Can meditation help solve our global problems? This question arose during one of our recent weekly meditation sessions at the Tai Chi and Meditation Centre. My response:
You may pray or meditate for more Wisdom and Compassion in the world. Research suggests that prayer and meditation for individuals can have a positive effect, but I’m not sure how much of an impact it will have on individual countries or indeed the Planet.
In my experience, it is extremely difficult to change people, since ultimately only they can change themselves. Global leaders like Obama, Pope Francis, the Dalai Lama, Justin Trudeau and others are putting forward intelligent and compassionate policies, advice and encouragement, but even they cannot dramatically drag humanity in their direction. The Battle is far from over. Trump and Putin loom ominously despite their outrageous statements and conduct; the global economy is volatile; millions of migrants are on the move and more to come; the effects of global warming are accelerating in terms of volatile climate and rising oceans.
It seems that our present society has lost the ability to recognize Quality – that which is lasting, worth keeping, healthful, healing and uplifting. We are now trained to gravitate to Quantity – who has most money, ostentatious spending and celebrity, no matter how fleeting. The unregulated Free Market is all about Quantity, specifically money. Marketers, advertisers and political “spinners” successfully exploit this. Many voters in America and Canada are so overwhelmed, they (wrongly) conclude “all politicians are the same”. In addition, we seem to be confusing virtual reality with actual reality – video game killing translates into actual killing; we think we know Donald Trump because we have seen him as the Boss in The Apprentice “reality” show!
For me, Vipassana-Mindfulness meditation can be a powerful instrument for global change by radically changing and transforming individual consciousness and behaviour. The Buddha’s Middle Way, if properly followed, produces both Wisdom and Compassion. Vipassana is simple, but not easy. It requires expert guidance and skillful, consistent, on-going practice. If life is always changing, we cannot afford to fall asleep at the wheel.
I have devoted my life to helping people individually heal their mind-body and transform their consciousness, through Vipassana meditation, taijiquan, qigong, the Enneagram Personalities and more. If one person is transformed, it is one more flame for the Global Fire. One person endowed with both Wisdom and Compassion will shine their Light among their family, friends, co-workers and beyond.