Dealing with stress in the collective
And leading the way for others to do the same.
This week’s letter is my response to an inquiry from a meditator who was feeling weathered by the stress in the collective stemming from the violence in Israel and Gaza and resulting sociopolitical repercussions in his community.
Even if you think the conflict doesn’t affect you directly, or you feel you’ve got your own problems to worry about, I implore you to read on and consider that regardless of your views or backgrounds, we’re all affected in some form or another, and we all have a responsibility to radiate light in the face of collective darkness.
It feels like the whole world is up in arms, and we’re all being told to pick a side, but is further polarization the most evolutionary direction in which the collective can move?
If you’re having a hard time processing all of the collective grief, I’m available for private consultations to help alleviate and address your concerns and help you realize your potential as part of the solution.
Q: I’m finding it harder to meditate I think due to various stresses…The war in Gaza, the rise in antisemitism, and stress at work, all of which seem to be only getting worse. I know it’s supposed to help but I’m really struggling with it at the moment.
A: Your question is indicative of an already highly developed level of empathy and compassion for others and awareness of your place in the world.
There is indeed a lot of stress in the collective at the moment, and we can often 'launder' that collective stress.
You are ‘processing’ this stress on behalf of the many who haven't yet evolved to the level you have.
I understand how you feel, I'm sorry it's been weighing on you, and I commend you for sticking with your practice. It is truly the best thing you can do for the world, even if it feels challenging sometimes.
The turmoil you are feeling is a sign of stress release ramping up - sometimes it takes external events to act as ‘hooks’ to ‘pull out’ the stress.
It's during stressful times that we are most in need of meditation, as a 'release valve' for what is building up.
It's during times like these that the world needs us more than ever to play our role by meditating and removing stress from the collective.
It's during times like these that the world most needs us to be the best versions of ourselves.
At this stage of your consciousness expansion, you are becoming more aware of things, and may start to feel things more deeply, but as you continue to practice, you'll also start to move through these things more quickly.
Before meditation, we are like rocks—someone slashing us with a sword would not cut very deeply, but that slash mark would remain forever. Through meditation, over time, we become more like water—the sword can cut more deeply, but it also moves through more quickly.
To change the world, we have to start with ourselves; we have to embody the change we wish to see.
If we want a green forest, every individual tree has to be made green. And you are the first tree yourself to be able to step beyond the anxieties of the world.
Our approach every day has to be, "To what extent am I, individually, doing my part? And to what extent am I radiating exemplary consciousness into the world, inspiring others to do the same?"
If we allow ourselves to fall victim to the stress in the collective, then we have robbed the collective of one of the only potential solutions to that which it is experiencing.
Through meditation, we gradually shift our locus of control from being externally rooted, object-referral awareness, which has its quality decided by events unfolding in the collective around us, to internally rooted self-referral awareness, which derives its identity only from the Self, and is therefore invincible and impervious to those ever-changing events.
As our awareness becomes less rooted in things outside of ourselves, we are more able to adapt to and interact with these demands and be an agent of positive change and inspiration to those around us, which turns more of the 'forest' around us green.
The more people we have doing this, the faster the collective forest turns green.
Through this process, we put our own mask on first, so that we can first protect ourselves from the toxic gases of stress in the collective, and so that we can begin to help others and be part of the solution.
Let’s discuss these and other ideas during Collective Effervescence, our online group meditation series, this Sunday November 19 at 9AM PT / 12PM ET / 6PM CET. Drop in for meditation only (first 30 min) or stay for discussion + Q&A on this and other life topics from the Vedic perspective.
Use the links below to add the full calendar of upcoming sessions to your calendar of choice, and your calendar will stay up to date automagically. Set reminders from the calendar settings page in your calendar program.
I realize things are tense out there. So today’s record is Weightless, a song created by British ambient group Marconi Union in conjunction with researchers MindLab International which has been shown to reduce anxiety by 65% and physiological resting rates by 35%. The track has been dubbed “world’s most relaxing song” after it was shown to be as beneficial for calming a patient’s nerves before surgery as sedative medication midazolam. The song is so effective that it is considered dangerous to play while driving.