P.O. Box 41, 4000 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M6S 2T7
Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
“Let yourself be empty so you can learn”. These are the wise words with which Sri Sri Ravishanker started his 3-day program called “Unveiling Infinity” at Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto and which I was fortunate to attend thanks to a good friend.
I had met Sri Sri Ravishanker many years ago when we were on a panel together in Jerusalem. I reminded him about our connection and despite meeting millions of people in his travels, he remembered. I was quite intrigued by the Guru and the fact that he combines knowledge of science, medicine and other faiths in his talks. So when I was invited his sessions in Toronto, I took the opportunity to refresh the spirit. In a world beset by trauma and materialism, I knew that taking time to meditate is important and sometimes we just need reinforcement.
What I learned is worth sharing and maybe some of those who could not attend, might be able to also learn.
When Sri Sri came on stage, he just stood there with a sublime smile on his face and said nothing for a while. Then he explained that waiting is form of meditation. He then started by asking us if we still experienced ‘wonder’ at the world around us. So he helped us recreate ‘wonderment’ – that aaaah moment when we realise that the world is full of wonder.
He then took us through some exercises on breath. Being a follower of Sufism, I know that breath is life and learning to control breathing is an important part of meditation. He showed us how to breathe deep and also how to stop breath for 5 to 10 seconds a few times a day which refreshes the brain. It was ‘breath-taking’ to see thousands of people breath in and out in sync.
Sri Sri has a great sense of humour and tends to giggle at his own jokes. Dressed entirely in white, he presents a gentle soul who is at peace with himself and the world around him.
He spoke about how most people suffer from Depression-Aggression and this can be overcome with focus on mind over body and spirituality. He explained that mediation is about expansion of the consciousness.
His next exercise was to make us aware of the ‘chakras’ in our body and he helped us breath in a way that we were conscious of the chakras. He explained that breath starts 12 inches below the nose and goes up to 12 inches above our head where the final chakra ends.
Then he led us all in silent meditation for 40 minutes and all you could hear in a huge hall full of people was the sound of breath in and out. It was exhilarating.
He told us that trying to do the impossible is a form of meditation. He spoke about chanting and shared studies that show people who chant have larger brains. He focused on the importance of sound and we chanted for a while.
He spoke about relationships and said that we tend to be readily angry but should use the 15 second challenge before responding to anything and anyone. Stop for 15 seconds before a knee-jerk response and it could change the response. (he teaches this to corporations in terms of response to emails, contracts etc and has been very effective). Instead of challenging others with an angry “why did you do that?”, he suggests that we change the sentence to a gentler “I wonder why/how you could do that?”
We saw a demonstration of the work Sri Sri does with youth in teaching them intuition. This program will be offered in schools very soon.
The next meditation we did was to the sound of water. He told us that since the body is 70% water, the spirit is connected to water so listening to water, rain, are all forms of meditation. We meditated for 30 minutes to the gentle sound of running water. It was also very inspiring.
Overall it was a very inspiring event and it helped focus on the inner self which is something we forget in our daily lives. I am very grateful for this opportunity and hope others will take time to learn as well.
If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.