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IMG_5974How did Sri Sri Yoga begin?

have always had an interest in yoga from early childhood, so as my practices grew my interest also grew in yoga. After meeting our spiritual master Guruji, my interest became even deeper and I began to understand yoga at a deeper level altogether. Before it was just a physical exercise and a relaxation for the mind, but after meeting him and seeing him I realized yoga was much more than that, and that is how my interest grew. Finally, as my practice became much stronger, I wanted to share this with everybody, and with the blessings of Guruji, that is how Sri Sri Yoga started.

 

How was Sri Sri Yoga different from what you were doing before?

Mostly, my practice before was on the physical level. There was more emphasis on making the body flexible making the body strong. When you do all those asanas you experience some relaxation at the mental level but yoga can go beyond that. It also connects you to inner being which is beyond the thoughts, beyond the feelings and emotions. And once you connect to that level you see the beauty of yoga, the power of yoga. That is how I came to realize, and it was very simple for me because Guruji lives at that level, at the level of inner being, so watching him and seeing him really made me understand what yoga was.

 

Many types of yoga place an emphasis on the body. What do people need to understand in order to broaden their experience of yoga?

They are not just the body. Yes, you feel that you are the body because that’s all you can see about yourself. You see this big, big body; you can touch it, so emphasis goes on the body. The whole world basically revolves around the body, trying to make it look younger, make it look beautiful, live longer, so there’s a lot of emphasis on that and that is what attracts people who don’t have an understanding that they are more than the body. That’s why people are coming with all these different and weird and wonderful names of yoga, even though what they are teaching has nothing to do with yoga, but they use the name yoga because it attracts people.

 

When focus is on the body you immediately see a result. What can attract people to stay long enough to see that yoga is more than the body?

That’s where the proper teaching of yoga plays a role. If you go to a teacher who understands yoga in a proper way that teacher will teach in a proper way, give you a proper experience of yoga. If you go to a teacher who is mostly on the physical level that is the experience you will get. So it depends very much on the teacher. All the good schools of yoga they are basically teaching the same elements – postures, some breathing, and some relaxation. How they teach, and what is their emphasis, makes a big difference. If their emphasis is physical that is what their students will experience and that is where they will stay. But in Sri Sri Yoga our emphasis is not just on the body, even though we have lots of good postures that are very effective, very good for the body. But we take students beyond the body, make them experience their inner being, so they really feel so good about themselves. They realize, “Oh I am not just this body there is more to me.” It’s like discovering a big palace when you are living in a small room all your life. You are not just living in a small room; you are a big palace. When you feel the expansion of the mind, of the inner being, the small room becomes just like a beautiful palace.

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New York August 1995

 

CRW_9358 aBeloved souls I am glad we are gathered here to ponder the ways and means to bring back human values to society.

Today, I see the crisis in the world as one of identification: A man identifies himself with his profession, religion, race, culture, nationality, language, region, or sex. Only after that does he identify with being a human being. Limited identification leads to war. Through education we need to bring about a change in our basic identity. We are first all part of the divine, and secondly, we are human beings. This can happen only through right spiritual knowledge.

Here I would like to make a clear distinction between ‘religion’ and ‘spirituality’. Religion is the banana skin and spirituality is the banana. All religions have three aspects: values, symbols, and customs. While values are the same in all the religions, symbols and customs differ. And today we have forgotten the values and simply hold on to the symbols and customs. Only spirituality can nourish human values. It can eliminate frustrations and bring contentment and happiness in life.

Right education is that which creates in a each person a sense of belongingness with the whole world. A person learns to embrace all the religions of the world as his own, and can choose to practice one without decrying the other.

Members of a family can practice more than one religion. This should be the strategy for the 21st century.

In this age, when technology has advanced, we have cared very little for the emotional and spiritual needs of people. Neither at home nor in school have we been taught how to release negative emotions. Neither at home nor at school does one learn to handle ones own mind.

