…as “IStandforPeace” event hosted at National Cultural Centre
“Being angry doesn’t do anything for you, nor being anxious about the future. This just brings toxicity to your system. Keep your mind in the present moment. Smile more and frown less,” Gurudev Shri Shri Ravi Shankar told hundreds at the National Cultural Centre as he hosted the “IStandforPeace” event.
The Global Peace Ambassador and Humanitarian leader was in Guyana over the weekend as he continues to travel the world to promote his message of peace and living in togetherness.
At the National Culture Centre, the spiritual leader was greeted with a rich dose of Guyanese culture with welcoming sounds of Indian and African drumming as he entered.
During his presentation, Gurudev invited all in attendance to join him in a 28-minute meditation as he encouraged attendees to be in harmony with one’s mind, body and soul. He said that this will enable persons to free themselves of self-imposed limitations.
“Meditation is about transcending and focusing is a type of meditation,” he told the gathering, adding that the art of living is based on making life happy and joyful despite the challenges encouraged in a person’s daily life.
During his presentation at the National Culture Centre, Gurudev invited questions and comments from the audience as he thought the gathering about the importance of not allowing themselves to become devoted only to power and money.
“Your heart always takes pride in the old, your head always wants something new. You take pride in the latest technology and you take pride in the old friend,” he said, explaining that life is a combination of both, and to progress in life persons have to honour both “old and new”.
Speaking directly to young people in the audience, the humanitarian, who is also known as the master of peace and love, advised that if their minds are isolating between the past and future, then it will only bring toxicity in their lives.
“We are angry about the past and anxious about the future…both are useless. Being angry about the past, does it do any good for you? Being anxious about the future, does it do any good? It brings more toxins in your system; you feel more suffocated. So, live in the present moment, face the principles. This is the essence of the ancient scriptures. Keep your mind in the present moment. Smile more and frown less,” he advised young people.
Speaking on the issue of stress, he said this is the root cause of violence, as he urged and advised those present to manage their minds which will lead to their minds letting go of stress. Speaking on the issue of violence against women, he called on men to “do better”, noting that women and girls should be treated with respect.
Also in attendance at the event were Human Services and Social Security Minister, Dr Vindhya Persaud and High Commissioner of India to Guyana, Dr K J Srinivasa among other members of the diplomatic community.
Prior to the event, President Dr Irfaan Ali hosted the global peace ambassador at State House where Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips along with a number of Cabinet Ministers; members of the diplomatic community and religious leaders also attended the event.
Gurudev’s campaign was launched at the UN Headquarters in Geneva in April 2022 and is a call for the silent, positive, and rational voices in society to stand and be heard.
The campaign is premised on intentions being the driving force behind purposeful actions, and that resolve to stand for peace would itself empower those overwhelmed by the rising global aggression to channel their energies into peaceful outcomes.
Gurudev, who heads the Art of Living Foundation and the International Association of Human Values, which has a presence in more than 156 countries, says conflict arises when trust and communication break down, and can be prevented if people are mentally strong and their minds are serene and calm.
He has worked over the last 40 years to bring peace and well-being into the lives of more than 450 million persons around the world. Standing for Gandhian values of non-violence, and often called the Master of Love, Gurudev has worked with Governments and civil society leaders to progress peace in conflict-stricken areas of Sri Lanka, Iraq, Venezuela, and Colombia, among other countries.
He has also been actively involved in efforts to promote peace and sustainable development in several countries, including India, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Lebanon, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Egypt, and Haiti. He recently proposed the settlement adopted by the Supreme Court in India to settle the age-old Ayodhya dispute.
Gurudev, who began his teaching journey with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of the Transcendental Meditation movement before he began the Art of Living, teaches breath-based meditation techniques to calm the mind and to lead to improved health outcomes.
Gurudev has inspired a wave of service activities across the world among 30,000+ instructors, and over one million volunteers who also work tirelessly to bring trauma relief in areas ravaged by stress, tension, and natural disasters.
Volunteers have proactively embraced environmental sustainability by planting more than 36 million trees around the world, and they have rejuvenated thousands of water bodies in India.