Last day at the Center, Montreal
14th Apr 2013, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
(This post has been lovingly compiled by a group of organizers in Canada. )
Pleasant morning today. The temperature is above 0 degrees. Although there is some snow on the paths, it is safe to walk without slipping.
The pangs of separation can be heard everywhere as participants prepare to leave the ashram for home. But we all know it’s only for a few months because Sri Sri comes back for Guru Purnima in July.
Sri Sri surprised everyone in the morning by coming to the meditation hall to do a wonderful meditation with everyone on the ashram, including the seva team. He didn’t start till everyone was there. It was an amazing meditation. We could barely open our eyes at the end.
The airport shuttles had to leave at noon and everyone was eager to get his Darshan once before leaving. In addition to the shuttle, he managed to squeeze three large group meetings in the hall after the meditation.
People got on stage to see him. "Don't bring me any dresses, sweets, flowers, shawls. I want nothing."
The ashram is rapidly emptying, as everyone has to get back home for work and school tomorrow. We can see tears being shed as devotees pull themselves away from their real home. Those remaining behind are excited at the prospect of some more time with Sri Sri in a small group.
Postcard from Canada,International Art of Living Centre
11th Apr 2013, Quebec, Canada
(This post has been lovingly compiled by one of the organizers in Canada.)
Montreal ashram woke up to a crisp windy spring morning. The barren trees offered no resistance to the cold wind from the still frozen lake. However, the cold hasn't diminished anyone's smile as we all feel the warmth of Gurudev’s presence in the ashram after 11 long months!
Sri Sri spent the whole day in his kutir (room) working: making phone calls, giving group darshans, and of course, replying to emails. Sri Sri said with a smile, "I am drowning in emails.” Bharti (another organizer) said , "Guruji, you are not drowning, you are surfing." At one point the iPad battery died and Sri Sri got a break from an hours’ long stretch of work.
Sri Sri received a newspaper from the New York organizing team of the Non-Vio event with a large spread about the event.
The Art of Silence course started with over 400 participants from 21 countries. Silence began today. Preparations have been in full swing for the much anticipated Shakti Kriya. The excitement is palpable!
In the evening as the sun started to go down, Sri Sri went for a long walk on the ashram grounds. Since the snow is rapidly melting there is slush everywhere. On the walk, he told everyone, "Write your experiences. It will inspire other people.”
As he neared the beautiful chalet where Fred stays, Mark said, "Guruji, please visit the chalet, you have not been there." Sri Sri immediately turned and walked into the chalet with tens of devotees close on his heels. He made a stop at the Cafe that is selling hot fresh paranthas, samosas and chai. Irresistible in the cold!
Then he walked in to the kitchen and also posed for pictures with the hard-working kitchen seva team. The rest of walk he discussed the proposed landscaping plans for the ashram. He asked to create an open space to do yoga outdoors. He asked to preserve the stream and gardens, and to proceed without cutting any trees, and with minimal cutting and filling of land.
The knowledge in satsang was a crisp Q&A session, loaded with his characteristic wit and humor:
Q: How do I find my calling?
Sri Sri: Don't wait for an imaginary calling. Lets create a wave of happiness. Lets bring joy in people's lives. Pick a project.
Q. What is the vision for this year?
Sri Sri: Think how more and more people can meditate.
Bringing in the new year
10th Apr 2013, International Art of Living Centre , Quebec, Canada
Sri Sri shared that today, April 10, is the New Year in some parts of India. It's the first time that Sri Sri is away from India on New Year's Day. This year is the Year of Victory, he added.
In the morning, as he stepped out, he was so happy to see the snow. He said, "You saved the snow for me."
He said to some devotees, "Are you ready for the Shakti Kriya? (the new technique which Sri Sri has started teaching since Jan. 2013.) It is amazing."
Sri Sri walked to the new Meditation Hall known as the Center for Peace and Inspiration. Signaling the near-completion of the meditation hall, the shimmering Kalashes (or triangular structures) on the golden colored roof stood testimony of the year-long hard work.
Sri Sri keenly inspected the intricately carved wooden pillars and doors sent from the Bangalore ashram.
Later a large audience meditated with Sri Sri to a rudram meditation which he played from his iPad.
In what was a truly rare departure of the crowds that throng Sri Sri’s side, he was spotted walking by himself on the wooded path, taking pictures of the meditation hall and the lake with his phone.
Later, a lady shared her son’s recovery from wheat allergy away a few months of taking Shakti Drops (an ayurvedic wellness liquid made by The Art of Living).
Encouraging people to take Shakti drops, Sri Sri shared some research findings which said that shakti drops were more effective than chemotherapy.
Offering solace to Argentinians affected by the floods
10th Apr 2013, Quebec, Canada
The Argentinian team recorded a message from Sri Sri for the Art of Living Radio jgdradio.com.ar. Today in Argentina, this radio featured an online meditation with 40,000 people as part of an initiative so that people that were flooded in Argentina could find peace.
Reaches Canada,International Art of Living Centre Canada
9th Apr 2013, Quebec, Canada
Sri Sri arrived at the International Art of Living Center in Quebec, Canada exactly at 1 am. He walked in beaming and was surprised to see everyone up that late.
He said, he was planning to sneak inside the kutir without anyone noticing! He had said that they would arrive at 1am and that's exactly the time they entered the ashram!
Sri Sri awarded by Morehouse College, Atlanta, USA
3rd Apr 2013, , United States
The Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel awarded Sri Sri for his humanitarian work and in recognition for being one of the leading voices of peace and non-violence.
Honored with the Gandhi-King-Ikeda award, Atlanta, US
3rd Apr 2013, United States
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s US NonVio culminated at Morehouse College, Atlanta, alma mater of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., where Sri Sri was awarded the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Community Builders Prize in recognition for being one of today’s leading voices of peace and nonviolence.
Sri Sri launches NONVIO event in New York City, US
1st Apr 2013, , United States
Hundreds of peace activists come together to raise their voice in favour of non-violence.
Meditation at the Gateway to the UN, New York, US
30th Mar 2013, United States
The Gateway to the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, known for its political rallies, had a new taste this time, with more than five thousand New Yorkers meditating and taking a commitment for nonviolence with Sri Sri Ravi Shanka
Honoring the spirit of non violence, Chicago, US
28th Mar 2013, United States
The NONVIO event hosted at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, brought together thousands of Chicageons. The state of Illinois felicitated Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for his tireless advocacy for building a violence-free Chicago and March 28th was declared as “Nonviolence: No Higher Calling” day by the state.
Several people were honored for their work to raise the voice of nonviolence: amongst them were Carlos Javier Ortiz, Ronald Holt, Annette Nance-Holt, Ondelee Perteet, Ameena Matthews, Dr. Gary Slutkin and Levar Fisher.
Chicago’s beloved group “The Voices” performed at the event, bringing back vintage Motown memories.
Social change through non violence, Los Angeles, US
26th Mar 2013 - 27th Mar 2013, United States
Los Angelenos stood up for nonviolence with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at the Art of Living Los Angeles Center.
The Interactive Townhall Forum highlighted the power of institutional leaders and decision makers, in creating social change through nonviolence.