The world community was shattered again, in a big way, by tragic acts of violence in Europe and around the globe. Fear and sadness abounds and the voice inside us wants to understand. We yearn for peace. Yesterday, I listened to analysts talking about terrorist groups and some of the ways in which they become radicalized. There’s a lot of understanding about the making of a terrorist. What’s missing is creative solutions to grow peace. Being the Solution Did you know that there’s a statement in the UN Charter that says war begins in the mind? Under chronic pressure and stress, and who isn’t, the fight or flight response rules. Fuzzy thinking and overwhelm dominate the lives of far too many. As a coping strategy, we start labeling people familiar to us as US and others as THEM. We divide ourselves. This divisive thinking is based in the ego’s quest for safety and the desire to be known. It’s the breeding ground of mistrust and hostility. Without corrective action, we grow in frustration, anger, and resentment. Are we helping the cause of peace when we are holding these emotions and stress inside? I think not. If you’re not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem. Is this what you want for your life, for your world? The good news is there is wisdom from ancient cultures that can help us. They’ve told us how to create peace and live a healthy life. The key is to quiet the mind. A quiet or still mind does not see differences, it just sees what is. It doesn’t judge itself or others. Us vs. Them thinking drops away when the mind is still, quiet. There is nothing to fear. Fortunately today, there’s a growing understanding of the need for bringing peace to our turbulent minds. The other day I was reading about one such initiative, the work of the David Lynch Foundation. They have funded the teaching of children in at-risk schools the practice of Transcendental Meditation®. The daily meditation periods are referred to as “quiet time.” Over a couple years, the schools implementing the quiet time programs are transformed. Kids excel and the school environment blossoms. Both parents and administrators are thrilled with the impact of quiet time in the school day. Make a practice of quieting your mind and you’ll experience your relationships becoming more harmonious. The practice of quieting the mind cultures more tender qualities of the heart. With a quiet mind, we become better listeners, more attentive and receptive. And a quiet mind brings peace to the body, manifesting as better physical health. Bring enough minds to silence and over time, our outer environments transform as is happening in schools, prisons and other environments implementing meditation quiet time programs. There is an antidote for hostility and stress and it’s easy to implement. Steps to take now Peace also begins in the mind, and it starts with each one of us. Here’s several things you [...]
You may have heard that Wayne Dyer had a heart attack and passed away during the night on Saturday. I have been grieving since the news was released by his family. This man has been a source of inspiration to me since we met over 20 years ago when he enrolled in my meditation classes. That first encounter was at the Maharishi Ayurvedic Health Center in Lancaster, MA. Deepak Chopra, M.D. was the clinical director of the center, and I directed guest services and taught meditation courses to the “guests” who wished to learn. Wayne was a good friend of Deepak’s, and he was eager to participate in the meditation course. The year was 1992; and I became his teacher. Over the next week of daily meetings and conversations, I grew close to the man who, before this, I only admired from afar. For a teacher, this was as good as it gets! Wayne was a most gracious and playful guest. I recall fondly polling the center’s staff for ice skates so that he could enjoy the frozen pond on our property. Wayne knew that ice skating was bending the rules for guests of the healing center, but anyone who knew Wayne Dyer understood how he felt about such rules. He later smiled and told me the skating was terrific. Wayne was also generous, freely sharing his gifts and talents while acknowledging others for their contributions. On occasions when I attended conferences where he delivered keynotes and programs, he told audiences that I was his first meditation teacher. When he learned of my interest in writing, he warmly offered his endorsement and assistance in getting my book published. Wayne was easy to love. Despite his age and health challenges, Wayne was a tireless promoter of living life with high levels of consciousness. He loved meditation and always encouraged everyone to take up the practice. For over 40 years, Wayne taught us how to be happy and fulfilled. Many refer to him as the Father of Motivation. Anyone who has benefited from any of Wayne’s writings or talks will enjoy reading his last book, a memoir, published by Hay House in 2014, I Can See Clearly Now. It may be the best of his 40+ books. Wayne will be deeply missed. Of some comfort to those left behind is a statement released by his family. Wayne always said that he couldn’t wait for his next adventure to begin, and he had no fear of death. Fortunately for all, you can be sure that Wayne Dyer is now on the other side loving us, and enjoying himself immensely. I feel blessed to have known him. Greg Schweitzer “At every moment, you can be a host to God or a hostage to your ego.”– Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Inherent in the rapid change of our world and the corporate landscape is an escalating level of stress. In a recent poll, nearly 4 of 5 Americans describe their jobs as stressful, and the vast majority indicates that the level or stress has worsened over the last 10 years. The impact of stress is omnipresent, causing: Reduced productivity and creativity Increased accidents Unnecessary absenteeism Low morale, poor attitude Emotional upset – anxiety, depression, anger Communication problems Increased medical costs – stress is health enemy #1! Did you know that 70 to 90% of health conditions are linked to stress? Left unchecked, stress is certain to exact a high toll on your business. If you think not, just take a look at your health insurance bills!
