Why do we need meditation now more than ever?

During his recent visit to Manila, spiritual leader and ambassador of peace Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar shared how finding your inner Zen is key to true happiness and compassion

After living in isolation in the past years, we are now back to how our world was in pre-pandemic times. We return to the sunlight and scenery. We get to stretch more and discover new things beyond the digital realm. Apart from the good stuff, we also welcome the noise, the hustle, and the rat race back into our lives. We are facing much-heightened challenges, and while we try to escape these, we have no choice but to face them all in real time—in real life.

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Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar shared his wisdom during his last visit

Finding peace and joy is man’s endless quest. But in achieving it, one must look on the inside not out. That is one of the lessons spiritual leader and ambassador of peace Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar shared during his visit last April. The renowned humanitarian talked about the power that comes from meditation, even simple breathwork, to be truly happy and bring out compassion within us.

“To access this treasure we need to begin by focusing inwardly and for this we need some training. Meditation is this training,” he said. “As we meditate more, we gain confidence in our innate basic goodness and well-being. This unlocks our potential and gives our lives tremendous meaning.”

Over 1,300 people gathered at The Fifth at Rockwell, Powerplant Mall, Makati City to join him for a moment of tranquility through an event led by the Art of Living Philippines and the International Association for Human Values (IAHV). During the event, Gurudev led the audience to a meditation, allowing people to connect deeply with themselves and others.

The cornerstone of Gurudev’s teachings is the Sudarshan Kriya (SKY), a simple but powerful breathing technique that has been demonstrated in over 100 independent peer-reviewed scientific studies to significantly reduce depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress; boost immunity; improve sleep; and increase life satisfaction; among other benefits.

“As a child when we cried it would not take much time before we smiled again. As adults, however, when we cry it could take months and sometimes years before we can smile again,” he stated. “We have not learned how to manage our own mind. The secret to managing our mind and emotions lies in the breath.”

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Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos meeting with Gurudev at the Peace Conference prior to the Public Talk

The event was graced by the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Gen. Romeo Brawner, Jr., Secretary Benhur Abalos, Jr. of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Secretary Jaime Bautista of the Department of Transportation (DOT), AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil Military Operations Maj. Gen. Arvin Lagamon, and His Excellency Ahmed Abdallah Ibrahim Hafez, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

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Gurudev with First Lady Liza Marcos

Apart from the key personalities mentioned above, Gurudev also got the chance to meet First Lady Liza Marcos at a dinner reception at the Goldenberg Mansion, Malacañang Palace. They spoke on the benefits of meditation and the need for meditation centers in the metropolis.

Through a myriad of programs and teachings conducted by Art of Living and IAHV, Gurudev has reached and touched the lives of almost 450 million people in 180 countries, including 15,000 Filipinos, empowering and equipping people to tackle challenges at the individual, societal, national, and global levels.

Recognized for his significant global contributions, Gurudev has to date received 26 honorary doctorates and 55 government honors, including the highest civilian awards of Colombia, Mongolia, Paraguay, and Suriname. Twenty-nine days have been named after him in various cities and states across the USA and Canada.

Gurudev continues to help a growing number of Filipinos foster deep and profound inner peace, happiness, and well-being through numerous educational and self-development programs offered by Art of Living and IAHV.

For more information about the organizations’ programs, visit www.artofliving.org and

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