Friday, April 26, 2013

Shivani Billimoria - Smiles, prayers and miracles

Art of Living Teacher and Blesser, Delhi, India

Follow Shivani on twitter @Shivani-b

Being a medical doctor, and having ‘been there done it all’, at 36 years of age I realized I was still searching for something, but was unable to know exactly what.
I went for a talk for Doctors by a Doctor about medical research on a breathing technique called SUDARSHAN KRIYA that could alter DNA in Nov 2005. Now that was something that triggered my curious intellect.10 minutes into the talk , 2 min of looking at the smiling faces of some Art of Living members on stage and I knew I would be at the course venue next morning, along with my husband.
After the first Kriya I knew I had started my earnest journey to discover ‘that something’ I had been missing. A small but clear voice in my head said ‘Continue with this and you will eventually find the answers to your burning questions.’
When I asked my teacher ‘What next’, his smiling reply was ‘Do the Art of Silence course’, and I went for it. Like a bird in a cage I was flustered during the course, since I was silent for the first time in years but again I heard the same voice. After this, still not convinced about the ‘Guru’ principle, I continued to feed my intellect with Sri Sri 's talk CD's and books but amazingly would go to sleep like a little baby and wake up all wise and smart.
One day at my hospital  a complication with a patient made me feel helpless for the first time in life and I heard myself speak to Sri Sri's photo on my desk, asking Him to do something. After 3 days, in a follow up X ray I witnessed a miracle. The fractured segment of instrument lodged in the patient’s bone had vanished. That moment I saw what I had been missing - I saw My Guru. Now I had the burning desire to meet Him, somehow, somewhere, but soon and I started vehemently praying for it!
That wonderful day happened in Ahmedabad at Maha Shivratri in 2007. There were thousands of people, and it seemed impossible that I would get to meet Him in person. So I just closed my eyes and started expressing my gratitude under my breath. Suddenly people started nudging me to get up and go towards the stage because GURUJI was asking me if I wanted to share something and that I should be given a mike. Walking through that crowd towards my Master I realized He knew ME all along.
Now 8 years later, miracles are have become a part of my life. I was cured of claustrophobia and panic attacks through eternity process, Vertigo with Blessings course and Yoga, Even pre-cancerous findings disappeared with my regular practice of Sudarshan Kriya and Sri Sri Ayurveda products. Now as a Dentist I continue to create smiles as my business. But bringing life and adding miles to those smiles is my one and only mission, which with the Grace of my Master I am able to do as an Art of Living Teacher and Blesser.
Content in every aspect of life with a loving husband who supports my endeavors to spread the Art of Living knowledge and two wonderful boys who are also steadily bringing Yoga, Ayurveda and Meditation in their daily routine there is only one prayer I am hoping my MASTER will continue to fulfil - Let me continue serving HIM.  I want to be more useful in this lifetime and only He can put me to good use. :)

Jai GuruDev!
Dr. Shivani (Rita) Billamoria

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Rajita Vishwakarma - A New beginning

Volunteer, Thane/Ahmedabad, India

I was born in Igatpuri, a small sleepy, beautiful, hill station near Mumbai. During my early years, I was a pampered, introvert child, the youngest in the family of four sisters. My doctor parents, though religious were not spiritual in nature and growing up, I had never heard the word “Guru” mentioned. College was fun till my mother was detected with Breast Cancer in 1993 and within a year my whole world collapsed with her demise. Suddenly I became the lady of the house who had to manage the home, groceries and kitchen…all these were alien words for me. I left my second year post graduation in Pune University and came back to Igatpuri to be by my father’s side. My two eldest sisters were married with families of their own and my third sister was finishing her studies to be a doctor.

For eight years I continued to stay with my Dad refusing to get married as the thought of leaving him alone to manage the home was too much for me. For all these years after my mother’s death, the fear of Cancer kept eating me. Finally in the year 2001 I settled for an arranged marriage with my husband Rajesh.

Life was once again blossoming for me till in 2003 mis-carriage gave me a rude shock and then within 6 months at the age of 31 I was diagnosed with stage 3 Breast Cancer - The most hated word in my life. I could see the end that I had witnessed for my mother. I was certain that I had reached the end of the road and the doctors were also not very positive of the outcome at that time as the dreaded cancer had spread to my axila region and affected the lymph nodes there.

