Reflections on the Inauguration

The Grand Inauguration of the International Center for Meditation & Well-Being is the culmination of 30 years of service to humanity by the Art of Living Foundation and its partner organizations.  Public leaders from the U.S. Congress and the State of North Carolina, Faith-based clergy from major religious traditions and beneficiaries of the Foundation’s service programs joined in inaugurating this majestic new Center. 

Americans, Argentines, Brazilians, Canadians, Dominicans, Indians, Mongolians, Nepalese, Omanis, Polish, and Swiss were among the 2,200 people, from all walks of life, who came to celebrate the opening of this Center; a place that holds promise for so many thousands to drop stress, regain health and transform their lives.

A choir of 30 singers, led by Grammy award-nominated singer Chandrika Tandon, delivered an invocation in the Sanskrit language to bring peace to all. The audience was also treated to the lively sounds of Appalachian Fire, a bluegrass band that showcased the rich musical traditions of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Highlights of the Event:

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder, Art of Living Foundation

“It gives me great pleasure to dedicate this Center to the people of America, North America.  Such a place has been the dream of many practitioners of yoga, meditation and peace- they always say, ‘we need a place where we can go any time we are stressed and need to relax and be there and find that inner peace and comfort. And here, that dream has manifested. 

I wish this place becomes a place where reason becomes sharper; faith becomes deeper; a place where young and old alike come together in a sense of connectedness. A true representation of American values and of the ancient Vedic values that says people of all creeds, culture, race and gender are together in this sense of a One World Family – Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.”

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Loretta Clawson, Mayor, Town of Boone

“I anticipate that Boone will become an even more popular area once the Center opens its doors for corporate and educational retreats, symposiums and international events in the future months – and we certainly look forward to this! 

The Center’s extraordinary architecture carefully constructed and located on the eastern ridgeline of the Blue Ridge with a 100 mile panoramic vista is an inviting destination for anyone to consider a relaxing and educational holiday. I am so proud that this is my home.”

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Elaine Marshall, Secretary of the State of North Carolina

“It is my fervent hope that this beautiful location with targeted interpersonal development programs can be that strong resource for individual internal peace that leads to family harmony and lays the foundation for worldwide peace.”

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Rabbi Mark Menachem Zarkh

 “Today is Shabbat, a day devoted to spiritual growth and awareness…and on that holiday, today, this place is inaugurated to be a place where we can come together and love God in each other, in each of us.”

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Joe Walsh, U.S. Congressman

“What a destination this portends to be for all of those around the world seeking mental, physical and spiritual healing.  Because of the fact that you have dedicated a project to this population of men and women who have served and you are offering an alternative way, a way that I think and experts think will be a more effective way to heal these boys and girls, to remove the stress they live with every single day, a stress the rest of us can’t imagine. They will come here, they will become part of Project Welcome Home Troops, and God willing they will be healed.

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