In the presence of Sri Sri Ravishankar

About 13 years ago i heard of Art of Living and Sri Sri (as he is reverently addressed) while i was still at Bangalore. There was the initial skepticism but soon it turned into reverence and admiration. I got to see him and also hear him in the ‘Science and Spirituality’ meeting in IISc, Bangalore. But i never really got to see and meet him at one to one distance as i did here in Seoul. I even asked him a question after his lecture. Also got to do the half sAshTAng namaskar to him.

It was only his second visit to Seoul. I am indeed fortunate. The meeting was arranged on two days in YMCA, Gangnam. Nearly 200 people turned up. On the first day Sri Sri started with meditation and then gave a short lecture. Before starting meditation he made us do simple exercises like straightening the brows, nose and cheek. He says they are stress relievers. And indeed i felt very fresh after 2-3 minutes of that exercise. He never announced that it was meditation (just close your eyes and let go) but i soon found myself in a state where the number of thoughts were either zero or one. For a moment i even dozed.  And then he said take a deep breath and say OM. This was done 3 times. A little while later he said “now slowly open your eyes”. It was 23 minutes since we had started meditation. Its the first time in years that i experienced this state of mind. There was something nice about it. However, i must admit that when we started chanting OM the mind was disturbed and i opened my eyes. Nevertheless…i felt fresh and happy. He then gave the lecture followed by questions. I asked how i could make myself focus on one thing without the interference of other thoughts. He said something that was a non-answer. My friend asked how he could deal with negative feelings. To which he said “just embrace them”. Not satisfactory but what else can anyone answer. Thats the age old question. If pressed he would most likely say practice Sudarshan Kriya and you will benefit immensely. But we were still in awe of him and the meditation that we had just experienced.

The second day was the basic course which lasted 3 hours. He came an hour late. He took us through the simple exercise routine but this time in some more detail. And then the meditation (for 26 minutes). However, this day my mind was adamant and it was not any different from when i practice on my own. My guess is that the exercise was a bit too much for me. Even before he arrived we had done some exercises. He left soon after-he was scheduled to be in Japan and then in Israel!

Art of Living is yet to really take off in Seoul. Infact an year ago i had to do serious google-search for art of living in Seoul. I found a webpage and a center. With some difficulty i located it. It was the home of Sylvain (a french gentleman) who asked me in and we had a chat. He also offered me Tea! (a courtesy so common in India but rare in Korea-its more than 2 years for me here). But now i learn that they have an office.  The name card of the person who is the contact for the center says,

Hyeon Ju Oh, #205, 547-7, Banpo-Dong, Seocho-Gu,Seoul.  www.artofliving.or.kr

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3 Responses to “In the presence of Sri Sri Ravishankar”

  1. sdm Says:

    Dear friend
    your experience with Yoga is exciting!
    Being form a spiritual family, i spend a lot of time with Yogis, Tantra Gurus, Karm Kaand masters, Kapaliees and many more. I found some of them fraud too but some were excellent in there field.
    I found one intellectual and knowledge rich article on Yoga and Sri Sri. Hope it will enrich your wisdom about Yoga.

    http://agyaatdarshan.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/rememberance-or-unlearning/

  2. kartikasays Says:

    I have never met him personally, but a number of my friends are followers or do his breathing techniques and meditation. I studied with his teacher, Maharish Mahesh Yogi for many years. He is very respected throughout the world and it is wonderful you met him in Seoul. 🙂 Kartika

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