To heal our society, our psyches must heal as well. Haunted by the desperate needs of our time and beset by more commitments than we can easily carry, we may wonder how to find the time and energy for spiritual disciplines. Few of us feel free to take to the cloister or meditation cushion to seek personal transformation.
We do not need to withdraw from the world or spend long hours in solitary prayer or meditation to begin to wake up to the spiritual powers within us. The activities and encounters of our daily lives can serve as the occasion for that kind of discovery. Here are seven practices that help, transcribed as Joanna has offered them in workshops. They are useful in our on-going lives as well.
Some of these meditations– on death, loving-kindness, compassion, mutual power, and mutual recognition– happen to be adapted from the Buddhist tradition. As part of our planetary heritage, they belong to us all. No belief system is necessary, only a readiness to attend to the immediacy of your own experience. They will be most useful if read slowly with a quiet mind (a few deep breaths will help).
When you read them aloud for others, or record them, pause often to let silence happen and imagery unfold. The purpose is not to direct people’s minds, but rather to evoke and suggest.