Globalizing wisdom is antidote to terrorism

Thu, 04/29/2010
Denver Center for the Performing Arts
Denver, Colorado
April 20, 2010

So often in our life we say ‘thank you’ or ‘sorry’ to people without really meaning it. It's almost like air-hostess saying to you ‘have a nice day’ when you get off the plane. The air hostess greets you but does not mean it. The same words coming from someone dear to you carry different vibrations and presence. In fact we convey almost all thoughts through our presence and very little through words. A baby conveys the vibrations of love like nobody else. Your puppy at home expresses such love that no speaker can express. We are all endowed with this presence yet somewhere our presence has got muddled up. This is because we are stressed. Neither at home nor at school has anyone taught us how to cleanse our presence. If we are angry at home, we carry that angry vibration to the office. When we are upset at office that thing lingers in our system and comes back home with us. We're unable to let go and be like a child again. Now how do we get back to our source? How do we cleanse our presence? This is what meditation is all about. It's the movement from sound to silence.
Many believe meditation is concentration or a lot of effort. Meditation is not concentration. It is the opposite of concentration. If you want to drive anywhere, you need concentration. If you have to simply relax at home though, there needn’t be an effort. You don't need concentration. Meditation is deep relaxation and not concentration. So if thoughts come during meditation, we don't try to chase them. The more we chase them the more they come. If you want to get rid of a thought it won’t go easily. It will come back stronger. So we take another strategy. If bad thoughts come we give them a hug. We shake hands with them.  Then they disappear. If good thoughts come we give them a hug, then they become quiet. Whatever thoughts are coming, we don't try to stop them. It's an effortless process.
There are three golden rules for meditation. The first is you say “I want nothing.” If you say “I need to drink water or change my position,” then meditation cannot happen. When you want nothing, then you also do nothing. The second golden rule is “I do nothing.” You only breathe. Do not make an effort to think “I want nothing” and “I do nothing” - Just an effortless attention. Then the last one is even more important, “I am nothing.” While meditating we drop all notions about ourselves of being rich, poor, intelligent, stupid or any other. So what are you? Nothing. Just a little attention to - “I am nothing. I want nothing. I do nothing.” After meditation you can again be something. It is your choice, but during meditation if you think you are somebody great or somebody hopeless, there is no way you can settle down to that deepest core of the being. To settle into that consciousness of which all of us are made up of, this must be our initial step for meditation. It is the journey from sound to silence.
Today we'll use the sound ‘Om’. ‘Om’ means eternal peace and unconditional love. So we will say this sound ‘Om’ three times and create the vibration of peace and love all around us. That is inner peace. When we have that inner peace, we have patience and our perception improves. Our observation and expression become better. Often we end up saying “nobody understands me.” We never say ,“I haven't expressed myself better.” Our expression improves with meditation. That's the magic of meditation.
There are people who would ask what does meditation do? It can bring about a violence-free society. Today is the 11th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. Both the victim and culprit need to know how to relax their minds. Neither at home nor at school does anyone teach how to get rid of negative emotions. They rise and you are stuck with them. The ‘World Health Organization’ predicts that the second biggest killer in this next decade will be depression. Cancer will be the biggest killer followed by depression. Meditation is essential to deal with this. The Pranayama, yoga, Sudarshan Kriya and meditation can bring such a transformation.
If every child learns a bit about every religion in the world, they won't become fanatics. They won't say, “oh, only I have the truth.” They will recognize that there is truth in everything. Otherwise something would be lost. This is what I call globalizing wisdom. Nokia in Finland makes telephones but those phones are being used by people all over the world. Similarly Danish cookies are known throughout the world. Though the sitar is from India, everyone listens to it. Yet when it comes to wisdom people shrink. That is the cause of terrorism in the world today. If even a small part of this globe is left thinking that only they possess the truth, the world is in trouble. We are not going to be in a safe place. There will be suicide bombers. So we need to globalize wisdom. We need to educate every child in a broad spectrum. Every child should know a little bit about the Upanishads. You know, great love is present in the Upanishads? It is unimaginable. There are great things in the teachings of Buddha. Everyone should know a little bit about Buddha and his teachings. Everyone should know a little bit about Daoism, about what Jesus and Muhammad have said etc. One can follow ones own religion but still have a broad mindset. If you're a Jew, you continue being a Jew without it stopping you from understanding the other wisdom and philosophies in the world. This would impact our lives in some way. We've globalized potato chips and Coke, but not wisdom. We need to do that. If even a fraction of what we spend on defense goes towards educating children about non-violence and peace, the world would be a different place.

Then Sri Sri led the audience through a meditation

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