Thursday, September 15, 2011

Well Being Workshop

This is the corner stone ( foundation?) of my workshops and there is an ever increasing joy for me whenever I have the opportunity to offer this workshop. Nowadays, it is mainly happening in Auroville, mostly due to logistics. We need a well ventilated, sheltered space where participants not only do the stretch exercises and Pranayama but also deep relaxation. So, we need cushions for sitting and a floor suitable for lying down. 
 The room which Kalsang offered for the program at Pavilion of Tibetan Culture is the best venue so far. It is on the first floor with huge windows and wooden flooring. It is meditation room, well provided with mats and cushions. The fountain adds a soothing, natural sound.  It is a joy to offer the workshop in this venue. The pictures reflect only the two dimensional picture as it does not capture the vibrations of mediations and the sound of flowing water – not to mention the panoramic view of the room.

We had wonderful, international gathering of participants. They were very cooperative and their participation was a source of encouragement for me. May the Divine bless every one of them with extraordinary wellbeing. 
One of the interesting points I wish to share is that it rained on all the 7 days of the workshop!

Sustainable Health Management

This has become one of my favourite workshops as it combines two of my passions.  Sustainable in the context of eco-friendliness, financial aspects and the independence from a lot of pre-requisites are normally quite well understood by when we ask “What is sustainable health management?”. While it is all this, I wish to stress a couple other dimensions
1.    Sustainable also means that the practitioner finds it simple and easy to do and sustain the practice; and sustain it with joy, ease and grace.
2.    Assuming that you are in good health at age X, how do you sustain the same level of health, energy and jest for life at the age of X+10, X+20 ... years. In other words, how do you arrest or even reverse the aging process?

This was a half day session opportunity given to me by Dr. Rajagopal and Tineke in the famous 5 day residential workshop” Sustainable Development”. Dr. Rajagopal is the doyen of environmental science education and is associated with this program for a long time.  I was fortunate to be introduced to him by my good friend (late) Bhavana three years ago and a friendship has sprung between us, thanks to his warmth and affection. I got to  know Tineke  better and am amazed at the many things she participates and contributes in.
The first thing that comes to me whenever ‘short workshops’ opportunities arise is “How can compress this topic into such a short time?” But, slowly the challenge and the true meaning of opportunity prevail over this conditioned response.  My interpretation of opportunity is “ I am dealt a set of cards in a game..  I now have an opportunity to play the game, play it with joy and play it well”.
And, that’s what it turned out to be – a game that all of us enjoyed together – a win-win game. I acknowledge the group for their openness and spontaneous participation. Such participation stoked up my enthusiasm and we did have a great workshop (in my opinion). One of the participants in last year’s workshop is now an Aurovilian. I would be delighted to see the participants again and again as Aurovilians or guests or vistors.....
BTW, I left out point 2 mentioned above from the scope of the workshop.
I forgot the camera yet another time. The pictures here are taken by Ajita and I am grateful to her for sharing them.
To know a bit more about Auroville and a lot more about Sustainable Future, please see Ajita's blog

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Stress Management Workshop at IIITB

This was one of the happiest events in my memory. Back to back workshops in the top two technical institutions in Bangalore (if not the whole of India). As I said earlier, workshops like this are not common in technical institutions. The technical institutions focus a lot more on (modern) science and technology with lots of equations. For me this event coming immediately after the workshop at IISC is a double celebration!
The vent was a challenge for me to compress the various things I wanted to share into the available time.  It was an exciting challenge as such events are trial balloons for my growth as well as in expanding the horizons of this work. I prepared well and what an event it turned out to be!

I really like the class rooms in IIITB. Excellent infrastructure.  I really like to work with young students as well and I was delighted with the participation and questions. I was delighted with the way they were pulling the workshop towards them. They were so engrossed and interested that most of them stayed back even after a concert started. I was particularly happy with the interactions, the interest and inquisitiveness.
I almost forgot to take pictures and just managed two towards the end of the workshop. One of the pictures is not very good but I like to share it as it gives the right-side view of the participants.
I certainly feel confident about compression after this event. But more important is how the students feel. I do hope that you would share in this blog.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Happiness Workshop: MILE Lab, IISc

Technical institutions in India are generally focused on technology. There may be some exceptions and even extraordinary oases that focus on all round development of students and staff. The Medical Intelligence and Language Engineering (MILE) Lab is such an oasis. The mission of the lab is “Create extraordinary technical leaders committed to excellence and contribution beyond technology”.
 The man behind this mission is Prof. AG Ramakrishna. I have the pleasure and privilege of knowing AGR (as he is fondly called) for more than a decade. He is a living example of excellence and holistic personal development in his own illustrious and eventful life.  To learn more about him, click on
Earlier, AGR gave me a couple of opportunities to conduct workshops for the MILE team. 26th August 2011 was the lucky day for me to have a third such opportunity. I especially like to work with this team not only because it is well knit, young and enthusiastic team but also because it is privilege for me to share the time and space with team that gas vision, mission and goals that are very inspiring to me. I am thrilled to share tools and techniques for happiness. What more could I ask for than to contribute to the happiness of this team with such a great mission and be contributed to in this process?
There was considerable gap of more than a year from the last workshop to the one on 26th Aug. The team changed a lot- many students passed out and some project staff left to pursue career opportunities of their choice. It was great to meet some of the old friends in the MILE team and make new friends.  I particularly remember Shiva, Suresh and Deepak for their spontaneous participation and enriching the earlier workshops with their contributions. It was pleasure meeting them again. I was delighted to see Archana. She is now working in Chennai and came over to spend the week-end with her family. She decided to be at this full day workshop and i really enjoyed the gift of her presence. Meeting AGR is always a source of joy and inspiration for me and so it was this time.
The vent itself is one that I would remember for a long time. One of the things that I noticed is that people working in teams tend to be cautious in participating and sharing in workshops like this. The participation and sharing form this group is very satisfying and fulfilling to me and it was a great source for my growth. I realize that each event is like a game for me as I feel so intensely alive and focused on the conversations – being in the NOW. It was very fulfilling for me that every one of the MILE team had the courage and commitment to address real issues in their life. That made the event truly successful and useful for one and all.
 However, I was not present enough to take some pictures of this event that was so special for me. I hope to grow to be more present in the next workshop.
Please share how the event was for you and whether you are practicing.