International Spiritual Leader Visits Cincinnati

22 Apr 2010

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of the Art of Living Foundation, was recently named one of the five most powerful people in India by Forbes magazine. This spring, he is on a nine-city tour of North America, with an event Sunday at the Duke Energy Center, downtown. "It will be a great opportunity for people to ask questions and hear what he has to say, and then to participate in guided meditation," said Tanuja Limaye, a senior international teacher with the foundation. "The Art of Living is about helping us to live with the right kind of attitudes and seeing that we can live our life in a more successful and happy manner," Limaye said. "Gurudev's goal is to guide us to create a violence-free and stress-free America." The foundation is a nonprofit, educational and humanitarian organization that does not have ties to a specific religion. Individuals with all faith and ethnic backgrounds are welcome, Limaye said. "All of the meditation techniques are related to breath," she said. "Breath is given to us at the time of our birth, and it is at the heart of what we do every day, the heart of relieving stress." The Cincinnati chapter of the Art of Living Foundation was started about four years ago. Sonal Shankar (no relation to Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar), a Cincinnati volunteer teacher, said more than 500 people in the region have participated in seminars and workshops. "Our region has had a difficult year, and the area just needed that exposure," said Sonal Shankar, of Sharon-ville. "I would like people who attend Sunday to appreciate the power of breath and meditation and the sense of calmness it can bring to all of us. It is universal health care for the mind - it's available to anyone who breathes." The local chapter has also begun to do service projects - including a tree planting drive at the University of Cincinnati. The teachers expect awareness to increase following the visit.