Its 21 weeks since we began doing our Thursday meditation on-line. Although we can’t meet face-to-face the fact that we meet with the intention of giving the best of ourselves in meditation, the relationship between each of us as individuals and collectively as a meditation group becomes more positive and mutually supportive. When we meditate we are gifting ourselves to each other and to others. “Giving” Erich Fromm wrote in his classic book The Art of Loving,’ is the highest expression of potency.”
Throughout history women and men have sought joy; not happiness but rather ‘joy’, which unlike happiness can ideally be sustained even in the midst of suffering. At this time of lock-down this search for ‘joy’ is more intense as we become battle-scarred night after night by the barrage of bad news.The absence of ‘joy’ is sorrow. And the so-called ‘sads’ can easily overwhelm our best intentions to remain joyful.
“Wars start in the minds of men,” says the UNESCO Charter. But peace starts in our minds and hearts and brings us joy.
Vijaya Pandit the first woman President of the UN General Assembly put it this way. “There is superficial order, but there is no inner tranquillity and understanding. The only true foundation for peaceful coexistence is the right state of mind.”
Trappist Monk, Thomas Merton wrote, “Where there is a deep, simple, all-embracing love of man, of the created world of living and inanimate things, then there will be respect for life, for freedom, for truth, for justice.”
Our outer life is the expression of who we are within. Meditation assists us to shape our inner life and in doing so rendering us the gift of ‘joy’, that invaluable endowment that transforms.
And now let us meditate in the fashion that we are accustomed to.
You might like to dedicate your meditation to those that are affected by Covid-19 virus either through illness, bereavement or unemployment. And as I said earlier we meditate not just for ourselves but also for the benefit of others.
(Meditate for up to 20 minutes.)
As we go about our daily activities I hope that by being in the present, by remaining mindful we will find joy in the midst of this trial. Peter