Sri Sri: Yes. But please don’t sit and chant “I love myself!” Do you chant “I am in Milwaukee!”? Your body, mind, consciousness are all made up of truth, love, beauty and peace. Take it for granted that you love yourself. Nobody can afford not to love oneself because you are love. That’s just an illusion if it appears that you don’t love yourself.
Sri Sri: I’m realistic about my vision. So far ’The Art of Living’ has reached about 151 countries. So many people are learning these techniques today. If the technology of cell phones can reach everywhere in the world, why would techniques & wisdom that make people happy and peaceful not reach every home? They definitely will. We should have a vision to do something that appears impossible and make it possible. It is my habit and hobby!
Q: What is the mind capable of during sleep? Is it possible to transcend all states of consciousness?
Sri Sri: Yes. In the waking state, you get the best rest and nourishment through knowledge. Dreaming state is deep rest. Sleep is even deeper rest. The fourth state is the meditative state.
Q: How do breathing techniques and meditation benefit those with heart disease?
Sri Sri: Breathing and meditation have been found to lower cholesterol and strengthen the heart. They lower stress and control hormones by making a positive impact on the endocrine system. There have been several studies and research is still going on.
Q: How to handle stress without conflict?
Sri Sri: First find inner peace, and then you can handle situations. When you are peaceful, then the solutions come. Do you mean problems in relationships? If your question is about conflict between spouses, then there are three options.
Advice for women – Don’t ask your husband to prove himself. Pump his ego. The whole world might say that he is an empty head, but you as a wife must always praise him. You can tell him, “You are brilliant. It is a different thing that you don’t use your bright mind”. Never step on his ego. He has to prove himself in the world, but he wants to relax when he comes home. He shouldn’t have to prove himself at home.
Advice for men - Never step on the emotions of your wife. She will tell you the problems at her home and may complain about her father, brother or relatives. But if you join her bandwagon, she will take a U turn. If she wants to go on a spiritual or religious program, don’t stop her. If she wants to shop, give her your credit card.
Advice for both - Never question someone’s love for you. If someone asks you to prove your love to him or her, how would you feel? It is like a burden. Demand destroys love. Never demand love. Instead of this you say, “Why do you love me so much? I am not worthy of your love”. The moment you say this, the other person will melt and start loving you even more, and will even forgive you for your mistakes.
Q: According to Vedanta we are all one. But we have different personalities and ideas. Can you explain?
Sri Sri: Everything is made up of atoms. Like furniture is made of wood. The door, the bench, the table, the chair are all made of wood. Wood is in each of these things. But the roles are different. The door cannot be used as a chair, nor can a table be used as a door. Quantum Physics is based on the principle of Advaita (non duality).
Q: Sri Sri, if joy is our nature, why do we lose touch with our nature? Why are we distracted?
Sri Sri: Spiritual voyage can give you the joy and keep you in touch with your nature.
Q: Do you believe that this is the time and age for large-scale global transformation of human evolution?
Sri Sri: Thirty years ago, there was so much prejudice towards spirituality and wisdom. People would want to keep it at an arm’s length and blindly believe that it is not for them. Today there is acceptance. People are willing to try and see that something benefits them and are less prejudiced. With this, more human values will surface. And don’t worry about 2012. The world will not collapse. I assure you that.
Q: What is beyond the experience we call death?
Sri Sri: Why do you want to know everything right away? I don’t want you to be bored even after you die! Let’s first understand life. We can understand death later.