Thoughts of prevention are actions of cure

By Phillip Miner

If you don’t know it yet, there is a big event coming that is being hosted by the Art of Living, in Delhi, India: the World Culture Festival. It will combine cultural programs, forums for world leaders in business and government, speeches from VIPs across the globe and of course yoga and meditation. 3.5 million people are slated to attend this mega event.


While this event may not have a personal impact on your life if you are not attending it, its effects will be felt by you, if you are open to receiving them. The theme of this event is global unity, with the leaders attending this event taking concrete steps to promote global unity. It will unite people from across different cultures and offer a united voice for peace and harmony.


I would like to bring to notice here one of my favorite movies, a cult classic action movie called Equilibrium starring Christian Bale. Equilibrium is an action movie about a struggle against a dystopian society, a precursor of sorts to present-day movies about fighting dystopian societies such as the Hunger Games series. The premise of the dystopian society in Equilibrium is that emotions are suppressed via mandatory doses of an emotion-blocking drug – the idea being to prevent thoughts and emotions that lead to crimes, such as fear, hate, anger, aggression, etc. The only problem with this drug is that it suppresses higher level emotions as well, such as love, joy, happiness, and similar. The main character played by Christian Bale accidentally misses a dose of the emotion blocking drug, and as a result he starts to feel emotions and realizes how wrong the society is, becoming instrumental in bringing it down.


But what if it was possible to deal with the negative emotions that lead to violent crimes without resorting to extreme measures like in the movie Equilibrium? Some way to mitigate their effects while still being able to maintain the ability to experience higher level emotions? Essentially, this is the main objective of the teachings of the Art of Living, through their Happiness Programs and other courses. And the WCF 2016 is part of that process. While the courses of the Art of Living seek to help individuals deal with their own negative emotions in positive ways, WCF 2016 seeks to help foster international unity through the simple act of bringing people of different backgrounds together. It’s a two-pronged approach, working on both individual and group levels.


The emotion-blocking drug of the movie Equilibrium could be seen as a reaction to negative emotions in society, by seeking to extinguish emotion altogether. But instead of reacting to negativity, we should seek to prevent it in the first place. By giving individuals and groups the tools to deal with their negative emotions as they come, instead of forcing them out altogether, the Art of Living and its WCF 2016 is preventing negativity instead of reacting to it with a sledgehammer approach. It is better to prevent a dystopia from existing in the first place, instead of fighting to bring one down later. Happiness is always preferable to drugs!

For more information on the World Culture Festival 2016 – a celebration of The Art of Living’s 35 years of service to humanity. The festival will bring together people from different cultures, nations and faiths as a one world family in a resounding message of peace. 

The World Culture Festival

By Neelam Dowlani

WCF-01The World Culture Festival is expected to have a presence of over 3.5 million people, to gather from across the world at New Delhi, from 11-13 March 2016. A majestic stage of 7 acres will be set, which is 304,920 square feet for those of you who are trying so hard to visualise the vastness. The colourful diverse stage will assemble an array of politicians, dignitaries, spiritual leaders, musicians, artists and other important contributors of the world.

Now the question that arises; how is this possible?  It is only possible when a renowned spiritual leader such as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar decides to host such an event.  As he did in 2008 to celebrate Art of Living‘s 25th Anniversary, hosting a crowd of 2.5 million people at Bangalore, in Jakkur airfield.


A peaceful gathering of over 3.5 million people; the voice of peace to speak loud and clear.  We no longer can be the lukewarm peaceful citizens of the world. We now need to be passionate, loud and clear about the necessity for peace.

If it’s not for us, then it’s for our children. Do we want our children to live in fear of terror? Or do we want our children to have a future of security, trust, friendship, belongingness.  The World Culture Festival represents the future we want.  If such a grand gathering for peace can take place on this scale then we are making ourselves heard.  Our children have not just hope but a reality in front of them of the future that we dream of as a possibility in front of them.