Breathing techniques such as pranayama, meditation and yoga, can release the tension and negative emotions and help one to live in the present. Man either worries about the past, or the future or gets stuck in negativity. Only spirituality can help him to get rid of the negativity and live in the present. Prayer, when combined with silence, can connect us to the infinite source of power deep within our hearts.

A stress free mind and a disease free body are the birthrights of every human being.

This august assembly can draw a syllabus and implement a plan to introduce spiritual knowledge at various levels in the society, such as in schools in colleges, and rehabilitation centers. Only then can we reduce the crises and the diseases in our environment.

Due to lack of proper spiritual education and lack of a total compressive understanding of all religions of the world, religious fanaticism has taken root in many regions. Spirituality–without dogma and with understanding, which is all encompassing–is the need of the 21st century.

Now is the time for us to attend to this. Human evolution has two steps – the first is from being ‘somebody’ to being ‘nobody’, and the second is from being ‘nobody’ to being ‘everybody’. This knowledge can bring sharing and caring throughout the world.

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IMG_0064Ingredients

For the Caramel and Apples:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
3 cups brown sugar
1-cup heavy cream
4 large apples

For the Batter:

3 cups white unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp almond extract
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar

3 eggs (Replacer (in this case): 1 mashed banana, 2 Tbsp cornstarch, ¼ cup warm water)

Directions
Butter a 9-by-3-inch round cake pan. Make the caramel: Cook the sugar, butter and cream in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is medium amber, 5 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and let sit 1 minute. Pour 1 1/2 cups caramel into a glass measuring cup and set aside. Pour the remaining caramel into the prepared pan and set aside until set, about 30 minutes.

Cut 3 apples into quarters and cut out the cores with a paring knife. Arrange the pieces skin-side down in the pan (overlapping them slightly) to form a ring about 1/2 inches from the edge. Save any pieces that do not fit for later. Chop the last apple in small cubes and set aside.

Halve the remaining whole apple crosswise and slice them into wedges.

Arrange the apple in the bottom of the pan, layering them side by side.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make the batter: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream, orange juice, almond and vanilla extract.

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Add the banana and lukewarm water and beat until the mixture is pale and creamy, about 5 more minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beater with a rubber spatula.

With the mixer on low speed, add half of the sour cream mixture, then half of the flour mixture. Repeat. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula; finish combining the batter by hand, mixing in the last cubed apple.

Spread the batter over the apples in the pan.  Bake on the middle oven rack until the cake is brown on top and springs back when pressed, 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes (don’t worry if the top is dark).

Soften the reserved 1 1/2 cups caramel over low heat, about 2 minutes. As soon as the cake is out, poke with the end of a spoon about 50 thin holes into the cake and loosen the side of the cake from the pan. Pour the caramel over the cake and on the sides. Cool in the pan on a rack.

Adapted recipe from The Food Network source, originally a Paula Dean recipe.

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Sometimes you see something, work with something, enjoy something, and still don’t see the diamond in your midst. Distancing can change that. The intellect provides distance, sparks memory and moves the heart.

We have been working on a grant for the garden. It is specific, and logical. It is not looking for stories or photographers, but its dryness reminds us. You want to say,

garden

“The first garden was started by Agar. At that time, there was no soil and no money for soil. The land that was bulldozed for the garden was just rock and clay. Agar stole (borrowed permanently) a wheelbarrow from construction, which was used to transport the soil that was beaten out of tree stumps that had been bulldozed further down the road.

Garden 1st year no.1

The first garden was a large circle (about 5 feet in diameter). In time there were nine of circles of cucumber and squash for the first course held at the Centre.

 

Today, we have a five-acre garden and orchard, certified organic. Each year the size increases, but the personnel remain the same. To offset this, Guruji instructed everyone on the seva team, to select a plot and be responsible for it. As volunteers we multi-task, but this was an additional task. To the mind it felt like a lot, but people came to love their time in the garden. It is quiet, and like the soil nurtures plants it also nourishes people, and there were no phones, questions, computers, and we were eating the food we helped care for.

