Sri Sri Ravi Shankar put a smile on faces at the EP
Source: European Parliament Journal, Events & People, Edition 283
Date: 24.11.2010
Country, Language: Belgium, English

He is greeted in the packed room with a standing ovation. Unfortunately he is the only “yogi” in the room, to disappoint those who had expected a chanting crowd of silhouettes clad in white. He evokes the goals of peace and the development of humanity in a “global human family”.

“You should not applaud me but the 300 million volunteers who have supported our work for over 25 years, he says. “Just a few minutes of daily breathing exercises can transform the mind”, he adds. “We have trained 100 000 teachers wordwide to spread the knowledge. We collect funding by means of seminars based on group spirit. We receive no public aid.”

100 million man hours in 150 countries

The Art of Living Foundation has established 138 schools free of charge, conceived a health and hygiene programme for poor villages, rehabilitated 200 000 prisoners, built 5670 toilets, 1036 bore-wells and 820 bio-gas plants.

Out: Drinking and robbery

Among the projects, one speaker points out the model village of Marashtra, a poor village formally known for its violent population and misdeeds. It has transformed into an example for community life without drinking, smoking or robbery.

“People can be transformed”

Sri Sri advocates the idea that everybody can change, whatever misdeed he may have committed. “That’s why we have developed the Prison Smart rehabilitation programme for prisoners. We want to promote their peaceful orientation”, he said.

“We are applying it in 200 000 prisons worldwide. It is a low-cost programme and the trainers are taught by Sri Sri himself”. Katrien Hertog, Art of Living coordinator for Belgium, tells us.

20 minutes feel like three

After the speeches, Sri Sri makes participants meditate for 20 minutes. “He was talking us into mental pictures. I thought that we had closed our eyes for just a few minutes”, a participant says.


Consult the Art of Living Website Belgium or Luxembourg for further information.

The Yoga Club of the EC also offers Sri Sri Yoga classes given by certified teachers.

The next seminars will take place on 8 December and 21 January in Belgium.