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Why you should attend an Art of Living meditation

Written by Sue Turjman, Staff Writer

On October 28, I attended the Art of Living meditation workshop that Dr. Micah Daily was super ecstatic about giving. The Art of Living is a non-profit that was established in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a well-renowned spiritual leader. In my own personal experience, meditation was not something I was particularly good at. I knew that some people swear by it –I mean, for centuries, it has been incorporated in religion for a reason. So I knew it was possible. I just wasn’t good at it.

Going into this workshop, I didn’t know what to expect. Would we just meditate for the whole hour? Would we just talk about meditation? The ad wasn’t clear.
Aysha Shaikh and Ashish Panda, who work for Art of Living, lead the workshop. They each found their way to the Art of Living much like I found my way to this workshop—they had no idea what they were getting into, but immediately fell in love with it.

At the beginning of this workshop, Ashish explained that there are two worlds we live in: the physical or outer world, which includes your body and all the people, places, and things we experience; and the inner world, which is our mind and thoughts. He said that we spend so much time trying to exercise our body in the outer world by working out, but we neglect to exercise our inner world. This is known as meditation.

“So, why meditate?” he continued.

“To relieve stress,” one MSMU student replied.

“It’s funny that you mention that,” he said. “The most common word known in the world used to be ‘Bible’ a few decades ago. Now the most common word is ‘stress’.”

And it’s true. How often do we say we’re stressed? I do it all the time. Everyone does. And it doesn’t matter the occupation or problem people are dealing with. We are all stressed. And meditation does help.

He also said that we constantly have our minds in the past or in the future. We constantly have negative thoughts and hardly focus on the positive. During meditation, we should push away every negative thought and keep our minds in the present. This helps those who find it difficult to concentrate.
Aysha chimed in and mentioned that she overheard one of the girls mention how she needed a cup of coffee. She said she could teach us a meditation that is equivalent to one cup of coffee. I was skeptical, but believe me, it worked!

How to Replace a Cup of Coffee with Meditation:

To do this meditation, one needs to sit up straight, relaxing the shoulders and neck. Elbows are close (but not touching) the ribs and arms are up. Hands are in a very loose fist. To begin, shoot your arms straight up, hands open, and breath in very forcefully and short. Then, arms go back down to the original position while breathing out, again, in a forceful manner. This is repeated about ten times and then go into a relaxed position with palms on lap, faced up. The mind should be a blank slate during this relaxed position.
Repeat three times.

I felt extremely energized after the first round of this meditation. Already, it started working. It was incredible. I had been up since 4 am and I had energy all throughout the evening! This is why I am promoting this workshop.

Dr. Daily did mention that this was not the last we would be seeing of Aysha and Ashish. They will be back soon. To find out more, contact Micah Daily, mdaily@msmu.edu.

To find out more about Art of Living, visit their website.

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