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Life Transformation from Swami Mukundananda

Wellness For Life / February 01, 2020

Life Transformation Program

Every year, several cities across the US are blessed with a week-long Life Transformation Program to help them overcome some of the most common problems of the day. These programs teach attendees how to look within to resolve the problems of the world and to nullify the apparent heaps of today and yesterday’s problems, and the stress that they cause, into minuscule, imperceptible humps on an otherwise tranquil path to tomorrow, paving the way for a more exciting and welcoming future.

 

What is Life Transformation Program?

Life Transformation Program is, as it sounds like, a program to help individuals improve their day-to-day life.  Each year, a selection of seven strategies are presented to help us improve our physical, mental, and spiritual states of mind.  The lessons include teachings that are gleaned from millennia of experience from various historic texts.  These texts are then distilled into their finest elements, simplified to pull out the basic principles, and rendered in the context of the modern world.  Many of the lessons share the following basic principles in common. 

  1. They are contrarian to many contemporary viewpoints. 
  2. They deal with the underlying source of most of today’s problems.
  3. They show a different way to approach these problems to prevent them from manifesting in the first place.  

As an example, one of the lessons in the past offered a solution to those who may be feeling hurt because of the way others treated them.  This lesson demonstrated the physical and mental afflictions that arise in those of us who harbor resentment, and explains, in clear terms, how forgiveness can be a means to not only move on from the hurt that others have caused us but also to help improve our own mental and physical states.  The examples are unforgettable, the lessons are directly actionable, and the epiphanies are, as per the series namesake, truly life-transforming. 

Life Transformation Program

It is a different way of seeing the world, focused on empowering us as individuals to gain control of our own reactions to the happenings in the world, rather than allowing them to inflict stress and pain on us.  This is not like any typical self-help course.  The melding of philosophical guidance, extracted from the Vedas, combined with scientific facts and modern-day commentary, is unmatched.  This is also not a program to change the world around us, for that would be a foolish endeavor.  Rather, understanding that the actions of nature and those around us are outside our control, this program focuses on allowing us to calm our minds, to render the crisis of the moment more benign, and less detrimental to our well-being, by offering a different response mechanism to common issues.  It enlists the source of most miseries, the minds, in becoming an optimistic, positive, stabilizing force, regardless of the stimulus, which is triggering its trained pessimistic, self-defense mechanisms. 

 

Who is it organized by?

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Jagadguru Kripaluji Yog, an organization founded by Swami Mukundananda, authored this series.  JKYog (Jagadguru Kripaluji Yog) is a non-profit charitable organization established for the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of all humankind. It disseminates authentic knowledge of Yoga for the body, mind, and soul.  It serves the needy, promotes education for the rural youth and provides healthcare for the underprivileged. Swami Mukundananda has been teaching to large audiences around the world for several decades.  A senior disciple of Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj, he delivers lessons on true life-transforming internal breakthroughs, on a nearly daily basis, in halls around the globe.

 

What does this program consist of?

For each of the seen majestic nights, you will receive practical, actionable guidance on how to improve your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state.  This will include physical activities, breathing exercises, meditation, or subtle body relaxation, the science of healthy diet, a spiritual discourse, and kirtans, or devotional songs, intended to energize the environment and help internalize the messages of the day.

Throughout the program, the interconnectivity of these four states is reiterated.  It is a fallacy to think of physical well-being without mental well-being.  

Yoga

The program starts off with yoga.  This is quite different from yoga that has become popular in the west.  There is perhaps no more accomplished Master of Yoga in the world than Swami Mukundananda.  Indeed, the organization, JKYog, includes the teachings on Yog in its name, highlighting how important it is to all of Swamiji’s teachings.  From his book, Yoga for the Mind. Body, and Soul, yog is described as the union of the individual soul with the Supreme Soul. Yog incorporates the principles of healthy and righteous living in our daily life.


