Action for Happiness

Meetings about Global Happiness with Lord Richard Layard, Lord Andrew Stone, Lord Clive Brooke and Heather Mason, members of the Parliamentary Group- Yoga in Society

Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji​ and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati​ji had a beautiful meeting with Lord Richard Layard, Lord Andrew Stone, Lord Clive Brooke and Heather Mason, members of the Parliamentary Group- Yoga in Society about the deep and intimate connection between inner and outer happiness.

They discussed creating an Act of Happiness and Index of Happiness that could be applied to countries around the world to measure wellness, not based off of one’s income or material wealth but rather of one’s inner fullfilment, purpose and deep sense of contentment.

Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji – Muniji shared that the Indian spiritual culture has always emphasized living with less but being more. He said, “Our rishis, sages and saints have always shared that its not wrong to fill your shelfs with material goods but it should not be at the expensive of leaving the Self empty. Hence, our saints and yogis have always emphasised the power of selfless service (seva), being of service to our community, in tapping into the true source of happiness and fulfillment.”

Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji shared, “the Indian culture has always emphasised how our inner state is really that which determines our outer state. It has been the sacred land upon which the ancient traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism have originated and have been nourished and nurtured, each of these traditions having their roots in ahimsa or non-violence.”

Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji – Muniji and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji also learned about the Yoga In Society All-Party Parliamentary Group (MAPPG) which was set up in April 2018 with the purpose:”To bring to the notice of Parliament and the public the long-term beneficial effects of Yoga within society and in particular in: health (physical and mental); the workplace (wellbeing and teamwork); the criminal justice system (for criminals and police); and education (for students and teachers).”

Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji had joined Lord Stone and Lord Brooks to provide the inaugural invocation and words of inspiration for the Yoga In Society All-Party Parliamentary Group event at the House of Lords for International Yoga Day on June 21st.

Lord Richard Layard, Director of the Wellbeing Programme at the Centre for Economic Performance and Emeritus Professor of Economics at LSE, shared about his Action for Happiness charity which has grown into a thriving global movement. The movement’s Patron is the Dalai Lama who helped to launch its Exploring What Matters course in 2015. Thousands of people have since taken part in these 8-week courses, which have been found to deliver significant increases in mental wellbeing (+20%) and social trust (+17%).

He shared that members of the movement make a simple pledge: to try to create more happiness in the world around them, for all people with or without religious, political or commercial affiliations and welcome people of all faiths (or none) and all parts of society.

He stated: “We want to see a fundamentally different way of life – where people care less about what they can get for themselves and more about the happiness of others. We have created an Exploring What Matters course wherein people can assess what truly matters and connect with like-minded individuals.”

Lord Andrew Stone who also joined the discussions has a deep interest in Arts and Science, mindfulness and “spirituality”. He said, “I am now convinced that conversations between science and spirituality needs to be developed so that Mindfulness practice and Compassion are linked inextricably.”

He is involved in the Mindful Nation UK report is the result of a 12-month inquiry by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Mindfulness, into how mindfulness might be incorporated into UK services and institutions. The report aims to bring a clear and considered voice to a field that has captured the public imagination and has great potential across many policy areas.

During their meeting the vital importance of environmental preservation to health and wellness was also discussed.

After the meeting Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji – Muniji and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji also joined them to witness first hand a House of Lords debate session.

Also joining the meeting were Mr Ganesh Lakhani, Mrs Manda Lakhani and their daughters Shreya and Roshni who are long time devotees of Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji – Muniji and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji.

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