If ever the world was weary, this is the time. Universally there has been pain, frustration, fear and grief wearing us down in 2020. Alongside this is the universal message of peace and good will that is celebrated in numerous traditions worldwide at this time of year. Many great teachers, saints and sages perpetuate the important lesson that without inner peace or peace of mind, world peace will always be elusive.
One of the upsides of the “stay and safer at home” mandates has been a surge of downloads of meditation apps.
“According to a new report from app store intelligence firm Sensor Tower, the world’s 10 largest English-language mental wellness apps saw a combined 2 million more downloads during the month of April 2020 compared with January, reaching close to 10 million total downloads for the month.”
This brings a great thrill of hope to my mind and heart. From my experience, if one sincerely practices meditation, one cannot help but to experience less internal conflict, more peace of mind and the desire to extend that into the world. A question arose in my mind one day during a particularly peaceful practice. “Does Peace have a cause?” Or is it an underlying universal state that is revealed when we settle down and calm our minds? To me, it feels like an inherent gift of the Divine, perhaps it is our original nature. It is never imposed upon us because, well it is PEACE and would never be inflicted against one’s will. We are free to cover it over with all of the world’s distractions for as long as we choose.
A very simple and time tested meditation practice is repetition of a word. One with meaning to you is the most helpful when training the mind. Repeating it mentally one time while inhaling, and twice while exhaling has been shown to benefit higher heart rate variability (HRV). According to Harvard Health Publishing, “ Over the past few decades, research has shown a relationship between low HRV and worsening depression or anxiety. A low HRV is even associated with an increased risk of death and cardiovascular disease. People who have a high HRV may have greater cardiovascular fitness and be more resilient to stress.”
I use the mantra “Hari OM” (the divine word) on inhale and “Shanti, Shanti” (Peace) on exhale. A word or phrase from your faith tradition or simply the word One in a sincere practice will garner the many benefits of meditation. There are many paths to peace of mind and from the many the great hope is that we will find our common good.
Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All,
Namaste and Love,