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Meditation: The Art of Being Centered
By Bharat Cornell
Last spring while I was in New Jersey on a lecture tour, Thomas, my host, told how his meditation practice had helped him calm a potentially dangerous situation. Thomas is the superintendent of a small, rural school district, with three schools and 125 teachers. He had recently suspended the high school wrestling coach for verbally abusing his players. The suspension had been bitterly resented by the young coach and his large, extended family — so much so, that some of them had physically threatened Thomas.
One Sunday Thomas was working alone in the district office, when he observed four cars charging into the parking lot. The cars came to a screeching halt in front of his building, and out came a furious mob of the coach’s relatives. As they charged into the building, Thomas quickly called his daughter to notify school security. In the seconds remaining, Thomas centered his energy, and waited for the approaching storm. And storm it did; as his “guests” barged into his office, they began yelling, trying to intimidate him. Thomas sat quietly and weathered their rage. Seeing they couldn’t scare him, they began vigorously stating the reasons why he was wrong. Calmly, and without fear, Thomas listened to their ranting, and then quietly shared why he had done what he did.
During the confrontation, the relatives didn’t want to agree with Thomas. They did, however, admire his courage and centeredness. They were very physical people, and they respected strength. Thomas’s demonstration of it won them over, and soon afterwards they not only accepted, but helped resolve, the situation.
The more centered we are, the more outer events adjust themselves to our inner control, because centered energy is stronger than dissipated, reactive energy. Meditation is the art of learning to live from one’s center, because it dynamically brings our consciousness into the spine. When our energy is centered there, we are in tune with God and our spiritual nature.
Albert Einstein said that the significant problems of today can’t be solved at the same level of thinking that created those problems. When we react in kind to a negative or even mundane situation, we only perpetuate its consciousness. We can never control things outwardly. We can, however, control our own energy. Lahiri Mahasaya’s advice for overcoming any problem was always the same-to meditate more, because meditation centers and raises our consciousness and strengthens our aura. Through regular meditation we literally change our destiny.