Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sunanda Gadagottu - Art of Living Experience

Art of Living Teacher, California, USA

A year before I first attended the Art of Living course over nine years ago, I was blazing through an Interior Design Program after having dropped being an engineer for good. I had a lot of fun and the design projects were things of absolute delight. As a final project in Principles of Design, I chose to build a model of a “spiritual retreat”. It represented the journey of a man. Looking back, I realize it was a reflection of where I was headed. Even before knowledge blossomed in my life and many veils were lifted from my mind, I was projecting what I was to realize very soon.
My design was purely conceptual and abstract—you couldn’t build it into a real building. It began with a large chaotic region with negative spaces, dead ends, and mazes.  It progresses into (you mathematicians will get this) spaces of definite shape and openness like a Dodecahedron and finally evolving into a sphere whose boundaries are almost non-existent. This journey is connected by a path designed with a proportion called a “Divine Proportion” in mathematics. You may be beginning to see where I am going with this, or may be not. What happened with that program, you may ask - have you graduated?….No, I was yanked out of it to speed on the real divine highway.
Everything on this path brings amazement to me. The journey of my imagination had been made real by a touch of magic, shifting and transforming every moment. I don't know when this journey started, but I was made fully aware of where I was going when I first attended the Art of Living course. Suddenly it was as if someone held up a lamp and lighted my path. Here I am now taking a look in the rear view mirror and seeing all the mountains I scaled, the canyons I crossed, the fires I walked through…… sometimes trudging on, sometimes leaping from treetop to treetop like in a Chinese movie and I look forward and see nothing different, but I have become someone else. The future brings very little fear, the past has very few strings- this path has made me full and empty.
By the way, the path of divine proportions that I designed then and the path of divinity I am now walking on is the Path of Yoga. This path where mice become lions, beasts show their beauty, flowers find their fragrance, people walk like kings….. this path where one is free and yet wholly connected to everyone, this path I gladly traverse.