Meditation is an ancient practice of allowing the mind to settle down, so that it may dissolve and rest in its own nature, the consciousness. Meditation is not concentration, rather it is the opposite, it is de-concentration. Meditation is the art of doing nothing. It is retrieving the mind from the outer world of the senses, and turning it inward, towards its source.
When the mind settles down, it lets go of unwanted impressions, stresses and emotions. Proper meditation therefore gives much more rest to the mind than even sleep. Regular practice of meditation bestows one with more clarity of mind, better concentration and memory, and improved perception, observation and expression in day-to-day life. It increases one’s energy level, immune system, and improves the quality of both activity and rest.
In today’s modern world, meditation is not a luxury, it is a necessity, if one wishes to live a happy, healthy and successful life.
Sahaj Samadhi Meditation Program
‘Sahaj' is a Sanskrit word that means natural or effortless. 'Samadhi' is a deep, blissful, meditative state. 'Sahaj Samadhi Meditation' is a natural, effortless system of meditation. The Sahaj Samadhi Meditation program teaches one a meditation technique that alleviates the practitioner from stress-related problems, deeply relaxes the mind and rejuvenates the system. And it can be practiced anywhere and at any time, effortlessly.
In the Sahaj Samadhi Meditation program one learns how meditation works, and how to meditate by oneself, effortlessly. One receives a personal mantra that will help one to go into meditation more easily, and one is also taught the do’s and don’ts of meditation. In Sanskrit, a mantra is described as, ‘Mananaat trayate iti mantra.’ This means ‘mantra is that which saves you from repetitive thoughts, and allows you to transcend the mind’. A repetitive thought is a worry. Mantras help free you from worry and stress.
The use of a special meditation mantra allows the mind to settle deeply into itself. And when the mind settles down, it lets go of all tension and stress and centers itself in the present moment. It is only in the present moment that we find true happiness; those moments when we are free from regrets about the past or anxiety about the future. Our inner nature is available naturally through this mantra meditation.
Regular practice of the technique can transform the quality of one's life, by culturing the system to maintain the peace, energy and expanded awareness throughout the day. These meditation techniques combined with yogic practices can ensure good health and a calm mind, and are invaluable for a sincere seeker on their spiritual journey.
Advanced Meditation Program
The Advanced Meditation Program (AMP), also known as the Art of Living Part 2 Program, is a 4-day residential meditation retreat that allows one to refresh the body and rejuvenate the mind, and go deep within. It contains powerful processes as well as profound guided meditations and relaxation techniques to de-stress the mind. One also gets introduced to the use of Mudras as a preparation for meditation, and a better understanding of the connection between the mind, emotions, the flow of the ‘prana’ or ‘subtle life-force energy’, sensations in the body, and the ‘chakras or ‘energy centres’.
After being introduced to gentle yoga exercises, simple yet effective breathing techniques, the powerful Sudarshan Kriya and practical wisdom in the Art of Living Happiness Program, the Part 2 program allows one to continue one’s journey on the spiritual path by deepening one’s understanding of the mind and emotions, and to experience the silence of the Being that is beyond all these. The retreat includes a few days of ‘silence’, where participants maintain silence, which allows them to go much deeper into meditation, and release many unnecessary impressions.
The Advanced Meditation Program is the main advanced level program of The Art of Living and many sincere spiritual seekers make it a point to attend a silence retreat at least once or twice a year. Every consecutive program allows the aspirants to go deeper into silence and experience more subtle layers of consciousness.
Shakti Kriya Program
Shakti Kriya is a purifying yogic technique that allows one to connect with and tap into the vast reserve of energy that lies dormant within us, known as ‘prana’ or ‘kundalini shakti’, the ‘life-force energy’. This technique has profound purifying effects on the nervous system and our subtle body, and it can also help one to further one’s Sudarshan Kriya and meditation practice.
Shakti Kriya is not similar to Sudarshan Kriya; it is a different technique altogether. In Sudarshan Kriya, the breath is used to access an inner rhythm and tap into an inner energy. However, in Shakti Kriya, the rhythm of the breath is not used, but one that is much more innate to oneself.
The prerequisites for one to be able to attend a Shakti Kriya program are one Advanced Meditation Program and one Art of Living Happiness Program, and participants must be in good physical health, as Shakti Kriya is a physically demanding process. Those with certain medical conditions may not be able to do Shakti Kriya.
Art of Living Happiness Program
The Art of Living Happiness Program is a 3 or 6-day workshop, 3-4 hours a day, that has been designed for the general public, students and young professionals, and provides practical tools to live a more healthy, joyful, successful and fulfilling life.
Gentle yoga exercises, simple yet effective breathing techniques, and the powerful Sudarshan Kriya provide people with the means to reduce stress, improve their physical and mental health, and regain the enthusiasm that we all knew as a child. It is a dynamic program that also includes practical wisdom, thought-provoking processes and a lot of fun.
The Sudarshan Kriya is an easy to practice, yet extremely potent breathing technique, that not only has numerous physical and mental health benefits, but is also an effective preparation for meditation. It is a great addition for any sincere practitioner of meditation.
The Happiness Program is the main foundation program of The Art of Living and a prerequisite for many of its advanced meditation programs. Millions of people across the world have already benefited from this program, and swear by its effectiveness in reducing stress, regaining physical and mental health, and rekindling the enthusiasm for anything we do it life.