Brazil, 12th Apr 2011
Brazil is learning to breathe better! It might sound absurd, but that was what over 5,000 Brazilians actually did during the ‘Breathe Brazil’ campaign of The Art of Living on April 12. People from all walks of life benefited from the meditation campaign across 10 major cities including Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Salvador, Brasília, Curitiba, Porto Alegre and Belo Horizonte. Yoga in open parks and beaches, guided meditations, pranayamas and group celebrations (satsangs) were the main highlights of the third edition of the campaign.
“It was amazing to see the participants share their experiences of The Art of Living workshop, especially the Sudarshan Kriya breathing technique,” says Ana Elizabete Teixeira, an Art of Living instructor while sharing her experience of teaching the techniques designed by renowned spiritual leader and humanitarian, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to the largest groups of Brazilians. “As the groups were large, the participants were able to go deeper during their meditation,” adds Ana, emphasizing the power of group energy. Agrees Alexandre Lopes, another Art of Living instructor. “It was so beautiful to see so many people coming together with one intention. This shows that sangha (unity of purpose) is really happening these days, and this can bring about far-reaching changes, not only in our immediate lives, but also in the environment and society.”
“The techniques made me feel really peaceful from the inside. If we can spread this inner peace to every corner, we will have a peaceful world,” says Jose, a first-timer to meditation.
Similar peace drives such as America Meditates have been held in other parts of America including New York, Montreal, Panamá, Argentina and Buenos Aires. Over 10,000 people across 20 cities in America simultaneously meditated in the America Meditates program on October 12, 2009. Some of the responses were, “Thank you for coming to my city and share this wonderful experience with us,” and “We need such events in my country. Please keep organizing them.”
Shares Rajshree Patel, Senior Faculty and Director of Training and Development for The Art of Living Foundation, “The root cause of violence is stress in the individual. By addressing and removing stress, there is peace in the individual, the environment and the society.” She led 3,000 people in a meditation near the White House in the ‘Take a Breath, DC’ program on June 20, 2009. The event was aimed at spreading the message of a stress-free and violence-free society for change and peace in any community.