Can Meditation Save The World?

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Have you ever felt

you were missing something in your life? If so, what is it that would make you happier?

We can make it a saner and happier world if we just

slowed down and had less focus on wanting or needing more stuff. If stuff made

you happy, there would be nothing but happy people living in Bel Air and

unhappy people living in Fiji where they have nothing, but I have been to Fiji

and there are plenty of happy people there. I have never seen a hearse with a

luggage rack on top. We have got to get away from stuff and appreciate what is

. Ed Begley, Jr., from Be The Change.

Meditation is now the IN thing.

Cross-legged yogis and Buddhist monks can be seen in advertisements for

everything from computers and credit cards to herbal teas. Major newspapers and

magazines carry stories on the benefits of meditation with tips from famous

film stars, and no self-respecting bookshop is without a how-to-meditate

section. But can meditation do more than just make us feel good? Can meditation

change us enough to save us from further suffering, both individually and


 All of

the pain and pleasure that we experience stems fundamentally from the mind. So

when we say we want peace on earth, what we are really talking about is

reducing the conflict in our own minds.


We have tried many ways to bring peace to the world, creating organizations like

the UN and NATO, we have had treaties and summits and endless meetings, but

still there are difficulties and disagreements. Egos battle, greed for power

dominates over humanity, and old hatred divides one against another. What will

it take for us to come together in goodwill and to generate genuine peace?

Could meditation be the missing ingredient?

Who makes problems? We humans. And who is the

controller of the human? The mind. And how to control the human mind? Through

meditation. If you can control the pilot, then the pilot can control the plane.
Mingyur Rinpoche

To make changes in the way we live our lives and how we treat each other means being

aware that everything I think, say, and do affects everybody and everything

else, just as they affect me. This is the turning of our energy away from being

focused on self-centeredness, self-survival, and closed-heartedness toward

concern for others, generosity, and open-heartedness. If we genuinely want to

end war, inequality, and abuse, then we need to

have kindness toward all equally. There will never be peace in the world if we are not at peace

within ourselves. Such a deepening of understanding is essential if we are to

end the disregard and violence that destroy so many lives and cause so much

unnecessary pain and distress.

The point of meditation is to keep the mind free of

confusion. Meditation, past calming our nerves, past being good for our blood

pressure, past allowing us to work out our own internal psychological dramas, which

it does, past helping us to get along with our kin and our community, is a way

of really deeply seeing the truth that the only way to ameliorate our own

suffering and the suffering of the world is to keep our minds clear.
Sylvia Boorstein

The equation, therefore, is simple: The more meditation becomes a part of our lives, the more

we change and evolve; the more we change and evolve, the more society is

transformed and the world moves into a more sustainable, wise, and loving place

to be. And all we have to do for this chain of events to occur is to be


What does meditation mean to you? How

do you think meditation can change the world? Do comment below. You can receive

notice of our blogs every Thursday by checking Become a Fan at the top.

All the above quotes are in our new book. You can order a copy of it at: BE

THE CHANGE, How Meditation Can Transform You and the World



and Deb Shapiro’s new book, BE THE CHANGE, How Meditation Can Transform

You And The World
, forewords by the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman, with

contributors such as Marianne Williamson, astronaut Edgar Mitchell, Ellen

Burstyn, Michael Beckwith, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Jane Fonda, Jack Kornfield, Byron

Katie, Dean Ornish, and others is published by Sterling Ethos. Deb is the

author of the award-winning book YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND. Ed and Deb are the authors of over 15

books, and lead meditation retreats and workshops. Enjoy their 3 meditation CD’s:


- Loving kindness and Forgiveness; Samadhi – Breath Awareness and

Insight; and Yoga Nidra – Inner Conscious Relaxation, available on their