In this article, Arabella Lumley explores how meditation can transform both society and the individual, creating a more peaceful and loving world.
“If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” ~ Dalai Lama
In recent years, science has proved meditation to be beneficial to human health in a number of ways. Studies suggest that meditation can reduce stress, anxiety, pain, can improve heart health and even make us more creative individuals. Not only this, meditation has also been proven to help create more balanced brain functioning and help create more compassionate behaviour in individuals. However, what is less known about meditation is that science has uncovered that meditation has the power to subtly affect the behaviour of society when large groups of people meditate together. In this article I will be exploring how meditation has the power to transform society in a number of ways and help people to find inner peace.
Meditation to bring inner peace
It is not a surprise that meditation can bring inner peace to an individual when the actual practice of meditating is to let go of unwanted or negative thoughts and to focus on positive ones. Isn’t it to let go of the idea that we are those thoughts? Or maybe you can say meditate on positive ones/loving ones?? But physiologically meditation has also been proven to decrease anxiety and stress by loosening the connections of particular neural pathways. Meditation has been shown to loosen the connection between the fears centres of your brain and the Me Centre (the medial prefrontal cortex) which is the part of your brain that processes information relating to ourselves and our experiences. As such, those who meditate on a regular basis experience less fearful and stressful thoughts.
Meditation to bring global peace
Quantum Physicist and president of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace, John Hagelin, Ph.D., has created the Global Peace Initiative which calls for a brain-based approach to reducing violence and global conflict. He maintains “The Global Peace Initiative has identified powerful, scientifically proven meditation-based ‘technologies of consciousness’ that neutralize individual and social stress, restore balanced brain functioning, and markedly reduce crime and social conflict.” In the brochure of the The Global Peace Initiative it explains “Extensive research shows that a simple evidence-based meditation practice, [Transcendental Meditation] (TM), dramatically reduces individual stress and its deleterious effects on brain and behaviour.” In addition, as meditation deactivates the fear centre of the brain, it was observed in studies that participants who meditated frequently displayed less aggressive or violent behaviour. In this sense, if Hagelin is right, this means that the peaceful effects meditation has on the individual can transform society if meditation were practised large scale.
Interestingly, however, science has discovered that meditation can bring peace to society by not only altering the behaviour of those who practice it, but by affecting the behaviour of those who do not. The Global Peace Initiative explains that when large groups of people meditate together a ‘spill-over’ effect happens and a sense of calmness and orderliness spreads to the surrounding society. This may seem puzzling at first and many of you might be asking yourselves how can such a thing be possible? Yet, scientists such as John Hagelin and Roger Nelson of Princeton University argue that such a phenomenon exists.
They both argue that this is possible because we are all part of one consciousness. According to The Global Peace Initiative “Theoretical explanations of this surprisingly powerful impact of group meditation on crime and social stress include a ‘field model of consciousness’, in which consciousness, at its deepest level, is a field that underlies and connects individuals throughout society.
Roger Nelson has done much research on this phenomenon and has set up The Global Consciousness Project which explores the effects of meditation and the focus of millions of people on global events has on human consciousness. On the website of The Global Consciousness Project they state that their aim is to “examine subtle correlations that may reflect the presence and activity of consciousness in the world. We hypothesize that there will be structure in what should be random data, associated with major global events that engage our hearts and minds.” Their method of research includes taking data from Random Number Generators (RNGs) which, based on quantum tunnelling, produce unpredictable sequences of zeros and ones. However, when a great event synchronizes the feelings of millions of people, the network of RNGs becomes subtly structured. They calculate one in a trillion odds that the effect is due to chance and claim that this evidence of a unified field of consciousness.
What I believe is significant about this scientific research is that it shows that not only can meditation transform us as individuals but it can create a peaceful effect on society which dramatically reduces crime and violent acts. Furthermore, I believe that is brilliant for those of us who feel like we can’t make an impact on society and feel powerless to stop the violence and bloodshed that occurs in this world on a daily basis. All we need is to come together in unity and focus on peaceful and loving thoughts to reduce the violence and aggression that is destroying humanity and our planet.
Want to join a unified meditation?
If you would like to join in a unified meditation there is one that is currently running globally every Sunday at 3pm GMT where everyone meditates from their home. This meditation lasts for approximately 20 minutes but of course you can meditate for longer if you wish. Based on the science provided by scientists such as Nelson and Hagelin, the aim of this meditation is to bring peace to the planet by focusing on loving thoughts. The details of this meditation are here.
What are your thoughts on meditation? Having read this article and learning about the science involved in meditation, would you be more inclined to practise it now? Please share with us your thoughts on this.
25th November 2014
Arabella Lumley graduated from St Mary’s University College with a bachelor’s degree in English and History. She is an active researcher in the fields of politics, consciousness and science, meditation and ancient history. By bringing awareness through information, her goal is to help humanity understand the power within themselves and assist in the transition that is now occurring. You contact her on twitter.