While I was undergoing rigorous chemotherapy sessions, I got a call from a dear college friend. She had just returned from Advance Meditation Course of AOL in Malaysia and was very upbeat about the benefits of Art Of Living Courses. She told me about Guruji and insisted that I do the Basic Course ASAP. Soon after I had completed my Chemotherapy and Radiation treatment I came across an advertisement for Basic Course in Thane. My husband encouraged me to enroll in it. Though skeptical in the beginning I went ahead and registered.

Jan 25, 2005 – The First day in the course was very painful as I could not sit down and had to sit on the chair. Bhastrika was a monumental task as one hand was swollen as a result of operations and the other hand was bruised and battered with innumerable injections and IVs that were pumped into it. Second day. the Sudarshan Kriya day was amazing and miraculous as I experienced Guruji’s grace flowing inside me and calming me down. After the Kriya I felt this sudden surge of positive energy inside me. For the first time in years I felt that Cancer can be beaten and I could do that.
Then, in March I attended the Maha Sudarshan Kriya (Live with Guruji). It was the first time I saw Him as well. When he approached the area where I was standing, I could just raise my hands to wave out to him as my throat choked with emotions and tears of joy flowed from my eyes. I had never felt such strong emotions and bonding for a person I had never met before.
My first checkup appointment was the day after the Maha Kriya. I was nervous about the outcome of my blood test reports. My Oncologists were however happy and pleasantly surprised with the way my health had progressed after the treatment. My Onco Surgeon who had given me only 60% chance of survival, declared me Cancer Free…. the sweetest words I had ever heard. I then knew that Sudarshan Kriya was playing a big role in my recovery.
Now whenever I go for my Health checkup, I talk to the new patients there and tell them my life story and how Art Of Living and Guruji have helped me in winning this battle. My Faith in Guruji has inspired many friends and strangers to do the course.

It has been eight joyous years since I was introduced to this wonderful way of living. These eight years have completely changed my outlook towards life…for the better. It has given me a new family… My Art Of Living Family; with fabulous lifelong friends and most importantly given me a Guru to whom I can look up to, give my botherations to and be assured that HE will guide me out of any sticky situations. A Guru whom, I love, adore and worship. My Guru of Joy.

Jai GuruDev!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Jesica Tirado - Found my purpose.... at last

Art of Living Teacher

(Follow Jesy on Twitter: @jesytirado )

Post originally in Spanish.

El original de este blog en español. Por favor, haga clic en el botón de traducir a la derecha (en la barra lateral) para acceder a este blog en español.

I was born in Argentina in 1983. Oldest of 3 sisters, I used to see the world, through history and around the globe. When I was 10 years old, I had already read the biographies of great people such as Mandela, Luther King, Saints like Saint Francis of Asis and others that have had significant impact in this world. These wonderful texts started me thinking "What can I do to contribute? How can I be more useful to society?"

When I was 11, I thought charity is the way and I started gathering donations for different places.  After doing this for two years, I realized I would be able to accomplish much more working in a group, than just by myself.  So, I started talking to my friends and asked them to join me. By the end of the year, over 50 of us were working together to raise funds for the various charitable institutions.  Still I felt something was missing --"education! I thought". So I spoke to this group and we started helping kids with their studies so that they would be able to finish school. Then we also started teaching adults who wanted to join college again. Still, I felt incomplete. So I joined a political party when I was 16, and did not find fulfillment there either.

At 17, I started studying medicine, I was a great student getting very high grades. I was in a group that helped the freshmen with their work. I had left politics but I still was involved in different charitable and educational projects. By the time I was 20, I had even written a book, and soon felt completely burned out.

I had many health issues stemming from endocrine problems. I was tired all the time. I had problems sleeping, concentrating and even in relating to people.

That year my sister invited me to the Art of Living Course.  In the first week, I was feeling so great that when my teacher Beatriz Goyoaga told us to do some service activity, I said I want to go and help in the foundation.

In the first month after the course, I realized how I was studying better than ever, in less time. I was sleeping well, feeling energized, relaxed and focused - all together for the first time in my life.

In 2006, I participated in the Art of Living Silver Jubilee (25th anniversary).  There I met Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for the first time. I was astounded at the number of projects and volunteers Sri Sri had inspired around the globe. His work touched all segments of society, aimed at making life a celebration from.

I came back and started collaborating actively in the Art of Living's Argentina chapter and for the first time, at long last, I felt fulfillment - this was what I had been looking for since child.

Now I am an Art of Living Teacher since 2007 and I have been able to see the same change I have experienced in my life in thousands of people from all walks of life and every sector of society.

