The Art of Living Foundation’s West Coast headquarters here was filled with activity April 19-21 as its founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, presented a three-evening series on “Secrets of Meditation.”
The international nonprofit Art of Living educational and humanitarian organization is active in 152 countries on six continents.
Seema Kalra, director of public relations, said nearly 1,000 devotees participated in the meditation sessions with Shankar, which began with bhajan recitals and a chorus of “Om Namah Shivaya” and “Radhe Govinda Bolo.”
AOL’s Austin Meyers said the event was being Web cast live and geared the audience’s attention to video clips of the immense compassionate projects undertaken by the organization in disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami of 2006 and the suicides of Vidarbha farmers in India.
It also showed testimonials of people who have benefited from Shankar’s “Sudarshan Kriya.”
Shankar said that meditation is “a happening”; it is effortless and is the key to bliss. With the tools provided by “pranayams” and various other methods like “Tai chi,” we learn to shut the inner chattering of the mind and make all the five senses meditative.
In a pre-session talk, Shankar told India-West that it is not the case of the rich becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer. Poor people, he said, have habits and addictions that restrict them from becoming rich.
In regard to the difference between swamis and regular people, Shankar explained that swamis do not need anything for themselves. They have dedicated themselves for the divine and their real purpose is of sharing and serving. According to him, all gurus are united, but have their own styles of advocating their teachings.
In the question and answer session with the devotees, Shankar further clarified that love and ego do not co-exist. They have different roles to play, and we need to know when to let go of our egos.
He elucidated the various types of “samadhi,” and said the joy in a moment of samadhi is equal to a million years of rest.