January 10, 2010
As the calendar year drew to a close, Amritapuri faculty spent a week preparing for the new semester. The crowning event of this Faculty Development Week was Swami Purnamritananda Puri’s address on meditation as a method for professional development. Swamiji provided his guidance in the form of a series of simple meditative exercises designed to deepen awareness.
“We are asked to produce students who have the best education and the best character and who will selflessly serve the world,” stated Associate Dean Dr. Balakrishnan Shankar, as he introduced Swamiji. “Yet, we ourselves need inspiration for how to do this.” He noted that Swamiji has served Chancellor Amma for over 30 years.
“My dear brothers and sisters,” Swamiji began simply. “Teachers are supposed to be patient, intelligent and mature and serve as a model for their students.” “However, now-a-days some teachers may be too concerned with making money, while others may lack confidence. … Teachers who only concern themselves with information miss the real purpose of education.”
Emphasizing that the real purpose of education is transformation, Swamiji stated that meditation can be especially helpful to teachers because it uplifts the personality and builds self-assurance. “Meditation reveals the beauty of life, the bliss of life, the value of life. One can learn even how how to absorb the ocean of Divine Energy.”
“Learning how to still the mind is essential. Each and every moment is valuable and beautiful, but we waste time thinking. We create an insulation around our body with thoughts, so divine energy cannot get through.” Swamiji emphasized that one can even become a superman by meditating and reducing one’s thoughts.
“Don’t allow any useless thoughts; replace them with divine thoughts,” he urged his listeners. “If you change the quality of your thoughts, that will change the quality of your actions, and that will change the future,” he promised.
“Twenty minutes of meditation can give more relaxation than four hours of sleep. Energy is wasted due to negative emotions such as anger. All thoughts disappear with intense love. Love makes everything beautiful.”
Extolling the early morning hours as the best time to meditate, Swamiji guided participants in a simple meditation using the elements of sound and breath. Many found this experience to be the highlight of not only the talk, but also of the entire week.
Stated EEE faculty member Ms. Swapna Valaranikalam, “Swamiji’s guidance clearly came from his own experience, and it was awesome!” Others felt the talk was an “eye-opener,” and that meditation could indeed be very helpful for their growth as teachers.
What better way for our faculty to start the new year and the new semester!