Sunday, October 28, 2012

Debjani Mitra - Art of Living Experience

Art of Living Teacher

I am an Art of Living teacher – and a project and people manager in a leadership position in a BPO. Born and raised in India, I now live and work in the USA. I am going to tell you the story of my life in the Art of living.
From 7-12 August 2001, I did my Art of Living Part 1 course in Kolkata. I had gone there primarily to find a way out for my “stress induced” breathing disorder and irregular heart-beats. The doctor had said these had no physiological cause, and no sustainable remedy - for someone in her 20s. Saddled by the burden of countless pills that left a bitter taste in the mouth, sleepless nights and the fear of a debilitating and unexpected panic attack at any time and place – I walked into that room full of people – not knowing whether I would find an answer. After the first day’s session – I went up to the teacher – a charming personality with an angelic smile (Sarita Jaiswal, an Art of Living teacher in Kolkata), clad in pristine white – and explained my situation. She gave me the most genuine smile, held my hand and said “you have come to the right place”.
10 years down the line – I could not have agreed with her more.
Those 6 days were so deeply transformational that at the end of it – I had the distinct feeling that till 6th of August 2001 I had lived someone else’s life. Was that really me? I remember asking myself. Where was all this enthusiasm, all this clarity, and centeredness – all these years? How did I even survive without it ? How could I have carried so much garbage all these years? Stuck to what someone else said or did – letting others rule my life..catching on to all the negative emotions people hurled at me.. not really knowing the bliss and lightness that was the REAL me..
And before I knew it – I was walking the Path. The path of Sadhana, Seva, Satsang, and swadhyay (introspection)
My sadhana(practices)became a part of my daily routine just like brushing my teeth. My friend Probal – who was my friend, philosopher and guide on this path – told me - “Invest in yourself” – so I invested in Art of Living courses. And being a finance professional myself – I was quick to realize that the return on investment was more than I ever expected. Oh – did I mention that I came off my medicines for the breathing and heart problems within 3 months of my practices ? It just seemed like a by-product. The real treasure was what I uncovered within myself.
With each passing day I found myself effortlessly letting go of guilt, fear, anger, jealousy.. so much so that after a particular situation happened I would wonder – Oh ! I did not react in a way I would have till 6th August 2001.And at times even when the emotions would take over - I found myself coming out of them much sooner. In a nutshell I realized everything is changing. And that has been – the single most – all pervading – liberating and transforming, realization for me.
In time, by going to satsang regularly and connecting with people there, slowly and gradually the connection started getting extended to people in every walk of life - and that was very interesting !  
All of this made me get involved in more and more Seva (service ), being useful, being unconditionally available for whatever is the need of the moment. Soon when all these wondrous realizations about how I was changing happened, I found myself asking – now what? What do I do with this extra energy and enthusiasm ? It brought me back to a very old question I had – “what is the purpose of my life”. I found the answer – it was in being useful to others. To make others smile. I soon found myself volunteering for Art of Living seva projects – teaching health and hygiene in slums, cleaning up local parks, campaigning for tree plantations.. but the most important service – I realized – was to share this beautiful and life transforming knowledge – that the Sudarshan Kriya (SKY). brings. Hence I went on to pursue the teachers training course of Art of Living and became a teacher in 2009. Life has become even more exciting ever since – as every time I sit on the teacher’s chair and repeat the knowledge for the participants, I become more strongly established in it too. And to see the participants open up and smile from within – is the most fulfilling gift that I have in my life.
Grace and Gratitude :
 I feel grateful for everything – the good the bad and the ugly in my life. For every situation gives me an opportunity to grow. I feel grateful for whatever situations had led me to the point of despair till 6th August 2001 – and which had prompted me to go for this course – without any knowledge whatsoever of how it could change my life. I still wonder how it all happened. Just as much as I wonder how this “connection” works.. the connection which answers my questions every day – when I open any random page of the book “Celebrating Silence”  and a page opens that is so crazily apt to the situation and state of mind I am in at that point – and immediately gives me a clue on how to get a handle on myself. The connection that if not the “Celebrating Silence” – some friend would come up and give me the knowledge that would be immediately uplifting – the first message in my inbox would be talking to me about what I am going through. This “connection” has never failed me – I have always been in its coverage the last 10 years.
Something that makes me realize – that it is really the grace, that brought me to this path – and grace – that takes me through every situation, good or bad, every day of my life.
And I am grateful for all those wonderful friends I have made on this path – and the amazing people I have met who have become my role models and have been there for me when I needed them- Those who have dedicated their lives for service, those who have amazing wit and amazing knowledge, amazing talents... and amazing connection.
And saving the best for the last – I am grateful to have met in this life a living Master - His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar – beloved Guruji. He is a world figure, yet, has always been available for me whenever I needed Him. How – is another story. That cannot be explained in words.
I had no idea what having a master, a Guru, a guide – meant. I never knew a Master could say “I am a garbage collector. Give me all your garbage, and be free” All I can say is – that with His presence in my life – joy has welled up without any reason, sorrow has diminished, talents have flourished, and abundance has increased. That – is the sign of a True Master – a “satguru”.
In a nutshell, Guruji and the Sudarshan Kriya have made me realize that I am as infinite, as limitless as the sky!
Jai GuruDev!


  1. very well written, and very touching. hope more people find themselves, and live their lives well like you do.

  2. Amazing experience.

  3. wow a true inspiring post and a great learning...sadhana seva and satsang with his grace life is beautiful and has many more areas to be explored.Used to think somewhat same about life as you mentioned before i did the course and after meeting our beloved Gurudev and with the knowlege he shares everythings changed for good.doing yoga and kriya regularly now ..!

  4. It is an amazing experience, it should be in top 10 Experience of Art of Living Family
    I really loved it

  5. Lovely article! Also, I just came across this beautiful video on Sudarshan Kriya, thought of sharing. Here is the link:


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