It is both. We do provide a range of training courses as well as engage in small and large-scale charitable ventures. In fact, these apparently diverse activities are closely linked: income from paid courses goes to humanitarian activities to achieve our basic goals of a stress-free society and bringing people from diverse backgrounds together in voluntary activity and meditation.
There is another connection between service activities and personal development courses. Many of those who graduate from our courses take up voluntary work of various kinds, seeing that to realize one’s full potential we need to take care of our society, our environment. For graduates of Part 1 and Part 2 programs, we have a special program called DSN, the goal of which is to make the individual stronger; thus able to take more responsibility – at work, in the family and in the society. Our youth programs - for children, teens and students/young professionals, encourage the young to engage in voluntary activities.
The Universal Declaration of Human Values drawn up by the founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar includes the ‘right to lead a stress-free life’ - regardless of whether the stress is induced by a natural disaster, or by a difficult job, or by family situations. The stress-releasing techniques learnt in Art of Living programs are powerful enough to deal with the trauma involved in extreme situations of natural disasters, so definitely they can handle the everyday challenges of work and relationships!
Sometimes stress results from a natural disaster, sometimes it is man-made, sometimes it is poverty-related, and sometimes even wealthy and successful people experience stress – but in every case, the Art of Living offers support.