There is such a great joy in being a part of a celebration that is so magnificent, and larger than life. It is a dream that has turned into a reality.

Travelling the world, experiencing different cultures expands the mind.  So is eating different foods, flavours, learning others ways that vary so vastly. The World Culture will be a display of this diversity. The festival will show that it is not tolerance but acceptance with joy of all religions, cultures and traditions and their unconditional embrace that brings in infinite harmony and peace in this world.


This event will undermine the voice of terror and bring enormous strength to the powerful voice of peace.   It is not that the world is full of bad people, in fact quite the contrary. It is the good people who don’t get together to make their voice heard. This voice of peace will reach people not just visually, but will also create a wave of harmony which would reach the remote corners of the world. These waves of peace are required in trying times like now where wars are being fought like games and games like war.

Today the Internet, social media and globalisation have made the world smaller than ever. We now know real time what is happening across the world.  Where there is suffering and loss of lives in the world. Do we not feel their pain or experience sadness over the happenings?  We are all connected through human values, regardless of colour, creed and religion. We need to make it loud clear that the world is one world family connected through the human essence.  We are connected by breath and breath is universal.

And breath is the essence of Yoga.  Let us all come together for this breath taking event  in the land where Yoga began.

For information of those who tuned in late:

The World Culture Festival 2016 is a celebration of The Art of Living’s 35 years of service to humanity. The festival will bring together people from different cultures, nations and faiths as a one world family in a resounding message of peace.

Get more details here

3Ps of Blogging – Purpose, Polish and Publish

A purpose firmly established decides the impact on the kind of blogger that you are, the contents you provide, the update frequency and maintenance of the same. A synergy of these activities would drive you towards the established purpose of blogging.

Establish a clear purpose : Common mistakes any blogger do (atleast early on) is not to define a specific purpose. Decide at the earliest, purpose of your blogging and ensure that you build relevance and a good fit as you continue building over it, lest it become an odd brick in an otherwise Architectural Marvel

Else what? A big woolly Mess. What Else 🙂 You have a messy place. To draw an analogy it would be a miner’s nightmare. They hunt for Gold (very expensive, just like contents in your blog) but a messy dredging is unpleasant.


The Reverse Possibility: Blogging for a Purpose

Be honest to yourself when you answer this question. If it is for money, so be it. Be clear! In any case the blogs would reveal the purpose (a clutter of Adsense Keywords in your blog content is a big give-away). By the way, there is nothing to be ashamed if it is for money – it is your personal space and efforts, none can grudge you this purpose.

Now that importance of purpose is realized, the task is easy if you started the blog with a purpose – say, for promoting a business, or a person, or for critiquing – Here the goal of blogging is predetermined, the contents and update frequencies get defined by the purpose itself – for e.g if it is promoting business, it is pretty sure that it may not do anything with the blog itself but to do draw attention of target audience and channelizing that interest. This is where SEO pressures rules the roost and define the contents too. Similar is the case with any blogging that has a clearly defined purpose.

We have yet another purpose for blogging, which predominantly is where AOL bloggers can be classified. Blogging for hobby. It is generally assumed that it can be “free for all”, “no-hold barred”, “stress-free” blogging and has no purpose. Let’s get this clear. If there is no purpose for putting your thoughts on paper (or on a blogsite) it has no business to exist in the first place. Determine and brand even a hobby blogging – Humour, Current Affairs, Health or alternately I can suggest an easiest branding – Art of Living or His Holiness Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. For one, you have so much that you can write about. Added to it, it can get you a lot of traffic (AOL is a world by itself).

This brings a new dimension and purpose to your blog. From Blogging as hobby, it now gets positioned as Blogging for Others/Someone (I will call it AOL, hereafter). Again, writing something on Gurudev or AOL doesn’t ensure success, it has to be formatted, designed and executed for Success.


