Watching the news can be difficult with all of the violence in the world. One wonders, “What would drive someone to do that?” Most people feel helpless to the inertia of the world, but some start thinking, “How can I help?” For a long time I was one of these people. I was searching for the key to change people’s lives for the better. I was trying to figure out how to combat all of these negative realities in our world.
I knew that change was hard, but until I started meditating, I didn’t realize how engrained these social patterns were. It took years and even decades to build up the anger, passion, or fear that leads to the horrible acts we see on the news. Meditation has shown me how the potency of these aversions overwhelm the mind causing an individual to lose control of their actions. These aren’t choices. These actions are products of the previous states of their minds.
I didn’t realize this until I tried to change my own habit patterns through meditation. While the consequences of my rebelling mind didn’t result in murder or rape, I still have the same feelings of lack of control of my thoughts and actions. I snap back at an aggressor. I avoid dealing with problems. I can’t help but have one more cookie. I had the benefit of growing up in a two parent household in safe neighborhoods with good schools and I still don’t have control of my mind. Can I really expect people who have been abused, starved, and beaten throughout their lives to be able to control their minds? Can I avoid the real problem by just blaming them for their poor actions?
This isn’t just a matter of love and forgiveness. We need to give people the tools to strengthen their minds so they can have choices when faced with adversity. Meditation allows the slow, methodical training of one’s mind to live a more peaceful and wholesome life. A pure mind won’t harm anyone. This process of creating a peaceful world starts with me. By meditating twice a day I’m slowly building a stronger, more wholesome mind which will naturally create a safe and wholesome environment around me. The more pure my mind is, the more pure the environment around me will be. Pointing fingers of blame isn’t helping anything. Facing the impurities lodged in your mind through meditation will help you and the world around you. It’s hard, but if you want to change the world, this is the place to start. Time to meditate.