All you have to do is take an honest appraisal of the world around you and you will see just how desperately we are in need of collective healing. From the recent earthquakes in Japan, to the social unrest in the Middle East, to the precarious nature of the US Stock Market, if it isn’t evident by now that change must happen, I’m not sure what it will take.
John Stanley and David Loy, in their recent Huffington Post, consider the delicate state of the world and how Buddhist meditation principles, which have been practiced for over 2,500 years, might just hold the solution to our problem.
According to Stanley and Loy, we live a world dominated by consumption. As a result, a culture of self-centered conditioning has developed. Counter to that is a meditation practice based on Buddhist principles. But don’t get your hopes up too fast. If Buddhist meditation is to work, it must be able to bust thru this generally held belief.
The Buddha developed a culture of awakening from self-centered conditioning. But we are living in the midst of social-engineering technologies that persuade us to base our identity on consumption. My consumer-self is dogged by dissatisfaction, so I spend more and more to resolve the conditioned anxiety. And I will resist the truth of ecological crisis because consumption has compelling psychological meaning for me.
If Buddhist meditation is to have comprehensive relevance now, it must be able to cut through such social conditioning. And that must take place in a context that is vastly different from the Indian Bronze Age, when the Buddha first set forth his noble path to awakening.
Read more from Stanley and Loy on using Buddhist meditation to heal the world here.