Jai GuruDev!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Akash Barwal - Welcome Home

Senior Art of Living, Art of meditation, Blessings and Art of Silence Teacher
(Follow Akash ji 
Twitter: @aakashavani )

I think I’ve always been strange, not that I’m not now … : )
I grew up in the Gulf (Abu Dhabi), my childhood was full of love and care, well taken care by my beautiful parents ‘my teachers’, who stood by my side and taught me to believe in myself.
As a child I preferred being with the elders rather than my own age group, had a questioning mind and would not readily accept social norms and religious beliefs, sometimes being satirical or rebellious. I had an eventful youth, time passed by…
When I was nineteen, one day at a family friend’s house I saw picture of this bearded man with these deep compassionate eyes, at whom I kept staring for a while. I was told he was Sri Sri Ravi ShankAr,  a great spiritual master  from India. Although I don’t dream, that night I saw the same bearded man  holding my hand, walking by a garden at sunrise… I woke up feeling strange and laughed at myself… for the next three days I had the same dream… I ran to our family friend’s house to enquire what was happening to me… that was the first time I heard ‘Jai Gurudev ‘. He just smiled.
Within a week I told my parents about my decision to embark on a journey to meet this strange man coming in my dreams, a decision which they were strongly against, naturally. Strangely no amount of love, persuasion, force or greed stopped me and my urge to meet this strange bearded man kept growing. Finally, everyone had to give in….
And, finally here I was on my first train journey to Bangalore, with high fever and no idea as to where I was being led to, really! It was 14th May 1995, I remember reaching the ashram gates tired and weary after the journey and the fever, looking around. How would I know this would be my home for the rest of my life? I asked somebody where I could meet Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the person smiled at me and took me along to this beautiful amphitheater called Sumeru Mantap.
And right there at Sumeru, with an amazing sunset behind him, I finally saw my bearded man sitting under the Bodhi tree, eyes closed, singing and playing cymbals. I had never attended a satsang before, I was more interested in meeting the man in the center and was just wondering, when I would meet him, and voila! He just turned sideways looked straight at me at smiled, adding fuel to my excitemen At the end of the satsang he made everyone close their eyes, and as everyone was meditating, quietly walked away. As I was sitting by the entrance stairs, he walked straight towards me, looked at me and said, “Are you from Abu Dhabi?”  I don’t know what I said, I just nodded and looked at him with disbelief, we had never met before… He looked at me lovingly and said, “Now take rest, we will meet tomorrow”.
I had the deepest sleep that night and woke up fresh the next morning, my fever had gone. Sitting on the bed gazing outside the window, I was in absolute amazement, I did not know what was happening, where I was and what I was doing amidst these people dressed in white…
After a wonderful breakfast, I was moving about looking around when this calm looking gentleman came to me, asked me if I was from Au Dhabi and that the Master was calling me. On the way, upon my request, he was kind enough to give me one of his dhotis and help me tie it too; the gentleman was Raghuraj Raja (now Swami Sadyojatha).
I was led to this serene round cottage surrounded by trees and lots of bells - Shakti Kutir. And in Shakti Kutir, on a beautiful throne was sitting my bearded man… he was looking so majestic as though he was handling the affairs of heaven and earth from right there… yet so calm and compassionate, with twinkle in his eyes and a childlike naughty smile.
There were a few people in the room; he was combing his hair, talking to them, once in a while He would look at me and pass a smile; I was growing impatient. All of a sudden he looked at me and gestured, calling me towards him. Like a child runs to its mother, I went near him and looked at him. At once he said, “ask, what you want to ask”. To my amazement, I just looked at him, grinning and fumbling, didn’t know what to say, as all my great queries had evaporated! Not knowing what to say, I looked up and said with a tone of secrecy, “I want to talk something important, but alone”.
Since I was adamant on talking alone, after a while he sent everybody out of the room, this made the situation more comical as I didn’t know what I wanted to talk to Him about!
And, finally when he said, Hmmmmm..? I looked at him smiled and said, “nothing”!
So, here was I, far away from my home and family sitting at the feet of a strangely beautiful man not knowing what I was doing there but still felt as if all my journeys and quests had ended right there…
He just held me close and hugged me, that moment felt like an eternity, everything stopped, my heart was aching, I wept in his lap not knowing why, I was happy yet I had tears….
He asked me, “what do you want”, and at that moment there was nothing else I wanted. All I could say way, “I want to be with you forever”, He just smiled at me and said “Welcome home”