Awakening Joy: A Conversation Between Gurudev and André Duqum

Read part of this lovely conversation between global meditation master, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and André Duqum of the “Know Thyself” podcast.

In an interview with André Duqum on his “Know Thyself” podcast, Gurudev responds to questions about laughter, joy, ignorance, acceptance, and the self. Read just some of this conversation below. 

Wisdom and laughter

Why is it that the more wise you are the more you laugh?

That’s life. Life is joy and bliss. Our spirit is that way if you’re free from stress and tension. Laughter is natural to us. When a baby isn’t hungry, sleepy, or stressed, laughter and joy oozes out of it naturally.

That’s why the ancient rishis of India have always said that life has sprung from bliss and that’s your nature.

Know thyself

How do you support people in breaking through the illusion of who they think they are to who they truly are?

This urge to know oneself rises from within on two occasions. One is when one has an inquisitive, scientific, or researcher’s mind

The second is when people are miserable, confused and don’t know what to do. Then, they also say, “Hey, wait a minute, who am I? What do I want in my life?” These questions should arise when you’re fed up with problems and miseries. When you’re up to the brim, you say, “Enough is enough.” 

Either through a curious, inquisitive, or frustrated mind, you reach a point where you want to know yourself and find the meaning of life. I prefer the earlier one, a scientific temper and inquisitive mind.

“What is life about? Who am I?” These questions indicate maturity of intellect. A true seeker will ask, free from all types of dogma.

A beautiful “I don’t know”

People struggle with their own ignorance. How do you support individuals when they realize it’s okay not to know?

The journey of life is from an ugly “I don’t know,” to a beautiful “I don’t know.” 

When you’re frustrated, you say, “I don’t know. Don’t ask me.” Even the things you know you deny. At least you say it that way.

But then you realize there’s so much more to know. What you know is very little. Then you come to a place of “I don’t know.” That’s what scientists will say. The more you know, the more the unknown grows. 

Now, the beautiful “I don’t know” leads you to meditation. The ugly “I don’t know” leads you to more frustration and misery.

SKY Breath Meditation

How do you support individuals to find the quiet within and allow their mental activity to settle down?

Meditation and SKY Breathing (Sudarshan Kriya). If you do SKY Breathing, this issue of your mind racing all of the time and not settling down will all be taken care of. 

SKY helps individuals and also communities, it has helped millions around the globe to calm down, and settle down.

We’re also having this World Culture Festival (WCF) in Washington, D.C. this September, bringing in people from all over the world. This is the 4th WCF. It’s like a cultural olympics, so to speak. 

Not very famous artists but simple artists on the ground level come from all over the world and share a stage. No competition, but just realizing we’re all one human family. Today, in a polarized world, with so much stress and mistrust, I think it’s time to come together and meditate. 

When we do meditation en masse, it impacts the atmosphere. That’s very important. A good, clean atmosphere supports healthy living. 


Editor’s note:
To learn more about our pillar program, SKY Breath Meditation, check out our free breath and meditation online session with a live instructor. SKY has helped millions of people around the world improve all aspects of their lives. Learn how you too can benefit from SKY.

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About the Writer:

Betsy Herman is a long time meditator, a trained yoga teacher, and a PhD in English, with concentrations in Rhetoric and Composition, and Literature. She offers writing support to clients, teaches locally, and volunteers for a better world.