I have been practicing yoga and meditation for over 30 years and I am thoroughly convinced that if everyone, or at least most people, followed these practices we would have fewer problems in the world. The following problems would definitely lessen.
- The environment would benefit greatly
- Wars would cease or at least there would be fewer of them
- People’s health would improve
- We would be happier
These sound like fantastic claims but I am going to examine in brief how this is possible.
In the ancient yoga scriptures (the Vedas) a vegetarian diet is recommended. If we follow the yoga process a vegetarian diet is one that we naturally become more attracted to. As we become more aware, (which is a natural result of meditation), we realize there is someone in those animal bodies that we consume. And as we develop more compassion, it is a natural progression to not want to cause suffering to other living beings, including those in animal bodies.
The result of that is that the rainforests are not going to be cut down to make space for grazing cattle for meat, which will result in a positive impact on our environment. Huge amounts of water is used to feed livestock and in many parts of the world there is a water shortage. These are just 2 reasons why a vegetarian diet benefits the environment. There are more but I am just giving a brief overview.
We also experience more satisfaction within. This slows down the endless consumption for material things, which means that there is less waste and garbage being dumped into the earth.
Through meditation we develop compassion for all living beings and we also come to the realization that we are not our material bodies but spiritual in essence. Nurturing compassion we also develop love for all other beings. Consequently we don’t wish to harm them. In times of wars and natural calamities we should be helping them with our available resources. As spirit souls living in these material bodies whether they are black, brown, yellow or white, we realize that we are all the same in essence and are ultimately brothers and sisters – children of the Supreme.
Improvement in Heath
There are numerous studies done on the health benefits of meditation. These are bona fide studies done by health care professions that cover many illnesses. For example, people have experienced a drop in blood pressure through meditation. Relief from stress and anxiety is a big one and stress is known to trigger all kinds of illnesses.
I never understood the saying “happiness comes from within” until I started my meditation practice. Through yoga/meditation I started to experience real happiness, not the temporary happiness derived from material enjoyment but a deep happiness that came from spiritual satisfaction. We are spiritual in essence and no amount of material things will satisfy us. But the spiritual food we receive through meditation brings real happiness.
This is very brief overview on very large subject but hopefully will give some food for thought.