Saturday, August 21, 2010

Resha Patel Life Story!

Hello world!

Personal: As I look back over the past 12 years, I see a road that has been very fulfilling and full of growth. I did the Art of Living course at the age of 17 years (June 1998). It was at my elder sister’s coaxing. The course was happening at home, and my family felt the meditation techniques would help me in my studies, as I was entering the crucial 12th standard, a year full of trepidation for most students.

I was a typical, conscientious student: a person wrecked with exam fever since my school days - I would weep before every paper, even though I really studied hard. As I started regular practice of the Sudarshan kriya, I felt more confident and was better able to study and grasp concepts. The results were so extraordinary that I began going for leisurely evening walks through my exams, while my friends watched, aghast!

Art of Living Experience: Fast forward to a few years later: I was a trainee journalist in Mumbai working towards that elusive front-page story with my by-line in bold. The pressure to perform was tremendous – a story at any cost, often exercising little or no scruples. As I watched my friends succumb to caffeine addiction, smoking through the day, etc. – I was able to hold my own and withstand these addictions. It was not that I avoided the pressure because it was there. Yet, I was able to be strong and feel complete - I wholly attribute this to my daily practice of Sudarshan Kriya.
I’m now married and volunteer full-time at the Art of Living International Center in Bangalore. This is my life’s honor and pride. I am simply amazed at the transformation that Sri Sri has brought about in this world. I find writing about the activities about the Art of Living so very fulfilling – I constantly learn about the trauma relief work in Sri Lanka; our work of integrating Naxalites into mainstream; preventing farmer suicides in Vidarbha; helping widows in post-war Iraq; empowering youth in Haiti to rebuild the earthquake-torn country; bringing people from different communities together; reviving ethics in busines; the list goes on and on....

Being involved with Art of Living has made me more aware of world affairs and the richness and diversity that exists in the world. I recently completed an Art of Living program which brought together people from Iran, Taiwan, China, Korea, Russia, Australia, Africa, Bangladesh and different parts of India.  Is it possible for people from so many diverse backgrounds to be connected? Without a doubt!

Some profound questions have emerged during my spiritual journey. What is happening inside of me? Do I feel a sense of connection with the people of the world? If someone is affected by war somewhere, what can I do to help? This bond is not because of exposure to movies or cuisines or education or books. I attribute this to the teachings of my Master, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar whose call to revive human values and create a stress-free, violence-free world is reverberating across the the globe. His vision is reflected on the faces and actions of volunteers across the world and remains my inspiration.

I gain my strength through sadhana (practices) taught through the Art of Living courses that Sri Sri has designed. My peace is from Sri Sri’s knowledge and practical wisdom for daily wisdom. 

I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of this vision and to be on this path of knowledge, service and love. There is so much joy, celebration and inspiration in my life. It is my desire to see every individual benefit from this wisdom and breathing techniques and to have inner peace that is expressed in dynamic action for the good of people.

Just as a lit candle lights other candles, I truly believe that each of us has the potential to do something big and beautiful for this world.

I’m sure you’ve heard John Lennon’s Imagine: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…I hope someday you will join us, and the world will live as one. Couldn't be more apt!

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