Art of Living

From August 3 – 5, my family and I participated in Art of Living’s Happiness Program in India. This program taught me many things, a few of which I would like to share with you.

First of all,  I learned the seven levels of the human body which are:

  1. Material Body
  2. Breath
  3. Mind
  4. Intellect
  5. Memory
  6. Ego
  7. Soul

Something I found very fascinating was that yoga works on the first three levels: Material Body, Breath and Mind even though people say that yoga plays an effect on the whole body.

The next thing I found very interesting was 5 secrets of life. These are the 5 secrets of life:

  • Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, “Opposite values are complimentary to each other.” For example, you wouldn’t know the importance of good if you didn’t know what bad was and vice versa. We can represent this with a thumbs up and a thumbs down.

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  • “Accept the people and situations as they are. Then make intelligent decisions,” says Sri Sri. For instance, without depending on other’s judgments, we can be more comfortable with them. To remember this you put 2 fingers in a gun like form. This represents pointing at someone and judging them.

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  • For the third secret, Sri Sri says,  “Don’t be the football of others’ opinions.” It means that you should not live your life trying to impress others, satisfy yourself with who you truly are instead. We represent this with three fingers, the way you hold a football.

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  • Putting up four fingers with the fourth finger separate from the others represents Sri Sri’s words, “Don’t see the intentions behind other’s mistakes. If you see intentions then you will be in tension.” One example is to forgive others for their mistakes, as you do yourself when you make a mistake.

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  • “Live in the present moment as, present moment is inevitable, ” said Sri Sri. This is also known as peace of mind. We remember this with 5 fingers which represents peace.

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In addition, I learned the significance of the word Om. Om is created with three sounds.  Each of these creates vibrations. The three sounds are Aa, Oo and Mm. Aa creates vibrations in the stomach area. Aa comes from Lord Brahma who was the creator. Oo creates vibrations in the chest. Oo comes from Lord Vishnu who was the maintainer. Mm creates vibrations in the head. Mm comes from Lord Shiva who was the transformer. When chanting Om, you should say AaOo for 2/3 of your breath and Mm for 1/3 of your breath. There are two applications for Om: Brings you Career Options and Leadership Qualities. The scientists just proved what saints have proved many years before; they found that the consistency of Om is the same as the Earth on its axis. Ravi Shankar says,”Where logic ends, fate starts.”

I learned many things about Meditation. The meaning of Meditation is deconstruction, but the result is concentration. The three rules of meditation are:

  1. I am doing nothing
  2. I am nothing
  3. I want nothing

I also learned about the three categories of food:

  1. Thamus Food includes non veg, stale food, onions, garlic and frozen food. This food gives your body the ability to rest. But, if you consume too much then you can hurt yourself and get into depression.
  2. Rajus Food includes oily and sugary food. This food gives your body the ability to move. If too much is consumed, the consequence is violence to others.
  3. Satva Food is the best. This includes fresh food (vegetables) and creates good luck.

I truly believe the harms and benefits of these foods because I have witnessed it myself. Two years ago, I was competing in a Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts Championship called the Challenge of Champions, in New Jersey. In first part of the competition, I completed 4 rounds of grappling and won a 3rd place trophy. Before the second part of the competition, I had a 45 minute break. I was starving, so I went with my family to the food court to eat something. My dad kept on telling me to eat a salad (Satva Food), but I was in the mood for pizza (Thamus Food). Finally, my father gave up trying to convince me and I ate the pizza happily. When I started my second competition which was kickboxing, I had lost all my energy which I felt during my fight. In the end, I lost in the first round. So, this proves that these things actually do exist in reality.

Those are a few things I learned from Art of Living. For more information go to: http://www.artofliving.org/

I leave you with a quote, ““Faith is realizing that you always get what you need.” – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

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