AYUDH Members Discover Inner Peace

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In light of the theme for this year’s AYUDH summit: World Peace Through Inner Peace, we decided to teach the Integrated Amrita Meditation (IAM) technique to youth across the country. We held our first meditation last night in Bellevue, WA.

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There will be an IAM event held specifically for youth (ages 14-30) held on the first day of each one of Amma’s North American tour stops (see schedule below). There will be a short introduction to AYUDH followed by a meditation and question and answer with one of Amma’s senior disciples.

Integrated Amrita Meditation is a technique that was discovered and eventually shared by Amma. Multiple studies suggest that meditation leads to decreased production of stress hormones, increased ability to handle stressful events, and even increased immune response. In a 5 year study, Vandana Balakrishnan found that IAM practitioners were able to respond more positively to stress. Find out more here.

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San Ramon, CA: Thursday 6/12 11AM - 12PM

Los Angeles, CA: Monday 6/17 11PM - 12AM

Santa Fe, NM: Thurday 6/20 9:30PM - 10:30PM

Dallas, TX: 6/25 11PM - 12AM

Atlanta, GA: 6/28 11PM - 12AM

Washington DC: 7/1 11PM - 12AM

New York, NY: 7/5 11PM - 12AM

Boston, MA: 7/8 11PM - 12AM

Chicago, IL: 7/12 TBD

Toronto, ON: TBD

AYUDH Yale Receives Recognition

Last week, Yale University recognized AYUDH Yale-Connecticut's community outreach efforts by awarding the president Dr. Durga Thakral with the Graduate School Community Service Award that honors a graduate student's volunteer work in the local community.

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Under Durga Thakral's leadership, AYUDH has been able to implement every single one of AYUDH Americas' yearly youth-planned initiatives. The events often brought together hundreds of Yale students and community members with the intention of doing selfless service for their community. Projects included garden planting workshops, soup kitchens, distributing blessing bags, computer science workshops, and more.

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Dr. Durga Thakral, president of Yale University Chapter of AYUDH is an example of how one dedicated young person was able to make meaningful change in her community. She has been recognized by Yale University for her outstanding efforts. The Graduate School Community Service Award honors a graduate student's volunteer work in the local community.

"Durga has spearheaded several dozen wellness workshops and community events that creatively incorporate principles of sustainability and humanitarian efforts, collectively bringing together hundreds of Yalies and community members in actionable service initiatives to share her love of service and nature. Durga has also represented AYUDH at the United Nations Economic and Social Council Youth Forum and continues to share ideas for initiatives with other young motivated agents for change and university chapters at the International Youth Parliament of the AYUDH Americas Annual Youth Summit."

Want to make change like Durga and AYUDH Yale-Connecticut? Apply now The Ripple Effect 2019: World Peace through Inner Peace:

https://www.ayudh.org/apply-now

Read more about our initiatives here: www.ayudh.org/initiatives-and-progress

The Ripple Effect 2018, Day 1 Recap: The light of a hundred lamps

On August 1st, the first day of The Ripple Effect 2018: Live to Love, hundreds of youth from across the Americas and around the globe came together at MA Center Chicago in Elburn, IL. Youth aged 13 to 30 began arriving in the morning, and continued to arrive in the hours before the official inauguration ceremony.

 

The hall, the same space used for Amma’s many visits to Chicago, featured a carefully constructed stage, the entirety of which was created by sustainable, reusable or reused materials. As the young people began to enter the hall, a sense of excitement began to grow. This continued to grow until the ceremony officially began, with address by Ron Gottsegen, the president of MA Center. He offered a few inspiring words, reminding the group that “It’s really the young people that make change. They have the strength, spirit, and stamina to create a better world.”

 

In a ceremonial lighting of the stage lamp––signifying the triumph of light over darkness––Br. Shantamrita Chaitanya, Ron Gottsegen, Br. Ramanand, and Adarsha each took part in inaugurating The Ripple Effect 2018. This initial lighting of the lamp was then continued and extended, through the gathered participants. Each young person gathered lit their own small light from the candles of the distinguished guests, and in turn helped others to light their candles. The participants then created a massive heart shape in the hall, made entirely of tiny lights.

 

As the AYUDH’s founder and renowned humanitarian leader, Amma, says, "If we can light the lamp of faith and love in our hearts and walk forward together, then we definitely can dispel the darkness that we see around and bring about a change in society.” This massive heart, which glowed in the dark hall, was then surronded by participants, volunteers and guests, who joined in sharing a group peace prayer––”Lokah Somastah Sukhino Bhavantu,” meaning “May all beings in the world be happy and peaceful”––which resounded throughout the hall.

 

After the inaugural ceremony, the many participants gathered for group bhajans (singing for world peace) and a delicious dinner. This was a time that allowed the young people to reunite with old friends and meet ones, all the while sharing delicious, home-cooked food as a group. Following dinner, icebreaker community-building activities kept many of the participants up late into the night, sharing stories, ideas and laughter.