Every morning on the Promenade beach in Pondicherry, India, an ethereal music plays along with the natural music of waves crashing on the shore. As the sun rises, turning the dark sea into surreal and shimmering golden hues, a middle-aged woman daily sits meditating.
Six years ago while randomly strolling on the beach one morning, Venus Upadhayaya, a media professional and a fellow of National School of Leadership, joined her in meditation, and soon it became an integral part of her life.
Pondicherry beach is unparalleled in its beauty and serenity, and everyone who visits its shore experiences this. There are many in Pondicherry who come looking for the meaning of life as the place itself is very ancient and houses old schools of spiritual enhancement and cultivation (yoga or sadhana).
Venus recalls that she arrived in Pondicherry for working on a community media project. Since her home was not far away from the beach, she could come to the beach every morning for jogging.
One day, Venus saw a woman meditating and was attracted by her. She waited for around 30 minutes but she didn’t get up—her eyes were closed and her face looked calm and indrawn.
“I planned to come again and talk to her. The next day I again saw her meditating but I kept waiting. Finally, I talked to her and decided to join her and start meditating with her next day morning,” Venus told NTD.tv.
“Since then I have never stopped practicing Falun Dafa, an ancient system for cultivating body and mind that I got introduced to through her.”
Venus shares that Falun Dafa introduced her to living her life with Truthfulness, Tolerance, and Compassion.
“This is easier said than done. We generally don’t like to hear truth, we like to hear what pleases us and truth is not always easy,” she says. “Our general tendency is to escape from accepting it and we thus keep holding others and outer circumstances responsible for our life.”
Venus shares: “But Falun Dafa taught me to look within and be compassionate to others. I didn’t find this easy. But by practicing it I became more capable of empathizing with others. I learned to appreciate those who sacrifice their personal comforts for the good of others.
“I realized it’s easy to dream about doing good things in life but it’s difficult to achieve them because any good endeavor requires one to sacrifice a lot of one’s personal notions and comforts.
“To work without the desire to reward, to help others without seeking appreciation, to compassionately understand others when faced with criticism and ridicule is what I slowly started to practice because of Falun Dafa,” she adds.
Venus is a journalist and a community media worker, and she has been traveling around various states in India since many years. She shares how she eventually realized that practicing compassion had actually helped her become more sincere and sensitive to her profession.
“Professionalism is about developing effective work relationships. And relationships are about sensitive conduct and positive attitude,” she says.
“It’s not that I don’t make mistakes. I do. But when faced with them I have become capable of accepting them and taking responsibility for them rather than blaming others and expecting things from others.
“In a way my daily practice of Falun Dafa has made me a humbler and a simpler human being. I aspire to become better as a person with each passing day and now I have a path!” she says.
Venus Upadhayaya can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) is a self-improvement meditation system based on the universal principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. It was introduced to the public by Mr. Li Hongzhi in 1992 in China. It is currently practiced by over 100 million people in 114 countries. But this peaceful meditation system is being brutally persecuted in China since 1999. For more info, please visit: www.FalunDafa.org and www.FalunInfo.org.