The Sri Sathya Sai Centers of North Houston and South Houton jointly organized an enlightening two-hour workshop on the topic Happiness within Reach on February 24 2024. The interactive workshop was led by Dr. Ramadevi Sankaran MD, the Medical Director at Department of Pediatrics, Northshore Health Centers, Indiana. Dr. Sankaran also serves in multiple roles in the SSSIO. She has served as a faculty member at the Institute of Sathya Sai Education (ISSE) since 2020, where she is the Coordinator of the Medical Programs Committee. She is also the Co-Chair of the SSSIO International Medical Committee and the Coordinator of the EASE program for the SAI 100 Initiatives.

The workshop was a community outreach effort, and fliers inviting the public were sent out to several local agencies. Sai Center members were encouraged to invite family members, friends and people in their neighborhood. In total, about 40 people attended the workshop.

The workshop began with participants trying to define health and what being healthy meant to them. The common responses spanned from being disease-free to health in all aspects of one’s being such as mental, physical and spiritual. Dr. Sankaran shared an eye-opening definition from the World Health Organization. She also added a social aspect to being healthy and pointed out that shared happiness with others is extremely important to being healthy and happy. She also emphasized the role that spiritual health plays in being happy.

Another aspect of happiness that Dr. Sankaran addressed was the role of compassion to self and others in the face of pain. Everyone has his/her own way of processing pain, and to be happy, it is vital to show compassion and empathy by connecting heart-to-heart rather than just on the mental plane.

Dr. Sankaran also shared the importance of practicing the five basic human values – Truth, Right Conduct, Peace, Love, and Non-Violence - in our interactions with others. She stressed that happiness is a journey and not the destination. It is an eternal condition within each one of us, and that it is within our reach if only we connected with our conscience to find the hidden gem of happiness within.

Dr. Sankaran shared some statistics about the causes of death, dietary risk being the most common reason. She shared an acronym to remind oneself to lead a healthy lifestyle and prevent diseases – “EASE” with

E for Eat responsibly

A for Awareness of Thought Word and Deed 

S for Sleep Deeply, and

E for Exercise Regularly.

She also shared a small glimpse into an eight-week program that she has designed extensively on the topic- EASE into Health.

Finally, Dr. Sankaran concluded by sharing her belief that there is Love in everyone and that one needs only to tap into that Love through loving interactions with others. She also urged the audience to analyze themselves and be aware of their thoughts, words and deeds. She encouraged each participant to be that light and spread joy and happiness.

The workshop was initially scheduled for 1.5 hours but had to be extended it for an additional 2 hours. Several people stayed behind for some individual time with Dr Ramadevi. Everyone had questions that were personal to them and she addressed each and everyone’s questions. The overriding question on everyone's mind was when Dr.Ramadevi would be back to grace us with another workshop, with a request it to be a longer session.