We cannot overcome today’s challenges by meeting them at the level that they exist, we must rise above them to find superconscious solutions.

I spent the last fifteen years working for humanitarian organizations, striving to provide education, dignity, and opportunity to disenfranchised populations around the world. Progress in the realm of the human condition has been incredible since the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were articulated by the United Nations in 2000.

The MDGs goals were lofty: (1) eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; (2) achieve universal primary education; (3) promote gender equality and empower women; (4) reduce child mortality; (5) improve maternal health; (6) combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; (7) ensure environmental sustainability; and (8) develop a global partenership for development.

Progress toward these goals as 2015, the year to complete them, drew near was incredible. The number of people living in extreme poverty reduced by half, from nearly 2 billion to about 800 million, since 1990. The number of children out-of-school, when they ought to be in the education system, reduced also by half. Maternal and child mortality rates both reduced by nearly half. These are just a few of the accomplishments.

Today, all that progress is threatened by political, social, and environmental disasters. Fires, floods, famine, dictators, and the rise of nationalism may wipe out billions spent on humanitarian aid efforts and billions of human lives stand at the brink of disaster once more.

Why? How on God’s green earth can this happen? In truth, lasting progress will only happen when the collective human consciousness rises above the darkness that plagues it. This is where the spiritual depth of the east offers something new.

I’m not talking about an evangelical approach to spreading the spiritual practices of yoga across the globe. I’m talking about people of all faiths and no faith at all, learning to turn within to find lasting solutions.

The wisdom of the east is simple:

  1. Outer experiences are shaped by inner experiences. Master your inner Self and you can Master the world.
  2. We are one. All of creation is a manifestation of consciousness. Realize oneness with all and you will begin to behave in attunement with right-action. You can see this in the scientific fact that we are all made of the same fundamental elements – carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen,phosphorus, and sulfur. As science continues to refine its understanding of life, it finds only greater and greater connection between all creation.
  3. The purpose of life is the realize the true Self, not merely by intellect, but through the fires of experience. The great Masters of all spiritual paths agree, it’s only their followers who don’t. As humanity begins to develop inner experiences of the Divine, we will all know this truth for ourselves. That is the science of meditation.

My guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, came to America in 1920 to bring the spiritual power of the east together with the material progress of the west. Nearly 100 years later, the proof of the success of his mission is all around you. Meditation, yoga, and the practice of inner transformation pervade American culture and are on the rise worldwide.

Lasting peace and harmony will come in time, as humanity realizes its inner soul qualities (light, sound, peace, calmness, love, joy, wisdom, and power) and innate unity. That is how yoga will save the world. So, let’s do the work together, in the spirit of world-brotherhood, and Be the Change we wish to see in the world.

Here are the Spiritual Directors of Ananda, Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi, receiving the Global Ambassador Peace Award last month at the United Nations Tillman Chapel and speaking on this subject – enjoy!

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