By Komal Singh
An absolute riot of joy and laughter prevailed as we sailed through a five-day YES+ Course in May, organized for 51 Sumeru Solutions employees at the Bangalore ashram. It was my first YES+ Course and what stuck is the way profound knowledge was shared through simple analogies and jokes that either had us in splits or in complete awe. While Bawa extensively spoke about vegetarianism and answered a pile of questions apart from being his charming self, Dinesh added his experiences of taking courses in prisons and conducted exercises that made us push ourselves. But my discovery of the course was Rashmin Pulekar – the man (the teacher) who has mastered the art of humor. Surprisingly, his demeanor doesn’t even exude any humor when you see him for the first time, but the moment he started to talk, we were all transfixed and automatically, in the present moment.
Overall, the course deals with some core issues a lot of us haven’t either understood or made peace with – be it fear of engaging with a complete stranger or getting sucked into a relationship (or a job) that’s a spiral downward. And there is nothing complicated about the explanation because the teachers give you simple tools to deal with everyday issues and get past your own boundaries.
Shares Dhanya Purushothaman, one of the three organizers from Sumeru who did her first YES+ Course years ago, about why they felt the need to organize such a course, “We knew that this program works because it has worked in our lives. We figured that through the course, more people would open up. The work culture would change as the sadhana (meditation) culture would set in and more people would meditate.”
Nearly, 60-70 percent of the workforce in Sumeru falls under the age bracket of 22 to 30, making it an ideal platform for such a course. “From a professional point of view, people become more approachable, come out and speak up and there has been a change,” reflects Aman Lohia, another organizer. “The immediate effect after the course was that people who usually don’t talk too much were sharing and discussing freely. And one guy even quit smoking at the end of the course.”
The organizing team was surprised when a manager came up to them and shared how the whole team was working happily. Every participant compensated for the four hours spent on the course (during the office hours). “But everyone pulled it off and met their deadlines and there hasn’t been one complaint,” smiles Ishaan, the third musketeer from the organizing committee.
For me, the course gave the missing perspective i.e. there is no perspective – just take in the good with the not-so-good and things will be simpler. Writing this, I can hear Bawa say, ‘Keep it simple, stupid’.
(This writer participated in the course.)