Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Do This And Change The World!!

We live in a world where there is suffering. Everyday in our own lives, in our families, our communities, and certainly in our world we are confronted with it.

In just the past year I have seen events of cataclysmic suffering close to home; Hurricane Sandy, Sandy Hook, the bombing of The Boston Marathon, and I have felt grief and despair. There is so much heartbreak, it is so difficult to process, and certainly very hard to find peace.

Everyday I can look at the world news headlines and find violence, disaster, horror, such profound suffering endured by my fellow beings. Just today my heart seemed to shatter again as I read about the victims of the tornado in Oklahoma City, many of them children.

How can we keep our faith in the face of such pain? How do we continue to be steadfast in the belief in the ultimate goodness of this world? Where do we find grace and strength when it might seem that we are powerless. How can one person change the world?

Can one person change the world?

I believe we can. I believe I can. Maybe not in a big or sensational way that will lead to fame and public accolades, but in a quiet and yet powerfully direct and intentional manner.

We must change the world from the inside out. We cannot make peace in the world until we learn to make peace within ourselves. Gandhi said, "Be the change that you want to see in the world."

I have come to believe in the power of meditation and prayer. These are tools for transformation, again nothing flashy or glamorous, but powerful, like a slow steady stream of water that in a quiet way can carve through the hardest stone.

One of the most transformational meditation and prayer practices I have found is the practice of metta meditation or loving kindness. This simple offering done regularly will begin to vibrate in increasing intensity in your whole being. It will radiate from you, everything in the world is energy, change your energy and change the surrounding energy. The prayer will always create a shift to a higher energy a greater lightness.

Here is how you do it.

Find a comfortable seat, on a cushion or in a chair with a straight spine to increase the energy and mindfulness. Connect to your breath and to your heart center.

The prayer is quite simple and you first direct it to yourself. Again the first place we must create peace is within our own beings. Three times say or think:

May I be happy.
May I be peaceful.
May I have ease of well being.
May I be free.

Next say the prayer for a benefactor. That is a teacher, a friend, a partner, someone who is a positive force in your life.

May you be happy.
May you be peaceful.
May you have ease of well being.
May you be free.

Next say three rounds for someone for whom you have neutral feelings, for example your mail person or the cashier at the supermarket.

May you be happy.....

Fourth, direct the prayer to someone who challenges you, someone who has hurt you or others. You don't even necessarily have to know them directly. This one is the most challenging for many people and can be the most important. We must be able to see all beings as part of the spiritual family. Those who commit acts of violence and harm are in deep suffering. They still at their core are beings of goodness and light. We help create change by extending the powers of love and forgiveness everywhere, especially into the darkness. Hold this person or people close to your heart and offer to them.

May you be happy.
May you be peaceful.
May you have ease of well being.
May you be free.

Finally direct the prayer to all beings in this world and others.

May all beings be happy.
May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings have ease of well being.
may all beings be free.

I would like to suggest that if you took the time to read this whole post that you take on this practice for one month. It only takes about 15 minutes to do a short practice.

The Dalai Lama said " “If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” We can begin now with ourselves, our impact will be significant.

If one person's prayer is like that small stream that given time can cut through rock, together we can create mighty rivers of peace and compassion. You can change the world.

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