The Art of Living is a multi-faceted, not-for-profit educational and humanitarian NGO with a presence in over 140 countries. Founded in 1982 by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the Art of Living, today, is one of the largest voluntary organisations in the world.
Inspired by its founder’s vision of making the world a violence-free, stress-free global family, the organisation is engaged in various initiatives that uplift humanity and enhance the quality of life. The goal of the organisation is to bring peace at the level of the individual, society, nation and the world as a whole. Its areas of work covers conflict resolution, disaster and trauma relief, poverty alleviation, empowerment of women, prisoner rehabilitation, education for all, campaigns against female foeticide and child labour and environment sustainability.
Guided by Sri Sri’s philosophy of peace, “Unless we have a stress-free mind and a violence-free society, we cannot achieve world peace,” the Art of Living offers several stress-elimination and self-development programmes based mainly on breathing techniques, meditation and yoga. These programmes have helped thousands around the world to overcome depression and violent and suicidal tendencies.
The Art of Living has several sister organisations which are dedicated to realising its vision. International Association for Human Values, Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peeth, Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir, Vyakti Vikas Kendra India, among others, formulate and implement social projects of the Art of Living.
The Art of Living works in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations participating in a variety of committees and activities relating to health, education, sustainable development and conflict resolution. It also carries our several joint initiatives with UN organizations such as United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), etc.
- CONGO (Conference of NGOs in Consultative Status with ECOSOC of the United Nations), Geneva and New York
- UN Mental Health Committee and UN Committee on Aging, New York
- International Union for Health Promotion and Education, Paris
- NGO Forum for Health, Geneva
- National Association of Women’s Organisations, Uganda