: Unfolding Secrets

I cannot stop admiring her as she takes baby steps in an effort to walk independently. It seems that in no time, she has turned 16 months old. My beautiful yet adventurous journey of parenting has allowed me to capture these moments of a lifetime. At the same time, with this new chapter, my life had become a jigsaw puzzle. Meditation helped me fit all the pieces together – Tara, mother of a toddler.

Life certainly changes – your little one takes center stage and all the once- important things gravitate towards the sideline. Managing everything else, yet taking care of your baby, requires you to be alert and happy at all times.

As your baby grows into a toddler, you want to embrace every moment and enjoy this amazing journey of parenting. Meditation helps you to do exactly that.

It helps you give your best as you raise your little angel. Meditation also helps you to have confidence in yourself as you take on the role of a parent, and betters your decision-making skills. This beautiful technique allows you to savor each precious moment with your child. The quality of your enjoyment increases by leaps and bounds.

Keep an effective watch

This is the time your baby slowly blossoms into a bundle of curiosity with an enquiring mind, their sense of exploration slowly developing. You might find them touching or playing with practically everything that fits into their little palm. As a parent, it is important to keep an eye on them all the time.

Meditation improves awareness and alertness, making it much easier to keep a watch over your baby and at the same time, engage in other work effectively.

Helpful tip – If your baby is playing or trying to chew something not good for them, rather than snatching it away, quickly replace it with something more interesting or safe.

Learn new ways to feed your toddler

One of the biggest challenges that parents face is making the baby eat. Besides running all over the place, making elephant-shaped pancakes or smiley sandwitches, you find yourself becoming the ultimate story-teller and your baby’s favorite singer. All the creativity you never knew existed is forced to come out! However, sometimes it can get tiring and stressful for the parent.

Meditation calms you down and also increases your patience level, so you are less likely to get agitated at your little one.

Helpful tip – Make your child do some physical exercise before making them eat. For example, take them for a little walk, or make them play on the swing, or run around a little. This way, they would get a little tired and would be more likely to sit in one place and eat (less work for you too!)

Communicate through the heart

Between the age of one and two-and-a-half years is the time when toddlers make their first effort to communicate through words. But most often, it is hard to understand what they wish to say. So, you need to continue being sensitive in keeping your communication more at the heart level.

Meditation increases this sensitivity and helps you bond with your child better.

Helpful tip – Sometimes, while communicating with your little one, get down to their level by kneeling down or sitting next to them. Also, while talking to them, look into their eyes because they love to get undivided attention from you, even if it is only for a minute or two.

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The Ultimate Meditator’s Menu

Once upon a time in India, there lived three friends – Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. They were very close to each other, but very different in nature.

Tamas was the laziest of the three. He would keep lying around all day, dull and lethargic, and not do any work. But he was very active in eating – he would gorge on all sorts of junk food and meat.

Rajas, on the contrary, was the fidgety kind. He would always be restless with countless thoughts on his mind and numerous tasks at hand to be done. In food, he was extremely fond of hot and spicy preparations, and sweets made with excess sugar.

The wisest among them was Sattva. He was extremely careful of his eating habits and would eat only as much as was needed by his body at a time. Freshly-cooked green vegetables and grains, fruits and juices comprised his primary diet. As such, he remained healthy, light and energetic throughout the day (unlike his dear friend Tamas), and also displayed clear and logical thinking.

Which of the three personalities do you like and who would you like to be? The kind and amount of food you eat has a large influence on your mind, your personality, and even your meditation.

Have you ever had one of those days when you sit to meditate but you either feel sleepy or are bombarded by nothing less than two zillion thoughts? And you find yourself wondering what did I do? Maybe not always, but quite often what you eat could be one of the reasons why you find it difficult to meditate. And all of us want a deeper meditation, isn’t it?

So choose your food wisely and clear the way for a blissful meditation experience.

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