This is the first in a series of blog posts on transformation of one’s post-election mind-set. The United States of America seems to have divided in half on social, economic and political issues. As families and friends gather to celebrate the holidays, differences of opinion and attitudes are bound to come up. Some people will bring their feelings of depression, anxiety about the future and anger at the political process to the dinner table or the family room conversations. Others will bring their excitement, elation and empowerment to the gatherings. Conversations are likely to become spirited, even heated. People may leave feeling quite agitated or upset. Indeed, our holiday gatherings may produce greater rifts than already existed between family members and friends. This blog series is intended to help develop connection between folks of different persuasions.
In my experience, many people lack the tools for transforming their unhappy feelings into positive attitudes that enable effective action. This series of blog posts will set out a variety of tools you can use to find clarity, lift your mood and get yourself working for the things that matter to you.
I have found through decades of practicing Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation™ program that the experience of transcendence establishes the equilibrium needed to deal with societal turmoil.
In the picture above, Maharishi holds a diagram illustrating the process of transcending during practice of the Transcendental Meditation™ technique. The circles represent thoughts at successively finer levels of expression. At the top, the largest circle represents thought experienced at the gross level of thinking — what one hears and sees in one's mind when one is awake. During practice of "TM", Maharishi explained, thoughts are experienced at subtler and subtler levels until the finest level of thinking is transcended and one experiences the source of thought, Pure Consciousness.
Maharishi went on to explain that the experience of Pure Consciousness is the null-state of consciousness, represented by the numeral "0". "There is nothing," he said. Even though Pure Consciousness is the null-state, 0, nothing, it is the field of energy and intelligence from which the universe arises, the "field of all possibilities," Maharishi said.
Experience of transcendence provides several results that help us handle society stress. The first is inner peace, or bliss. The experience of Pure Consciousness is bliss. In fact, Maharishi sometimes called it "bliss consciousness." The second factor is the reconciliation of differences. Pure Consciousness, the null-state, is a state of singularity in which one experiences everything as consciousness. Consequently, differences do not bring emotional tension. They just exist within our awareness while we remain undisturbed. In other words, we don’t get upset when someone holds a viewpoint or value that we reject. The third factor is having the creativity with which to deal with the challenges life presents. When we feel empowered and capable of dealing with complex and challenging situations, they don’t upset us.
As transcendence is the basis of all experience, I place it first in the list of tools for dealing with the social stress surrounding us. I numbered it “0” to represent that we start from nothing, the field of pure potentiality. Because that field is the basis of our experience, I want to encourage everyone to be regular in their meditation practice and to practice in groups — the larger the better — whenever possible.
Here are links to the other posts in this series on resolving conflict:
#0: Transcendence — the Transcendental Meditation™ program
#1: Empathy — Nonviolent Communication
#2: Clearing Conflict — Ho’oponopono
#3: Choices — The Option Method
#4: Nurturing Parts Within — Inner Relationship Focusing
#5: Changing the Energy of Conflict — Matrix Energetics®