Last week in Peace is Possible: A New Tipping Point I wrote that our parents’ generation (for those remaining baby boomers) was taxed with transforming war and violence into peace and compassion. On the whole, society has made incremental progress in reducing the incidents of war and violence. However, this has not been an easy transformation for the male gender. Current statistics state “boys and men commit the vast majority of violent acts, from domestic violence to murder.”
As baby boomers and concerned citizens, our work is evident if we are to carry forward our parents’ vision of world peace. Decades of exploration and experimentation awakened us, and subsequent generations, to the benefits of mindful meditation as a tool for healing emotional wounds, reducing stress and freeing creative flow. Furthermore, Kozo Hattor’s blog, 5 Ways to Make It Easier for Men to Channel Empathy and Compassion, points out additional research showing how mindfulness meditation retrains the brain towards greater compassion.
With all these positive results, the solution to ending violence seems simple — teach people, particularly men, how to meditate, which appears to be what the world is trying to do. When I googled “meditation programs”, I got 22,300,000 results. One would think we were well on our way to solving the wicked problem of war. However, most communal meditation programs and practices are absent of men. My own weekly meditation and writing circles rarely see male attendance and if they do, the ratio is typically 8 to 1. To get started with meditation, read my book, Creating Space: The Practice of Transformation, Vol. 1.
When attitudes and beliefs are so deeply entrenched that one sector of society (men) absents itself from involvement in what is clearly becoming mainstream practice, the rest of us need to see this as significant. In the past, society often ignored what the minority or the less powerful did not favour, which led us right to where we are today. More recently, a major push to eradicate bullying in public and private school systems is a positive step toward re-training young boys and adolescents.
Additionally, meditation is being offered in the US Marine Corps, penal institutions and professional athletic programs, which in time will increase the number of compassionate adult male role models. Nonetheless, a major intervention is required in order to swing this 49% ‘majority’ into dedicated practices of empathy and compassion. Nothing short of putting our beliefs into action is required of everyone who knows the experience of meditation and the spiritual awakening it provides. Telling the truth about our new beliefs, that is, living in integrity and authenticity, no matter who or what challenges us is the true test of each person’s courage.
As an example, there is a voice inside me that whispers “I would rather surround myself with people who understand empathy and compassion (women). Please don’t make me take this on.” Does that voice sound famililar — “I would rather surround myself with people who are Catholic, or Muslim or Jewish?” We know that to be the voice of segregation, not integration. Integration, by the way, is the work we are destined to be doing on this planet, right here and right now.
Integration is the living generations’ collective purpose — integration within ourselves, between us and the other person, among our community members and beyond our human physical boundaries. In psychology and psychiatry, integration is a coordination of internal processes through which a well-balanced psyche becomes whole thus countering the fragmenting effects of defense mechanisms.
War and violence are the defense mechanisms or symptoms of internal human dis-ease and imbalance. As we individually heal ourselves by bringing together our disconnected parts, we will see the same effect in our outer world — nations will come together to heal the wicked world problems of hunger, homelessness, slavery and injustice.
This internal threshold or tipping point we are attempting to achieve will create the external critical mass of empathy and compassion required to heal the world and shift us globally into unity consciousness. Can you imagine what greatness 7 billion collective minds can accomplish in unity and in union with a universe designed to cooperate with them! I hope you will join me for the ride of our life.
Be Impeccable With Your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you
mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.
Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love. Don Miguel Ruiz
What one action can you take to bring you into greater wholeness?