The ‘Art of Living’ Experience
For the last few days aai and I have been attending the Art of Living part one course. I started off with an incredibly pessimistic attitude and perhaps that is a reason why I have been first questioning every single thing the teacher has said over the week before either accepting or rejecting the thought, idea, principle or philosophy. Actually he did say on the first day that some things must be accepted just like that…absorbed without doubt. But taking anything completely on trust without being convinced of the logic and the reasons concerned is very difficult for me. Maybe it is a trust issue…and I need to resolve it.
The philosophy that ‘this moment is the only one which you should live to the fullest’ is very true because you cannot in anyway alter the past or predict the future. Learning to look for the smallest pleasures in life and cherishing all these instances is crucial. What I cannot accept though is when the teacher says that no person is entirely responsible for his or her actions. I mean, if some one commits a crime, be it petty or heinous, then the person ought to be held responsible and must bear the consequences. One cannot place all responsibility on fate or karma or such stuff.
Another important point that came up was that of the ego…I had always thought that ego was to do with being extra proud and boastful but the teacher made a point that even diffidence and aloofness are forms of ego because of the very fact that you end up distancing yourself from other people. Even temper, anger, arrogance, deceit are apparently shades of ego. And in my case, I agree that I tend to prejudge people. I ought to be more open and more approachable. That itself will perhaps help me to be able to get to know people and converse with them. It is actually so much easier if you accept people as they are, instead of building up expectations about them and then being disappointed when they don’t match up to your expectations.
The breathing technique and meditation that we have been taught in the course does seem effective. I mean, breathing in more oxygen can only be an advantage, though I can’t bring myself to subscribe to the divine energy theory. Scientifically, though, it seems plausible that just taking in more oxygen into the body, you make it possible for each cell to generate a lot more ATP, thereby refreshing your system. Actually it might be interesting to see whether any data can be generated for the same on an experimental basis and also see whether brain wave patterns can be mapped so as to study the correlation with meditation.