• 110th International Peace Meditation “Finding the Time to Meditate/Pray”

    “Finding the Time to Meditate/Pray”

    Feb. 5, 2006–Life has its ups and downs. Stress seems to come from every direction: health, finances, social situations, work, family, and loss. In the midst of this stress, who has time to meditate?

    Usually, we later discover that what we needed most, we avoided. The mental space needed to deal with each ensuing problem as it arrives, seems to require most of our energy. Our focus is for a time on each of these challenging situations. Realizing that we can neither control nor even change some of these situations, we are left with trying to find our serenity in the midst of them.

    We are never without challenges. Sometimes they seem to be more severe than at other times, but there are always challenges. From swaying corporate structures that never seem far from toppling, to personal financial stress, to family and health issues, to loss, the stresses continue. How do we find our serenity in the midst of all of these challenges?

    Praying and meditating are not avoidance. They are not magic thinking. We are not being childlike, thinking that if we can only pray hard enough, we can change the events taking shape. Interventions happen. Were they planned and prepared already? Is what is designed already taking place? Can we influence some of these events?

    There have been studies proving that people who were ill, benefited from the prayers of others. Perhaps this means that spiritual energy channeled in their direction had healing impact. It does not mean that we can change the final outcome. As powerful as we may at times feel, we are not in charge of the Universe. However our prayers are very beneficial for those for whom we pray. In addition, knowing that another or others are praying for us can be emotionally and psychologically supportive and beneficial.

    When we pray we are asking for an intervention, but we are also asking to be able to accept the outcome. Even when the outcome will be what we want most to avoid, we can ask for the strength to accept the will of the Universe. We can do much to assist healing by following good medical care, and practicing good health habits and positive strategies for dealing with stress. Sometimes during a stressful time, exercise is our best friend. The arts may help us through our own personal expression, or our ability to lose ourselves for a time through the music or visual arts of others so that we can return to the events of the day more centered, and more capable. Time taken for prayer and meditation is more than worth all of our efforts. Creating a quiet space, at home or in nature, is not only refreshing, it is empowering. When we meditate, as distinguished from prayer, we take in energy. In prayer we may enumerate our desires for others, or for ourselves. In meditation, we receive energy. That energy is Spiritual energy. It empowers us. It gives us strength. It helps us separate, or detach, for a time so that we can have another perspective. It gives us a serenity that helps not only us, but also those who come into contact with us.

    Spiritual energy is not what we might refer to as “happy hype.” It is not wishful thinking. It is more than visualizing a situation in a positive way. Spiritual Energy is real energy. It comes in moments of surrender when we realize our need for it. It comes when we surrender our will, and ask for the will of Love, or God, or Allah, or the Provider, or Higher Power, or to whatever name we can relate, to prevail. But it comes. It is powerful. It lifts us up when we are down. It provides direction. It eases emotional pain. It gives our opponent a sense of our real power when we are in situations without personal power. It moves us in a direction. It makes the unbearable more bearable. It moves us toward our own divine purpose.

    Outwardly we may cry, scream, flail at the world. But when we become spiritually empowered, we take on an internal demeanor that is beyond explanation. You may have experienced it in moments where you thought you could tolerate no more. It’s referred to by some as the Holy Spirit. Angels. Teachers. Whatever it is, in the moments it’s experienced, it is real. It is undeniable.

    We become spiritually empowered through meditation. When people tell me that they can’t meditate because their minds race, I try to ease that concern by reminding them that their responsibility is to “show up”. To try to be calm. To create a peaceful environment. To breathe deeply and slowly to relax. The rest simply happens. After a period of time, there is a moment when divine power is received and it is wonderful. It can be felt. It can be recognized. And it is worth the time and space we created to be it’s recipient.

    Conscious planning to set aside time, and mental and physical space, to receive that energy can lead to spiritual empowerment. Spiritual empowerment creates an energy that makes the carrier very powerful in a quiet and serene way. When you encounter one who is spiritually empowered, you will know. It will have a positive effect on you. And it is likely that you will decide that creating some time and space to receive this energy is well worth the effort.

    Spiritual energy is free. It is the amazing stuff of the Universe. *’We are not assessed for access to the Source.’ It is free. It is for everyone. It cannot be controlled by any religion. It is available through meditation or quiet prayer. It is available to the rich and poor, young and old, healthy and sick, regardless of culture, class, race, disability, or any other identifying factor. It is free. It is available to all. Simply, show up in meditation with a deep desire for peace.
    And it will be so.

    Sue Kidd Shipe, Ph.D.
    Executive Director

    (*United We Stand: Reflections On A True Democracy, by Sue Kidd Shipe, 2000)

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    Sue Kidd Shipe
    Executive Director

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    International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.
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