The Art of Living Foundation

The Art of Living is a global service project for enriching the lives of people everywhere. It is a non-profit educational organisation run entirely by volunteers who freely dedicate their time, energy and resources to spreading the teachings of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living Foundation. Numerous courses are offered that promote spiritual growth and self-development. These courses, offered to all, regardless of colour, creed, race or religion, provide practical skills for reducing stress, strain, and worry from everyday life, and aim to nurture the experience of love, peace, joy and enthusiasm in our lives.

The objective of the Art of Living is to ensure that busy people in the world may have the opportunity to receive the practical aspect of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's wisdom, which is so beautifully structured in the initial six day (18 hours) Art of Living course (Part 1), and the Art of Living Advanced courses (Part 2 and 3) which are held in scenic locations around the world. For info on the starting course, see: Art of Living Basic Course (Part 1)

The Art of Living course is a rich and beautifully structured knowledge and experience programme which helps one to lead a more stress-free life. All the processes are directed towards increasing our 'awareness' and improving physical and mental health. At the core of the course is the unique Sudarshan Kriya® or the Healing Breath technique. Daily practice of Sudarshan Kriya® promotes increased energy, more vibrant health and positivity, improved stability and confidence, and helps eliminate habitual patterns of anger, anxiety and depression. It provides very practical skills in handling our mind and negative emotions. There is an amazing connection between our breath and our state of mind!

The direct benefit of this knowledge and experience is appreciation of life in its fullness - not in some near or far future, but right here and now - in the present moment. This one programme has changed the lives of millions across the globe in over 153 countries. The Art of Living Foundation is one of the fastest growing NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the world and is recognised by the United Nations and the World Health Organisation.

The Art of Living Advanced courses (part 2 and 3) are offered for those who have completed the Art of Living part 1 course. These in-residence courses are usually held in natural scenic locations and offer the opportunity for in-depth experiences and a continuation and deepening of the processes and knowledge covered during the initial Part 1 course.

From this inspiration and charge of energy, the Art of Living Foundation has made a remarkable name for itself around the world for its joyfully motivated and energetically productive service and community work. Because the proven benefits of Sudarshan Kriya® are so perfect for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (and the volunteers all get the benefits themselves, too), amazing work has been done in quick response to the Tsunami disaster, Gujurat earthquake, Hurricane Katrina, Kashmir/Pakistan earthquake, Orisa cyclone (to name a few), plus teachers traveling and teaching Art of Living in challenging conditions, such as in the recent war-torn parts of Iraq and also in Manhattan, NY, near Ground Zero just days after 9-11.

Prison programmes: In the USA, India, South Africa and Europe, many successful Art of Living programmes have been held in prisons, and ongoing programmes continue in these countries, with hundreds of thousands of prisoners benefitting. In India, the entire police force in the state of Karnataka (over 3000 policemen) have taken the Art of Living course, and there are filmed interviews with hardened terrorists/criminals held in high security detention centres who have completely and whole-heartedly denounced violence after completing their first Art of Living prison course.

Courses for people living with AIDS: Special Art of Living programmes have been available since 1994 for people living with AIDS and those who are HIV+. Ayurvedic courses offered by the Art of Living academies and ashrams around the world have had remarkable benefits for cancer sufferers, and other people suffering from degenerative disorders.

In India and Africa, there have been marvellous results with the 5H Programme for poverty stricken areas and remote villages. By training young adult members of these communities, lasting results have been gained by their own people learning the latest techniques on sustainable housing, methodologies of community health and hygiene and, of course, the Art of Living golden human values for harmonious community living, with caring and equality for all. See: 5H service programmes

The Art of Living sponsors a school for children in the poorer regions surrounding Bangalore, India, under the aegis of the Institute of Vedic Science, Ved Vignan Mahavidyapeeth, which is a charitable non-profit school founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. All services are administered at no charge to each child through donations from individuals and groups around the world. See: http://www.vvmvp.org/

In the United Kingdom we are a growing organisation with a group of dedicated teachers (including Craig Pruess) promoting the Art of Living throughout the country. See: Art of Living in the UK. Many thousands of people have attended the Art of Living part 1 courses and the Advanced courses over the last few years, and the Prison courses continue to be taught on a regular basis. Residential advanced courses (Part 2 courses) are held about four times a year in different parts of the UK. Art of Living teachers also hold regular follow-up meetings for those who have attended the Art of Living part 1 course. In 2004, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar visited London, where a large celebration of over 4,000 people came together at Wembley Conference Centre, and Sri Sri was received in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, where he gave a keynote speech to Scottish MP's. Then in May, 2006, a huge crowd gathered at Wembley Arena for an evening of music and celebration.

In February, 2006, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and the worldwide Art of Living family celebrated the Silver Jubilee, the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Art of Living. 3 million souls from around the world gathered in Bangalore, India, to enjoy a huge experience of a "global one world family" - with meditation, music and speeches from the assembled world leaders and spiritual luminaries. The Art of Living volunteers achieved a staggering success of constructing a beautifully majestic two acre stage with over 2,000 dignitaries, seated amongst a 3,800 piece South Indian orchestra! With large screens and big sound system (over a 4 km wide air field) reminiscent of a massive Pink Floyd concert, as the sun set, the whole spectacle over three nights took on a luminous and totally inspiring flavour. The President of India was astounded at the event, giving a keynote speech filled with appreciation for the international achievements of the Art of Living. The King of Ghana got up and spoke with a booming voice over the multitudes: "The whole world can be like this.!" The high point came each night with the largest group meditation in the history of the planet (over 3 million people). You could hear a pin drop.......

The Art of Living: MAKING YOUR LIFE A CELEBRATION ON THIS PLANET!!

See the Art of Living website at: http://artofliving.org/

Art of Living videos, audiotapes, music and knowledge books are available, and there is a mail order service.

For Craig's comments on how learning the Art of Living has affected his work and life, see: Art of Living