“If we keep dividing ourselves according to race and religion, there will be no end to it [conflict],”Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said on Wednesday at the PICC. “We have to honor diversity.”
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is not the Ravi Shankar that is Norah Jones’ dad. This Indian guru started The Art of Living Foundation in 1981 and advocates meditation, yoga, and breathing to help control the mind, manage stress, and allow a certain level of clarity of thinking.
He was in Manila for a speaking gig on Wednesday, the last stop of his 6-country Asian tour that included Japan, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.
At the PICC Plenary Hall, Sri Sri led a 20-minute meditation session and answered questions from the audience.
No wonder he attracts so much attention and so many followers. Sri Sri had clear answers to pretty much everything: from battling cancer to dealing with a 12-year-son rebellious son, to mending a broken heart to stress.
Below are 15 things we learned from Wednesday's talk. We will surely be keeping these in mind:
- Work and life are one and the same. There is no such thing as a personal time and a public time that you keep separate.
- When we think, we should not be reactive and instead be responsive.
- Let go of the past. Carrying it with you will only drain you.
- Do not feel guilty. It only brings anger in you and creates a platform to be nasty. Past is past. Mistakes happen when you’re not in the right state of consciousness. Resolve not to repeat it and do good work instead.
- Happiness and love are our true nature. And the happiness that you feel is actually connected to the people around you.
- Accept there are pleasant and unpleasant moments. You need to remember this to maintain the equanimity of your mind.
- Learn to accept diversity. Honor it. It should not be tolerated, but instead be celebrated. You have to see the world as one family.
- Men should not step on women’s emotions, and women should not step on men’s ego.
- Do not ask for proof of love. It is a burden to have to prove love.
- Think of destiny and free will as this: Height is your destiny, weight is your free will.
- Make one new friend a day. Don’t be too serious. Smile more.
- Don’t give up.
- Battling with cancer? Don’t say that. Saying you’re “battling cancer” will make you feel weaker.
- There are no bad guys. There are only misled and misguided people.
- Make room for imperfection. Think of it as the area in your house where you keep your garbage. You need that area to keep your entire house nice and clean, right?