The Art of Living foundation, or Art of
Living, is an educational and humanitarian movement that has been serving
humanity through stress-management programs and service initiatives for the
last 35 years. The organization was founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in 1981,
and it has since then spread across the world through the efforts of Sri Sri
Ravi Shankar and a growing team of inspired and dedicated volunteers. The
organization mainly consists of people who volunteer in whatever capacity they
can, as they share Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s vision of working for a
violence-free, stress-free world where people from all cultures and backgrounds
live together as a One World Family, respecting each other and celebrating
diversity. The organization is actively working globally in more than 150
countries and has touched the lives and reached out to over 370 million people
One of the main ideas behind the Art of Living courses is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s philosophy of peace: "Unless we have a stress-free mind and a violence-free society, we cannot achieve world peace." The Art of Living courses and stress-elimination programs include breathing techniques, meditation and yoga, and help people to get rid of stress, overcome depression and experience inner peace. Through the Art of Living courses millions of people around the world have been able to overcome stress, depression, negative emotions and violent tendencies, and experience peace and a sense of well being in their daily life.
Over the years, the Art of Living has spread peace and a sense of belongingness across communities through a wide range of humanitarian initiatives, including disaster relief, conflict resolution, sustainable rural development, women empowerment, education for all, prisoner rehabilitation, and environmental sustainability.
Art of Living’s Organizational Structure
The Art of Living has become a multi-faceted organization operating globally that has one of the largest volunteer bases in the world. The international headquarters of the organization is located in Bangalore, India. In 1989 the Art of Living Foundation was formed in the United States of America and in Germany, and since then local centers have been established in countries across the world.
The Art of Living also works in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations, and takes part in a variety of committees and activities relating to health, education, sustainable development and conflict resolution. The Art of Living also works together with UN organizations such as United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and others, for several joint initiatives.