Advance Course, Art of Living, Ashram, Bangalore, Bawa, Boone, Dinesh Ghodke, Guruji, Happiness Program, Khurshed Batliwala, Michael Fischman, Silence, Sri Sri Ravishankar, Vishalakshi Mantap, YES!+
It’s been six years since I did my first Art of Silence course and almost three and a half years since I did my last, and it feels different. Times are different, circumstances are different, people around me are different, the country that I live in is different, it’s Boston and not Bangalore, it’s taking place at a center and not the ashram, but something inside of me still wants to yell out, “I am going home!”
Home…well, I guess that’s what the Art of Living ashram in Bangalore does to you. I knew it was a home at the first instant; I don’t know how, I just knew it the moment when I saw the top of Vishalakshi Mantap (VM) from the taxi as I hit 21st km kanakapura road for the first time. In fact, from there on in, every time that I would make a trip to the ashram, seeing VM from the bus before entering the International center of the Art of Living would make my eyes wet. My heart would start pumping faster and I would feel like I am on the brink of something incredible. It felt like a wish was coming true and trust me, it happened every single time. It was amazing and something that I could never comprehend, but I guess that’s what happens when you are right outside of your home.
Ashram was a place where everyone was welcomed, accepted and celebrated, where every being was spiritual (and I am not talking about only humans), where everybody smiled for absolutely no reason, where the energy was so strong that you could rise in love with anybody at any time, and where it seemed like you already knew all the people whom you had just met. Time, space, energy, beings and their spirits, nature, universe and God…in the ashram, all those felt connected. It’s a connection that – probably – only silence and grace can make you experience and having not been in silence for over three years, at a personal level, I believe my connection with the self and the divine needs be strengthened again.
So, here I go again, wearing a huge smile on my face and singing Jai Gurudev! Over the years, Guruji and his knowledge has taken me to places. From my experience, one thing that I have learned is to trust the process and enjoy the journey. You know, about three years ago, when I was a student at the Florida State University, I could never save enough money to afford an advance course. So, I took a sankalpa of doing an advance course once I save enough money and three years on…boom! Now that I have done that, it feels very special. Even though it’s my sixth and I won’t be doing it in the ashram, or going to the ashram doing satsangs in the train with hundreds of fellow volunteers, I believe this Art of Silence course it’s going to be the most special one yet. I just know it.
(Hult International Business School, Course Location)
Times are different, circumstances are different, I have even grown up a tad bit, but one thing still remains the same: the thought of me doing an advance course still makes me feel like there is magic in the air. I do feel it in my fingers and I absolutely feel it in my toes; Guru grace is all around me and the feeling grows…I feel like my spirit is dancing. It’s special, it’s magic and in Boston, I AM GOING HOME.