In this episode of The Playbook podcast, “Managing Energy, Fear, and Personal Habits,” David Meltzer speaks with Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar about the Art of Living Foundation and how to spread peace, joy, and harmony worldwide. Read more of their conversation here:
How to Reverse Fear
David: Do you have fear in your life?
Gurudev: Fear is just love standing upside down. When you have strong love, fear stays far away.
Fear is a sensation you feel in your thorax region. For that, breathing, meditation, and SKY [SKY Breath Meditation] have been immensely beneficial and very transformative as well.
I would like people to learn SKY Breathing to get rid of all types of anxiety. To get over them, the secret lies in the breath.
Vibrations and Knowledge
David: How do you resonate with more people and plant seeds of knowledge?
Gurudev: We convey more through our presence and vibrations than words. Words are frivolous. They’re not as important as our vibrations. People catch our vibrations.
I can sit and talk about love for two hours, but when you don’t feel it inside and emit that energy, it doesn’t make any sense. We have to go past verbal communication.
World Culture Festival 2023
David: You’re organizing a World Culture Festival in Washington, D.C., this September 29- October 1. How will we celebrate diversity there?
Gurudev: Three things unite people. One is meditation, the most important. We'll have group meditation for about 20 minutes.
Then, music, and the third ‘M’ is meals. We'll have environmentally friendly international foods, music, and dance from 80 countries. It’ll be a unique celebration, much needed.
After Covid especially, when there’s aggression on one side and depression on the other side, I think meditation, music, and food send positive vibes to the world.
This will be the fourth World Culture Festival. The last one, in 2016 in New Delhi, was live-streamed to 1.2 billion people.
David: Why is it so difficult to see that we all belong?
Gurudev: Well, God loves diversity, so He created many species of everything. Do you know there are 3,000 types of potatoes?
We must sync with nature’s call and celebrate diversity. By the way, the World Culture Festival will also have interfaith prayer. All the religions will pray, including Native American, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu traditions, Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, you name it!
Just give this one message, “Call God by many names and worship in many forms, but ultimately truth is one.”
David: How do you empower others to be consistent in what they want?
Gurudev: Daily habits are consistent. Nobody needs to be told to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Nowadays, looking at messages on phones is consistent.
If it's needed, it just pulls us into it.
The same is true with SKY. Tell them to do it whenever they like. They need to feel uplifted with high energy levels.
The moment someone feels tired, they can do their breathing and meditation for five or ten minutes. Then, they’re on their feet again.
Discipline is necessary when something isn’t charming. But if your practices become charming, you don’t need discipline.
Joy and happiness
David: How can we increase joy and happiness?
Gurudev: Often, we doubt what’s positive, and we believe in negative things. We doubt happiness and love, not depression and anger.
The center core of our being is akin to the structure of an atom. The positive protons are in the very center, and the negatively charged particles are on the circumference.
You have to clear the outer dust. The mirror is pure, but you need to dust it to see your face clearly. It’s like dental hygiene, but mental hygiene also. Use a few practices and connect with people.
When we create belongingness, I think we’ll have a more peaceful and happier society.
To experience Gurudev’s ancient secret to modern well-being, SKY Breath Meditation for yourself, register for the Art of Living Part 1. SKY has helped millions of people worldwide improve all aspects of their lives.