Bad Antogast, Germany
Today I got the information from India, 5,000 prisoners completed the course. The newspaper carried a full page article about it; people's experiences.
Art of Living is so heterogeneous. Everyone is so different, at the same time, there is a certain bonding, a bonding of pure love that goes through every one of us. This is what we need to recognize. Recognize the thread of love that is going through everyone.
Our mind is responsible for both our bondage and freedom. Our own mind is our best friend and our worst enemy. So freedom from our own mind, is what we need look at. The mind constantly judges and discriminates. Sometimes we should tell the mind 'Just relax'. When the mind relaxes, and you keep awake, that is meditation. Usually mind is throwing all the tantrums and you are sleeping, this is ignorance. Mind resting and you being awake, that is wisdom. That is meditation, that is joy.
Whenever you experience great joy, what happens? The chattering mind stops, it becomes still, or goes through rest. Then we experience happiness.
There is a difference between mind and intellect. These are two things. The intellect is reason, discrimination, judgment, understanding, and this is necessary.
Through reason we go into faith. Faith is unknown, and reason is reeling in the known. It is repetition. Faith is having a leap into the unknown. In life both are essential. Faith is adventure because it’s unknown.
People go in rockets to Mars, or to Moon for outer space exploration. They have faith in the laws of nature. They have faith that they are going to come back. That’s why they go! So with faith you go into the unknown.
People venture sky diving knowing they will be safe. That faith is there, so they go into adventure. People go trekking to the Amazon forest to explore new things. The exploration needs faith. Similarly, exploring the inner space, meditation, is also done with faith. We go with faith to explore what it is.
There is a very famous comedian in India, he is from Tamil Nadu. a Tamil comedian. He has a following all over Singapore, and Malaysia. Everybody knows him. He had organized a big program for me in Madurai, South India. He was supposed to come here actually. He said that it so happened that somebody got sick and unhappy, and they went to a doctor. The doctor did a check up and said, 'There is nothing wrong with you'.
But he said, ‘No I’m sick’.
The doctor said, ‘No, there’s nothing wrong, you’re perfectly fine!’
He said, ‘No, you give me something. I am sick!’
The doctor then said, 'You know what you need to do, there is a circus in the city and there is a buffoon in the circus. You just go and watch him, sit there, enjoy the circus and you will be fine! All your problems will be over'.
Then that guy said, ‘Doctor, I am that buffoon! I make everybody laugh but I am sick!’ So this comedian said to me, 'This really is my story too Gurudev! I make everybody laugh but only when I come in your presence, and when I come here and meditate, this is what makes me happy'.
He said it in a very nice, very innocent way. Though people may make you laugh, be it comedians, but that inner urge can only be satisfied by deep meditation. Knowledge and meditation are the food for the soul.
So we will have lots of meditation in the next two days. Some very good and new meditations have come up. We will do those new meditations. You’re in for some new gifts for the New Year. Nice meditations! We will do that.
There is a difference between mind and intellect. These are two things. The intellect is reason, discrimination, judgment, understanding, and this is necessary. Through reason we go into faith. Faith is unknown, and reason is reeling in the known. It is repetition. Faith is having a leap into the unknown. In life both are essential. Faith is adventure because it’s unknown.
I have also given our course a new name. The Art of Living Happiness Program. Our courses will be called Art of Living Happiness Program and our centers will be called Happiness Centers. As I’m saying this I am little nervous. In the sense, all of you will have to keep that promise. You will have to keep the center happy.
Art of Living is a very heterogeneous organization. We are not like a cult where everybody are like sheep. Art of Living is so heterogeneous. Everybody is so different, and as we grow the differences also grow. The whole skill is in keeping the differences and still maintaining harmony. This is a challenge, and we need to make this challenge work because we are so heterogeneous.
Everyone is so different, at the same time, there is a certain bonding, a bonding of pure love that goes through every one of us. This is what we need to recognize.
Recognize the thread of love that is going through everyone. Honor and recognize the pure love. At the same time the differences will be there, what do we do? We have some very well mannered people and some completely ill mannered people. We have people who are very giving and very courteous, and we have people who are aggressive and not giving at all. What to do!
Sometimes people ask me, ‘How do you tolerate, and why do you tolerate these people who are so ill-mannered and so rude?’
I say, ‘Well, I keep them here so that the world is better and safe place!’
If we also tell them ‘Go away!’ Where will they go and when will they reform? So we have made a no rejection policy. But that is really a problem! Some are very hard nuts, they don’t learn easily, they don’t listen at all. These are all our challenges but the strength is how we are able to laugh through the challenges.
If everything is smooth, everything is okay, it is no big deal! Anybody can smile, anybody can laugh, any person can be happy there. Keeping the level of happiness in spite of all these people of various intellectual and emotional levels, is what we have been successful at so far! Touch wood! We haven't lost our happiness.
The happiness centers should really be happy. We will put a board from the New Year itself. All our centers will have a board of ‘Happiness Center’. Nobody can say, 'I don’t want to go to happiness centre'.
Just like how nobody can say, 'I don’t want to breathe', nobody can say, 'I don’t want to go to a happiness center'. And in happiness, being centered is happiness center! Many can be happy but they are not centered. If they are not centered, happiness doesn’t last long. Someone says, 'I am centered but I am not happy', what is the point of being centered? Happiness centers are those where you get centered and you are happy. This is a proposal I am keeping in front of you.