This July at Mindvalley University in Tallinn, Estonia, we were blessed to have been graced with the presence of the peace warrior, His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a greatly adored peace activist and global spiritual leader. He has brought peace to crisis all over the world — from the minds of young children to the wars in Sri Lanka and Colombia.
Sri Sri has an incredible gift of shape-shifting the world by teaching the powers of love and compassion; he does this most profoundly with The Art of Living Foundation, which has inspired the lives of 370 million people worldwide.
But he doesn’t do all of this with words alone. In fact, of all the heart-opening lessons we learned during Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s soul-stirring talk at Mindvalley University, his greatest ones were completely wordless.
Rather than in text, Sri Sri’s most heart-opening lessons are found in the compassion he holds in his eyes, in the loving energy he exudes, in the childlike sincerity that beams from his laughter, and in the hilarious way he pinches Vishen Lakhiani’s cheeks as he exits the stage.
When you take the time to watch his talk at Mindvalley University, you will understand his lessons deeper and get to bask in his infectiously radiant energy.
All of that being said, his words did a brilliant job of teaching as well. For that, we have compiled this list of the top 7 heart-opening lessons from his talk.
1. “Confusion Is The First Step Towards Growth”
Sri Sri explains that confusion births growth — that growth occurs when we are able to step away from the land of the known and traverse into the land of the unknown. Confusion does a great job at shaking up what we know; it sparks the initial movement.
Confusion is good. However, many of us fear that if we open ourselves up to confusion, we may stay in that state of puzzlement forever.
So, how do we move from confusion toward clarity?
In his talk, Sri Sri assures us that confusion does not stay for long — it is a temporary state. It comes, and it inevitably goes.
In the midst of even the most disorienting confusion, clarity dawns. It has to dawn. Eating nourishing food, getting proper rest, and of course, meditation, can all help catalyse clarity.
Confusion, however, is the first step. It’s important that we learn to embrace it.
2. “We Can Read More Through Our Vibes Than Through Our Words.”
Sri Sri begins this lesson by bluntly stating, “When flight attendants say ‘have a nice day,’ they don’t mean it.”
What he means is this: you can say anything you want, but if your words don’t match your vibrations, they cease to have meaning.
On the contrary, vibration speaks for itself.
The whole universe is nothing but vibration — you, the people walking on the street, the space you’re sitting in right now, even the screen on which you are reading this.
Within this endless sea of vibration, there is a beautiful chord that carries positive, loving vibes — when the chord strikes within you, positive vibrations swell. Falling in love, a clumsy puppy, a kind smile, the smell of flowers in the breeze… All of these can strike this chord.
But guess what else can strike this chord?
Independent of all these magical worldly occurrences, you can strike this chord within you — at any given moment. You can do this with a sweet thing that Sri Sri calls… meditation.
He says that meditation and your breath hold the key to changing the vibrations around you and making them positive.
These are the exact set of keys he has given to prisoners, terrorists, and countries in great conflict to change their vibration, uplift their consciousness, and really “flip things around.”
He’s done an amazing job at creating peace in even the dimmest and grimmest of places, simply by teaching people how to strum this inner love-chord.
At the end of his talk, Sri Sri gives you this same key in the form of a heart-expanding meditation.
3. “Love Can Transform The World.”
When asked about how he is able to go into intense conflict zones around the world and rapidly create peace, Sri Sri gives an answer that is as profound as it is simple…
To go in with sincerity and love.
He goes on to explain that these people whom we label “criminals” and “terrorist” are still very much human beings. That, inside every culprit, there is a victim; and inside every victim, there’s a calling for help.
Deep inside these people who are hurting others, are people who are very hurt — there is a sore wound there that needs to be tended to.
“If you see through their eyes, they are beautiful people,” Sri Sri explains.
He says that all types of offenders have a good heart deep inside them… They just need an opportunity to unveil that goodness and beauty. He helps them unveil their true heart with meditation, and the results are awe-inspiring.
4. We Need To Have “Clarity In Mind, Purity In Heart, And Sincerity In Action”
These fundamentals are what breed compassion.
When we asked Sri Sri how he believed we should be educating the youth, he expressed that we need to teach our youth to grow up without prejudice. He says that prejudice is clogging our development, and that we need to teach compassion.
We need to raise our youth in the mindset that the whole world is family.
Sri Sri noted that this is exactly what is happening at Mindvalley University — we are bringing the world together as one family, shifting awareness, and teaching how to look at ourselves and the world with loving compassion.
5. “Do Not Demand Love”
Sri Sri continues with, “if you demand love, you are destroying love.”
He emphasizes that we are made of love, compassion, and enthusiasm.
Share love and compassion freely — share without being asked. Do not ask for love and compassion, just give. This giving of love and compassion breeds enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm is a sign of life. It pours from you when you are centered.
In turn, enthusiasm breeds love and compassion. It’s all beautifully cyclical in nature.
6. “A Violence-Free Society, Disease-Free Body, Quiver-Free Breath, Stress-Free Mind, Inhibition-Free Intellect, Trauma-Free Memory, And Sorrow-Free Soul Is The Birthright Of Every Human Being.”
“It’s quite explanatory, isn’t it?” jokes Sri Sri.
We would all love to build a better society — a society that is free from violence and stress, a society that is bursting with peace and connectivity.
We can start by reminding ourselves of our birthrights and collectively strumming the chords that sing to the love and health of our global family.
And we need to start now.
7. “We Need To Spiritualize The Politics, Socialize The Business, And Secularize The Religion.”
As a global society, if we can learn to spiritualize politics, socialize business, and secularize religion, our world would transform —for the best— at an astounding rate.
Many of our politicians today take up politics as a glorified personal identity or profession. We need to shift into politics for humanity; for the betterment of society. Our politicians should follow the heroic and humanitarian examples of people like Gandhi, King, and Mandela.
Our businessmen and women must empower their customers and employees. Every business must engage in some sort of social activity and uphold social responsibility.
What has terrorized the world most, today, is that some religious leaders believe that they possess the only key to heaven. We must step into a collective consciousness where there is no one and only key to heaven — we must all pray for all beings of our planet, irrespective of what religion they follow or beliefs they hold.
When these attitudes are globally embraced, a new Earth will certainly and rapidly dawn.
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What were your favorite lessons form Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s talk? Share it with us in the comments below!