International Day of Meditation 2019
Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj
September 20, 2019
September 20 is celebrated as the International Day of Meditation all over the world. It is a great step forward toward a world of peace when there is a day set aside globally for meditation.
The key to peace
For many years I have been asked about the key to peace, and I have always thought that if each of us becomes peaceful ourselves, we will contribute to the world being peaceful. Meditation is a way to attain this inner and outer peace.
In recent years, people have focused attention on the importance of finding ways to have a healthy body, mind, and soul to live a more fulfilling life. Meditation can provide us physical benefits, mental, and spiritual benefits.
Benefits to meditation: Physical and mental stress reduction
Spending regular, accurate time in meditation has been shown to reduce stress. Studies have found consistent reductions in anxiety in people who meditate. Several stress-related conditions have demonstrated improvement during clinical trials of meditation including hypertension, insomnia, asthma, and chronic pain.
Meditation induces changes in the brain that lead to deep relaxation with a corresponding decrease in medical disorders such as hypertension and cardiac arrhythmias, as well as in relieving anxiety states and pain.
Many medical centers and hospitals throughout the world now offer classes in meditation to patients and medical practitioners as a way to reduce stress and eliminate certain illnesses. In this way, meditation heals our physical body.
Another benefit of meditation is to help our mind. In this hectic world, our mind is often agitated by stress and pressures. Life has become so complicated that people seem to have too much to do and not enough time to do it.
Some people hold jobs that require long hours and too much responsibility. Other people work two jobs and raise a family. Too much pressure often causes people to seem to snap–they become irritable, off-balance, and “stressed-out.” They begin to act in ways that are not “themselves.” Sometimes they take out their frustrations on their loved ones and hurt those they should love the most.
Meditation is a way to eliminate the lack of balance caused by the mental stresses of life. By spending time in meditation, we create a calm haven in which we restore equilibrium and peace to our mental functioning.
If we could spend some time each day in meditation, we will find our stress levels will be reduced. Besides reducing stress during meditation, there is a carry-over effect. We will find that we can maintain more peace of mind as we continue our activities throughout the day.
As we perfect our meditations, we can maintain that calm state of mind even in the midst of turmoil and strife. We will find ourselves more in control of our reactions and we will maintain an even keel in the face of other people’s conflicts.
Thus, through meditation, we can bring about a healing of our mental state and can, over time, develop the equilibrium of mind to function more effectively and more peacefully in this world.
Benefits to meditation: Emotional healing
Meditation can help us emotionally. In the last few decades, family life has changed dramatically. In many families both parents have to work and people have less and less time for their children. Young people are often raised by baby-sitters, childcare centers, and daycare centers. With the breakdown of extended families, with people moving from their own families for better job opportunities, children no longer have easy access to grandparents and aunts and uncles to care for them when their parents work.
Sometimes, even if one stays in an extended family, there is tension between different family members. Children, in increasing numbers, are not receiving the kind of love and attention they need to become whole, emotionally healthy people.
We also see an increase in abusive relationships, drug and alcohol addictions, child abuse, and dysfunctional families. With an overemphasis in society on academic achievement and career preparation, we have not devoted much time to learning how to get along with others, establishing good human relationships, parenting skills, relationship skills for a healthy marriage, and coping with emotional pain.
The result is an increase in the number of people who have emotional problems. What used to be considered a problem of only a few, now has become a problem of the masses: psychological and emotional pain.
Meditation can supplement the various forms of therapy that people use to heal emotional pain. As people work on their emotional problems, often with the guidance of trained specialists, they can increase their healing by meditating.
In meditation, we come in contact with the source of all love. The current of Light and Sound is made of the same essence as our soul and the Oversoul. That essence is love, consciousness, and bliss. As we come in contact with it, we experience divine love. We connect with the love of God latent within us. It is said, “God is love, the soul is love, and the way back to God is through love.” Contact with godly love fills us with more love than we can ever imagine.
Benefits to meditation: Spiritual growth and love
Finally, meditation helps us spiritually. Meditation can uplift our soul to find the answers to our spiritual questions. We can discover the treasures that await us within. We experience ourselves as soul, as a Light of God, and know that we are drops of the Oversoul.
Ultimately, we reach the stage of merger with God and become all-conscious. It is at that stage of unification that our spiritual thirst is quenched. We no longer yearn for love—we become love itself.
When we find peace ourselves, we will radiate that peace to others. In this way we can be a light to bring peace to the world. We no longer are a source of conflict but are a remedy for conflict. We no longer hurt others in thought, word, or deed. Instead, we apply balm to others’ wounds.
When we meditate on the inner Light and Sound, we see the Light of God in all and love all creation as one family of God. We become an agent of peace and goodwill.
If each person offered their soothing presence to those with whom he or she came in contact, it would not be long before we would heal the world of the scars of war, of hatred, of inhumane acts. Outer peace would be assured, and a golden age of peace would begin.
My prayer is that each finds inner peace and contributes to outer peace on this International Day of Meditation.