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The Straits Times, Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New strategies for a new world order

After reading the above report…

It is no good any longer relying a job for life, or a guaranteed pension scheme, or colleagues from the office, school – or even the family. Nor can we look to the country for help. The era of nationalized industries and centralized welfare scheme appears to have passed. We are all individuals now. We must each strive diligently to work out our own path. And we must try to support each other in that process.


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The earlier posts had been extract from books written by master meditator. Theory is all well and good, but in the end it is action that matters. As there is a saying ” you can’t get rich counting your neighbour’s money.”

Action begins with meditation. For if action is to have maximum impact and maximum value, it must be properly motivated and properly directed. Is must be compassionate, wise, focused, right- minded. Meditation is the activity which summons up these qualities. To put it in a positive way: What wonderful human creation in the world today is not the product of effort, patience, wisdom and generosity of spirit. It is positively worthwhile spending time cultivating our awarenss and deeper sensitivity.

” To be fully alive is to be fully awake”

The most common image of a meditator is someone sitting, cross-legged with eyes closed, back straight and hands gently resting on the knees. There are a variation of meditation, silent meditations, walking meditations, chanting meditations, meditations which focus on objects, meditations which don’t focus on anything… What they all have in common is a process and an aim:

Observing the mind

Calming the mind

Clearing the mind

Focusing the mind

Try to be quiet…. but before long a thought will cross your mind. There’s no need to do anything except be aware of it. If you are having a stressful time you will probably observe further thoughts. Worries, doubts and fears may even begin to circle round and round. Like a dog chasing its own tail, getting nowhere. Do note that this is what happens when most of us started practicing meditation! They have been learned or acquired. They can, therefore be “unlearned” and replaced with happier, more peaceful and productive states of mind. But first we have to look at them, realize that they are not so bad after all.

We have to observe how our mind works.

To do this we have to calm the mind, to collect it and ‘ bring it home’. This is a classical form of  “calming” or “serenity” meditation, involves focusing on the breath and carefully monitoring the process of respiration. Each full cycle of breathing in and out is counted until a number (normally 10), then begins again at zero. It will be difficult to complete this exercise without the mind wandering. When this happen, simply bring the attention back to the breath and resume the exercise.

As the power of concentration is strengthened through daily practice the mind becomes calmer and clearer, more “together”.