Meditation, for all the overwhelming proof of its benefits to our physical and mental health, still gets a bad rap. Sitting quietly, closing your eyes, and breathing doesn’t seem like it should be a tough habit to start. And yet. This is why, on July 8 from 5 to 7pm at the Loews Hotel Regency Ballroom, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, international peacemaker, mindfulness guru, founder of the Art of Living Foundation — and not Nora Jones’ late parent — will be in Philly for the assist.
People of all ages, backgrounds and levels of meditation — especially beginners — are invited to let go of stress and let in some joy. Right here in Center City.
Philadelphian Sonal Gambhir has been a student of Gurudev for 18 years. Her brother introduced her to the Art of Living “when I was a young mother,” she recalls. “I could see that my life was changing a lot, that my priorities were changing.” She tried out Gurudev’s breathing and meditation practices and …
“I could see the change in the way I thought, the perspective. It gives you the bigger vision, this bigger view, away from all of the energy-draining things that happen in our daily life,” says Gambhir. She liked the results so much, that she’s since trained to become an Art of Life teacher and serves as one of the Foundation’s thousands of volunteers worldwide.
Gambhir and her fellow devotees do this, because, “We want to bring the way it’s transformed our lives — it’s brought the joy and relief from stress — to more and more people. Having the tools, having the means to deal with your stress and your mind, it’s so achievable,” she says.
Art of Living Joyfully in Philadelphia
Gurudev is also known as the “Guru of Joy. ” The two-hour event involves talking, a guided meditation, and live music — you can take part in the singing, if you wish. It might not change your world overnight, but it will certainly open it to the possibility. “You usually come out feeling relaxed, happy and light,” says Gambhir.
The event is also a prelude to the U.S. edition of the World Culture Festival on the Mall in Washington, D.C., September 29 through October 1. Millions of people have gathered for World Culture Festivals in New Delhi, Berlin, and Bangalore — this will be America’s chance to get in on the global celebration of peace and diversity.
The Journey Within, an evening of meditation, wisdom, and the Art of Living Joyfully takes place July 8 from 5 to 7pm at the Loews Hotel Regency Ballroom, 1200 Market Street. Tickets are $25-100.
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