It is so nice to be here!
Regina appears to be a place of cool headed and warm hearted people. Usually in big cities, people are cold hearted and hot headed. In smaller cities, there is togetherness, people get together. We have to keep this culture of spreading warmth.
A violence-free society, disease-free body, confusion-free mind, inhibition-free intellect, trauma-free memory and sorrow-free soul is the birthright of every individual. This is what The Art of Living Foundation is all about; creating a sense of togetherness. We all belong to one human family.
The way we worship may be different, the way we celebrate in life may be different, our language and our ways may be different, but we all belong to one human family. When we forget this, mankind moves towards disaster.
See what is happening around the world today? There is violence in class rooms. People feel unsafe even when they send their children to school. The idea, A Billion Acts of Non-Violence for Each Act of Violence, came to me when I heard that there are 10 million acts of violence in one year in the United States alone. We have to change this situation; turn it around. For each act of violence, we have to compensate with a hundred acts of non-violence.
When I heard about the unfortunate event in Connecticut, I thought, I have to travel around and talk to everybody to take oaths, promises to see how we all can reduce violence together. What do you all say?
We have these problems all over the world; depression, domestic violence, and societal violence. This is because we have forgotten to connect with ourselves, and connect with everybody around us. This is the only thing which makes our life worth living.
Life is worth living only when there is love. Just imagine life without love, compassion and a sense of belongingness. Mankind would go into depression. We need to create this sense of celebration and togetherness in communities and families. We started our program (A Billion Acts of Non-Violence for Each Act of Violence) on this note. It has really touched places where it was most needed; in prisons, schools and classrooms. I’m quite happy that so many volunteers around the world have plunged into action for this program.
The Art of Living is based upon five principles:
1. Opposite values are complementary: In life, not everything goes the way we want, sometimes, things go wrong. We need to accept it, learn from it, and move on. We need to keep equanimity in the mind, whether the situation is pleasant or unpleasant. This is one of the basic principles that I suggest mankind must have.
We should not lose our sense of wisdom and discrimination in any situation.
How can we do that?
We have designed a number of breathing techniques and exercises by which the mind can be rid of stress, and live in the present moment.
2. Accept people and situations as they are: Things are not going to change, if we don’t accept them, right? When you accept, at least, you become more focused. Then, you will help the change to happen.
3. Don’t see intentions behind other people’s mistakes: Even in the worst criminal, you will find a victim crying for help deep inside. When you can see this, you have compassion and not hatred.
4. Don’t be a football of others opinions
5. Live in the present moment
These are some very basic principles, which I feel are so essential to bring harmony within oneself, and the family, isn’t it? This is because in the family we want everything to go the way we think is right. However, this does not happen all the time. We always have to accommodate the viewpoints of others.
The breath is an important tool to achieve this. For every emotion, there is a particular rhythm in breath.
In the ancient days, this knowledge was kept as a highly guarded secret. It was given only to royalty and some special people. I thought this should be made available to the entire population, just like cell phones. We need to educate everyone on how to handle their mind; this is needed. And we have been doing this for 32 years.
Today, let us all take this to our heart, to create a violence free society.
We need to integrate this knowledge of non-violence in our culture, sports, business, and in our faith based programs. They all need to have this. We all need to learn how to calm our minds when we are agitated.
Now you might say, ‘Yes, I know this in my head, but how to bring it practically into my day to day life. I know it is bad to get upset, annoyed or depressed. How should I not do it?’ This is where meditation and breathing techniques come in handy. They are the tools that help you calm your mind, and you feel happy from within. When you are happy, you can only do what is good for everybody.
Those who are unhappy, can only do something which is bad for themselves, and for everybody. This is what happens. Whether they have the intention or not, if someone is unhappy, they are bound to do things that are not life supporting. This is my observation. Happiness is our true nature. We need to create waves of happiness. It doesn’t come just by affluence.