Yoga

The yogic practices taught in this program have descended from the Vedas.  There is a different mix of activities every day, focusing on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.  There is a physical component that opens each night.  The mix of yogasans, or physical poses, are different each day.  Customization options are provided for those who have joint or back issues, or other physical difficulties.  Do not be worried if you feel you are physically not ready for yoga.  These are not deep, long stretches, but rather, specific movements intended to stimulate certain joints, muscle groups, or organs.  Most individuals can participate in some form, but no one is required to do so.

Pranayams

This is followed by pranayams.  This literally means activities to “expand the pranic energy of the body.”  These are a series of inhalation and exhalation exercises that are meant to improve the flow of oxygen, and, by extension, pran, in the body.  Our breathing is linked closely to our minds.  When we are contemplating deeply, our breathing slows down.  When we are stressed, our breathing is faster than normal.  The goal of pranayams is to stabilize the breathing process, thus calming the mind for the next step.

Meditation

When it comes to controlling the mind, nothing is as potent as meditation, the third activity of each night of the Life Transformation Program.  There is typically a 5-15-minute meditation each night, focusing on deep contemplation of the Divine.  If pranayama helps to calm the mind, meditation is best suited to help it focus during those calm moments.  The benefits of meditation are clearly defined, and this is one of the most exciting parts of each night.  After some meditations, attendees report feeling refreshed, relaxed, and recharged, ready and eager to learn more from the Program. 

Subtle body relaxation

Subtle body relaxation combines the best of yogasans and pranayams.  It is a state of motionless, usually in a lying down pose, intended to allow the mind and body to remain calm while refreshing both the mind and body.  As exciting as these activities are, the true highlight of the night is the discourse that takes place next.

Lectures

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Swamiji lectures for an hour or more about the topic of the night.  Each of the topics is tied together to the theme of the week.  For example, the theme last year was “7 divine laws”, and each night, one of the laws was revealed, along with how it relates to the others, and how it brings about the truly, everlasting, internal peace and happiness that we are all searching for.  The discourse includes discussions of the Vedas, succinctly summarized by Swamiji, along with commentary from some of the greatest Indian and western minds on the meanings of those profound Vedic words.  

 

To help attendees remember these messages, modern-day anecdotes are presented as well.  Many attendees praise these anecdotes as helping them remember the message of the day for weeks, months, or years. 

Swamiji often says that the mind likes different kinds of “ras”, or activities.  No matter how good a discourse maybe, if it continues for hours and hours and hours, the restless mind will begin to wander.  The activities described so far (yogasans, pranayams, mediation, subtle body relaxation, and divine discourse) are intended to provide stimulation for the mind in various ways, keeping it engaged in the activities of the night.  

Kirtans

The final activity includes kirtans.  These are songs intended to help increase devotion for God.  Attendees are presented with the transliterations (pronunciations) and translations in English, so even those who are not familiar with the lyrics can engage with the audience.  Swamiji leads the kirtans, then the attendees repeat it, and so on, line by line.  These kirtans help provide a different activity for the mind to engage in, within discourses.  Many attendees are so enamored by the sentiments of these melodious kirtans, that they join their local Satsang, or spiritual groups, to join in weekly kirtan sessions.

 

Through this mix of divine activities, Swamiji helps bring out the desired changes in our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual states. 

 

Why Should I attend?

The Life Transformation Program answers some of the most profound questions in the cosmos, including:

  1. What is the meaning of life?
  2. Who am I?
  3. Why am I here?
  4. What is the source of true happiness?
  5. What/who is God, and how can he be known?
  6. What is the difference between right and wrong, and how can I follow a righteous path?
  7. Why are the cosmos so vast, and what significance does our Earth play in this vast expanse?
  8. What steps can I take every day to improve myself?

Ancient sages pondered these questions for millennia and composed their collective wisdom in numerous texts for the benefit of mankind.  The questions challenge the very tenets of our understanding of the world, and the answers transform our view of ourselves, our environments, and our relationships with family, friends, acquaintances, and, especially, with God.  

However, there is a simple answer for why you should attend.  All of us are unique in our pursuit of happiness.  Permanent, lasting joy seems as elusive as trying to contain the wind itself.  It is not something we can do easily. 

