How is world peace possible? Through the practice of meditation, each individual at a time.

Let us join together in this wave of social transformation, and through our practice of meditation create a spirit of global unity that can lead to lasting peace.

The man had committed murder many times and was now incarcerated in Tihar Prison outside of New Delhi. Yet as we watched him tell his story in the documentary Doing Time, Doing Vipassana, his face was peaceful and his eyes were calm.

He explained that although he’d committed many murders, he’d never felt any remorse about the lives he had taken, or even a connection between himself and his deeds. Then a new warden at Tihar introduced a voluntary program of Vipassana meditation. At first only a few prisoners participated, coming in large part to relieve the monotony.

But something started to change in these men; and others, noticing the difference, began to join in their daily meditation sessions. From a few participants, the numbers soon swelled to a few thousand, and the atmosphere of the prison began to change. The meditators began to wear fresh clothes, clean their environment, and improve the whole prison grounds. They began to serve each other, caring for those in need and helping the elderly and ill.

But more importantly, their consciousness began to change. The man in the film explained that after meditating for some months, he began to realize for the first time in his life the enormity of the sins he had committed. He prayed to God to be forgiven, and eventually was allowed to contact the family of one of his victims to beg for their forgiveness.

The victim’s family came to Tihar to meet their son’s murderer, and not only forgave him, but also continued to visit. After a period of time, they even legally adopted him as their son. Group practice of meditation is now being offered in prisons around the world.

I recently read about a new meditation program in some middle schools in the slums of San Francisco, California. These schools were notorious for their low attendance, low student academic performance, and so much violence that police cars were parked outside daily.

A new principal introduced a fifteen-minute Transcendental Meditation session at the beginning and end of each day. Within a few months, student attendance was up 98%, grades had improved dramatically, and violence was almost nonexistent.

At a time when each day brings some new act of violence that claims yet more innocent lives, these stories offer great hope for the future. They provide an answer to the question: How is it possible to achieve world peace?

As in the case of the meditating prisoners and students, human consciousness must first change on an individual level before broader social changes can take place. The Dalai Lama said, “If we taught every eight-year-old to meditate, we would end war in one generation.” Laws can’t control violence, governments can’t prevent it, nor wars stop it, because violence starts in the consciousness of the individual lost in ignorance.

Paramhansa Yogananda taught that peace must be found in the private heart through divine contact before it can be expressed in society at large. He wrote: “Toward realization of the world’s highest ideal—peace through brotherhood—may yoga, the science of personal contact with the Divine, spread in time to all men in all lands.”

Let us join together in this wave of social transformation, and through our practice of meditation create a spirit of global unity that can lead to lasting peace.

In divine friendship,
Nayaswami Devi

13 Comments

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  1. That article takes the idea of meditation out of the lofty realms and hits the ground running with the power of heavenly Thunder! It does matter and make a difference what we do every day. Like the butterfly’s wings changing the weather on the other side of the world…Thanks for the reminder Devi! Jai Guru!

  2. Wow, that is powerful. What a moving and beautiful story of the family who forgave the man that killed their son. “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.” Incredible. Thank you for sharing this wonderful message of hope, Devi.

    Joy,
    sambhava

  3. Devi ji,

    Thank you for sharing this helpful and inspiring article.It shows how powerful tool a meditation is.I thank our guru and swami ji for bringing it to us and spreading it through you and Jyotish ji.

    With lots of gratitude,
    Neela

  4. Dearest Devi,
    What a beautiful message.
    Inspiring.
    This is why we all meditate, right?!
    Your message of hope brings light into the darkness and reminds me why we all must do our
    individual part to create a higher vibration on this planet, through meditation and Yogic practices,
    so that we can be the stronghold of what community is and help the world see that Peace is possible!
    God Bless.
    ~~~Peace, Josette

  5. With deep gratitude for your true words, Devi. These words give us hope in a world torn by ignorance and pain. It shows how the power of people meditating together can change themselves and the world around them. The reason these people became transformed is because the meditation connects them to love and the universal love spirit that is within each one of us, which each and every human soul craves and needs. When we share our love in this way, through meditation, we feel our connection with everyone, everything, because we are each a part of all that is.

  6. Thank you so much for reminding us how powerful the impact of meditation is on our world. Another good documentary on meditation in prison in America is the Dharma Brothers. It is great news to know that meditation is being taught in prisons all over the world. It is much needed!
    I will pass this on to my meditation students. With gratitude for all you do!

  7. It is so wonderful……, I wish really global peace in the near future….
    Thank you so much for sharing….

    Love& Peace,
    granita

  8. Thank you Devi, for sharing this. As a former California school counselor, I am encouraged to hear about this…I was attempting to incorporate meditation and Jungian sandtray therapy many years ago, and met with resistance in regards to the meditation. Vipassana, TM, and Hong Sau!

  9. Thank you so much for this wonderful message of hope in a world that seems to be going more and more towards the illusion. Thanks especially for your confidence and perseverance you have shouwn over The years to this path that today I am one of them.
    With all my love and my esteem , thanks to exist .

  10. very beautiful and inspiring letter. When my spiritual journey began, I saw many paths towards the same goal and started respecting all the paths. Peace is a natural state when mind is pure and that’s possible through practice of meditation.

  11. Dear Nayaswami Devi,

    This is such a wonderful message. Peace in the world is what everyone wants. ” Be the Change that you want “.
    Wish Dalai Lama statement comes true. Meditation brings joy and calmness. Thank you Guru for the meditation teachings.
    God & Guru bless this land with peace . Let peace alone prevail

    Aum

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