“How can I say I am peaceful when there is conflict all around?” is one of the questions Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, spiritual leader and humanitarian, explored during the National University of Singapore (NUS) Greater Good Series talk titled “Finding comfort in times of conflict.” The event, co-organised with The Art of Living Foundation, an educational and humanitarian movement engaged in stress-management and service initiatives, was chaired by Dr Jayanth Narayanan, a professor of management and organisation in the NUS Business School.
Banker and trainer with The Art of Living Foundation, Mr Shailesh, opened the event by explaining the role of breath in controlling the direction of the mind and leading the audience in a “The Power of Breath” session.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar began his talk by sharing that someone saying they are fine during times of peace can be compared to using streetlights during the daytime: neither makes any sense. The real challenge lies in finding peace when you are surrounded by conflict. The practice of meditation is a state where the body is asleep and the mind is awake. This state allows you to find peace in any situation.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar encouraged the audience to accept that conflict is part of our world and we must draw on our inner potential to handle this conflict. We must discover the root cause. We can then address this cause by increasing energy levels through breathing exercises and a healthy diet; improving communication and encouraging open conversation and dialogue; and growing our confidence through wisdom and knowledge.
When asked how he felt about receiving death threats from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), Sri Sri Ravi Shankar compared the world to a bouquet of flowers, with many colours, and said we should all learn to co-exist. He urged those facing internal conflict to turn to meditation to find inner peace. He also explained that meditation improves intuitive ability and creativity and, if you follow your intuition, you will always be peaceful.
Before taking the audience through a guided meditation session, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar light-heartedly lamented that his biggest competitor is the cellphone for he has not managed to reach as many people as this piece of technology.
The NUS Greater Good Series features talks by leading minds on topics related to philanthropy. These include generosity, giving and service to the community, as well as leadership, personal well-being and mental resilience. The Series aims to raise awareness of philanthropy and its impact on society. The Series was made possible thanks to a generous gift from Newsman Realty Pte Ltd.
For further information on the NUS Greater Good Series, contact Chow Wei Ling on firstname.lastname@example.org.