Art of Living Foundation

Art of Living Foundation

February 03, 2006 07:46 ET

Art of Living Foundation: Two and a Half Million People to Meet for World Unity and Peace

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 3, 2006) -

Presidents, Kings, and Prime Ministers join 1,000 spiritual leaders and 2.5 million people in the largest group meditation in history at a mega-event to honour one of the worlds leading NGOs - the Art of Living Foundation. The event is followed by a two-day science and spirituality conference on the latest findings in the study of yoga and breath.

Heads of state, spiritual leaders and participants from Canada,
the U.S., Russia, Iraq, India, the Middle East, Africa, China and many other countries will meet Feb. 17-19 in Bangalore, India, for the Art of Living Foundation's 25th anniversary celebrations. The three-day international conference for world unity and human values will include what is expected to be the largest group meditation in history.

Leading participants include Indian President A.P.J. Kalamm; the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapakse; the King of Ghana, Osagyefuo Amoatio Ofori Panin; President of Slovenia, Dr. Janez Drnovsek; President of Mauritius, Anerood Jugnauth; three former Prime Ministers of India; and the Vice Presidents of India, Croatia, South Africa, and Surinam, among others.

325 Canadians will join 2.5 million people of diverse races, religions and socio-economic backgrounds from among the 147 countries where the Art of Living Foundation has an active presence. The Art of Living Foundation (AOLF), is an international non-profit humanitarian and educational organization that was founded by spiritual and humanitarian leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. In a quarter of a century, AOLF and its sister organization, the International Association for Human Values (IAHV), have touched the lives of more than 20 million people worldwide, and have grown into one of the United Nations' largest volunteer-based Non-Governmental Organizations.

The conference will include people who have benefited from AOLF trauma-relief programs in Iraq and Afghanistan; villagers from the 25,300 rural villages in India where the Art of Living and IAHV have implemented sustainable rural development programs; professionals who have participated in AOLF programs that foster workplace health, teamwork, and creativity; and AOLF volunteers who conducted trauma-relief programs for Hurricane Katrina and South Asian tsunami survivors.

"This conference is a wonderful occasion for all leaders of society who are concerned about terrorism and fundamentalism," said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who has worked for the past 25 years to revive human values, inspire a sense of responsibility and create peace at both the individual and societal level. "We need to look back and learn from the mistakes of the past. We need to understand what is lacking in society and how we can nurture the human values without which this Earth cannot be sustained."

The Art of Living has centers in every province across Canada, with programs benefiting various sectors of society. In Québec, in the Mauricie area, the Foundation's North American International Center offers yoga retreats to more than 2,000 people every year. In the U.S. its work in inner city areas includes stress-relief courses for elementary and high school students, prisoners and guards and people in drug rehabilitation programs. Programs have also been offered worldwide in such mainstream settings as NASA and the World Bank.

According to D.R. Karthikeyan, former director of India's Central Bureau of Investigation and a member of the conference reception committee, "In a world that possesses weapons dangerous enough to destroy the whole of humanity several times over, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and his Art of Living show us the path towards non-violence."

The first day will feature a global interfaith conference with thousands of religious and spiritual leaders, including swamis, imams, rabbis, monks, priests and others from around the world. Renowned artists, actors, business leaders will be among those contributing to second- and third-day events on Human Values and Ethics in a Global Society.

More than 3,800 musicians will perform together on flutes, violins, saxophones and traditional Indian instruments, and people from every continent will showcase their country's heritage and culture during the three-day conference.

Following these Silver Jubilee celebrations in Bangalore, the Second World Conference on Science, Consciousness, and Spirituality will be presenting the most recent scientific advances in the study of yoga at the All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences on Feb. 24-25, in New Delhi. The focus will be on yogic breathing techniques, with an emphasis on Sudarshan Kriya, Yoga (SKY) and its accompanying practices.

The international group of researchers and presenters is headed by Dr. Richard P. Brown, an internationally recognized expert in integrative psychopharmacology and associate professor at
New York's Columbia University.

Included will be results of studies on post-traumatic stress disorder and depression in Southeast Asia tsunami refugees, studies on schizophrenia, Australian Vietnam veterans, as well as the effect of practices on cancer patients, obstetrics, workplace stress, addictions, neurophysiology, genomics, bacteriology, and more.

David Watson, president of the Art of Living Foundation in Canada, said, "The Art of Living Foundation is entering its 25th year, today spanning 5 continents, over 147 countries and touching more than 20 million lives, and this is just the beginning. Come and celebrate life, celebrate One World Family."

Interviews, accommodations, and transportation within India can be facilitated.

Photos available.

Contact Information

  • Art of Living Foundation
    Media Contact and Information (Canada)
    Lucie Lapierre
    (514) 836-0809
    Art of Living Foundation
    Media Contact and Information (India)
    Mamta Kailkhura
    91 80 369 7396