“If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.”
The real revolution is in every heart and mind around the world and it is an inner revolution. The revolution that changes the inner seat of power from a centralised ego to an enlightened kind and wise expression of love itself. There cannot be an enlightened society without enlightened individuals, no matter how good the system is it will always be oppressive unless it is driven by the collective wisdom and compassion of the people.
Meditation can be a catalyst for a political revolution though because it teaches people to be disobedient to thoughts. Where else is disobedience encouraged? Meditation teachers us not to believe in pre-conceived ideas or tradition and asks you to look at the situation with fresh eyes; to see things clearly. This is sometimes all that is needed to spark a revolution, like the story of the emperor wearing no clothes, finally the people realised they were being tricked and indeed the emperor was naked. Just to see clearly the huge wealth inequality in the world without dismissing it or justifying it can bring about a radical shift in perspective. In fact today the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ is the biggest gap in history. Meditation can facilitate a political awakening just by the ability for every day people to look with a fresh perspective and see the naked truth.
“A world that truly understands the nature of consciousness could shift away from the hedonistic treadmill of consumerism and toward the inﬁnitely renewable resource of genuine happiness that is cultivated by training the mind.”
The Way of Meditation is a social justice revolution because meditation trains people to see the equality and sameness of people. The identity politics of characterizing people by their skin color, gender or sexual orientation is challenged by the meditation experience of no-self, where there is no fixed or definite self to find following inquiry and deep contemplation. In fact, the realizations of many Masters confirm that we all have the same fundamental nature of conscious awareness and that we all suffer similar mental and emotional afflictions.
Buddha taught the revolutionary idea that through meditation enlightenment is available to every person regardless of social position or gender. This threatened the religious authorities of the day and spawned a tradition that has lasted 2,500 years.
At the heart of Buddha’s teaching was the idea that every human being has equal potential to become enlightened. The Way of Meditation is a religious revolution because meditation puts you directly in touch with the absolute – a direct line to God without any ‘middlemen’. Meditation empowers people to trust their own wisdom and not have to rely on gurus, churches, or government. Of course, instructions and a teacher are important for meditation practice but essentially the source of freedom, wisdom and the ultimate is directly available within all of us through our own efforts.
The ability to calm and settle one’s own mind down from neurosis also empowers people to be their own therapist. Meditation Masters say that by stabilising mindfulness a person is not troubled by disturbing thoughts or emotions. These claims have now been heavily tested with scientific experimentation and the results seem conclusive that meditation is a boon for mental and emotional good health. Therapeutically, mindfulness meditation has been nothing less than a revolution in the field of psychotherapy. Mindfulness-based therapies are heralded as the third wave after Freudian psychology and Skinner’s behaviourism. There has been extensive scientific research carried out on meditation and mindfulness practices that clearly suggest that meditation improves a variety of mental health disorders, particularly stress and anxiety related illness. Meditation has had considerable success in drug rehabilitation and is even being used by major corporations like Google to help its employees with creativity, productivity and stress relief.
Meditation also fosters a deeper connection with ourselves and with the planet. Meditation helps us to become more sensitive to how our actions affect others and how they affect the world. This is what Meditation Master Thich Nhat Hanh says:
“There’s a revolution that needs to happen and it starts from inside each one of us. We need to wake up and fall in love with Earth. Our love and admiration for the Earth has the power to unite us and remove all boundaries, separation and discrimination. We need to re-establish true communication–true communion–with ourselves, with the Earth, and with one another as children of the same mother.”
Mass Global Meditations
Groups all around the world are synchronising and meditating together in huge numbers. Directing their attention toward unity and peace and coming together to share a vision of hope and prosperity and to stop violence and corruption. This has even been studied scientifically and the research shows that the effects of mass meditations can have tangible results. Reductions in crime and violence have been measured in some of the most violent parts of the world where groups of meditators have channelled their energy.
There is even an ancient science behind these discoveries that show how tapping into a universal energy field at the source of all things can actually effect the physical world. It is called subtle activism and everyone can participate. However the Dalai Lama has warned that praying and meditating is not enough and once a vision of peace and unity has been established within the minds and hearts of millions of people around the world action is needed to create the social structures and organisations that do the work of exposing and stopping violence, corruption and exploitation.
Might meditation provide the missing peace that helps unite our deeply fragmented and troubled world? Freedom has long been the goal of spiritual seekers throughout history, and freedom is always a revolution. Meditation allows for a complete turning around in your own seat of consciousness to view and experience the world differently through the insights of meditation. The Way of Meditation is a radical re-orientation of perspective, a chance to blow away old paradigms and start fresh, a revolution that can happen every moment, a revolution that offers a direct experience of freedom via inner peace.