CENTRE FOR MINDFULNESS AND WELL-BEING - ANNUAL REPORT (2016-17)

This year (2016-17), the Centre for Mindfulness and Well-being enrolled as many as 44 student members. The year’s activity began with the celebration of Yoga Day on 21st June 2016. The official film on Yoga (Central Yoga Protocol ) was screened on the previous day and Dr. Anjali Bhelande and Mr. Tanmay Paranjape. This function was organized jointly by NSS, Dept of Philosophy and the Centre for Mindfulness and Well-being.

 Our overall theme this year was ‘Stress Management: Being Calmly Active’ and several sessions were organized in keeping with this theme. Research work was also carried out by Dr. Sangeeta Kamath, based on the student’s feedback.

On 21st July, Shri Kali Charan Sharma of Gayatri Parivar held a useful session and also conducted a guided meditation.

On 30th July 2016, Dr. Coomi Vevaina, Head, Dept of English, University Of Mumbai, gave an excellent presentation on the scientific basis of mindfulness and its relevance to stress management. She also conducted a guided meditation on universal peace and well-being.

On 11th August 2016, renowned Reiki Master Dr. Shamal Durve conducted a session urging students to follow the prompting of their innermost self rather than giving in to parental and peer pressure.

On 20th August 2016, spiritual teacher and former actor Smt. Ranjana Gaur conducted an interactive session on the nature and causes of stress. She also dwelt on certain constructive modes of dealing with stress. This was followed by a soothing and relaxing guided meditation.

On 13th September 2016, a beautiful nature trail to Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivili, was organized under the able leadership of nature enthusiast Mr. Rajeev Chawak. The participants spotted, among other things, the rare Atlas Moth and the Karvi Blossoms which appear once in 7 years.

On 16th September 2016, Swami Virabhadranand of Ramkrishna Mission, Haripad, Kerala, conducted a brilliant session on meaningful and practical ways of dealing with stress. He quotes the inspiring words of Swami Vivekanand extensively and also led a very effective guided meditation.  

On 10th December 2016, Advaita teacher Shri Rajiv Kapur conducted an engaging and illuminating session on ways of de-stressing oneself and being calmly active.

On 16th December 2016, Conservationist and author Sri Gangadharan Menon had an amazing session on dealing with stress through mindfulness in nature. His beautiful slides on nature and its beauty held the audience spell-bound. This programme was organized jointly with the Dept Of English.

On 23rd December ’16, the  Centre for Mindfulness and Well-being , jointly with the Dept of English,, organized the  Literary Festival ‘Mad Hatters’ wherein 6 of our prominent alumni , [ viz: Mr. Brian Lobo, Vice-President Edelweiss; Dr. Marie Feranandes, Principal, St. Andrew’s College and Ms. Sharmila Ail, Principal, Sharda Mandir, Goa; Author and Environmentalist Mr Gangadharan Menon ; Ms Priti Nair,Director,Curry Nation;Mr Harish Nambiar,Sr Journalist] spoke on the topic ‘Wisdom through Literature’ .           

On 21st January 2017, Swami Atmokranti of the Osho group, had an invigorating session on ‘Stress Management through Dance and Music Mediation’. Our members participated actively and experienced tremendous stress release during this useful session.

On 23rd January 2017, Shri Chinmay Pandya of the Gayatri Parivar spoke on ‘Values in Education’. The students found his talk very inspiring. This programme was organised jointly with the IQAC (Internal Quality Assurance Cell) of the college. 

On 4th February 2017, Shri Aravind Raghavan of Chinmaya Mission conducted a lively session on our theme ‘Stress Management—Being Calmly Active’ which was followed by a guided meditation.

On 10th February 2017, Yogi Amarnathji spoke on character-building through meditation. He dwelt at length on the scientific nature of meditation and urged our youngsters to practice the same. Once again, this programme was organised jointly with the IQAC (Internal Quality Assurance Cell) of the college.

Dr. Anjali Bhelande

Convener,  Centre for Mindfulness and Well-being

 Centre for Mindfulness Report for 2015-16

    The academic year 2015-16 began with a session on ‘The importance of Yoga’ by Swami Shuddhanand at Yogoda Satsang Society, Wadala on 27th June, 2015. This was a special session to commemorate International Yoga Day –i.e. 21st June 2015.

    This year, the Centre chose ‘Fear & Anger Management’ as its overall theme. Accordingly on 25th July, 2015, Ms. Ranjana Gaur gave a talk on ‘Managing Negative Emotions like Fear and Anger’. She also held a short guided meditation. 

    On 1st August, 2015,  Isha Foundation held a session on ‘Stress Management through Yoga’, offering students a package of asanas specially designed by Shri. Jaggi Vasudev on the occasion of International Yoga Day. 

    On 8th August, 2015.  Dr. Abha Shroff of Chinmaya Mission gave a lively presentation on ‘Fear & Anger Management’ which ended with a guided meditation. 

    On 5th September, 2015,  there was a vibrant session on ‘Techniques to deal with Anger & Fear’ by Advaita spiritual teacher Shri. Rajiv Kapur. His three followers, Mr. Daniel Miles from Hawaii, Mr. Lester Irving from Australia and Dr. Anjali Bhelande, also spoke on the same theme, offering their personal perspective. There was a lively Question/Answer session as well and the programme ended with a calming meditation guided by Shri. Rajiv Kapur. 

    On 12th September, 2015, from 11.30 a.m. to 2 p.m.  there was an engaging presentation on ‘Emotional Transformation’ by Shivani Vartak and Shivam Bapat of Chinmaya Mission as part of the ‘Transforming India to Transform India’ movement. This was followed by a session on Sahaja Yoga Meditation led by Mr. Kundan Sharan. 14 students and 2 faculty members attended the programme.

    On 5th December, 2015, from 11.30 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Centre for Mindfulness and Wellbeing organized a special session on meditation by OSHO foundation. 

    On 12th December, 2015,   there was a lively session on ‘Managing Fear through Yoga’ by Dr. Devnath Parimal. 

    On 21st January, 2016,  our members visited the NGO ‘Advitya Foundation ‘, Khar, which takes care of children with special needs. The students found the visit fulfilling and purchased beautiful handicrafts created by the special children. Many of them appreciated the ‘joy of giving ‘ exemplified by their teacher Ms. Anjali Shah. 

    On 17th February, 2016, Dr. Parag Dhumane, Consultant General and practicing Surgeon at Lilavati hospital, gave a talk on positivity and well-being. This was followed by an interactive session in which students asked searching questions on fitness issues ( both physical and mental) and were happy to receive useful tips from Dr. Dhumane as well as his wife Dr. Ms. Namita Shenvi-Dhumane.  The members of the Centre filled up feedback forms, this being the concluding function for the academic year 2015-2016. 


Dr. Anjali Bhelande 

Convener,

Centre for Mindfulness and Well-being


Centre for Mindfulness Report for 2014-15

      The inaugural function for this academic year was held on 23rd July ’14, with a talk on ‘Self Development’ by Swami Amartyanand,from  Ramkrishna MissionSwamiji successfully used logical argument to convince the young audience that lasting peace and happiness can never be found in transient things, relationships and experiences. Worldly happiness inevitably results in unhappiness as it is short-lived. He therefore led a short meditation, urging listeners to sit quietly, watch their breath and also the stream of their thoughts. He made a distinction between pure, unalloyed watching and broodingFinally, he stressed the need to avoid jealousy in everyday life as it takes away from our happiness. Generally, if the person we are jealous of is happy, we become unhappy and vice versa! He affirmed that the source of pure, lasting happiness is within us and it does not hand over its key to another.

        On 26th July ’14, the Vivekanand Kendra organized a ‘Youth Counseling Camp’ for our members. Drawing on Shri Vivekanand’s emphasis on holistic growth , students were asked to perform a group task and made to see  the importance of strengthening one’s Bahu Bal [physical power],Buddhi Bal [Intellectual power] and Atma Bal [spiritual power].

       On 2nd August ’14, Smt Ranjana Gaur held a very intense and effective group meditation. She began by making learners aware of their body, their breath and their thoughts. She then led a relaxing and soothing guided meditation which resulted in a sense of deep calmness among all the learners.On 9th August ’14, Swami Atmakranti held a dynamic session on Osho Meditation through dance and music

       On 16th Aug ‘14, Shri Rajiv Kapur held a session on ‘What is Meditation?.’He led a guided meditation which was extremely relaxing for the participants .On 23rd August ‘14, Smt Ranjana Gaur conducted as session on ‘Breathing Exercises and Deep Meditation. She taught Shri. Soli Tavaria’s breathing exercises to raise the energy level of our members.

       On 6thSept ’14, Dr. Anjali Bhelande had an interactive session  on ‘Bibliotherapy’ and offered an Indian perspective on Mindfulness through Literature .She demonstrated how literature can help us understand and even manage negative emotions like fear, anger ,hatred etc .She juxtaposed literary texts with insights from self-realised Masters like Swami Vivekanand , Sri Ramana Maharshi, Dada Gavand and Shri  Rajiv Kapur.

      On 22nd November 2014, Dr. Bhelande along with Ms. Vatsala Pai accompanied 14 members of the center to a day-long workshop on ‘Mindfulness and Stillness’, conducted by Swami Swatmananda at Chinmaya Mission, Powai. On 7th February 2015,a session on “Sahaja Yoga Meditation’ was held by Dr Sandeep Rai and Dr Madhur Rai .Dr Sandeep Rai also shared a PPT on the scientific base of Sahaja Yoga  Meditation.


Dr. Anjali Bhelande

Convener, Center for Mindfulness and Well-being


Inauguration of 'Centre for Mindfulness and Well-being' - 12th August 2013
         Self-realized spiritual teacher Smt. Deepa Kodikal inaugurated the ‘Centre for Mindfulness and Well-being' in Ramnarain Ruia College on 12th August 2013 at 11.30  a .m  .A joint initiative of the Depts of English,Sanskrit,Philosophy and Psychology at Ruia College, the Centre aims at promoting the general  well-being of students through  enhanced  emotional and spiritual intelligence. The Centre has already enrolled 75 students who listened with rapt attention as Smt. Deepa Kodikal spoke to them on 'The relevance of spirituality in student-life'.
        
        Smt. Deepa Kodikal impressed upon the students the need to connect with the dynamic, joyous and intelligent energy and consciousness that pervade the universe and also dwell in the innermost core of every individual. This inner core is where all knowledge, creativity, ideas, solutions to any problems reside.  Therefore, it is important for students to exert and access their inner core. She affirmed that mindfulness and wellness of mind are closely connected and are crucial for accessing this priceless inner mine.  The one thing that separates an individual from this inner intelligence and joy is one’s negativity – the host of  negative thoughts and emotions crowding one’s mind, forming a barrier against accessing the inner core.
        
        Smt. Deepa Kodikal then explained to the audience the composition of the negative mind and how it can be purified.  She then dwelt on  a few time-tested simple techniques that students can follow through their normal, busy daily schedule of activities and studies.   For example, bringing one’s full concentration to bear upon each step of any activity without allowing for any distractions; practicing any form of meditation, such as watching one’s emotions or watching the flow of one’s breath; etc, thereby making this inner divinity one’s confidant, hope  and support - so important during times of stress, of fear, and of a feeling of dejection, disappointment and helplessness, so common in student life. 
       
        She said that Centres like the one at Ruia are needed to throw light on how to dispel the black cloud of negativity that hides the bright sun of divinity within the individual; and that the name 'Centre for Mindfulness and Well-being' is apt as mindfulness is crucial to both spiritual growth as well as wellness of the mind. She urged students to perform every activity mindfully, with total attention, devotion and joy. This will remove the drudgery of study.  She added that it is not at all difficult to do things mindfully and that it is in fact within everybody's grasp and capacity.  She also asked students to experiment with various techniques to satisfy themselves and follow the one that suits one the best. Furthermore, she urged them to always focus on the solution rather than the problem on hand.

        Smt. Kodikal  ended on a note of hope, saying that liberation from one's own negative patterns is a big step on the path of ultimate Enlightenment which is the birth-right of each and every one of us. Several questions were raised at the end of the talk by the audience and were answered by Deepa Kodikal with great understanding and wisdom. To cite an example, she was  asked how one could cope with the pressures of  multitasking in student life.   She pointed out that if the mind was cleared of negative emotions and thoughts, then the ideas and solutions which are already there within will come forward and show us  how to deal with and overcome all problems including those faced in multitasking.   All we need to do is to get rid of  the negativity of the mind.
 
        The session ended with some meditation.

Talk on 'Mindfulness and its benefits' - 2nd September 2013
        On 2nd sept.2013, Prof .Gauri Kshirsagar gave an illuminating talk on the ‘Mindfulness and its Benefits’. In her well-researched talk, she compared and contrasted the Western and Eastern approach to Mindfulness .She responded to the questions asked and also offered to answer queries related to the practice of mindfulness all through the year , on the Google Group formed  for  the Centre’s 78 members.


Workshop on 'Yoga and Meditation' - 7th September 2013
        On 7th Sept ‘13 , veteran  Yoga teacher  Shri.  Limaye held a useful workshop on Yoga and Meditation. He taught some basic Asanas and meditation techniques to our members.


Workshop on 'Breathing and Energizing Exercises' - 14th & 21st September 2013
        On 14th Sept’13 ,Shri and Smt  Solegaokar  held Part I of ‘Breathing and Energizing exercises’ based on Shri Tavaria’s Breathing Techniques. On the same day , a   Nature Trail was organized to Maharashtra Nature Park where students were encouraged to be sensitive to different sights, smells and sounds. A useful discussion was held at the park at the end of the trail.

        On 21 st Sept ’13 , Shri and Smt Solegaokar held Part II of the ‘Breathing and Enegizing Exercises ‘ . These exercises   have given dramatic results to some students.


Talk on 'A Balanced Life is a Successful Life' - 27th November 2013
        On 27th November ’13, Swami Shuddhanad of the Yogoda Satsang Society gave a talk on ‘A Balanced Life is a Successful Life’. He also led the audience in making positive affirmations [originally devised by  Paramhansa  Shri  Yogananad] in the form of rhythmic chants. He also answered lucidly , the  questions posed by the audience. 


Talk on 'Self Awareness' by Shri. Rajiv Kapur - 30th November 2013
        On 30th November’13, Self-realized Advaita Teacher Shri Rajiv Kapur delivered a talk on ‘Self Awareness’. He emphasized the importance of experiencing one’s pure amness or beingness as an undeniable  fact of our existence. He answered several questions posed by students and faculty on how to slow down the racing mind and cope with negative emotions like, fear ,anxiety, conflict etc. The session ended with a calming guided meditation wherein Shri  Kapur asked the participants to ‘look’ as broadly as possible , without focusing on any single object.


Talk on "Dnyaneshwari Chapter 13' - 7th December 2013
        On 7th December”13, Dr Ravin Thatte gave a talk on Chapter 13 of ‘ Dnyaneshwari’. This was followed by a lively discussion and a question answer session.


Talk on 'Manobodh se Mana shanti' - 14th December 2013
        On 14th December ’13 , Shri Sunil Chincholkar delivered a talk in Hindi on Swami Ramdas’ Manache Shlok. He also responded to questions and led a short meditation.


Session on 'Dance and Music as Therapy' - 30th January 2014
        On 30th January ’14,Spanish danseuse  Ms Nuria Sala Grau and classical singer as well as  Ruia Alumnus  Smt Neela Bhagwat conducted a joint session on ‘Dance and Music as Therapy’. Participants were given some initial warm-up practice and then asked to choreograph a dance forming  two groups of 6 people each. Ms Nuria also gave a solo performance ,depicting a lot of creative ,dance movements in tune with Smt. Bhagwat’s resonant vocal recital.


Session on 'Dance-Music-Laughter Meditation' - 1st February 2014 
        The Centre’s final session for the year 2013-14 was held on 1st February ’14 .It was a Dance-Music-Laughter Meditation led by Swami Atmakranti .The participants thoroughly enjoyed the ‘Dynamic’ and the ‘Gibberish ‘ meditation which were both very relaxing and energizing. Audio clips of Osho Rajnish’s discourses were also played between the meditations. 



EVENTS ORGANISED IN THE ACADEMIC YEAR (2015-16)


SR. NO.

DATE & TIME

SESSION BY

VENUE

1

July 25, 2015

11:30 am to 02:30 pm

Ms. Ranjanaji Gaur

G-12

Senior College Bldg

2

August 01, 2015

11:30 am to 02:30 pm

Session on Yoga

Isha Foundation

Junior College Reading Hall

3

August 08, 2015

11:30 am

Chinmay Mission

G-12

Senior College Bldg

4

September 05, 2015

11:30 am

Techniques to Deal with Anger & Fear

Rajiv Kapur

G-12

Senior College Bldg

5

September 12, 2015

11:30 am

Anjali Behlande / Sangita Kamat

G-12

Senior College Bldg

6

December 5, 2015

11:30 am

Dance, Music Meditation (Osho Group)

Junior Reading Hall

7

December 12, 2015

11:30 am

Managing fear through yoga

Junior Reading Hall

8

February 17, 2016

11:30 am

Talk on Positivity & Well Being

Dr. Parag Dhumane

S - 1

Senior College Bldg


YOGA & MEDITATION SESSION 
27 JUNE 2015

Yoga-meditation session by Swami Shuddhanand at Yogoda Satsang Society, Wadala on Saturday, 27th June 2015. It will be held at the Society's beautiful  temple-hall in ASHIRWAD building from 12:15 to 1:30 pm and will include a short discourse, a question-answer round, guided meditation and positive affirmations. It will be followed by refreshments. Your classmates are also welcome, even if they are not members of the Centre for mindfulness. Kindly send in your names at the earliest. Please assemble at the college gate by 11.45 am [i e  15 minutes to 12] so that we can all go there together. It is just 10 minutes away by cab.

VENUE & TIME -
YOGODA SATSANG SOCIETY
TEMPLE HALL, ASHIRWAD BUILDING
WADALA.
10 MINUTES AWAY BY CAB


EVENTS ORGANISED IN SEMESTER I (2014-15)
  
Sr. No. Date and Time     Particulars   Venue
 1  Wednesday, 23 July 2014
11:00 am to 02:00 pm
Talk on Self Development 
Swami Amartyanand, Ramkrishna Mission     
G - 12 
Senior College Bldg
 2  Saturday, 26 July 2014
10:00 am to 02:00 pm
Youth Counselling Camp
Vivekanand Kendra 
 G - 12
Senior College Bldg
 3 Saturday, 02 August 2014
11:00 am to 02:00 pm 
Guided Meditation
Smt. Ranjana Gaur
 G - 12
Senior College Bldg
 4  Saturday, 09 August 2014
11:30 am to 02:00 pm
Osho Dynamic Meditation
Jointly with VPM 
 Junior College
Reading Hall, Fourth Floor
 5  Saturday, 16 August 2014
11:30 am to 02:00 pm
Shri Rajiv Kapur  G - 12
Senior College Bldg 
 7 Saturday, 23 August 2014
11:30 am to 02:00 pm 
Breathing Exercises & Deep Meditation
Smt. Ranjana Gaur 
Reading Hall, 4th Floor
Junior College Building 
Saturday, 06 September 2014
11:30 am to 02:00 pm
Bibliotheraphy 
Dr. Anjali Bhelande
 G - 12
Senior College Bldg