07 Sep You want to Change the World? Meditate!
Mindfulness meditation is receiving a lot of positive news lately in the world, with more and more people starting to meditate daily; and discussing all of the benefits that come along with the practice.
New research from the University of Waterloo in Ontario is finding that a minimum of 25 minutes of yoga and meditation daily can boost brain function, emotional control and energy levels! The benefits include the release of endorphins, increased blood flow to the brain and reduced focus on ruminative thoughts.
However, in addition to all of these, there is still one phenomenal aspect of meditation which has a profound impact on the way that we see the world, and this is the relationship between regular meditations and the behavioural patterns of society at large.
Mass Meditation Drops Crime Rate
In 1960, it was predicted by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi that if only 1% of a population gathered and meditated together, they would have a beneficial effect on the whole population. This theory was later put to the test in 1976, when they discovered a 16% reduction in crime rate when 1% of the local population would meditate in a large group. This phenomenon was dubbed “The Maharishi Effect”, which was defined as the influence of the meditative practice on the social and natural environment surrounding the meditators.
Since then, a number of experiments have been conducted which have further demonstrated this ability, yielding breakthrough numbers in the reduction of crime and the support of health and positive influence on society at large. Perhaps what’s most remarkable, and what lends further evidence towards this effect, is that it is predictable in advance every single time.
One of the most significant studies done on this effect took place in 1993, when a large group in Washington DC was able to reduce violent crime over 20% in the city.
One of the more recent studies of this took place between 2007 to 2010; during this time the Mararishi University of Management in Iowa created a large enough meditative group to have an influence on the United States as a whole. The statistical analysis of the results displayed a massive decrease in the national homicide rate and urban violent crimes, when compared to the previous period of 2002 and 2006.
In total, the homicide rate was 21.2% lower over the four year period, which analysts estimated that approximately 8,167 deaths were averted by this significant change.
This revelation in recent years has had a significant effect on many scientists in the world, who are approaching quantum-field theory from the perspective that consciousness itself may be something so much more than we have ever believed it to be.
How You Can Change The World
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by observing the state of the planet; things are getting really intense in the world, whether it’s natural disasters or political dramas, it’s clear that there is a great deal of destruction on the way. Yet, this dark cloud has a glimmering silver lining, because there is so much information that is coming out which continues to reveal our place in the cosmos, and the opportunity that lay before us, should we choose to walk this path.
This information about meditation and its effect on the world around us is a major bridge between how the world is, and how it could be. Only 1% of a population can decrease crime rates by 20%, so what would happen if there were 5% of any particular population meditating?!
Now of course, there are approximately 7.4 billion people on this planet, and so it would take about 74 million people meditating to be 1% of the global population, but the team at the Mararishi university suggest that it’s not 1% required to make a change in the world, but only the square root of 1%, which is only about 7000 people! That is not that much at all!
Ultimately, we can then become catalysts for change in our own families, communities and beyond simply by meditating.
Think about it this way; how many people are in your family? In your immediate family, maybe somewhere between three and six? Maybe a bit more, maybe a bit less. How about your social circle? Who are your closest, most trustworthy friends? How many of them are in your life? This number may vary between one and ten, and of course we know a lot of people beyond that too.
Let’s say for this example that you have 9 close family members and friends in your life; people who you spend the most amount of time with or are more connected with than in the general casual sense.
In relationship to this small group of people in your life, you yourself are approximately not only 1% of the population, but almost 10%! This is outstanding, because it implies that if you were to meditate on a regular basis for a significant amount of time, this small social circle of yours could potentially see a massive decrease in general negativity in their lives! We’re using “general negativity” here simply on the basis that most of the people in your life are not overly violent people, but for those who are… this could be particularly helpful!
You see, when looking at the whole world on a large scale, it is easy to be overwhelmed and think “I’m just one person, how can I affect the whole world?”, and when you go into meditation, the answer becomes very simple – start with yourself, and one person, group, and community at a time.
How Much Meditation is Enough?
This is always a common question, some people want to jump in and start doing hours at a time, and for others even ten minutes can be difficult to start. From our experiences, we definitely have experienced the benefit of meditating upwards of one to two hours a day, and for seasoned meditative experts, this should be no problem. For those who are just getting started, we encourage you to make the space for yourself to meditate at least twenty five minutes a day, and work your way up from there.
This may seem like a lot, but we really want to encourage you to push yourself to take meditation seriously. If it is the only spiritual practice that you wish to practice, in our perspective it is by far the most important one, due to not only the effects it has on your own mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health, but the effect that it has on the world at large.
If every single person who read this article meditated even just one hour a day every day, there would be a significant enough shift in awareness that might even lead to this practice becoming even more and more known about in the world!
So to answer this question; how much meditation is enough? Our answer is that you can never have enough meditation! Plus, generally when you’re meditating, you know when you’re done.
Try practicing meditation regularly in your life and see what shifts begin to happen! As we are ultimately all connected, this will not only expand your own awareness, but will help our world on a global, and even universal level!