Incredible article written superbly by Chad Foreman. Link=(http://www.thewayofmeditation.com.au/3/post/2013/02/meditation-its-a-revolution.html)
Here is the copy-paste edition! ;P
By Chad Foreman
The Way of Meditation has the potential to be a catalyst and driving force behind revolution in many areas of life. Meditation teaches the skills and attitudes which oppose and counteract the prevailing forces of authority and inequality of our time and offers sustainable peace and freedom.
The Way of Meditation is a political revolution because it teaches people to be disobedient to thoughts. The core practice of meditation in Yoga and Buddhist training is to stabilize the mind. Meditation develops the mind’s natural ability to focus and merge with its object without distraction. A primary skill in this development is that of not being moved or pushed around by thoughts or feelings. Instead, a calm stable mind is established, which can withstand the bullying of thoughts, judgments and demands from the incessant noise of our thinking minds. This translates as disobedience; not obeying the thoughts but instead obeying the practice of meditation, the practice of being present and settled and therefore steadfast and fearless. These are important tools for non-violent revolutionaries. Where else in our culture are we trained to be disobedient?
Meditation is a place where the strength and fortitude to stand up to tyranny is exercised in a non-violent and non-confrontational way. Standing up to the imposed pressures of our culture – its norms, obligations, and expectations – and simply being able to stay still is a radical act of non-compliance at the mental and spiritual level. Meditation is a rebellion against the cult of culture. We ‘take a stand’ by sitting in meditation, which loosens the grip of culture and its ability to rule your life, and gives a chance for genuine creativity and personal values to guide choices and actions.
Meditation is an economic revolution because it cultivates contentment. This simple fact undermines the majority of marketing which appeals to a sense of lack or at least to a sense that getting ‘more’ or ‘new’ will make you happier. Similar to the stance against cultural pressure, meditation is an armor against impulsiveness and being controlled by excitement and whim. Fundamentally meditation teaches that happiness comes from a stable mind rather than from acquiring new or better things. This undermines the consumerist model of economics that relies on spending and consuming more and more. Meditation allows for the opportunity to be content with little and find total peace and happiness with very few material comforts. I wonder just how the economies of the Western blocks would cope if people where happier with what they had and could not be moved so easily to frivolously spend? Leading meditation teacher Alan B Wallace says “a world that truly understands the nature of consciousness could shift away from the hedonistic treadmill of consumerism and toward the inﬁnitely renewable resource of genuine happiness that is cultivated by training the mind.”
The Way of Meditation is a social justice revolution because meditation trains people to see the equality and sameness of people. The identity politics of characterizing people by their skin color, gender or sexual orientation is challenged by the meditation experience of no-self, where there is no fixed or definite self to find following inquiry and deep contemplation. In fact, the realizations of many Masters confirm that we all have the same fundamental nature of conscious awareness and that we all suffer similar mental and emotional afflictions.
Buddha taught the revolutionary idea that through meditation enlightenment is available to every person regardless of social position or gender. This threatened the religious authorities of the day and spawned a tradition that has lasted 2,500 years. At the heart of Buddha’s teaching was the idea that every human being has equal potential to become enlightened. The Way of Meditation is a religious revolution because meditation puts you directly in touch with the absolute – a direct line to God without any ‘middlemen’. Meditation empowers people to trust their own wisdom and not have to rely on gurus, churches, or government. Of course, instructions and a teacher are important for meditation practice but essentially the source of freedom, wisdom and the ultimate is directly available within all of us through our own efforts.
The ability to calm and settle one’s own mind down from neurosis also empowers people to be their own therapist. Meditation Masters say that by stabilizing mindfulness a person is not troubled by disturbing thoughts or emotions. These claims have now been heavily tested with scientific experimentation and the results seem conclusive that meditation is a boon for mental and emotional good health. Therapeutically, mindfulness meditation has been nothing less than a revolution in the field of psychotherapy. Mindfulness-based therapies are heralded as the third wave after Freudian psychology and Skinner’s behaviorism. There has been extensive scientific research carried out on meditation and mindfulness practices that clearly suggest that meditation improves a variety of mental health disorders, particularly stress and anxiety related illness. Meditation has had considerable success in drug rehabilitation and is even being used by major corporations like Google to help its employees with creativity, productivity and stress relief.
Might meditation provide the missing peace that helps unite our deeply fragmented and troubled world? Freedom has long been the goal of spiritual seekers throughout history, and freedom is always a revolution. Meditation allows for a complete turning around in your own seat of consciousness to view and experience the world differently through the insights of meditation. The Way of Meditation is a radical re-orientation of perspective, a chance to blow away personal paradigms and start afresh, a revolution that can happen every moment, a revolution that offers a direct experience of freedom via inner peace.