At the level of consciousness or spirit, we are all inextricably connected to everyone and everything. While our body may appear to be a solid physical structure, in reality it’s an ever-flowing river of energy and information, in constant dynamic exchange with the environment around us.
Our language reflects our innate understanding of our essential energetic nature. We say things like, “His words really resonated with me,” or “I got a bad vibe from that person,” or “My friend has such a radiant heart.” These aren’t just metaphors—we really do feel each other’s energy and are affected by it at a profound level. Think of all the qualities in another person you intuitively pick up at an energetic level. Besides telling if someone is happy or sad, you can sense whether they feel peaceful or perturbed. Looking into their eyes reveals alertness or dullness, tenderness, or indifference. It’s hard to think of any human quality that doesn’t have a kind of energy “signature.”
As energetic beings, our potential to affect others with our energy or state of being is both a great gift and a great responsibility. When we walk into a room, our energy emanates from us. Without saying a word, we communicate through our energetic signature, creating a ripple that can affect everyone we meet. If our state of being is centered in love and compassion, we communicate that energy to each other. In the same way, if we’re mired in judgment, hostility, or resentment, we communicate that too.
Through our energy or consciousness, we have an unlimited capacity to send out ripples that will help the planet and its inhabitants move in the most evolutionary direction—from fear, hostility, and unrest to love, compassion, peace, and joy.
Becoming a Force for Harmony
A friend of mine shared a personal story that illustrates the power of staying centered in peace. He was walking down a street in a big city he was visiting and on impulse he went into a bakery, enticed by their extravagant window display. As soon as he stepped in the door he saw trouble. The bakery manager was yelling at the girl working the counter. She was in tears and both were so engrossed that they didn’t notice a customer had entered the shop. My friend told me that he had a sudden intuition: I can bring harmony here.
He turned his back on the argument, which settled down once his presence was noticed. In itself, that is unremarkable. But my friend kept lingering, and as he did so, he centered himself in his own peace. He has had a regular meditation practice for many years, and instead of getting caught up in thoughts of irritation or criticism, he was able to feel compassion for the manager, the girl, and himself. He could feel the atmosphere in the bakery soften, and although few would believe what happened next, the manager and the girl at the counter exchanged smiles. By the time my friend left, he saw them embracing and mutually expressing how sorry they were.
Can your mere presence bring peace to a situation in the same way? The first step is to believe that it’s possible; the second is the willingness to act solely as a peaceful influence, silently if you can, but speaking up in a conscious way if it becomes necessary.
Connecting to the One Who Is Already at Peace
Conflicts are rooted in incoherence, the turbulent emotions and thoughts that result from chaotic energy and fragmented awareness. Rather than adding to the turmoil with knee-jerk reactions of fear, blame, or anger, you can focus your attention on being the presence of peace, loving kindness, and compassion. This isn’t about “positive thinking” or artificially manipulating your thoughts because even though such efforts are often well-intentioned, they don’t go to the source and may only increase stress. Instead, you’re contacting the part of you that is already peaceful, already loving, and already compassionate. This is your true self. Even though your awareness of your true self may sometimes become clouded or constricted, you can never lose your connection with your true self because it’s who you really are.
How do you expand your awareness of your infinitely loving and compassionate self? In my experience, spending time in the inner quiet of meditation is one of the most powerful tools for awakening who you really are.
The Path of Meditation
Meditation is the practice of going inward to access awareness that is deeper than thought. In the restful awareness of meditation, you go beyond the ego mind’s fears and unrest and get in touch with your soul. Thoughts of separation drop away and you enter a state of unity consciousness. This experience of oneness and inner silence is extremely refreshing for your mind, allowing it to gently unravel old, conditioned thought patterns and judgments, freeing you to be more of who you really are—and allowing you to see others as they really are. This clear seeing at the soul level is the basis of peace. It dissolves the barriers of “us” and “them” and opens the door to compassion and new possibilities.
Meditation: Heart Connection
Today I invite you to take five minutes to establish yourself in peace. Sit quietly with your eyes closed and take a few long, deep breaths. Now put your attention on your heart and silently repeat these four words: Peace, Harmony, Laughter, Love. Allow these words to radiate from your heart’s stillness out into your body and beyond into the universe. Now silently ask yourself, “How can I be the change that I want to see in the world?” Then listen to the messages of your heart.
Complete the meditation session by sitting quietly for a few moments, appreciating the simplicity of quiet awareness.
Join the Global Meditation for Compassion
Mark your calendar for July 11, 2015 12pm E.S.T.–The Chopra Center’s Second Annual Global Meditation will broadcast around the globe. Tune in from anywhere in the world to participate in the largest meditation gathering in history. Hundreds of thousands of people from nearly every country in the world will join together in meditation to spread compassion. Will you join us?