Thursday, September 23, 2010

Adria Estribou - Fundraiser, Washington DC

I’m currently working as Development Officer for The Art of Living Health and Education Trust, focusing on Sri Sri University (which opens next summer!) Before I moved to Washington, DC, I was living in Hawaii, working as Executive Director of a grantmaking nonprofit. I have a Masters in International Conflict Management from Johns Hopkins SAIS and a BA from Smith College in Religion.

Go ahead, twist my arm 

I was very resistant to taking the Art of Living Course – a friend of mine was so inspired after meeting Sri Sri that he convinced me to take the course. I’m so grateful now to that person. The effects of the course for me were immediate. At that point, I had already been meditating for 15 years, so I was surprised what a profound difference the course made in my emotional well-being. I was so surprised that such a practical tool existed to manage the emotions and stress, and no one had ever told me about it. I thought: Why isn’t everyone learning this in school? I’ve learned a lot of things throughout the course of my education, but nothing as valuable as this. As I continued to do the Sudarshan Kriya breathing at home, I noticed the cumulative effects growing stronger over time.  

Transformation Others Notice  

A few years later I took the Art of Silence Course with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. It was such a blissful experience for me. When I returned to work the next week, I must have been literally glowing because people at work who had never expressed any interest in meditation or spirituality asked me where I had been. They wanted the same experience, and insisted that I start teaching meditation at work! My journey to become an Art of Living teacher started that summer. I can think of nothing more valuable or more rewarding to do with my time then teach others how to use these tools to manage stress and emotions.  

Time with the Founder  

This year, I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Washington, DC at the same time as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s tour stop here. Two things made an impression on me – first, Sri Sri took such utter care of each person, treating each one with respect and love, compassion, whatever was needed. It was obvious that he is living his teachings, those taught in the Art of Living Course. I also watched those teachings come alive in others during his stay. We all became better versions of ourselves – more loving, happier, more kind, more generous. Despite having more responsibilities and things to do during those days, we took care of each other and each person who came to see Sri Sri. Sri Sri’s influence on people around him could be clearly seen. I am stronger, happier, more loving, more giving, more centered and more peaceful because of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and the Art of Living Course. Despite the inevitable challenges life places before me, I have so much more joy and delight in living.

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