Yesterday, I received a contractor’s invoice for a home service that was totally unsatisfactory. They did not provide much of the service that’s advertised and yet they billed me as if they had. The “warrior” in me was agitated and wanted justice. I was determined to right this perceived wrong. Although my attorney was very ready to take action on my behalf, advice I began to feel uncomfortable about his suggested response. Perhaps I was acting hastily, treatment why was I so obsessed with this? Eckhart Tolle, NY Times best-selling author of A New Earth and The Power of Now, might say that I was caught up in my ego-mind. The ego-monkey-mind, gets pleasure in running the show, justifying its position vs. others and distracting us from what we really want, e.g. joy and peace of mind. I had definitely lost my focus and serenity over this issue. Does such obsessive thinking ever occur in your life? How often? Certainly, injustices are not fair and ideally can be reversed. However, a balanced mind and approach to life is my goal. Is this contractor issue really that important that it should consume so much of my mental energy and focus? Fortunately, many years ago I learned how to take the steam out of my obsessive ego-monkey-mind thinking with Effortless Meditation™. Although, as this contractor experience reveals, it’s an on-going process. Obsessive thoughts still sporadically appear, they grab me; however, their roar and impact is far less today. In meditation, I effortlessly return to mental stillness, a state of balance and peace. Through regular daily meditation practice, I’ve experienced a growing internal serenity and freedom that enables me to “let go” of stressors and move on in my life rather than obsessing for long periods over things that I have very little, if any, control! Injustices, both real and imaginary, are a part of life; however, our responses to them can change for the better. Today, life is good, very good. Don’t sweat the small stuff; and you know, it’s mostly small stuff!
Is there anyone in your life that challenges your serenity? Of course, we all have such people and situations. The question is what to do about it? Holding resentment and anger hardens our hearts, taking the joy and serenity from our lives. You may have heard the saying that if you hold revenge in your heart, you’ll need two graves. One for the person upon whom you wish revenge and the other for you! Chronic anger and animosity breed a host of diseases not to mention unhappiness and discord. The UN charter reads, “War begins in the mind.” The good news is that we have the power to change. Louise Hay, a wise metaphysical teacher, best-selling author and founder of Hay House Inc., suggests that we send our troublemakers love. The next time you catch yourself replaying those negative internal messages of despair and anger over the actions of others, remind yourself to “send them love”. We do not have to love what they’ve done. Their actions may have really hurt. Do you, however, want to hold onto the hurt and anger, or do you wish to move beyond it? Sending them love puts forth a positive transformational energy. We have the power to bring light to our world through our thoughts and intentions. Try it and notice the impact on the quality of your life. Steve, an Effortless Meditation™ client, was frequently rehashing feelings of sadness and loneliness. His family, upset by decisions he had made and actions he had taken, shunned him. He was no longer welcome in their home or in their lives. Although Steve’s actions were in accord with his conscience, they were not in alignment with the family’s desires and values. They no longer returned his phone calls or initiated any communication with him. Steve’s hurt and sadness replayed over and over in his mind. After years of distress, Steve learned of this empowering approach in a coaching session. When his recurring negative feelings toward his family come up, he now sends them love. Almost immediately, he reported feeling better, happier and more at peace. The resentment and sadness was lifting. Steve is powerless over the thoughts and actions of his family. By sending his family love, his thoughts and feelings have changed. He has jump started his healing process from within.