Deadly viruses. Racism. Anger. Violence. Divisiveness. Chaos.
Most people have a sense of things unraveling and deteriorating: in the US a recent poll showed 80% of respondents felt that the country is “spiraling out of control”.
“The world is on fire!”
While that may seem like something you’ll hear today in the streets or see as a hashtag, the Buddha made this observation over 2500 years ago. He wasn’t the first to do so. The world is on fire. It always has been and always will be.
What he meant is that change is the only constant in a transient world. Everything in the phenomenal world will not last, it will burn in the fire of life. So the Buddha and other wise beings have pointed us to look within and find stillness: in meditation any of us can find a still point, the eye of the storm from which we can get the best perspective on everything going on around us.
In stillness, we find a part of ourselves that is unaffected by the fires of life. This part of us can observe and be at peace with the constant ups and downs that the world seems to present us. This by no means is the same as being passive and accepting of hatred and injustice. It just means that we can see that today’s events are part of a dream or nightmare that will not last. When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said “I have a dream”, he was not speaking metaphorically: he was seeing a new reality where no one would be judged on the color of their skin and where humanity could recognize its innate unity.
Manifesting that reality takes patience and it takes stillness. As you watch the world burning, we invite you to meditate, go within, and find the ocean of stillness. It will give you the strength and vision to dream new dreams and flow with life.