 If you have ever felt that your attempts at gaining happiness were temporary, short-lived, and led to more unhappiness in the long-term, this program will show you why that always seems to be the case.  In one sentence, if you want to know the path to true, lasting happiness, and want to master the mind, rather than have the mind create its own sources of stress and distress, then attending this program can be truly life-transforming.  


Who is Life Transformation Program for?

The gems of wisdom in the Life Transformation
Program are applicable to people at any stage in life.  They can be implemented by kids, adults, men and women, and anyone who is truly looking to make an improvement in their life.  There are no restrictions imposed on those who want to follow the path to this treasure trove of solutions.  

Anyone, anywhere, who has ever contemplated on the sources of their apparent stress and shortcomings or has ever thought that there might be a better way, is welcome to join on this unique journey down the river of discovery.  All that is required is a willingness to improve, an appreciation of the ability of the mind to influence our outlook and emotions, and an open mind, willing to consider alternative, less-traveled branches off the tree of life.  

If you have constantly tried what everyone else seems to be doing, and have failed to attain the perceived joy that others seemingly relish, then perhaps a short journey on this fragile limb can unlock that precious elusive relief from these ailments?


Where and When Is it?

Swamiji’s USA tour is scheduled to start in March, and will continue through October.  It includes stops in 16 cities, across all US regions.  In each city, attendees will be able to partake in a 7-day lecture series.  On each day, Swamiji will reveal gems of wisdom, complete with historical anecdotes, an explanation of why the thinking is still relevant today, and an enumeration of the benefits that can be enjoyed by taking the recommended steps.  Life Transformation Programs will be conducted in the following locations in USA in 2020:

  1. Bay Area, CA
  2. Seattle, WA
  3. Los Angeles, CA
  4. Chantilly, VA
  5. Chalfont (Philadelphia), PA
  6. Baltimore, MD
  7. Queens, NY
  8. Denver, CO
  9. Dallas, TX
  10. Houston, TX
  11. Fort Myers (Tampa), FL
  12. Minneapolis, MN
  13. Cary, NC
  14. Chicago, IL
  15. Bridgewater, NJ
  16. Newington, CT

Click here to view the details on each upcoming program, along with the time and exact location of each stop on the tour.

 

What do others have to say about it?

Based on a survey of previous Life Transformation Program events over the past few years, over 80% of all attendees reported:

  1. They felt happier
  2. They felt more relaxed
  3. They were able to get adequate sleep (6+ hours per night)
  4. They felt more restful
  5. They felt that their life had meaning
  6. They were able to better manage stress and anxiety
  7. They felt more positive
  8. They felt more hopeful
  9. They felt more cheerful, and
  10. They felt more energetic

Life Transformation Program

 

What if I don’t follow all 7 days?

Most attendees try to attend the entire 7-day program in their city.  Indeed, some also travel to other cities to enjoy the program for a second or third time, to reinforce the principles that are taught.  However, it is understandable, that with other commitments, and a sometimes-hectic business travel schedule, it may not always be possible to attend all 7 days.  

 

The moniker “Life Transformation Program ” is not hyperbole.  These teachings truly are transformational.  They run contrary to the apparent sources of wisdom in the modern world.  Anyone who can experience these gems of wisdom, on even one day, may experience an awakening and desire to learn more about these teachings.  For this simple reason, anyone who attends any of these programs will benefit from the lessons, by perhaps opening an avenue of thought that was previously unavailable to that person. 

 

What kind of commitment am I making?

There is no commitment at all!  The programs are free.  There is no cost to attend, and many centers also include dinner mahaprasad after each night.  Anyone is welcome to attend for any length of time that they would like.  One visit is all it takes for most people to be transformed, to see the world, and their place in it, in a refreshing new way.

 

How can I join?

Click here to know more, or

Register here for Free

 

Is there a discussion group?

Click below for various discussion groups

Online Recharge Sessions

WhatsApp Group

 

Where can I find more information about LTC / JKYog?

You could refer to the JKYog website