This article was first published in Public Republic magazine : )
I have been involved in an online course of meditation for a couple of weeks now. This is the Peace revolution Self-Development program which you can easily get signed up for. In order to give you the chance to get to know a bit more about it and why not – to take part of it and benefit, I decided to write this article and share my experience with you.
First of all, I think I never really quite understood what meditation was, before I signed up for the course. I had tried accidentally some practices as mantra singing and a bit of yoga, but it wasn’t before I found out about the Peace revolution project that I actually thought of meditation in a more serious way. Sure that I have seen movies and I even have a few friends been to India to study meditation which I pretty much admired, but I think it was rather because of the exotic and adventurous way it sounds rather than what it actually is.
I would not pretend I know too much about meditation even after trying it for some weeks now. But the whole concept makes me really excited (however I guess that might not be that good). I have been always so restless and I still am. Always full of emotions, fire, butterflies, strong feelings, action… And I have been always proud of that, actually.
But I guess I have come to an understanding now that being able to still myself, to make myself quiet and to be in peace with myself means to be able to distinguish from the uproar and be able to hear what my inner voice is telling me and this voice is sometimes very low so that we won’t hear it with such an ease, but after a conscious consideration and effort- because it is important and it might be dangerous, if the mind is not prepared to hear it.
Another thing I found interesting about the Peace revolution online fellowship is the Self-discipline principles that the team of the project is suggesting. These are a couple of simple, very familiar to us rules. Familiar because they are basic for every religion on the world, if you’d excuse me for that generalization. Being 5 rather than 10 as in Christianity they pretty much summarize the most important things a person should do in order to differ himself as a conscious, thinking and ethical creature:
1. Respect For The Life of People and Living Beings
We need to respect all living things: other people as well as other living beings.
2. Respect For The Property of Others
Respecting the property of others is vital to the successful survival of us all, in order to live in a peaceful environment.
3. Sexual Misconduct
Here, we refer specifically to dishonorable intimacy with another person: we need to learn to control our emotions, physical desires, and disgraceful intimacy. The principle has been broken if the person whom we desire is someone morally and ethically unacceptable (i.e. married, a relative, involved in a committed relationship with another, etc.);
4. False or Hurtful Speech
In this instance, we will not only include false or spiteful speech, but rude and coarse speech along with gossip and “talking nonsense”. We must make a concerted effort to engage in only positive speech.
5. Using Intoxicants
Self-discipline is vital in consciously refusing to pollute our bodies with intoxicants, regardless of the occasion, peer pressure, social or cultural traditions, events or special celebratory activities.
Referring to those principles in your everyday life means to live in peace and to share this peace with the world. Peace is built on respect and love and it starts from within the person- “Peace In” so that it can influence and contribute for the “Peace out”. And how can you love another person if you do not love yourself?
What people do in reaction to the use of intoxicants or the impossibility to control their emotions is a huge part of their low self-esteem, the lowered expectations people have first for themselves and also for the others around and these are the really simple reasons of why our environment is… well, need improvements. The good news is that it is us who can change it and meditation might play a huge role in that process as it prevents us from being automized and encourages us to be ourselves, good and responsible.
Meditation is an important tool to being positive and following a path to Peace and indeed “Peace begins with a smile” just as Mother Teresa has said!
Learn more about the Peace revolution project