India’s meditation master Ravi Shankar teaches in Taiwan

April 27th, 2008 - 11:54 am ICT by admin  

By David Chang
Taipei, April 27 (DPA) The world is full of conflicts, violence and problems, but all these can be solved by meditation, according to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the Indian meditation master and founder of the Art of Living Foundation. “All world problems, from military conflicts to domestic conflicts, are caused by violence. Through meditation we can remove the cause of violence, thus we can bring peace to the world,” he said in an interview with DPA at a meditation course in Taipei Saturday.

“My method of meditation is different from others because it is easy and effective. It can relieve tension, refresh the mind and help one find true happiness,” Shankar said.

About 400 Taiwanese were gathered at a hotel in Taoyuan, outside Taipei, to learn a “purifying breathing technique” from Shankar, who is called Guruji by his followers. Shankar arrived in Taipei Thursday, the third stop on his teaching tour in Asia which also includes visits to Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

The trip was his eighth to Taiwan where his Art of Living Foundation has an office and tens of thousands of people practice his meditation methods.

On Friday, he gave a talk on meditation to 2,500 people at the National Taiwan University in Taipei.

Unlike several other Indian spiritual leaders, Shankar does not claim to perform miracles. He devotes his time to teaching meditation, Sahaj Samadhi Meditation or purifying breathing, promoting human value and world peace through doing social work and teaching meditation to victims of war and natural disaster and prisoners.

“A wise man sees the past as destiny, sees the future as free will, but lives in the present moment,” said Shankar, 51, who was wrapped in a white gown, his dark eyes twinkling.

Shakar defines meditation as state where the mind is “in the present moment” and without agitation, hesitation or anticipation. Meditation is different from sleep because when one meditates, one is alert, while when one sleeps, one simply rests.

“I sit down for one hour’s meditation daily, but throughout the day I am also meditating.”

Shankar, who is single and vegetarian, spends a third of his time at his foundation in Bangalore, south India, and two-thirds travelling around the world teaching meditation, promoting interfaith harmony and supervising his foundation’s humanitarian projects in 140 countries.

He has visited Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel and Kosovo to teach post-trauma meditation to war victims, and toured prisons in Thailand and Taiwan to teach inmates how to find peace and the will to start anew through meditation.

Those who master his meditation methods, he claims, find peace and contentment and see all human beings as the self.

Many of Shankar’s Taiwan students told DPA his meditation methods have transformed their lives. Jenny Yu, an insurance saleswoman, began to learn Sahaj Samadhi Meditation seven years ago and is now a certified teacher of Shankar’s meditation techniques in Taiwan.

“This meditation has transformed my life. I am a happier person and I look young. Many people who meet me think I am in my 20s, but I am already 42. They ask for my secret. I say meditation has helped me stay young,” she said.

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