We live in a world obsessed by speed and instant gratification. The online retailer Amazon.com is working to raise the bar from overnight shipping to same-day delivery using small, remotely piloted drones. It is almost unthinkable to us that people used to play chess BY MAIL, and that the great cathedrals of Europe were built over several generations.
In a world where beepers and one-hour film developing are no longer fast enough to suit us, we are left wondering how important the slow and serene art of meditation is to our health and well-being. It is critical. Critical is the perfect word since it means that which is of or about a crisis. Look at today’s headlines and ask yourself if we are in anything short of barely controlled anarchy.
Before the 1960s, most westerners saw the art of meditation as a mysterious and arcane practice. They did not know how, and they could not see why. Yet it was the key to filling a very urgent need for serenity, and when Maharishi’s ™ transcendental meditation made the art of contemplation more accessible, it attracted droves of new recruits. Everyone arriving at a gathering was given a beautiful red rose. It was the same message we had been hearing for years long past; it’s time to stop and smell the roses!
We are living in a culture that is driving itself crazy with distractions. We run to the shopping mall and spend money that we do not have in search of ever-elusive happiness. We go out to dinner and overeat or indulge in some sex without intimacy. We are looking for love in all the wrong places. We fool ourselves into thinking we find it by lowering the expectations of what love is. We love our hobbies, we love our favorite food, and having sex—any sex—is making love. I suppose anyone could meet any goal if they set it low enough. John and I liked pasta, we liked our hobbies. When we loved, it was spiritual and grand. Your love should be spiritual and grand as well.
The bottom line: people have lost their ability to stop their brain chatter, talking, talking, and more talking. If you want to be like me, it’s imperative that you set aside time daily to be alone and quiet to receive important messages from within yourself. You are so much more to discover than you realize. As Agnes Repplier said, it is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.
In the late 1960’s, when John and I created Sandstone Retreat much engineering went into the creation of this beautiful and natural setting making it seem like a magical mystery tour. It was a brief time in our history, when a crack appeared in our culture’s consciousness. It was time to embrace change! Quiet time was there to be utilized by those that were capable enough to take advantage of it and experience their real self. The crack in the cosmic egg inspired all sorts of, “do your own thing,” activity which you could discover and add your own brand of creativity.
Today with all the advances toward understanding the “Brain” new technology has been developed to aide meditation practices through frequencies that create deep relaxation in the mind. You don’t need to know how to meditate because technology will do it for you. We stand on the edge of an exciting new frontier.