It is not a religion, it is not a motivational lecture and it is not spiritual awakening. So what is the Art of Living?
I went to find out over their course held in Nairobi from 2nd to 5th August at the Planet House. The Art of Living Foundation was started in 1981 when a humble man wanted to achieve a simple dream of having a planet without stress. Creating and spreading happiness meant everything to him, he puts it wonderfully “unless we have a stress-free mind and a violence-free society, we cannot achieve world Peace.” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has now spread the message to across 152 countries after spending many years meditating and using the first language of the world- Sanskrit and the knowledge of Yoga and breathing to make the coursework. The work of the Art of Living tackles humanitarian projects, including conflict resolution, disaster relief, sustainable rural development, empowerment of women, prisoner rehabilitation, education for all, and environmental sustainability.
But it doesn’t mean that you have to be in conflict, depression, sickness, abused or challenged to be a participant. It is a powerful choice that opens up your mind and heart to the wonderful strength that you already possess inside you but don’t listen because of all the stress around you. As a personal experience, it will be the best gift I ever received because of the new way of thinking I have come to appreciate. I know the mystery still remains, what do they do and how does it really work? Yes it works and it will not promise a miracle because each one has different expectations. The class included a young boy heading off to University who wants to realize who he really is and be better prepared, a mother who had a beautiful life and really wanted to say thank you to those around her for being there, a powerful career minded woman who had many achievements to look back at and just take a moment to appreciate. Our teacher was Satyen Rajani who first did the course in December 2001 and became a teacher in 2010. One of his strongest messages was that “you will always have you past that you lived, you will always have a future that you are going to live in, but what about your now that you are living? Think about it.”
You don’t have to be rich or poor but just open to the possibilities of what your mind and body can make you achieve through “Art of Living”.
Experience for yourself, please see poster below: