Leonard Orr is no more
Loenard D. Orr, the founder of Rebirthing Breathwork International (RBI), a breathing technique that has healed over 10 million people across 27 countries passed away on September 5 2019 in Ashville, North Carolina.
Leonard had many spiritual experiences in his early days while sitting in his bathtub from 1962 to 1975. He experienced spontaneous regression to birth, prenatal and infancy memories. Continuous such experiences helped him discover and develop the technique of ‘connected breathing.’ In this method of breathing, inhalation and exhalation are merged with no pause in between. This floods the body with divine energy and this is how babies, animals, and most young children breathe.
This was the start of his revolutionary, rebirthing journey. In the beginning, he made people sit in the bath-tub, to help them go through the process. He kept observing, experimenting, and refining this till he came to the point where he discovered ‘Dry Rebirthing.’ A process where people could experience everything they needed to within two hours, but without using the bath tub. This rebirthing process was simple yet deep and worked on the physical, mental and spiritual levels to remove deep rooted pain, trauma, and tension, helping people experience unprecedented peace and relaxation.
Within no time his technique became hugely popular and he wrote 20 books to cater to his large audience. Leonard’s goal was to make the physical body immortal but he could not do it. He said that it was okay to have not achieved the goal, since the idea of challenging death helped him focus on health, right eating, and positive mental habits which gave him a smooth living experience. Leonard believed that in a previous lifetime he had worked perhaps 20 or 40 years on the Gayatri mantra. “It is the mantra of enlightenment that affirms our connection to infinite intelligence. So, because of my previous life conditioning, I was able to bear the fruit in this life,” he said.
He had met eight immortal yogis in his lifetime and has been their devoted student for over 28 years. One of them was Haidakhan Babaji, from Kumaon, Uttarakhand, India. He had, personally introduced many of his students to Babaji and helped them get his darshan personally.
IIT Delhi-incubated start-up, Sanfe, developed and launched the first-of-its-kind reusable sanitary napkins, made with composite banana fibre, which can last up to two years (around 120 washes). Founders Archit Agarwal and Harry Sehrawat, with various inputs from several IIT Delhi professors, developed this ultra-thin cloth pad which is highly absorbent with Quadrant True Lock Technology.
Owing to the taboo around menstruation still lingering in society, female hygiene is rarely discussed. “Many women miss out on their daily life activities during their menstrual cycle due to various reasons including high price and lack of availability of pads in rural areas. Not only that, the concept of using sanitary napkins is new to these women; hence they are averse to the idea. In such cases, cloth pads are helpful because of familiarity,” said Archit. Though many NGOs and CSR projects include distributing sanitary napkins at subsidised rates, the larger picture of huge plastic waste is ignored in addition to the huge cost incurred, and this accounts for only a short-term solution. He further stated that reusable pads can help organisations save up to 75 per cent of the cost.
According to Menstrual Hygiene Alliance of India (MHAI), there are almost 336 million menstruating women in India, of which 36 per cent use disposable sanitary pads summing up to 121 million. This generates approximately 12 billion disposable sanitary napkins made of plastic and synthetic materials, which either end up in landfills taking 50-60 years to decompose or are burnt, releasing carcinogenic fumes, adding to the hazardous air conditions. “Disposable sanitary pads is not a woman issue but a human issue,” added Archit.
Sanfe was birthed with the idea to design and develop products to improve female health and hygiene by Archit and Harry in their sophomore year. The banana fibres in the reusable terry sanitary napkin make it highly absorbent and leakproof. Prof. Srinivasan Venkataraman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Design at IIT Delhi, commended the efforts of Sanfe: “This start-up has carved a niche in the domain of women healthcare and hygiene with the launch of another useful product. All the products of Sanfe cater to the important needs of women, use simple science, and are sold at affordable prices in the market.”
As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Rising environmental concerns have led social entrepreneurs to explore options for a greener lifestyle.
