Seeking Bliss Among the Honks and Hisses

Posted on: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 | Posted by: Art of Living Universe

Indian Meditation Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, 54, the Indian spiritual guru, said it was his first time in Times Square, as he walked up Broadway on Monday morning.

"It's a nice place for a stroll," he said. "A lot is happening."

Indeed there was. The Crossroads of the World was as hectic as ever, teeming with traffic and sidewalk crowds toward the end of the morning rush.

Mr. Shankar stood, taking it all in: police officers, tourists, office workers, vendors, bomb-sniffing dogs. Even for Mr. Shankar, who lives in the city of Bangalore, this might seem to be sensory overload: a news "zipper" sign overhead trumpeted items like "Long Island Serial Killer Taunting Victim's Teen Sister."

The guru smiled broadly — he always seems to be smiling — and ambled up Broadway, dressed in sandals, a flowing, white robe, and a tan, wool scarf. He has a full, dark head of hair and beard, and suffice to say, he stands out even in a crowded Times Square.

Mr. Shankar was in town to offer a workshop to inaugurate the program I Meditate NY, which provides meditation classes to deal with city stress. On Sunday, he conducted a program for 2,700 people at Avery Fisher Hall.

"There is so much energy here, you need help to cope with it all," he said, looking across Times Square. "When you have so many people of such diversity squeezed together, you need a lot of it."

Urban life would especially lend itself to his form of breathing and meditation, he said, with its goal of rejuvenating participants physically, mentally and emotionally.

"People who have a lot to do in life, they have a greater need to meditate," he said. "When you live in the middle of this hustle-bustle, and you have a lot of responsibilities and demands on you, you naturally have a greater longing for it."

"It is important for people to take - Click here to read more