When we sit down to meditate, most of us make a conscious effort to let go of all of our worldly concerns in order to bring our attention to a deeper stillness, focus and presence. And spiritual teachings east and west often call us to transcend our attachments to the world in pursuit of a higher consciousness. So, why is it that when we encounter spiritually awakened people, they often seem to be on fire with a passion to transform the world? What is it about the discovery of awakened consciousness that catalyzes such intense care and conviction? And how do we reconcile that passion for change with the often detached transcendence we experience in meditation? In this video clip, Craig dives into the center of these questions, ultimately illuminating how the profound peace of meditation can open the door to an awakened heart and paradoxically transform us into a powerful force for evolution.
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Question: Meditation and other spiritual practices often invite us to be passive or neutral in relationship to the events of life and the world. Yet people who are really awakened seem to be very passionate about changing the world. Why is that? How do these two go together?
Craig: It’s true that many spiritual practices involve letting go of our attachments to this world and our investment in what happens here. But in my experience, the more we awaken, the more we feel compelled to try to elevate this world into a better, more glorious reflection of the sacred depth that we discover in our awakening. As we awaken to the very source of Goodness, our impulse to do good, to be good, and to bring good into the world becomes overwhelming. We feel an ever-growing desire to make the world a more beautiful and inspiring place.
Awakening also brings us into a heightened awareness of the power of truth. We feel a potent impulse toward wanting the truth to be named, to be seen, to be known. I’m talking about truth in all forms, not just higher truth about enlightenment and cosmic reality. I mean “that which is true.” When we look at the media and see a powerful figure outright lying, it feels bad. They’re knowingly spreading an untruth in order to incite strong emotions in people and get them to do something dubious. We see that going on and it feels like they’re assaulting Truth itself.
In other words, our highest human sensibilities become amplified when we awaken to our higher potential. We want that potential to become known, not just by us, but by the human race. We want it to be expressed. And that means we also want less deceit, falsehood, and untruth. We want less violence, destructiveness, and evil.
Ultimately the inner and outer come together. It’s not that there’s the inner world of meditation and the outer world of action and the two have nothing to do with each other. What I would say is that, our ability to sit in meditation and let go of all judgement is a kind of cleansing. It’s a kind of clearing out process that makes our ability to discern goodness and truth more accurate. It makes us more able to discern what’s good. It makes us more able to discern what’s true. Why? Because we’re not imposing our assumptions, our fixed ideas, our beliefs on reality. We’re here for reality as it is—unfiltered. This means we’re going to be better able to discern truth, better able to discern that which is ultimately good. It enables us to see that “this might feel like a good or positive action right now, it might seem like I could help this person by doing this. But is it really in their ultimate best interest? Maybe not. What would really be good?” So, we’re able to see and sense what’s really going to be good, what’s really going to help this world and so forth.
This is where meditation and the passion to make the world a better place come together. Unhooking from the mind and discovering liberation from the need to know, actually does enable us to know. It enables wisdom. It enables discernment. It frees us from our conditioned fears and desires so we can be a moral force in the world for higher possibilities.
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