The wisdom of the East

The ancient teaching of synchronicity, that there is a pattern and a purpose to everything in the universe – including a world-wide pandemic such as Covid – is exemplified in the ancient Book of Changes which, if explored in the right spirit, always yields a thought-provoking answer. I recall once consulting it about a new project I had in mind. ‘The idea is good but now is not the time,’ came the sharp response!

Faced with sometimes seemingly insurmountable obstacles, one has only to ponder Hexagram 39. It states:

Difficulties and obstructions throw a man back upon himself. While the inferior man seeks to put the blame on other persons, bewailing his fate, the superior man seeks the error within himself and through this introspection the external obstacle becomes for him an occasion for inner enrichment and education.

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A special message from James

I know that quite a few who have a regular practice of meditation, including myself, are finding it difficult to concentrate in these testing times. It all becomes a struggle. The virus has brought a hidden fear that is bound to affect us and also affect our bodies in one form or another: perhaps an all-over itching, or an increasing difficulty in sleeping. It is not surprising since we are all living in a time of rare global crisis.

And so it may help to practice the open-eyed meditation (which I describe in Finding Silence), to sit with open eyes, focused on whatever lies ahead of us: plants, trees, birds, and simply rest in the knowledge that we are not alone.

We may like to take as our mantra at such a time the words:

Thou, o Lord, art in the midst of us.

With love, James

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