Nov 23, 2009

A YES!+ Marathon

Last 3 weeks have been a roller coaster ride for us (and our goregaon YES!+ team).

Bawa and Dinesh were in town for 21 days!!! And we had a blast! Lots of work and lots of masti!!

Here is what we did in those 21 days:
4 YES!+ courses - reaching out to a total of about 700 students! (This includes the 1st ever 3 day YES!+ course - called the YES!+ Foundation course)

Fruit salad competetion at GSC)

The highlight was the finale (last day celebrations)at the upcoming Vasind Ashram

1 DSN for 55 students (we did some amazing innovative stuff on this DSN)

(On the left ,Bau consoling the poor dog who was traumatized by the enthusiasm of the seva warriors.On the right,Dinesh da sharing his musical skills)

2 Sahaj courses for about 60 students
Other programs like Financial Literacy and Mathemagic for about 150 students. A brilliant talk at IIT Powai for 400+ students!

And of course, our very first, YES!+ TRM - now called the 'YES!+ Huddle', at a unbelievably beautiful beach in Maharashtra where we spent crazy time playing in the sea and chalked out our game plan for the next 1 year!! 140 teachers and volunteers from all over India attended!

Of course we spent hours learning how to play board games with bau, and we are now good at this superb game called 'Ticket to Ride', and ate some magestic food that Bau cooked!
It was truly learning and fun going hand in hand!

We are missing them and all the action!


Nov 19, 2009

YES!+ Huddle, experience no.2

Siddharth shukla –Yes + faculty 

 The 2 day trip to Murud for me was the first TRM experience. It was a gathering of the finest teachers and volunteers from across the country. There was exchange of ideas and thoughts, some of them simple but absolutely brilliant.

 The masti sessions (mostly about half day long) were spend on the beautiful clean beach , with Bau and Dinesh bhaiya (those who cud not make it ,pls don’t feel jealous ;) ).

And specially being on dinesh bhaiya’s team when the task at hand is to harass our beloved Virat was a trueeeeeeee delight!!! J J .


To keep the masti experience short let me tell you we played games like Frisbee, football on the beach, volleyball and random games involving throwing and catching the ball.


On the first day it was sunny and hot, but on the second day it turned cloudy the weather was so very beautiful. There were grey clouds covering the sky while we had fun in the sea, to add to this we had a flock hundred seagulls flying in the pattern of  a tornado , breath taking view . Intermittently we joined in our bliss by a group of fishes (size of a thumb) who jumped out of the sea water to go back into it again as if rejoicing in our bliss. Infact Dinesh bhaiya caught one in mid air (which was released later safe and sound) to show us, they were the color of green emeralds.  


Oh and how can I forget that champions rather all India champions for “stand on one foot and push” game (if that’s what it is called!) was Virat (mens category ) and Vasudha (women category). Their prize was a game with Dinesh bhaiya which I am sure they enjoyed even more than the spectators who were watching in rapt attention.


The knowledge sessions were rather short but simply superb, so profound yet so filled with humor, I felt like two divine beings have come down just to address us (Bau and bhaiya looked divinity personified).

A lot of things were discussed but a few things which I would like to share from those sessions:

Bau said “Whenever a mistake happens by say a volunteer, and the teacher points it out to him/her , the volunteer should not feel that oh “I am being called stupid” , but should understand that his wrong action is being criticized and not him. Similarly while pointing out a mistake the teacher should say “what a stupid thing to do”  rather than “You are stupid you did this”


Something beautiful that Dinesh bhaiya shared.

Once some one asked Guruji “Ram did all that he could to uphold truth but people around him like his wife Sita ma and his father king Dashrath suffered so much, similarly after Krishna the entire yadav clan was perished ,Guruji what will happen this time ? ”

Guruji said” Is baar hum sab ko mast karne aayen hain ,saab acha hi hoga”.

 Dinesh bhaiya said something that really stayed with me, he said talking about Guruji

“Divinty has come and will keep coming in small bits but it is only this time that divinity has come in such full bloom (purna padma; which is only said to be in case of Narayana ,the lord himself)  .And whenever divinity comes in such full bloom it comes with a bigger plan and is accompanied by various angels and divine beings, we all  and all our volunteers are a part of this plan. You are here with Guruji only by his grace and nothing else , all that you have to do is  feel grateful.”

This got my throat choked and eyes a little moist, going through the same even now.

My dear ones I hope to see you all on the next Huddle  (that’s what the YES!+ TRM is called!)J J

Loads of Luv ,

Jai gurudev

Siddharth Shukla

Nov 18, 2009

YES!+ Huddle, experience no.1

I have no words really how thrilled i was to be a part of this Huddle even not being a teacher...I have a lot of things to share about this huddle but to sum it up, i'll like 2 mention one thing about Bau which really touched me..

Bau told me in vasu di's kitchen once that i shud come in the huddle which was a week away then..on being asked if i cud manage the expense of trip i said yes i had some savings for winter break but right now this is the big thing for me so i'll pay here and wait for guruji to set some other setting for my winter break fund..the topic got changed then..

Now after everything was going cool bau announced in a session there in murud that student volunteers who have money crunch right now can collect back the refund (1000 bucks that were collected with that rip expense extra for reserve and were supposed to b given back if not used) and others can donate it for youth ashram.

