“Please secure your own oxygen mask before helping children and others around you.”
– airline seat-back safety card
In meditation I sit alone, avoiding others and eschewing all involvement and even thoughts of the outside world, my focus directed exclusively within myself with the avowed goal of my own self-improvement, personal benefit and greater happiness. Meditation would appear the epitome of an anti-social, selfish behaviour.
Yet there is no other activity ultimately more selfless or yielding of more profound and lasting benefit for others.
A doctor sick in bed cannot be of much help to anyone. She needs first to cure herself so that she can be of service to her patients.
The world is the sum of our collective consciousness. We are the world, each of us players on the world team. As each football player who practises his skills and works on his own physical fitness, helps raise the standard of his team so that it will perform better, so each of us who meditates to lift and expand our own consciousness, directly helps improve the consciousness and condition of humanity and the world.
The qualities most needed, both individually and collectively in the world are the security and poise of peace; the oneness and compassion of love; the clarity and wisdom of light; the joy and fulfilment of bliss.
We each become wholesale distributors of peace, love, light and bliss. Through meditation we locate and secure these precious commodities from their source, the limitless spiritual treasure house deep within, store them in the warehouse of our heart, and spontaneously distribute them through the retail outlets of our lives: our interactions with family, friends and acquaintances, our work, social activities and creative endeavours.
In meditation, selfish becomes selfless; my good and the common good are one.