Speaking of tragic and violent events going on in the world, Swami Veda said, “A mind that has become meditative, becomes incapable of a violent thought, incapable of anger, becomes incapable of revengeful inclination. In the presence of such a mind, such a field is generated that whoever comes within that field, becomes calm, the revengeful person ceases to be revengeful, the angry person begins to smile. That is the test of your meditation, not how many hours you sit turning your rosary, but whether in your presence the minds of others calm down. If you are reaching that point, you are making progress.” 

Swamiji described meditation as “the process of navigating towards the calm, still, and unchanging center of one’s being.” He urged everyone to deepen their meditation, and develop a capability to absorb the negativity of others, without even a ripple on the surface of mind.

Swamiji proposed that the only answer to all tragic events in human history and future is that all violence (economic violence, religious violence, political violence) must be stopped individually, starting from individual minds. He asked us to immediately stop all thoughts of violence without constant, meaningless, and endless discussions., “Stop it here, Stop it now. This is what you have to do, not what you have to work on, just do it. Don’t try, don’t work on it, don’t struggle with yourself. There is no question of fighting inside, you either do it or you don’t do it, with the result being your grandchildren will never see the flowers you have seen.”

A natural question arose in our minds – how can I, individually, stop this ongoing violence? Swamiji then asked us to “from this moment [forward], examine the seeds of violence in your mind. National and international, economic, political and for the individual, the answer to conflicts and tragedies is to reduce your personal wants by ten percent and all the world’s shortages will be taken care of. Can you use 10 percent less electricity, running the faucet 10 percent less? In every area you’re responsible for economic violence. Examine, and make changes now, otherwise your great grandchildren will pay the price you haven’t imagined.” 

Swamiji urged us to train our mind to fix it on a thought, breath, or mantra, and then use that training to choose our emotions and reactions. He said that there are shortcuts to sadhana. But the shortcuts work only when we develop the mastery of emotions, when we learn to choose positive emotions on a moment by moment basis, when we learn to take pride in our reduction in wants. 

Swamiji reminded us that destiny is shaped by the choices in the interior life, and especially in the choice of emotions in the present moment. He further said, “Meditation is a way of ridding your mind of that feverishness, fears, violence, vengefulness, anger. Meditation is a part of deconditioning the mind. When you sit in meditation, drop these conditions and generate a wave from you, generate a wave from you. So when you enter your meditation, recognize that deconditioned mind, and try and see if you can maintain that condition, even when you carry on with your daily affairs of the world.”

As always, Swamiji guided everyone in a deep meditation and gave us his many blessings.