“The secret of meditation is simple: you become what you meditate on. When you use an inspirational passage every day in meditation, you are driving the words deep into your consciousness. Eventually they become an integral part of your personality, which means they will find constant expression in what you do, what you say, and what you think.” – Eknath Easwaran
"Whatever is true, whatever is right, whatever is bound to be excellent, let your mind dwell on these things."- The Bible
I am in a place in my life now (I have hit the over 50 mark) were I realize that life is short and I really want my attitude, actions, and reactions to bring about good in the world, both personally and professionally. Over the past 12 years, I have had a mother who died at 62, two friends die at 52, and a more distant relative die at 38. In addition, in the past few years I have seen several women I know undergo breast cancer treatment. As a result, it is important for me to have a purpose-driven life and a life-enhancing existence.
During my week off this past week, two things really scared me and made me think about having a positive impact in our world. The first was watching the Maury show on TV. I never watch daytime TV but I was home and so I did. What I saw was unreal. Maybe it was fake, I do not know. The style of interaction and the yelling and posturing concerned me deeply. The second was the news item about the woman who pepper-sprayed people at Wal-Mart over a game. Just seeing the crowds fighting over the X-Box disturbed me. Wow. What has become of Americans?
I guess I think something needs to change in this country but feel a bit powerless to do anything that would affect our country on a grand scale. Therefore, I have decided that rather than feel overwhelmed, I would continue my meditation but change my mantra to my most favorite prayer by St. Francis of Assisi. I think the intentions in this prayer are universal and applicable to those who believe in God and to those who do not. Just doing this prayer of intention has helped me stay focused on the good I can do making me feel more empowered and less discouraged about humankind. I feel peaceful and more focused as a result.
Below is my (Evelyn's) edited non-religious version:
"May I be an instrument of peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy.
May I not so much seek to be consoled as to console, To be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love another; For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; It is in dying to our false self that we give birth to the true self and bring vitality into our world."
Great Article on Mediation!
Evelyn Schmechtig Cochran