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Choose a gift with both your heart and head, something that will bring lasting joy!
Want to buy a gift for your meditator friend and at a loss for ideas?
Here are some suggestions that may help. They range in price from a small investment to a major commitment.
All too often the gifts we give or receive end up not being particularly significant or useful to the recipient. But a carefully chosen meditation-related gift has the potential to be really special to both the receiver and the giver for a long time.
So choose with both your heart and head something that will bring lasting joy.
Gift #1: Meditation Cushions
Here’s a tip for you: Whenever you go shopping for a friend, always put yourself in their position. What would you have liked, had you been in their shoes?
For meditators, finding a comfortable but erect posture for meditation is very important. And this can happen if they have the support of a soft cushion. This gift is surely within your budget, doesn’t wear out easily, is easy to carry anywhere, and promises to give long-lasting benefits.
To make this gift more attractive, you may choose a color for the chair and cushion that is your friend’s favorite or maybe one that matches well with their home’s décor.
Gift #2: Meditation Wisdom Books
It is always inspiring for any meditator to hear the beautiful words of a meditation master, particularly when that master is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living. There are many profound discourses by him in book or video form for you to choose from. We particularly recommend the series of three DVDs, which are What is Meditation?, Dispassion and Practice, and Higher States of Consciousness. The available books include The Space Within. There are many other books and DVDs that give knowledge on meditation, such as Sri Sri’s unique commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Why not browse at the Art of Living Shop?
You may also want to consider a subscription to the monthly Rishimukh magazine, published by the Art of Living Foundation. It contains many fascinating articles about meditation and the spiritual path, discourses from Sri Sri, tips for practicing all aspects of yoga, information on a more fulfilling and evolutionary lifestyle, recipes, and much more. You can subscribe online and the magazine can be read online or sent by post.
Gift #3: Meditation Mat
Roll out and roll in – this simple-to-use and convenient-to-carry mat is yet another promising option to gift a friend.
Don’t we all know that Yoga makes meditation deeper and more profound? This multipurpose mat can be used both for yoga and meditation. Serving a dual purpose, we bet this will be quite a lucrative gift for your friend if you can also find a cover for this yoga mat that keeps it clean and tidy.
And you are soon to see your friend in shape – physically, mentally, and soulfully.
Gift #4: Sahaj Samadhi Course
If your friend hasn’t done this course, sponsoring them to do it is perhaps the greatest gift you can give them. The Art of Meditation Course (traditionally known as Sahaj Samadhi Meditation) is a wonderful gateway to profound inner transformation and higher states of consciousness. Participants receive a unique mantra from the teacher and are shown the simple procedure for its use. While this technique is completely effortless, it is also subtle and delicate and cannot be imparted from a book or the Internet.
Doing this course will also connect your friend to a network of meditators and s/he can enjoy group meditations, which are much more powerful than meditating alone. Your friend will be eternally grateful for the wonderful gift of effortless transcendence of the mind.
If you haven’t done this course, why not accompany your friend? Or if you have done it, you can repeat—for free in India and for a nominal fee in most countries—and be part of your friend’s course experience as well as brushing up on the technique yourself.
One day, your friend will heartily thank you for this.
Want to register for your friend now?
Gift #5: A Meditation Shawl
What meditator doesn’t appreciate a beautiful wool or cashmere shawl to stay warm and cozy as the body enters deep states of meditation? Even if you friend has one, another is always appreciated for travel, courses, etc. Many Art of Living Divine Shops stock them and they are also available online.
Gift #6: A Guided Meditation CD
On days when your friend doesn’t have their follow-up classes, a guided meditation CD proves to be their best friend as they would prefer being guided into meditation by a master or meditation expert sitting at home. It is the convenience of a course in the comfort zone of your home. And it hardly costs you anything.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has gifted the world with many wonderful meditations, which have been captured on CD. You can gift your friend one of these CDs – Hari Om, Shanti Panchakosha, Om, Ram, Hara, and several others. We particularly recommend Hari Om meditation for regular practice.
Gift #7: A Spiritual Tour
We have talked about a meditation tour within one’s Self. How about a meditation tour outside? If you aren’t short of funds and are willing to spend that extra buck on your dear friend, then predeciding a trip for your friend and their family can be an exciting option.
You may secretly find out places that your friend likes and from the list choose the one with high aesthetic and spiritual value. The aesthetic content will be a respite for their eyes and the spiritual content will add beauty to their tour and life as it will help them meditate better.
How about sending them on a week-long tour to one of The Art of Living Ashrams across the globe? Find the one nearest to your place, contact the authorities, book a ticket, reserve a room for them in the ashram, and register them for a meditation course if you wish. Such gifts will be much appreciated by any meditation lover.
So you see, the art of choosing a gift is pretty easy to learn once you’ve got some key points noted, and the shopping spree will prove to be fun. And don’t forget to include chocolates and roses – an indispensable part of any gift package.
Happy Shopping and Happy Gifting!
Inspired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's wisdom talks
Written by Ravisha Kathuria
Based on inputs by Bharathy Harish and Chris Dale, Meditation Teachers