This idea of nurturing and nourishing in an area that supports Agri-tourism is powerful, for it means the garden can provide food, income, and become an educational hub for people to learn about the benefits of organic farming, local edible plants, herbs, fruits, and companion planting. The garden extends to the kitchen where people can learn about vegetarian cuisine.

 

We see this happening in small ways already, through group tours, local groups who come to help, families with children, YES! Camp youth who have their first garden experience, and people who wander in to take a look or make a purchase.

So next time you visit ask how the orchard got started, or how Guruji got Pierre out of the garden and back to teaching, or about what happens to the animals who like to munch on our garden, and how we lure them to new localities.

Each place is a story growing more stories, and the garden has a future unfolding that we are just beginning to identify. Come join our Internship program or volunteer. Come create stories.

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My message is on my head. Actually it’s a message from the heart but it’s in my head now. Happy New Year to everybody. 2015 twice a day become empty and become one with that which is beyond the 5. Twice a day become empty to become one with the one which is beyond the 5. Got it? The world is called 5, the world is just a combination of 5 elements, that which is beyond the 5 elements, spirit, so you become one with the spirit. Yeah? Happy New Year, wish you all a Happy New Year.

Now I salute the time, for time is greater than mind. It’s the time, which influences the mind. It’s the time that makes a pauper a prince and a prince a pauper. It’s the time, which makes a stupid guy to be an intelligent one, and it’s the time, which makes stupid things happen through an intelligent guy, also. It’s the time, which makes friends and which breaks friends. It’s time, which creates peace and which creates war. So time is greater than mind, so salute the time. But I tell you is there something bigger than time? Yes, the spirit moves the time. It’s the spirit, which is beyond the time, which can move the time. Which can change the time, so as long as you’re in your mind, you are under the thumb of the time. But when you realize you are the spirit the one beyond the five, then you move the time. Got it? Got it? Got it?

I think you have to really dwell on these few words, what I’ve said then it really makes more sense, it sinks. When this knowledge sinks, becomes an experience it makes all the sense. It makes all the sense when you dwell on, it then it clicks. So time moves everything but you can move the time, that is the power of the Self. And it is freely available yet inaccessible. It’s available, yet inaccessible. So only when we become free from the mind then we’ll ever be able to click on it. So 2015 got it? Twice a day, become zero and one with the one beyond the 5. Cool. Ok, very good very nice.

