In my Catch-22 post of June28th, I suggested a couple of ways one can begin to experience non-dualism. Cultivating tolerance and compassion along with a desire to serve others, without seeking recognition or compensation, are all ways that will help break down the wall of separation (duality) that is threatening our world today. These suggestions will help in changing perceptions, but there is another piece to this I’d like to address.
This may be a kind of ‘chicken and the egg’ scenario, but some people will need to connect to themselves before seeing their connection to everyone and everything else. This is where meditation comes in. Spending time in quiet contemplation or meditation helps us to better understand ourselves; not in terms of the external world, which is shallow and ultimately meaningless, but in terms of who we really are – at our core. Meditation cultivates our inner life and it’s important to remember that the outer is the reflection of the inner. The only focus in the world today is on our outer life. We go to school to learn science, math, history etc., so we can get a good job, compete in the world, make money, and enjoy the material comforts of life. We learn and assimilate what society deems important and useful, so all of our energy is projected outside of ourselves. We live in fear and anxiety over protecting what we have. Consequently, we become lost in our lives, remaining blind and ignorant to the truth about who we really are and our connection to everyone and everything in the universe. We are lost as a society and we need to find ourselves again. Cultivating our inner lives through meditation can be an important first step to accomplishing this.
The physical and emotional benefits of meditation are many: lowered blood pressure, reduced stress and anxiety, better concentration, management of chronic pain, to name a few. The spiritual benefits include the discovery of one’s true self beyond the ego and the body. All these benefits (and there are more of them) will naturally lead to a more compassionate worldview. Fear will be replaced with tolerance, compassion and love. The outer is the reflection of the inner.
I remember a time when science debated the mind-body connection, if you can imagine. Well, at least we’ve come this far. Now it’s time to take a greater leap. Times are changing and whether we like it or not we are facing a crisis of perception. We are seeing the old societal structures being challenged and broken down. Unable to sustain the old forms, we are being given a unique opportunity to move into a more unified perception of our world. Whether it starts with cultivating our inner life through a meditation practice, or it starts with looking for ways to be of service through changing our mindset (which can lead to the cultivation of a richer inner life) it doesn’t matter. It just needs to start.
“….I saw two birds on a limb this morning laughing with the sun. They reminded me of how we will one day exist….” Hafiz