Living Happily is an art

July 31, 2017

Tell Me A Story: Monthly Blog (July 2017)

 

Happiness depends only on your mind. When the mind is free of past impressions and future cravings, happiness is there. - Sri Sri

 

I and my son made an eight hour long trip to Boone, NC this summer for Happiness Retreat course I was taking. We left early so that we could get there before it was dark, and to be honest, I do not like to drive in the dark. 

After a long and tiring journey, we finally made it to the Art of Living Retreat Center in Boone, NC with some hiccups with GPS confusion.

 

Well, once we got in there, there were volunteers who directed to our home for next couple of days. It was in a middle of nowhere, yet it felt welcoming.

 

This location was undertaken by Art of Living in 2011 from the same founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shanker who started the movement in 1981. The Indian spiritual leader, who has established programs in more than 150 countries, promotes a stress- and violence-free society. The Boone facility is a similar property governed by his principles and practices.

 

Note: All the pictures were taken with my Iphone 7plus. 

 

Arthur posing in front of the Welcome center in North Carolina.

 This flower was too beautiful not to take a picture.

 And this one from a different angle.

 Yes, North Carolina did welcome us. 

 The view was breath taking. I would like to go back again during fall.

 Did I mention that the the campus is pure vegetarian and no alcohol allowed. They food served here helped us to detoxicate our body and help us focus on our course.

 Arthur enjoying the beautiful scene with his dinner soup and my mango lassi. 

 

 Arthur with his signature poses. He likes to do certain poses and only those poses. Maybe its the age, I believe.

 

 It was pleasant  surprise to meet our friend Dr Radha KC there. 

 The color in this fountain changed and it looked so different.

 Which one do you like?

 This was taken in the morning when we were waiting for the shuttle from our residence to the dinning area for breakfast.

 Beautiful landscape seen from the dinning area. 

 A healthy breakfast. Getting used to this kind of fruit. 

 During the evening Satsang, its a selfie or rather a wefie.  

 

 Right before Arthur's first class of Art Excel, designed for young students.The class included a lot activities, breathing techniques, surya namaskar (sun salutation). He is looking forward to going back again in December.

 

The main meditation hall, with the beautiful landscape. It was serene and peaceful. The perfect location for inner peace and meditation. The poor network connection helped the cause. 

 Arthur with my friend Raj's family. We were together for the whole course, and communication was rather odd, as they were taking the five day silence program and did not speak during the course. Have you ever experienced anything like that before? Can you try it just for a day without speaking at all?

 Another pure vegetarian diet. Slowly getting used to this food. 

 Another night waiting for Satsang to start. Did you notice the boy photo bombing us, he came with his parents from Florida and was with Arthur in Art Excel program. I think there were 83 students in that class and altogether around 300 children. 

 Different day, but the food looks similar. 

Live view of Satsang program with Guruji Sri Sri Ravi Shanker. Guruji visits the center twice every year, once during Guru Purnima and during December. Everyone said I was really lucky to take my Happiness course in the retreat when Guruji was present. 

 The view reminded me of Nagarkot, a hill station in the outskirt of Kathmandu, Nepal.