by Michael Ketterhagen
For the past year almost 9,000 people from 136 countries participated in the Himalayan Institute’s Year Long Meditation (YLM) practice. Many of you also participated in this practice. The intention of the practice was to spend personal time in peace, so as to nudge the changing world into a positive direction. Our own peaceful, inward time began to move ourselves and other human beings toward unity and care for each other, rather than continue angry, forceful divisions.
At the July 16thclosing ceremony of the YLM practice, which generated over 750,000 hours of meditation during a past year of major challenges for the planet and especially for the United States, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, my yoga teacher, shared some comments that I found quite inspiring. I would like to share those comments with you, so that you can know as well the importance of continuing your personal meditation practice.
“We are at a crucial point in the evolution of humanity,” Pandit Rajmani begins. “Many positives have happened in the past 30-40 years—there are more hospitals in the world, more children are attending school, more people have experienced economic, spiritual and political prosperity—just to name a few.
“There are also many negatives—a greater gap between the wealthy and the poor, a greater tendency to divide and separate people from each other, a greater degree of violence in society, a greater intensity of anger and stress—just to name a few.
“The Year Long Meditation was to bring nourishment and joy to our inner and outer unrest. The chaos in the external world is a reflection of the chaos we see in our inner world. We must change our inner world which is made up of our mind, values and beliefs that are so dear to us, our love and compassion for certain things, and our courage to avoid the unhealthy and destructive.
“There is no better tool for changing the inner world than meditation and that was the reason for the Year Long Meditation. Whatever our desired change in the external world must be the change we need in our internal world.
“Covid-19 is very painful. It has shattered our belief and conviction in ourselves and the leaders of the world. Positively, though it has brought up all those hidden and previously undesirable, non-respected, non-responded to issues of violence and unrest. Our inner tendencies showed up…and now we have meaningful information to help us restructure and reorganize ourselves and society.
“We can do this by forming a habit of going inward each day—even for 5 or 10 minutes. We can take an inventory of our mind and see how the climate within ourselves can change the climate outside. We can recognize, through this meditation time, the divine and the beast inside of ourselves and we can commit to living from the light not the dark, from the good not the bad, from the real not the unreal, from the immortal not the mortal part of ourselves.
“When we go inside, we begin to know ourselves and the Higher Reality that we call God. This knowledge will help us know our loved ones and anyone else in our outside world.
“We need to share the best of ourselves with the world, starting at home.
Meditation will help us do that. So, please continue meditating daily,” Pandit Rajmani concludes.
I have committed to do just that and to offer a very specific training in the meditation method called Vishoka Meditation. This is the method that combines the wisdom of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, Buddha’s Lotus Sutra, and Shankaracharya’s Sri Sukta. Watch for that course offering in the coming months.