I recently taught a 6 week meditation class for stress reduction. I work at a fairly conservative small college and this past quarter the focus of the staff Wellness program has been on reducing stress for health benefits. The Wellness program is something the college has for its faculty and staff in order to get better rates from our insurance company. I guess they figure if the employees receive support and education around health there will be less claims – less by-pass surgeries and long-term diabetes treatments to pay for. So, basically – it comes down to money. In a strange twist of fate, in order to save a corporate-greed-capitalist-America insurance company money, I was paid to teach meditation to my co-workers during our lunch hour on Fridays.
Or is it a twist of fate? Maybe it is just fate straight up. Maybe it is exactly as God planned.
My friend Lord Flea sent me an article from the New York Times – How to Find a Job With Meditation and Mindfulness. It is about a meditation studio craze in New York where Manhattanites are flocking to invite-only meditation studios to meditate and network with investors and start-up entrepreneurs. The article states how this idea came to New York from San Francisco and Wisdom 2.0 – a conference bringing together leaders from the Silicon Valley tech giants with experts in yoga, mindfulness and meditation. Their goal is “to live with greater wisdom, purpose, and meaning, while using technology in ways that create a more open and healthy culture.” This is an organization that I first heard of from my friend in San Francisco, Janardhan Chodagam, a very successful software engineer who realized that “a life of fulfillment trumps a life of achievement.” When I met him he had left the industry to teach meditation with the Brama Kumaris full time and was doing an introduction to Raja Yoga for overworked business professionals in the Bay Area.
Teza, or Lord Flea, is one of my closest spiritual friends, a true lover of God and believer in the power of Love. Yet, when she started meditating decades ago, she wasn’t looking for God. She heard a talk about how Transcendental Meditation made a person more efficient, productive and creative – and although she started meditation for productivity, she ended up on a lifelong spiritual path.
Years ago I also heard a story of a woman from Brooklyn. She was your run-of-the-mill Brooklyn housewife and she saw a sign in the window of a yoga studio advertising a certain breathing technique to help you lose weight. She took the class and the teacher recommended practicing the technique for 10 minutes a day. She figured if she did the breathing technique for longer, she would lose more weight. Before she knew it, she was meditating for hours a day and having all kinds of spiritual experiences. She went to India to meet her teacher and wound up dedicating her life to God, founding an ashram and a charitable organization that does work in the US, India and Uganda. All because she wanted to lose some weight.
You see, I think that God is secretly using all these “lose weight” and “increase productivity” and “reduce stress” tag lines to help forward the evolution of human consciousness on earth. It doesn’t matter why we start on a spiritual path. It doesn’t matter how we get focused on love, peace and a higher way of life. It doesn’t matter if we expand our consciousness initially because we want to network and find spiritually centered investors for our new fashion start up. It doesn’t matter if we open our hearts to compassion because we downloaded a meditation app from 1 Giant Mind (who I talk a bit more about on the Meditation Resources page).
Some people might see New York’s meditation/networking clubs as a crass capitalist sacrilege. But I rejoice in ALL the wonderful new ways God is finding to bring people to the center of their being. How amazing that so many business tycoons are breathing in relaxation and breathing out peace. How glorious that so many doctors are prescribing mindfulness meditation to lower blood pressure. I can’t even begin to count how many people are being transformed into better, more loving human beings simply by beginning the practice of meditation for any reason whatsoever. I can’t imagine the impact all these success workshops and health seminars are having on our collective consciousness.
God loves us. God is constantly looking for any way at all to bring Her children home to more love, peace and happiness. She sends prophets and saints. She gives us nature and the miracle of sunsets. She gives us music and poetry and all the creative expressions of the human soul. And She gives us Wellness program stress reduction meditation classes. People get into meditation for all kinds of reasons – blood pressure, weight loss, productivity and success. God uses all kinds of sneaky ways to aid in the evolution of human consciousness.
I don’t know if you could really say that God has a weapon of any kind. I know all kinds of scriptures depict God as smiting and drowning and killing all kinds of peoples, but I really think that if there is anything that God is NOT capable of doing, it would be to cause harm. But, I guess in the old spiritual battlefield of inner decision between good and evil, God can kick some ass. And in that arena, stress reduction is Her secret weapon.