In this New Year, now, let’s resolve to build trust in our self, the trust that only the best will happen to me. The trust in our self that only the best will happen to me. And then trust in the society that goodness will prevail in the world. What? When we lose this trust that goodness prevails in the society or in the nation that’s when our moral goes down. But when you have the trust that good will prevail in the society in the world, your moral will be up. And when you know only good things will happen to you the best things will happen to you, your self-confidence will go up. So let’s keep these two dimensions alive in our life in this 2015. Let this be your resolution – trust in yourself and trust in the society or in the world order. When you see that some bad elements are rising up, you lose the courage, you lose the conviction, you loose the morality, you loose your ground and you get broken. That’s when you need to remind yourself they’re only rising-up to fall. The bad elements need a fall, and that’s their final destination, fall. So even to fall you have to rise a little higher, only then you get really broken. So they raise a little bit to get a big fall. And if you are convinced of this truth, this reality, nothing whatsoever, no event can pull you down, no event can demoralize you, and no nervous break down can happen, nor will you ever have heart breaks. You know that, ok. Your moral becomes very strong with this conviction. What do you say? Every event creates some knowledge and emotion. Often events have some lessons to teach you, and also creates along with it some emotions. What we normally do, we don’t learn from events, in fact, we don’t learn at all. But we carry on the emotion. The emotion as a scar or as a craving haunts us. Knowledge is not learnt, so you are left with the baggage of emotions. If it is positive or negative whatever it is it is going to bother you in the present and the future. The stronger the craving of pleasurable experience you have had the more painful it will be in the present. A strong craving it has created a pleasurable experience has created an intense craving in you, so that carries over to the present keeps you in bigger mess. Am I making the point clear? All the break-ups that people have had in the past if it has been very intense that intense is there, the pain of the break-up also, because that craving has created that. So you are left in the present moment only with baggage of emotions. But the intelligent one, wise one, what they do? They just learn they take their lesson from the past and leave their emotions in the past. Leave the emotions of the past; just learn the lesson. If someone has cheated you, learn the lesson. What did you do so that someone else could cheat you, how unintelligent you were, how did you allow someone to cheat you? Just learn the lesson. Instead of carrying that anger and frustration and hatred towards the person, instead of learning, we just carry that emotion of the past. This is not intelligent thing to do. Intelligent thing to do is carry the lesson, drop the emotion, so you can keep your smile, genuine smile, untouched, unblemished by the event. Yeah? What do you say? Yeah? You can keep your spirits high, come what may. Now, now. Because life is always a mixture of pleasant and unpleasant things. Things you like, and which you don’t like. Life is a mixture of that. New year dining table if you take kids they would like to go only for the desert, no there should be soup and there should be salad and all other stuff as well, balanced. Mother knows how to give balanced food to the kid. Not just because the child wants only desert she will not keep feeding them only desert, she’s not a good mother. Similarly, nature gives you everything, salad, soups, noodles, sour cream, peppery something, peppery soup and sour cream, hot and sweet, and pungent, everything.   So nature provides you a meal with many tastes, and the wise one just enjoys them all. Right? You enjoy olives, but you give an olive to a kid he spits it out. So, its time we grow up, we grow up to appreciate the diverse menu on our plate. We grow up to appreciate the balanced diet that you have been provided in your life, healthy diet. Your plate is full of all varieties just enjoy them. And every year new plate is given; so don’t eat the stale food. Don’t fill you calendar from past event. Don’t fill this year’s calendar with old dates because they don’t match. And this is what we do, we keep the old calendar and it says 21st Jan, Sunday and this will not be matching this year. Today is what day? Wednesday. 31st Wednesday. 1st is Thursday. Ah, it starts with the Guru day, Thursday, the year of wisdom, then. Thursday is New Year, so we keep the last year’s calendar it will be something like Saturday, so it doesn’t match, so keep updating yourself.

So match the time, catch the time, and move the time. Three stages, match the time, catch the time, move the time. How will match, what you will catch, and what you will move? I’ll leave it to you.

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Spring is green and verdant. The fruit trees are in bloom but the flowers are more cautious, hesitant, waiting. The days are cool. It rains; then the sun and heat come out. There are black flies made abundant by the wet weather. And dandelions in yellow change into fluffy white. Stalks of iris and lily are everywhere.Weekly Saturday yoga continues. Last week, the Yoga, Ayurveda, and Meditation course, brought 12 people, and this week we begin a ten-day silence retreat with 20.

summer staff is arriving and those on vacation return. Egle traveled furthest, to Lithuania to see family, then to Souchi to help at the Winter Olympics, and finally to Qutar in the Middle East for Shankara and to give Ayuvedic treatments. Anil is back from England after a two-month visit with family. Pierre was in India for two months and Mark and Jackie went to teach at a first Nation Reserve in Alberta, outside of Edmonton.

After the winter, it is good to swell with people once again.

In the garden, the pear tree has bloomed for the first time in 20 years! We have a new water pump and irrigation system, and the fence around the small garden near the greenhouse has been removed. This is where a new storage shed and greenhouse will be built. We have some asparagus ready and wild greens for our salads.

Pierre will do his second Google Hangout on Sunday June 15th. He will speak on Silence and Presence. Tune in by going to http://aoljgd.org/HangoutwithPIerre

All is in preparation for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s coming on July 13th to 24th. Early bird registration prices end July 12th. Come celebrate with us – being with Sri Sri is a journey to happiness.  If you are not coming for a course, come experience this time together by coming for evening Satsang and knowledge or come for afternoon meditation. The Art of Living Boutiques will also be open and meals and food are available. Call ahead for information – 819-532-3328.

