As I look around the world and engage in conversations with scientists, philosophers, politicians and other thought leaders, I see enormous potential for positive change, as well as a magnitude of problems confronting us.
Currently, an estimated 41 armed military conflicts are being fought throughout the world.
In the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Nigeria and all around the planet, the collective subconscious is erupting with rage and violence.
In the face of war, injustice and other threats to our existence, many people feel moved to join in protests and strident activism.
Although well-intended, acts of moral outrage are not the solution because even moral outrage is rage -- and acting on it adds more rage to the collective consciousness.
Instead of being outraged, we need to be asking, “What is a creative solution for the future?”
There is always a creative solution, yet we can only find it by expanding to a higher level of awareness than the level at which the problem was created.
Otherwise, we are fighting darkness with darkness, which never works. There is a wonderful story about Mother Teresa, who is quoted as saying, “I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations.
I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”
Mother Teresa was the embodiment of compassion and love, and her very presence brought comfort and peace to the countless people she helped, including refugees, orphans, alcoholics and the ill and dying.
Her love also inspired many more people to devote their own lives to helping others.
Become the Presence of Love and Compassion
Whatever we focus our attention on will expand in our experience. If we focus on cultivating the higher qualities of love, compassion, joy and peace, they will expand -- not only in our own lives, but also into the world beyond.
Even though we tend to think of ourselves as separate from other people and from the world, if we go deep enough, we see everything as interdependent.
We are all inextricably connected, and all of our intentions ripple out into the universe, affecting everyone and everything in ways we can’t even imagine.
For this reason, the most important thing each of us can do to change the world is to become the presence of love and the presence of compassion in our own lives.
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, we need to become the change we wish to see in the world.
How do we become the presence of love and compassion? One of the most effective practices is spending time in the inner quiet of meditation.
When we practice silent meditation, we go beyond the noisy internal dialogue of the mind, which tends to focus on the ego’s worries, fears, judgments and irritations.
We enter a state of expanded awareness, where we’re in touch with our true selves, which is pure love, pure compassion and pure potentiality.
Each time we meditate, our perception becomes a bit clearer and we let go of old, limiting beliefs and accumulated stress.
At the end of our meditation session, we are more centered and aware as we go about the rest of our day.
Instead of getting caught up in knee-jerk reactions and the ego’s stories of “me vs. them,” we’re able to respond with expanded awareness, love and compassion.
Global Meditation for Compassion
While many of us usually meditate in solitude, it is also extremely powerful to engage in this quiet, introspective practice as part of a larger collective.
There is significant scientific evidence that when a large group of people meditate together, the power of intention is magnified.
Out of our desire to harness this power of intention to create a kinder, more compassionate world, the Chopra Center is hosting the Global Meditation for Compassion this July 11, 2015.
Thousands of people from throughout the world will be joining us via live stream for this special meditation, which I will have the honor to lead with Gabrielle Bernstein and musical guests.
Our intention for this Global Meditation is to become a collective force for compassion and reach a critical mass of half a million people joining together to create a more conscious, awakened world.
I hope you will join us for this transformational experience. Learn more and register here.