Monday, August 11, 2008

Transformative Practice

A while back I found a wonderful article on the effect of group meditation. About 4000 meditation practitioners went to Washington, DC, between June and July, 1993, to see if their efforts would be able to prevent violence for eight weeks during these warm summer months. The idea was to test whether their personal coherence, or balance, stability and harmony produced by their personal meditation practice, would translate over into community coherence. The protocol was very strictly set and followed.

As the number of participants increased over the test period, there was a direct correlation in the decrease of violent crime.

In A Return to Love, Marianne Williamson writes:
Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that we are actually powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, fabulous, gorgeous, talented? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. You're playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that's within us. It's not just in some of us. It's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we automatically give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others.
Cultivation of your own transformative practice is the means to having a direct impact not only on your own life, but of all those you touch in daily life. This is done in three steps:
  • Intention - before you sit to meditate, set an intention for a quality you want to cultivate. This may be done by a statement or a prayer. Energy will follow intention.
  • Attention - in Heart Rhythm Meditation, we initially put the focus on the heart and the breath. This easily creates physical coherence with practice and then informs our being on the levels of emotion, mind and spirit.
  • Repetition - Lather, rinse and repeat! The undoings of the patterns we have learned over the years may take some time to change. Gentle patience towards ourselves will let these qualities emerge, even as they are tested in the day to day realities of our world.
The great Sufi mystic Inayat Khan wrote: "It is mind which creates atmosphere. One often wonders why it is that one feels uncomfortable in the presence of someone without his having done any harm; or that one feels excited in the presence of someone, or that one gets out of tune, or tired, or confused in the presence of someone else. Why is it? It is the effect of the person's mind. The mind that is on fire creates fire in the atmosphere, and everyone within its atmosphere is burning, too, in the same fire. The mind which is restful and peaceful gives rest and peace to those who come within the atmosphere of the mind....It is the atmosphere that his presence creates: for no one can create an atmosphere which does not belong to his spirit."

I invite you to create an atmosphere filled with harmony and beauty and to let the inner workings of your heart touch every other heart you come into contact with today and everyday.

1 comment:

Rich said...

Congratulations on entering the blog world, Robert! Thanks for the empowering information. I look forward to checking in regularly.