Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a globally revered spiritual and humanitarian leader, led the over 1,700 AAPI delegates and their families to an authentic experience of yoga and meditation at the 36th annual convention of AAPI, though a meditation session here today at the Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, OH on July 6th, 2018.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who has spearheaded an unprecedented worldwide movement for a stress-free, violence-free society, in his keynote address at the AAPI Executive Committee Luncheon, addressed the AAPI delegates to work towards preventing health problems by learning and living a stress-free life, before they could lead others to a stress-free healthy life.
Delegates of AAPI that represents nearly 100,000 Physicians, Fellows, and Residents in the United States, were led to meditate after an inspiring address on Yoga and Health by global thought and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The unique event served as a platform for the AAPI members to discuss the importance of meditation in resolving the nation’s pressing health concerns and how Ayurveda, Yoga, and Meditation, the ancient traditions of India offer solutions to the most pressing health problems of the world.
Sri Sri travels the world sharing wisdom and insights on a number of timely and important topics. He has written books that teach and inspire. His talks motivate and encourage, offer comfort and reassurance, and provide insights for daily living. He encouraged physicians to learn how to use pulses to assess people’s illness, which he said, could precede the many tests we do to determine one’s health.
“The secret of meditation is in letting go,” Sri Sri told the gathering, which included AAPI members and their families. “Stress arises when we have too much to do, and not enough energy or time to do it. We can neither change time nor the number of things we need to do. So, the only option is to increase energy levels. And this can be accomplished through yoga, breathing techniques and meditation,” Sri Sri elaborated.
His message to educators was: A happy mind lets you stay calm; make better decisions and improve the overall quality of life, he told the Doctors, acknowledging that they lead a stressful life. He appealed that AAPI and its members work towards making Ayurveda more acceptable and universal; offering research to prove the benefits of yoga and meditation scientifically to make the world known and use these ancient techniques.
Research has demonstrated the benefits of yoga and meditation as an effective method in reducing stress, managing depression and improving sense of well-being. In just three decades, the programs and initiatives by Sri Sri have touched the lives of over 370 million people in 152 countries, including many areas of conflict and disaster where he has offered stress- and trauma-relief programs, which have been successful in reducing the negative effects of PTSD and curbing violence.
Leading up the 20 minutes long meditation, Sri Sri told the Doctors: “Meditation is that space where thoughts have subsided and the mind is in complete rest. Meditation is the journey from movement to stillness, from sound to silence. Yoga is like a vast ocean. Yoga offers many things to different people at many different levels–whatever they aspire for: union with the cosmic consciousness, or physical health, mental clarity, emotional stability, spiritual ecstasy — all this is part of yoga.” With the chanting of “Om” that filled the Auditorium, the entire assembly in silence, he told them to go with the flow of the mind.
“Surrender is not an act, it is a state of your being. Whether you acknowledge it or not, it is there. The wise wake up and see, the unwise take a longer time. Know that you have no choice, you are in a state of surrender deep within you,” he said.
On the importance and the need to practice Yoga, which leads to one’s holistic health, he said. “Yoga is more than just stretches, poses and an elastic body. It provides inner comfort and enables you to access your intuitive ability, which is a necessary ingredient in any field – be it business, arts, science or sports,” said Sri Sri. “The ancient secrets of Yoga hold the key to open a new dimension in your life beyond body and mind that will unlock your potential and tap into a field of infinite possibilities to live a deeper, more joyous life. Yoga brings good health, sharpness of intellect, creativity, emotional stability and a broad vision.”
Dr. Gautam Samadder, President of AAPI, in his welcome address, stressed the importance of ancient Indian traditions and how they sow the way to a healthier life in modern world. He thanked the many sponsors of AAPI who made the convention a success. “We are so fortunate to have Sri Sri, who travels the world sharing wisdom and insights on a number of timely and important topics, and is a world –renowned author of books that teach and inspire, has graciously come and be with us enlighten us all with his wisdom. His talks motivate and encourage, offer comfort and reassurance, and provide insights for daily living,” he said.
Dr. Samadder felicitated his executive Committee members with a plaque for their leadership and support for the past year under his leadership.
Dr. Vanila M. Singh, M.D., MACM, the Chief Medical Officer for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in her address, shared with the audience the initiatives of Trump administration on healthcare policy and effective delivery of services. she provided a detailed description of her department and the vital services she and the Department provides to the nation.
The Chief Medical Officer serves as the primary medical advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Health on the development and implementation of HHS-wide public health policy recommendations, including 11 core public health offices, the Office of the Surgeon General, 12 advisory committees, and 10 regional offices. Dr. Singh’s portfolio includes issues related to pain medicine, including opioid use and misuse; medical ethics; and public health.
During the five day event held from July 4th to 8th, attendees have the opportunity to engage with an impressive lineup of notable speakers and cutting edge medical and scientific information blended within a rich cultural backdrop of authentic Indian cuisine, fashion, yoga and entertainment from top Indian performers.
Dr. Naresh Parikh, President-Elect of AAPI, had praises for the memorable session with the world renowmed spiritual leader, and how the delegates of AAPI were led to meditate after an inspiring address on Yoga and health by global thought and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. “The unique event has served as a platform for the AAPI members to discuss the importance of meditation in resolving the nation’s pressing health concerns and how Ayurveda, Yoga, and Meditations, the ancient traditions of India offer solutions to the most pressing health problems of the world,” Dr. Parikh said.
Dr. Ashok Jain, Chair of BOT of AAPI, highlighted the importance of ancient Indian traditions and how they sow the way to a healthier life in modern world. He thanked the many sponsors of AAPI who make conventions a success. “The presence of Sri Sri in our midst will not only enlighten us, but will enforce in each of us the important contributions of ancient India to the world, especially in the world of medicine,” Dr. Jain added.
A major highlight of the convention today was the historic 1st ever Summit on Opioid Crisis in the US, focusing on the prevalence, the causes and the ways to manage and address the concerns of the nation. The Women’s Forum led by Bollywood star, Hema Malini and featuring half a dozen Women Leaders inspired one and all for their leadership and how they overcame obstacles and transformed them into opportunities.
The convention offers an exciting venue to interact with leading physicians, health professionals, academicians, and scientists of Indian origin. Physicians and healthcare professionals from across the country will convene and participate in the scholarly exchange of medical advances, to develop health policy agendas, and to encourage legislative priorities in the coming year.
The convention includes CME and DME accredited courses as well as variety of panel discussions, presentations and a research competition. There are forums for AAPI Young Physicians Group (AAPI YPS) and for AAPI MSRF for medical students, residents and fellows. A nearly sold out Exhibitor Hall includes medical and pharmaceutical products, devices and equipment and medical and dental, practice-related services.
One in seven patient encounters in the United States is with a physician of Indian origin. The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) is the largest ethnic medical organization in the United States, representing over 100,000 physicians of Indian Origin in the United States. Over 2,000 physicians, health professionals, academicians and scientists of Indian origin from across the globe will gather at the popular Convention Center, Columbus, OH from July 4-8, 2018. For more details, please visit: www.aapiusa.org