When i went to collect my refund , anjana didi and manisha didi who were giving the refund back told me that bau asked if Jainil wants give him full refund of his trip not paying could be managed by WAYE surplus funds and i shud not feel ashamed for that..I was taken by sheer surprise, even as I only took the official refubd back, I was soo happy.

I was sooo touched by these words as i never expected Bau to remember our small conversation 10 days back in a super action packed week in progress that too me being just a volunteer among almost 100 teachers present there...I wasnt even expecting that he wud remember my name....This only showed how Bau soo much like Guruji makes every1 of us feel special in his own ways.

I also got acquianted with Bau's funda of "Work really hard and Party even harder" throughout those 3 days looking at how much excited he was when he taught almost everyone to laze and float in seawater after our lunch.

A lot of other things like Dinesh da's exercise on day 2 morning literally almost paralyzed all of us for coming couple of days.
Our lodge where we (me vibhu prashant n raghav) were staying, was almost a km away from our Headquarter Golden Swan resort (where BnD and senior YES!+ teachers were staying) so we had walk it up and down almost 3-4 times a day either through beach or by road..Me and Raghav got overambitious on 2nd morning and decided to jog/sprint from our room to the HQ were Dinesh Da had his morning exercise session on the beach..I pushed to my best to reach there..I was so proud of myself...Little did I know that movie was yet to start..The exercise session excruciated my thighs and calves completely with pain...Dinesh da had begun that 1 hour session straight with a km long running on the beach!!!!! But it was all worth it for the meditation on the beach that followed..

Bau's sessions were as usual very interesting, imspiring and ambitious.

Also felt that more and more of us should attend upcoming Huddles as its really gives us a great motivation and exposure through lot of reall heroes with you in the trip with their amazing stories and experiences!!

I owe a lot to Vasu di, Virat Bhaiya, Bau, Dinesh Da (and Guruji of course) for giving me this experience.
Jai Gurudev.

Nov 7, 2009

First ever Youth Ashram

The 72nd mile stone from Mumbai at Vasind is where we have the 1st ever Art Of Living Youth ashram coming alive.

It was the concluding day of the mega Yes+ courses happening across mumbai on 1st of November when more than 300 students came together to celebrate at Vasind.

Meditation happened effortlessly and as Bau says we all checked out!:)

The Ashram is going to be a center where Fun weds Knowledge and the youth get a chance to have clean fun.
Proposed is a badminton court(I mention it first for selfish interests) :) , a basket ball court,a swimming pool,a football field, a meditation hall for seating 400 students,a recording studio,Class rooms,a dancing room and lots more...
Its your chance to become a part of this movement and contribute to making of the first ever youth Ashram.

If you are from India, please make a cheque(s) or DD(s) out to WAYE. On the back write “for the Youth Ashram”. You could even send post dated cheques.

Post them to


c/o Art of Living International Ashram,

21st Km, Kanakpura Road,


Bangalore 560082


We will send you 80G certificate which will give you some tax rebate.

Pretty soon, we should be having a link that will allow Indians to donate using a credit or a debit card, we are working in it :) But please don’t wait for it… Knowing how banks function here, it could take a lot of time.

We should have a website up about the Ashram in the near future, and everyone will be updated about whats happening there...

To know more check out Bau's blog (

Jai Gurudev


Nov 2, 2009


Some moments are magical in the way they allow opposites to co-exist. This is one such moment.Right now- I am very emotional, yet calm and peaceful.

In this moment, now, there is a lot of happiness and a deep pain. There is fun and masti, and also disappointment. There is gratefulness, especially to God, and there is an anger, a complaint. There is nostalgia, a lot of it, but also a little hope. There is this terrible sorrow one feels on losing something really precious, yet there is a sense of extreme joy at the realisation of that something precious having been there all this while, having been mine, and that it will never be truly lost. There is a deep sense of attachment and a strong growing urge of detachment. There is loneliness, a dark, desperate feeling of being lost and useless, and there is a bright smiling light on the other hand, something that reassures me with a loving presence that I'm not all alone, not all unwanted.

Recently, Bawa gave a superb talk at the -to be youth ashram in Vashind.I found my answers to several questions which were running in my mind for the last few weeks and which were driving me insane. He spoke about lots of things but the "sperm story" was my take away from this fantabulous session. He said that how can you ever think that you are a loser? Your very existence proves that you have perhaps won one of the toughtest battle on this planet.Think of it this way- There are more than 300 million sperm cells but only one lucky sperm finds its way to the egg. And you are that lucky one!There were 300 million more fighting for that position but YOU --YES YOU made it!! Now this is more competitive than CAT/GMAT/ any other RAT RACE you can possibly think of! *give a pat on your back* I was thinking that how can someone find so much optimism in anything and everything? I mean cmon!- a SPERM!! Instantly dimag ki batti jali --

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.

In the end, life is not a war that you have to win. Its not always about looking for challenges and overcoming them. Life is DEFINITELY not about how well you have planned it. But its more like an "unplanned journey" and how you explore those magical moments in all the chaos! Life is just this moment, this one-fist-joy, one-fist-sorrow, this flickering hope, this affectionate pain, this paradox. They say sometimes winning is the only thing. I would like to never ever is everything. And thank God for that.

Quoting Buddha (from ashthavakra gita), “it’s a game of losing.”
I maybe a loser ( not really, atleast i have won tht war of 300.whoopieee! ) but I have what really matters and what I really need, at the end of it all. It feels great. I feel blessed to be on this spriritual path, have a Guru and be surrounded by such wonderful people.

Thanku Guruji :)


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