NRI Pulse
Spirituality

The World is One Organism

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
BY SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR

Our existence is not in isolation with the rest of the world. While this idea sounds spiritual, it is very pertinent to social and global situations that we see every now and then. When a house is on fire in the neighborhood, if we don’t act, it is only a matter of time before the fire reaches our own doorstep.

There is an idea found in many ancient cultures that this world is one organism. The microcosm is a reflection of the macrocosm. Just like within us there are billions of cells with their independent existence that collectively make up our existence, all the billions of people and other creatures make up the Being of this world.

Today, there are many parts of the world that are on fire. Many governments and authorities, like in Syria and Egypt, end up using force in conflict-zones. While sometimes necessary in extreme situations, such an approach is reactive and often leads to complications in the long term. Taking care of hygiene and preserving health is easier than to go through treatment after the onset of disease. Just as we need to be proactive in maintaining our health, we need to be proactive in maintaining harmony in the world. A healthy multi-cultural exposure to children can go a long way in eliminating religious fanaticism. An attitude of service cultivated in young minds can be a preventive approach to tackling corruption. Therefore, proper education – one that inculcates human values and honors diversity, is necessary for sustainable peace in the world.

Only a few people in the world cause terror, not the whole population. Of the seven billion people on this planet, there are hardly a few thousand who cause crime and the whole world is affected. With the same law, won’t the reverse also work? Just a few thousand of us, being really peaceful, loving and caring for the whole planet — can we not bring a transformation? One should not think, ‘What can I do?” or that one is insignificant. Everyone has a role to play when the world is in turmoil. A tiny homeopathic pill has the power to heal an 80 kg body. In the same way, every individual has an influence on this cosmos, on this planet.

When we radiate peace and good vibrations, it definitely makes an impact. Those of us who have been fortunate to find some peace within ourselves, now have a challenge to reach out to all those who are not at peace with themselves as well as to those countries and parts of the world where there is conflict. The knowledge of the oneness that we share with the world can bring people out of their narrow mindsets. A bigger vision of life can kindle human values, enabling one to see diversity in oneness and unity in diversity.

Be Self Aware, Via Transcendental Meditation

 

New York: We have known it for ages. Now Americans have woken up to the benefits meditation brings in life.

Meditations have different effects and that meditation can lead to non-dual or transcendental experiences – a sense of self-awareness without content, says a fascinating study.

According to Fred Travis, director of the centre for brain, consciousness, and cognition at Maharishi University of Management in the US, physiological measures and first-person descriptions of transcendental experiences and higher states have only been investigated during practice of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique.

After analyzing descriptions of transcendental consciousness from 52 people practicing TM, Travis found that they experienced “a state where thinking, feeling, and individual intention were missing, but self-awareness remained”.

A systematic analysis of their experiences revealed three themes – absence of time, space and body sense.

“This research focuses on the larger purpose of meditation practices – to develop higher states of consciousness,” explained Travis.

With regular meditation, experiences of transcendental consciousness begin to co-exist with sleeping, dreaming and even while one is awake.

This state is called cosmic consciousness in the Vedic tradition, said the paper published in the journal Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Whereas people practicing TM describe themselves in relation to concrete cognitive and behavioral processes, those experiencing cosmic consciousness describe themselves in terms of a continuum of inner self-awareness that underlies their thoughts, feelings and actions, added the paper.

“The practical benefit of higher states is that you become more anchored to your inner self, and, therefore, less likely to be overwhelmed by the vicissitudes of daily life,” said Travis.

TM is an effortless technique for automatic self-transcending, different from the other categories of meditation – focused attention or open monitoring.

It allows the mind to settle inward beyond thought to experience the source of thought – pure awareness or transcendental consciousness.

This is the most silent and peaceful level of consciousness – one’s innermost self, said the study.

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