“Cultivate metta as part of your daily routine, especially as we approach the end of this year. The more faith and devotion you have towards the Triple Gem, the less you need fear what is going on in the world.
Dhammo Have Rakkhati Dhammacari”
Bhante Mahinda’s 12.12.12 advice, together with a timely reminder that the Dhamma protects those who live by the Dhamma, is indeed a soothing balm for the fear, worries and anxieties stirred up by the barrage of information and projections surrounding 21 Dec 2012. While on a physical level we can prepare ourselves by ensuring we have food, medicine and shelter, what is most important is to maintain the right attitude, the right state of mind.
The message to step up the practice of metta and make metta meditation a daily routine comes as a follow through to the One World One Day One Metta effort in which metta literally went round the world on 12.12.12 in two waves with at least someone somewhere in the world radiating metta for a minimum of 15 minutes as the local clock struck 12 noon and 8 pm respectively.
Even though there may be no major catastrophe come the end of this year, there is bound to be fear, given the attachment we all have to things, people and everything around us.
“How we react to whatever happens depends on how we have developed our mind. The Buddha said in the first verse of the Dhammapada:
MANO PUBBANGAMA DHAMMA…
Mind is the forerunner of all phenomena …
“It is therefore important for us to focus on the cultivation of the mind. Meditation is necessary. It is no more a luxury, it is essential,” Bhante Mahinda asserts.
He adds that meditation and the resultant mental absorption, insights and the eventual realisation of emptiness pave the way for a shift in mental consciousness. A shift of consciousness is conditioned not only by internal but also external factors — natural phenomena and factors such as life-threatening diseases, situations like accidents or near-death experiences. It can also be brought about by blessings from devas and other spiritual masters.
In undergoing a shift in consciousness, one sees the world differently, realising how precious and fragile this world and life is.
“Now that there are strong external factors such as the sun’s activity in the form of solar flares or solar storms and a build up of cosmic energy impinging on the environment which favour a shift in consciousness, we need to take advantage of the situation and be steadfast in our meditation practice.
“As we dwell steadfastly in the Dhamma, the shift in consciousness will lead to a deeper perception of the Dhamma, leading to the realisation of anicca, dukkha and anatta and to go beyond self, thereby sowing the seed of Enlightenment within us.”
Concurrent with stepping up our practice, Bhante Mahinda advocates greater effort in developing faith, devotion and virtuesas antidotes for the fear that overwhelms the untrained mind.
How do we develop faith? Connecting with people who have faith and confidence in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, will help us to grow in faith, Bhante Mahinda advises.
Devotion, on the other hand, is to be developed through meditation practice. As you practise, you verify your intellectual knowledge through your own direct experience, and as you experience this more and more, your faith grows and as a result you start to develop devotion.
Your priorities in life will change and you will be able to have the strength and courage to face whatever eventualities without fear.
Developing virtues, such as generosity, patience and loving-kindness, enlarges your field of merits, Bhante Mahinda adds. Whatever happens in the world and how it will affect you depends on your kamma, and the cultivation of virtues will generate a lot of positive kamma. When you have the merits, you will find yourself in the right place at the right time and be protected.
The accelerated shift of human consciousness conditioned by external factors has already begun, and may climax in the coming days, months and years. Don’t just wait for Dec 21 and the few days ahead. We need to stay calm and be vigilant and steadfast in our Dhamma practice each and every moment as we live through these times of great change and uncertainty.
With the shifting of consciousness we need to be very careful of our own thoughts. Whatever we think has the potential to manifest instantly. Therefore we need to avoid harbouring fear and negative thoughts, and instead cultivate compassionate love and cherish goodwill for all.
May we all grow and evolve from light to light and work for the welfare and happiness of the many.
May all beings be well and happy.