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Living is their art
13 March 2013

It’s so easy for negativity to creep into our lives. But can you feel angry when you’re calm?

“What we call the art of living is a skill to master. It’s how to live through your breath,” shared Jyoti, the coordinator for Art of Living at HCA. “Our mentors teach us mind and balance, and we serve society by teaching others this art.”

Jyoti is one of the volunteers who bring our day hospice patients through an Art of Living session every Thursday. She had previously worked overseas at a nursing home, which inspired her to bring the Art of Living to HCA. Besides the sessions, these volunteers cook and willingly help with the endless administrative tasks we have around the office.

Jyoti and our day hospice patients during one of the Art of Living sessions.

The art of living is a stepping stone to meditation and a useful technique to calm the mind. The organisation’s members believe that this is a way to release ‘impressions’ – the negative impacts from interactions with the environment and the people around us.

The result: calmer individuals unencumbered by negative thoughts, with clearer views of their lives. For our day hospice patients, this helps them relax both emotionally and physically. The group believes that this can help anyone – which is why they also conduct sessions tailored to different needs at prisons, children’s homes, and even corporate groups.

Recently, they’ve even begun organising sessions at the dormitories where migrant workers stay. Last year’s riot made them realise that there was indeed a need in that area, and they’ve since had a great response from the 2,000 workers they’ve taught.

The international organisation began in the USA and Germany in 1989 and now spans 155 countries. Its roots actually lie in disaster relief work - volunteers would travel to troubled regions to calm and lessen trauma through yoga.

“Basically, we aim to bring happiness around the world,” said Jyoti. “To care and provide where there are no smiles.”

“We derive happiness not just from learning the art of living, but from serving others.”

Find out more about the Art of Living at their website, www.artofliving.org/sg-en. If you’d like to come down with your own group to volunteer with us, you’re welcome too! Just email us at communications@hcahospicecare.org.sg.