The Goals, Objectives and Values that represents AOL has to be factored before we Publish the blog.
The next few steps are specifically in respect of Hobby Bloggers writing about AOL/Gurudev. does this for approved bloggers and the underlying philosophy can be adopted and applicable to your individual blogs too
Having established the purpose of a blog, it now needs to be reached out to the world viz Marketing. It involves two components

1) Identifying target audience
2) What is Written

This is a double whammy. Audience is automatically decided by “What” is written or you have to specifically write keeping in mind your target audience.

As any marketing person would know : Reaching out in any manner including Advertising is an aerial attack, but the war is won only on the ground. You don’t win readers or traffic to your blog from aerial attacks. You have to win them on the ground.


Even in the age of internet, products (your blogs) are bought and sold online only if the customer (reader) has some advance knowledge about it. To explain better, in any modern war the Air Force is used to hit key targets, destroy capabilities and soften the enemy’s forces. But the war is won only when soldiers on the ground move in and capture lands, kingdoms, enemies or whatever their target was. No matter how superior an air force a battle is never won from the air. Marketing a blog (or for that matter Social Media itself) is similar to an air force, an aerial attack. No war can ever be won through just Marketing. It may soften the adversary, score a few major points or victories, win a few battles, but it will never win the war unless there is action and stuff on the ground. Therefore, Having Exciting Stuff to aspire for on the ground is the first step and a good start.


About what is Written, or having a good stuff now calls for a dream or a vision for your blog itself. This also brands your blog and also entails being able to see the “finish line”. Blog on a whole has to have a vision and mission to be accomplished by each individual article/post needs to be aligned to this vision. In other words, all members in a group can share a “mission” but all may not have the same “vision”. It helps if the your blog can outline the vision and the finish line and ensure each post on it subscribes and aligns with it. (Extend this logic to a group blogging site, like or In order to achieve this, we need to have a STRATEGY.

Strategy is a much abused term. In cricket you will hear the commentator frequently talk about strategies, that is pure rubbish. The strategy in cricket is simple: Bat, ball, wicket, 11 players, bowling batting, boundary lines, pitch and higher run scorer wins. Simple! These don’t change every over or after every four or six as commentators keep asking. What can be changed is “Tactics” based on a particular situation of advantage or disadvantage that forces us to publish a post on the blog. However to start the game we need to adopt the best tactics that will suit our strategy once we have decided on the “WHAT I WRITE”. Once those tactics mature and keep producing good results they can be hammered to advantage. As marketing guru Al Ries says: Tactic is the nail, strategy is the hammer.

Overwhelmed Blue Person Holding A Hammer And Nail While Standing In A Patch Of Many Nails Clipart Illustration Image

Let me demonstrate the difference using the example of India Against Corruption in its earlier avatar. Arvind Kejriwal’s overall strategy was change in fighting corruption through Lokpal bill. Tactic was hunger strikes, gheraos and building local chapters of IACs in many metros. But when the tactics failed he decided he will go political. His strategy Lokpal failed. With a new political strategy, he has now made strange un-measureable and unrealistic “whats” like Direct people rule, laws to be made after direct consultation with people, prices to be decided by people, no unpopular laws blah blah etc. It’s destined to fail. Do his tactics back up his strategy? No. His current tactic is to expose corruption of individuals, allegations against top names and politicians. There is no match between his strategy and tactics. Those are, of course, his stated strategies. If there are certain hidden strategies, we don’t know. While he may manage to expose some individuals, his political strategy is destined to fail. It’s like George Bush saying: “We are not doing well in Afghanistan, let’s go bomb Iraq” – Our blog should not be like Aghanistan/Iraq bombing cited above.


Now that the Strategy and Tactics are executed and first finish line is reached a newer finish line will get defined. It’s an on-going journey, an on-going process. It then becomes easier to define how, when and where our blogging journey leads or any course correction is needed.

This Blog of mine : Originally Published on