After decades of seeking, wanderlust, and inner exploration, Angelica Jordan writes today to share a brief glimpse into my journey on the spiritual path. This is my personal story, and in turn, my Art of Living Review. Because—to me—they are one and the same.
There’s often a defining moment that alters the course of one’s life, of one’s path. Although I believe I was born spiritual (aren’t we all...?), the awe of life’s magnanimity really hit home while studying Arts & Culture in college. It was there that I read Jack Kerouac’s On The Road and developed a true thirst for travel and unapologetic freedom. And it was there that I discovered Eastern thought, becoming particularly fascinated with Buddhism and the philosophy and paths of India.
At the time, Goggle was not quite yet a thing,andI longed to visit the land and people who believed in karma and the principles of non-violence—the books I read in school were simply not enough! So off I went with a one-way ticket for months on end (on multiple occasions…#sorryMom), to quench the deep thirst to discover these fascinating people and cultures, and to dip my body in the holy Ganges River.
Everything was so exciting for me and such a world aways from the sheltered Italian community I grew up in. I’ll admit, I was quite naive as I romanticized the East. But it did not matter. The world was opening up to me in new and unimaginable ways. My experience as a person could extend far beyond the material—the objects, the career, the relationships, and the lasagnas.
As I backpacked around South East Asia and India at the tender age of 19, I skipped all the tourist parties and set my alarm during predawnhours to soak in the sunrise atop majestic temples.
Who was I?”
What was I doing here?
As I backpacked around South East Asia and India at the tender age of 19, I skipped all the tourist parties and set my alarm during predawnhours to soak in the sunrise atop majestic temples. I visited the Bodhi tree where the Buddha was said to experience enlightenment. And I took my very first yoga class in the Himalayan mountains. The moment I finally plunged into the pristine Ganges River in Haridwar, I felt an indescribable bliss that few experiences have lived up to.
My spiritual path has been animated for almost two decades now. I’ve had the blessing of diving right into the source of such rich practices early on, allowing me to easily filter through superfluous trends vs. the depth of Vedic tradition. And although I’ve been meditating, doing pranayamas, and practicing yoga for this long, it wasn’t until I discovered the Art of Living that I found my true center, my true home.
Before the Art of Living, I was trying to meditate.After,...
Admittedly, I would sit in meditation while using the time to efficiently cross off items on my to-do list from my passion-driven dance career. Meditation is good. My work is good. So why not do both at the same time? And let’s chant a few mantras while we’re at it—yeah?
Well, in the many years that I’ve steeped myself in various traditional spiritual practices, n-o-t-h-i-n-g has been as profound, impactful, nor celebratory as the Art of Living. The courses, the community, the...everything!
I attended the Art of Living’s events for months, visited the retreat center, and met the founder, Gurudev, twice (while laughing in confusion each time...that’s another story!) long before I learned SKY Breath Meditation. In comparison to the austerity of everything I’d done and learned prior, it seemed like such chaos! But once I learned SKY, I understood why.
People were just so happy.
And then, so was I.
SKY Breath Meditation has been the most healing, centering, and nourishing technique I have ever experienced. There’s this je ne sais quoi that reconnects me with an innocence and purity that feels otherworldly, as though with each breath the debris from life’s challenges gets lifted. Ever so gently. Ever so profoundly.
The bliss I felt while submerging my entire being into the source of the Ganges River in the Himalayas, I can now easily access. The Art of Living’s techniques are just so rich that I often find myself tapping into states of vast expansion, gratitude, and deep love.
Whatever I was looking for back then, I have found. It’s a joy to share my Art of Living Foundation, and to be on this magnificent path. If you’re reading this and still feeling unsure about diving in, just trust. Trust that your breath really does hold a special secret. Afterall, breathing is the very first act of your life, and it is also the final one. If you want to know life in all of its depth, know thy breath.