Kindness begins with YOU
It is rare to find another Mahatma Gandhi in this world. Be it nonviolence, compassion, strength, or virtuosity, Mahatma Gandhi stands tall in all these aspects. In fact, many great leaders like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, and Barack Obama, have often cited Mahatma Gandhi as one of their inspirations.
“The simplest act of kindness is by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer,” said Mahatma Gandhi. Inspired by such teachings, the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) concluded the first-ever World Youth Conference on Kindness at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi, on 23 August 2019, with the theme ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: Gandhi for the Contemporary World. Celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.’
With the aim of inculcating desirable qualities like empathy, compassion, mindfulness, and critical inquiry in the global youth and to inspire and enable them to transform themselves and build long-lasting peace in their communities, the conference hosted 60 international delegates from over 27 countries such as Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe, each of whom have made a remarkable contribution in the field of positive social change.
The conference was inaugurated by the Honourable President of the Republic of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind. In his speech, he said, “Mahatma Gandhi was not just a great leader and visionary. He was the one who personified certain timeless ideals and values. We could place Gandhiji in a time machine and transport him to any period of human existence and we would find him to be relevant. This is also true of the times we live in. Gandhiji remains extremely relevant to our present-day concerns such as terrorism, climate change, and the need for peace and tolerance.”
Discussions by high-level panellists on topics such as The Art and Science of Peace, Talking Across Generations on Education: Can Kindness Prevent Violent Extremism? and Youth Agency: Scaling Up Acts of Kindness, provided deep insights. Grammy Award winner and UNESCO MGIEP’s global ambassador for kindness, Ricky Kej, created and produced a special anthem on kindness, Shine Your Light, which was also launched at the conference. The anthem showcased the simple acts of kindness in our everyday lives and how these acts can help solve our problems.
The conference also included a special address by the Union Cabinet Minister of Human Resource Development, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal; Chair, Governing Board, UNESCO MGIEP, J S Rajput; Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development, R. Subrahmanyam; Nobel Peace Laureate, Founder-Kailash Satyarthi’s Children’s Foundation, Kailash Satyarthi.
Towards a healthy India
What has led Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce the launch of the Fit India Campaign? The answer to this question is not difficult to find. In India, lifestyle diseases are prevalent: 20.4 per cent Indians are overweight (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation research report, 2017) and have hypertension as well as high blood glucose and cholesterol levels (4th National Family Health Survey). People as young as 35 and 40 die due to heart attacks. More people now suffer and die of lifestyle diseases than ever before in the history of this country.
While addressing the nation on National Sports Day on 29 August 2019, PM Narendra Modi announced the Fit India Campaign mentioning many things related to our current health scenario. He said, “To do anything of value, we need to have a healthy body. A healthy body is a prerequisite for a healthy mind and greater efficiency. It is no coincidence that people who are successful entrepreneurs, sportspersons, and actors are all healthy and fit.”
There is no denying that when we work on our fitness, we learn to respect and understand our body in a way we have never done before. Said the PM, “I have seen many people who have realised the power of their body after turning to fitness. It has made them more confident and has helped in shaping positive personalities.”
The idea behind the campaign is to inspire people to engage in fitness and health-related activities. And its impact has been very heartening. People all over social media are posting their exercise videos and yoga postures. Workout groups are showing off group exercises, and not only young kids, but even senior citizens are happy to flaunt their weight training, running, and yoga regimens.
Inspired by the movement, the president of NASSCOM (The National Association of Software and Services Companies), Ms Debjani Ghosh, tweeted, “Kicking off the day with a 5 km walk is awesome. It is a great way to collect one’s thoughts and get sorted for the day. Thank you Hon’ble PM.”
Leading nutrition expert Rujuta Diwekar tweeted, “The Fit India Movement is a step in the right direction, and now it’s up to the state governments to provide and maintain the required infrastructure.”
Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Conrad Sangma says, “I urge the people of Meghalaya to walk to their office, work, school, and colleges at least once a week. Personally, I have decided to walk to work every Wednesday, wherever I am.”
The positive spirit is being created, the tempo is being built, and now it is up to us to get into the groove and take charge of our fitness, thereby creating a healthy India.
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