If you happen to be one of those people with a keen interest in world news, 2016 may have prematurely aged you quite a bit. Those dark clouds massing on the horizon – the great challenges and changes poised to affect all of humanity – are shaking up the world and bringing a new and unwelcome sense of almost existential vulnerability.
But if you’re stockpiling water bottles, your favorite brand of Italian pasta and boxes of baked beans under your bed – your survival rations – you might be over-reacting just a little. 2017 is upon us and some of the incoming year’s surprises might just be inspirational ones!
At the start of this New Year it’s also a good time to reflect on the power we each have to usher in a time of positive change. Sri Chinmoy often spoke of the power of the soul, the unremembered sleeping God inside us which, once awoken, is the great game-changer. Instead of reeling from election results, environmental disasters, a world in disarray, this is the best time to focus on yourself, meditating more, drawing up determinedly your 2017 resolutions, and understanding that your own blossoming spirituality is the reason you came to earth and absolutely the highest thing you can do for the world.
It’s interesting that both ancient Vedic insights and modern quantum theory understand the universe – the multiverse – to be a single indivisible entity, everything unified in a fundamental underlying matrix of consciousness. My own teacher of course knew this, and saw that the quantum ripple of thousands of meditators was really a tsunami, capable of bringing about a consciousness shift that would really change our world. Thus Sri Chinmoy’s love of the Peace Run which he founded – ‘peace begins with you, with me’ – and our meditation classes and concerts and each of us bringing forward the very best within ourselves. The universe is inside my heart, your heart.
Sri Chinmoy also spoke of the end-of-year energies as resembling a dark tunnel down which we all go before the incoming light of the New Year brings newness, inspiration, positive change. A good time to focus on your personal spiritual practices; to understand that our trials and challenges will strengthen us, not weaken us; to feel gratitude at the gift of our inner awakening, no small achievement in an enchanting world of endless distractions; to pray for steadfastness on our chosen path; and, if you are a God-lover, to pray for devotion – that lovely bridge between man and the universe, disciple and Master that diminishes or pardons all of our other shortcomings.
So here we go – fasten your seat belts !! Let’s all make 2017 the Best Year Ever!!