This past Thursday, one of my best friends came to Los Angeles to visit me and see Sri Sri Ravi Shankar during the May 9th Art of Living event, Meditation 2.0. The event included a guided meditation by the Guru and a question and answer session with him on issues of life that concern people.
I took the Art of Living meditation course during my undergraduate days at Berkeley, and find the meditation techniques useful for relieving stress and tension when I’m having a bad day. But, I hadn’t once set foot in the Art of Living Center over the last nine months I have resided here. My friend is a very strong advocate for the meditation practices taught through this organization and was dismayed by my apathy. So, with some push from her, I finally wandered into the building and saw the beautiful architecture and got a glimpse of the man behind the organization.
The building looks like a grand hotel or congressional building. When you wonder inside, there is a lobby, some volunteer organized book stores, a large space for yoga and meditation in the bottom floor, and the most amazing part: a grand auditorium with a large dome. The architecture of the building is astounding with beautiful engravings in the ceiling and staircases. You should check it out if you get the chance.
I also got to take a tour of the adjacent building, which is normally used for smaller meditation sessions. Here are some pictures of the kitchen area, where vegetarian food was being prepped for Sri Sri Ravi Shanker’s visit that weekend.
I also caught a few glimpses of the Guru himself when he arrived. There was a crowd of people following him around as he walked through and around the two buildings of the center. Look out for pictures I captured of him as well. He is the founder of the Art of Living Foundation, a global service project that exists in more than 150 countries around the world. You can learn more about it here.