 

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Life is a totality. It is like a stream. It carries the leaves, sometimes a log, sometimes a frog, sometimes swans, sometimes fishes, sometimes dirt, all the industrial waste, everything. It doesn’t mind. Does it mind where or what? Does it say, “Oh, you are a flower, I will carry you. You are dead logs. I don’t carry you.” It doesn’t make any distinction. You pour wonderful things like milk into the water; it will carry that. If you pour waste into the water, it will carry that too. You place a flower there; it will carry that. You throw rubbish into it; that will also be carried. So life is a stream, light.

Something happened and some other thing happened. Don’t give attention to those happenings at all. If you keep the happenings important, you cling to the past, you remain there. It becomes like a stone; then you sink. A stone sinks; it never floats. It never flows with the water. So life becomes like a stone, sinking somewhere.  It will never reach the ocean. If you throw a piece of log into the water, it will reach the ocean. It is light. A stone may stay in the same place all the time. The water, which flows over the stone, reaches the ocean. The stone never reaches it. It sits there.

So, don’t tie onto the stone like that. Events are like stones. They just stay there. You be light, don’t even bother. You brush over the stones you go away.

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Now that spring is here, like everyone else, our attention is moving to outdoor projects, as well as preparations for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s arrival.

The plants that were begun indoors are moving to the greenhouse. Like everyone else, we are raking and trimming to allow flowers to grow and to generally beautify the Centre.

The weather is warm enough, so we can begin to stain the railing and deck around Sri Ratnam Hall.  Last fall we did the railings around Isa and re-stained all the woodwork inside Isa during the winter.

The path to Guruji’s kutir is another outside project that will be finished before his visit in July.

You might be surprised to know we have been working on renewing and creating trails at the Centre.  Two of these trails start from the garden. One will go through the forest and wind up at the long term parking lot near the asphalt road entrance. The other one will go up the hill behind the garden and loop toward hermitage.

The third completely circles the lake, through the forest, offering many views of the meditation hall.

Mr. Brouillette house, which sits near the lake, and has been used for the Angels program in the past, will now house special guests. It has been partially finished but will be completed before July. In time there will also be adding a new and larger deck in the back facing Lac Gareau.

The building housing the bathrooms outside of Isa will finally be painted and additional minor landscaping will be done in that area.

Landscaping will also be done around the entrance of the Ayurveda

Building, and large glass windows and light fixtures will be installed downstairs in the small hall used for teaching.

While Bodhi will continue to get a facelift after Guruji’s visit, it will receive a small outside facelift.

The main work will be the installation of a water tank in case of fire. This tank will have enough capacity to be able to release water for 45 minutes from fire sprinklers, in case the need arises.

We are doing a little work everywhere.

There are seva week-ends scheduled if you would like to be involved with any of these projects, and of course, you are welcome to come anytime. Just give us a call at 819-532-3328 or send an email to artdevivre@artofliving.org.

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Come! Volunteer!  The International Art of Living Centre in Canada is looking for volunteers to increase its actual staff.  In fact, we need 19 volunteers!

Currently, we are looking for:

  • Kitchen: 2 cooks
  • Garden: 5 people
  • Maintenance: 2 (with some experience)
  • Housekeeping: 1 head department + 1 helper
  • Publicity and communication: 1 administrative assistant

1 graphic artist

  • Management: 1 secretary
  • Outdoor maintenance: 1
  • Landscaping: 1
  • Office: 1 receptionist (bilingual if possible)
  • Construction: 2 (with some experience)
  • Ayurveda: 2 technicians

We encourage a long- term commitment of 6 months to a year, but you are most welcome to apply for shorter periods of time.

The heart of the Centre is 3 things: sadhana, seva, satsang.  These provide the foundation to the routine of the day.  We begin the morning with kriya and meditation, breakfast, seva, noon meditation, lunch, seva, and end the evening with Satsang. There is one day off a week. We do the long kriya once a week with the people coming from the community.

Room and board is provided, as well as an Art of Silence Course every six months.

This is the perfect opportunity to take some time to grow, to work hard, and to have fun. There is a lake for swimming, boats, canoes, hiking trails, winter sports, and we have our own soccer team! We are also located close to a national park.

We look forward to hearing from you.

The Human Resources Department

 

 

 

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