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De-Stress and Let Your Mind Soar
Sudarshan Kriya interviewed by Miriam Knight

Think of your mind as a kite, your body as the reel and your breath as the string of the kite. When the string is short the kite will bounce along the ground or get stuck in the trees.

Your state of mind affects your breathing and vice versa. Short, shallow breaths means you are tense or stressed. When the breath is long and deep you can generate a happy and relaxed state. When you are in this state, the kite of your mind can soar and you can make good decisions. In fact your whole outlook on life changes.

Sudarshan Kriya, or Kurshed for short, used this vivid metaphor to illustrate his conviction that it is the right of every human being to be happy and relaxed. The mind, he said, has a tendency to oscillate between the past and the future. We look back on the past with regret or nostalgia and are anxious about the future. The time where we can actually be happy is short – it is only in the present moment.

From his base in Bombay, Kurshed travels the world training teachers for the Art of Living workshops on breathing and meditation. He was introduced to the Art of Living, which is now in 94 countries, nine years ago when he was studying for his MA in mathematics. His immune system was weak and he couldn’t make it to his classes, but after adopting the techniques developed by Sri Ravi Shankar, an enlightened master of great intelligence and innocence, he turned his health and his life around. His own doctor now sends his patients to him!

Meditation does have a spiritual element, but it also brings great physical benefits, particularly when combined with breathing techniques. For example, in just six days, Kurshed says, high blood pressure can be brought under control. He has taught people from all walks of life. Most of the teachers he trains have advanced degrees. The are “not airy fairy, but solid, dedicated people who see the results in their own lives.”

Although the Art of Living movement started in 1981, it has really gathered momentum in the last three or four years. It is a registered NGO with special consultative status with the Social Council of the UN World Health Organization. Participation in the workshops gives you lifetime membership and follow-up sessions are on a donation basis, where all money goes toward spreading the word on this life-enhancing practice.

 As Kurshed sped toward the airport, he left me with a blessing that he clearly lives by – Be in joy!

For information on the Art of Living Workshops call 503-968-7983 or e-mail dafna@earthlink.net; website: http://www.artofliving.org.

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