November/December 2000 Spirituality
Destress and Let Your Mind Soar, Sudarshan Kriya interviewed
by Miriam Knight
Think of your mind as a kite, your body as the reel and your breath
as the string of the kite. When the string is short the kite will
bounce along the ground or get stuck in the trees.
Your state of mind affects your breathing and vice versa. Short,
shallow breaths means you are tense or stressed. When the breath
is long and deep you can generate a happy and relaxed state. When
you are in this state, the kite of your mind can soar and you can
make good decisions. In fact your whole outlook on life changes.
Sudarshan Kriya, or Kurshed for short, used this vivid metaphor
to illustrate his conviction that it is the right of every human
being to be happy and relaxed. The mind, he said, has a tendency
to oscillate between the past and the future. We look back on the
past with regret or nostalgia and are anxious about the future.
The time where we can actually be happy is short it is only
in the present moment.
From his base in Bombay, Kurshed travels the world training teachers
for the Art of Living workshops on breathing and meditation. He
was introduced to the Art of Living, which is now in 94 countries,
nine years ago when he was studying for his MA in mathematics. His
immune system was weak and he couldnt make it to his classes,
but after adopting the techniques developed by Sri Ravi Shankar,
an enlightened master of great intelligence and innocence, he turned
his health and his life around. His own doctor now sends his patients
Meditation does have a spiritual element, but it also brings great
physical benefits, particularly when combined with breathing techniques.
For example, in just six days, Kurshed says, high blood pressure
can be brought under control. He has taught people from all walks
of life. Most of the teachers he trains have advanced degrees. The
are not airy fairy, but solid, dedicated people who see the
results in their own lives.
Although the Art of Living movement started in 1981, it has really
gathered momentum in the last three or four years. It is a registered
NGO with special consultative status with the Social Council of
the UN World Health Organization. Participation in the workshops
gives you lifetime membership and follow-up sessions are on a donation
basis, where all money goes toward spreading the word on this life-enhancing
As Kurshed sped toward the airport, he left me with a blessing
that he clearly lives by Be in joy!
For information on the Art of Living Workshops call 503-968-7983
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org;