Transmission of the Guru's Meditative Awareness ~ Part VII of IX

A proposed six-part prescription for restoring the transmission of meditative awareness

"To See the World through the Guru's Eyes"
This is Part VII of IX of the Series.

Read Part I here
Read Part II here
Read Part III here
Read Part IV here
Read Part V here
Read Part VI here

Restoring the Transmission of Meditative Awareness

The following is a proposed six-part prescription for restoring the transmission of meditative awareness:

From Secular Education to Spiritual Training

Create a global initiative to enlighten Sikh parents, educators, and community leaders about the spiritual potential and needs of young people. Develop a culture and create tools and opportunities to give children and youth meditation training, spiritual guidance, and suitable roles of community responsibility from an early age.

While the push to compete, capitalize and exploit remains undeniable, there is also a growing global trend toward holism, cooperation and the realization of psychosocial well-being. The best education in a world of increasing societal pressures, a deteriorating environment and declining planetary resources will likely be one that fosters resilience, adaptability and grace under pressure. The best students of this system, the masters of meditation, may well be the leaders of tomorrow.

From Brahmanism to Fostering Well-being

Train Granthis away from ritual readings and observances and instead toward fostering mental, physical, social and spiritual well-being in themselves and their congregations.

While there will certainly continue to be Sikhs who will like to pay a trained professional to do a prayer, sing a Shabad or do a reading for them, the training of Granthis and others in evidence-based healing arts and social work would likely enhance the quality of life in Sikh communities. Together with creating a cadre of culturally-sensitive wellness experts, this initiative might also increase the value and dignity of Granthis in the community.

From Theology to Science

Educate Sikhs and the general public on scientific findings supporting the positive relationship between meditation and well-being. Support research on the different types of Sikh meditation and their benefits. Up to the present, the majority of meditation studies have focussed on Buddhist and Hindu practices, while just a handful of researchers have looked at Sikh practices. Not only Sikhs, but the world may become richer should Sikh institutions in Amritsar and abroad develop policies supporting the science of Sikh meditation.

From Ethnic to Universal

Let all Sikh media emphasize the universal dimensions of Sikh teachings. Encourage, incentivize and arrange cross-cultural exchanges across the global Sikh community.

A global trend toward universal values and standards is on-going. This movement encompasses a tendency toward inclusion and against prejudice of all kinds. It includes an increasing view, unthinkable a generation ago, but very much a part of Guru Nanak's vision, that other species share with humans the capacity to feel, reason and communicate. In its purest expression, it may oppose stale religious conventions and embrace instead a simple love of all things living. One might speculate that with its life-affirming values and its regard for the unshorn human body as an extension of intrinsic being, Guru Nanak's way of life is a timely expression of the universal values of "biophilia," the love of life.

From Colonial Thinking to Sovereign Mind

Celebrate and instil pride in original Sikh values and practices, while fostering education in global cultures, languages and religions. Encourage engagement and service in the wider community. The realization of true sovereignty begins with a life of self-discipline. According to psychologist M.E.P. Seligman, deficits in self-control often are related to depression, while exercises in self-mastery may increase self-confidence and resilience. Spiritual sovereignty involves a natural pride in one's own heritage, while retaining an appreciation of all things good and a disdain for things destructive and unhealthy, regardless of their origin.

Outreach

If Sikh individuals and institutions develop faith and confidence in themselves as purveyors of an empowering, science-based, deeply ecological, universal, service-based way of life, it may profoundly alter relationships within the Sikh community, while also changing the dynamic between Sikhs and the rest of the world. In the author's view, a stressed, increasingly insular world desperately needs the sort of meditation and service inspired by Guru Nanak. Were Sikhs to begin to widely believe, practice and share the best of their tradition, it would certainly be a win-win for everyone.

Photo by ryan baker on Unsplash

Add a Comment