A new year is the time when a lot of people stumble at the realization, "Oh! Another year has gone by!" We wonder for a few moments at the current of time that flows by and then again get busy. If we go deeper into these moments of wonder, we realize that there is an aspect of us that is a witness to all the events of time. This witness inside us is unchanging, and it is from here that we observe all the change that time brings.
All the events in life that have passed have become a dream. Wisdom is becoming aware of this dream-like nature of life even as it is unfolding now. Knowing this brings tremendous strength from within and you do not get shaken by events and circumstances. At the same time, events have their own place in life. We need to learn from them and keep moving.
Among the major developments this year, the elections in India brought a significant shift in the social and political atmosphere. People actively united in voting against corruption and misgovernance and after three decades, the country got a stable majority government. This change has also positioned India very strongly on the world stage.
However, news and videos of barbaric mass killings by terror groups around the world have been a very disturbing development this year. Tehreek-e-Taliban, the same group that burnt the Art of Living Center in Islamabad earlier has now killed over 130 school children in Peshawar. ISIS has also wreaked havoc in several countries. Our volunteers have been engaged in relief work in Sinjar Mountains and Erbil in Iraq where the survivors of the genocide on the Yezidi community have been trapped.
Whatever the challenges, we need to keep making efforts to create a better world. This is possible when we are established within ourselves. In you, there is an actor and there is a witness. As you go inwards, the witness aspect grows in you and you remain untouched by events. And as you go outwards, the actor in you becomes more skillful in responding to situations. These two entirely opposite aspects of our being are nurtured by meditation. When you come closer to the Self, your action becomes powerful in the world and right action in the world brings you closer to the Self.
As the new year approaches, let us resolve to be unshakable within and move towards a better world. Time changes people but there are people who change the time. May you be one of them. Happy New Year!
Follow Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Twitter @SriSri
For on happiness and silence programs, visit http://www.artofliving.org/us-en and International Meditation Center, Boone, North Carolina