Ever thought of being spiritual early in life? That’s for old people, right? So were our thoughts when we were made to compulsorily attend a session with Art of Living. Who cares about spirituality at this age? I can proudly say, that I was wrong. We are inherently spiritual, and that realization was just the starting point of our journey with the Art of Living team and their two and a half-day full-time happiness program.
First impressions on visiting Triveni Ashram was ephemeral, we could feel the fresh countryside winds washing our fatigue away. After checking in our dorms and visiting the food court for some tasty Poha we went for our first session. We were immediately bowled over by the amazing personalities of the dynamic duo of Srividya and Avinash. They won us over with their funny anecdotes and words of wisdom using relevant and recent examples. Now that’s what you call Edutainment! Spirituality made capsule sized and sugar-coated so that it becomes easily palatable.
Our first exercise was to meet new people and say to each other “I Belong to You”. For those of us who were homesick, it was a welcome relief to be accepted without any judgement. One of my favourite activities was to play the game 'Fire in the Mountain!' As soon as Avinash said those words we ran around the hall shouting “RUN RUN RUN!” and then formed groups with people whom we didn’t know before. We found familial bonds with our team and over the course of the next two days we worked together to achieve our goals.
On our first day, we experienced the might of Pranayama and Meditation catalyzed by the Su Darshan Kriya. All of us were mesmerized by the induced calm and focus that we achieved by just controlling our breathing techniques. It was so powerful that we cannot describe the sensation in words. All we can say is that the feeling was amazing and we made the most of it.
Our day ended with Avinash recalling his experiences about helping conflicted zones in settling their disputes and helping socially- outcast people with their problems.
The next day we kick-started with some amazing yoga and dance sessions with Srividya leading the choreography. It truly was an amazing way to pump up our blood to do more yoga and exercises. We learned the Surya Namaskar and how to incorporate in daily life. We also learned 5 mantras for a happy stress-free life. They are:
- Live in the present moment
- Do not find intentions behind other people’s mistakes
- Positive and Negatives are complementary to each other
- Accept things and situations as they are
- Do not be a football of other people’s opinions
We promised to apply them in real life and to find situations where we could do so, we made short sketches to showcase the scenarios where we could do so.
Post lunch we were assigned tasks so that we could contribute to the Ashram which gave us so much. The favourite task was visiting the Gaushala! The cows were so amazing and the Calfs were so cute! It was so much fun cuddling them!
In the evening we again did the Su Darshan Kriya and later on, we did a Satsang. The Art of Living completely redefined what is meant by Satsang. The new definition of Satsang is –
we sit and together we sing. Everyone participated in the activity and had a gala time. We were so energized after the sessions that sleep refused to oblige us even very late in the night.
As the third day rolled on it dawned on us that our journey together was nearing its end. There was so much to experience and so little time left that it broke our hearts to part ways. We learned so much in these two and a half days that we don’t think we could have learned in a classroom setting.
One activity that touched our hearts was writing compliments about others on a paper plate. I could not imagine that people could think so good about me. As the old adage goes, what goes around, comes around. Sharing love is the best way to receive love.
Our final session was connecting with the divine. We found the divinity hidden among us and accepted their presence into our soul. It was such an enriching experience that it left us spellbound. Finally, we danced with our eyes closed. We found that you don’t need your eyes to be open to see the joy within you. All it takes is a bit of persuasion to explore the unknown.
We finally bid farewell to the ashram in the evening and we hope to carry forward these teachings and implement them in our daily lives. The bonds that we formed during those two and a half days will be cherished forever and we swear to stay by each other’s side through thick and thin for the next two years.
Here’s a shout out to the Triveni Ashram Team and Srividya and Avinash! Thanks for all your love and hospitality!
SCMHRD Batch 2019-2021