I started my Art of Living (AOL) journey about 10-11 years ago. Before AOL, I had tried yoga and basic reiki but couldn’t find the depth I was looking for. A friend suggested the AOL Part I course, but I initially struggled with the cost. During the course, the teacher told us we were free to leave if we didn’t find it beneficial, but I decided to stay. I had a strong desire for Indian Tandoori food during the long kriya and felt angry on the third or fourth day. The teacher helped me release my anger through breathing exercises.
After the course, I practiced the kriya regularly for a few days but fell back into my routine life for 9-10 years. Occasionally, I visited the AOL website and read Gurudev’s essays and quotes. I even attended a Satsang with Gurudev but didn’t bow down as a Muslim. Over time, I felt stuck in a rut and lacked energy despite having a great life.
In 2008, I repeated the AOL Part I course with excellent teachers and then took the Part II course in New Jersey. I felt my grandmother’s presence, who had passed away two years earlier, teaching me the course on the last day. Overwhelmed with gratitude, I e-mailed my teacher and started doing seva at the NY and NJ AOL chapters. I met Guruji when he came to Connecticut, and he encouraged me to share my experience. Despite procrastinating for months, I hope sharing my story inspires someone.
With lots of love, Jai Gurudev