Monday, August 30, 2010

Bidisha Sen, Kolkota, India

Software Consultant, Art of Living Teacher, Mom

I was born in Kolkata and grew up in the city. I completed engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur one of the premier engineering schools in India. It was when I was a second year student in IIT that I did the Art of Living course. This was 12 years ago. Since then life has been an amazing journey. I live in Kolkata now with my husband and children where I work as an analyst. I work, teach Art of Living courses, play with my kids and enjoy each and every moment of what I do.

My Introduction to Art of Living at IIT Kharagpur

When I was in my second year in IIT, I did the Art of Living course, the first one to be organised in IIT Kharagpur. I had no inclination towards spirituality or service back then, but the lady teaching the course was the most patient, loving and inspiring person I had ever met. The course left a lingering feeling in me, as if there was a part of life I had not yet explored, as if what I had been living was just a shadow of the full possibility that life could be. When I first meditated in my advanced course (Art of Silence Course), I knew for a fact that this was true. This was an experience more powerful than anything else in life. How come no one had taught me this before?

I went on to meet many wonderful people, before I met His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. I was touched by the naturalness, the sensitivity, the dedication and love in these people. I young analytical, intellectually oriented and somewhat skeptical in my mind. Despite this, the attitude of my Art of Living teachers touched my heart. Today, I teach Art of Living courses and I am proud to say that the batch of IIT students who did the course with me are all teachers or volunteers for the organisation in some part of the world.

Spreading a smile on every face

After I met Guruji, my life took a complete turn. Till then, I was completely self centered. My interests were just around personal achievement and comfort. Then I met this Man, who would always put others needs before anything else. To whom, my smile, my happiness meant more than anything I could ever offer to the organisation, even after I became a teacher. A Man who would spend every waking moment in service, spreading a smile in every face. One who could look beyond my weaknesses and see a potential that I myself had never bothered to see.

I work as a consultant with a software firm in the US. I get many fold joy and satisfaction by sharing the joy I found myself than the dollars I earn as a software consultant. Today I conduct Art of Living workshops for colleges, university students and corporate organisations. At the end of the program when my students share the transformation they experienced and the freedom and the gratitude, I know it was not me who could ever make that difference in people's lives, if not for this one person who recognized this possibility. Most of my colleagues in the Art of Living family have the same miraculous story to share - we share a magic that is very difficult to express. This, in all probabilities, is a very feeble attempt to share something which is the most subtle and most precious experience that life could ever bring.

Benefits of Art of Living Course

On the tangible side, with my meditation and practice, I experienced immense benefits. I used to be dependent on a lot of medicines in my youth, slowly I no longer needed them and my health improved. My relationship with my husband and my friends and colleagues improved. I was able to manage my work and family effectively and also manage time for service activities with the Art of Living. Many friends who would struggle to just balance a job and family would wonder how I put in so much more in the same 24 hours. I started taking a lot of responsibility both in the home front and work. Previously I would crib and complain when overwhelmed with work, but now I look at every moment as an opportunity and a challenge. Every moment has truly become a celebration.

Spirit of Service

I was never ever into service. I still wonder how Guruji managed to instill in me the spirit of service! Since childhood I have stayed away from any kind of service projects, only looking for personal benefit in anything I did. Since the time I have been with Art of Living I have known how to work and give unconditionally. I have been a part of numerous service projects, working to provide free education in tribal schools in some of the most underdeveloped parts of the country, environmental initiatives such as mega tree plantation drives, drug and alcohol rehabilitation and awareness about the same, working in villages for our 5H and Youth Leadership Training Program. I firmly believe if I can be instrumental in contributing in many ways to the lives of others - each and every human being has that potential, but it takes someone like His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar to unleash it!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderfully expressed Bidisha.. I just stumbled upon this here !


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