Inner Peace and Global Harmony: Individual Wellbeing and Global Solutions in the Art of Living
Keywords:Art of Living, spirituality, theodicy, Hinduism, meditation
his paper explores the discourse in the Art of Living (AOL), a Hindu derived transnational meditation movement, which suggests that solutions to global problems are best addressed at the individual level. Ethnographic fieldwork, qualitative interviews and an analysis of published material suggest that the primary concern of the AOL is the reduction of stress and anxiety for the individual practitioner. This reduction of stress not only means that the individual practitioner develops ‘inner peace’, but also contributes to global harmony. AOL is an exemplar of ‘therapeutic solutions’, which are characterized by disillusionment with established institutions and a quest for inner meaning. AOL articulates this therapeutic solution, not only in terms of narcissistic needs, but links this quest for inner meaning to wider social and global concerns.
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