The Answer Lies Within
What Is the Relationship Between the Science of Meditation and the Practice of Human Rights?
Roundtable In Observance of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Friday, 24 October 2008; Noon—1:30 p.m.
Introduction to the Roundtable
Dr. Ida Urso, Ph.D.
Certainly not from without but from within is the spark of Divine Fire set aflame. Fiery World, III, par. 228
"It is not man-made interpretations which save a man, but his self-initiated application of his own understanding of the teaching." The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, p 635
Welcome and thank you so much for being here. The wonderful response to this roundtable has been a welcome surprise—a most joyous and heartening one and we are so grateful.
For as many of us have been repeating over and over, throughout the last 10 years that I have been involved in this meditation initiative, humanity cannot resolve the global crises in which we find ourselves without engaging the deeper spiritual realms of consciousness.
And the response to this program, as to all of the programs held throughout this week of Spirituality is a testament to the fact that you all agree.
In response to this meeting, we've received many inspired and inspiring messages from people in many corners of the world such as Cyprus, Bolivia, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Germany and more, as well as co-workers in the U.S. who could not be here today. If there is time, we will read from some of these thoughtful and deeply felt responses.
Today is Friday, and it is the day that many around the world work in meditation—individually and in groups—to support what we call "The Spiritual Work of the United Nations and the Liberation of Humanity," which is the theme of the meditation outline that you will later be invited to use. And, thus, there is much good energy surrounding our efforts here today.
Passing on their blessings to each of you, two of our co-workers wrote: "May the blessing of the Divine fill each one in attendance as you all work together toward beautiful solutions on behalf of our precious planet."
As the agenda indicates, we are holding this meeting in observance of the 60th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights, of the 63rd birthday of the United Nations, and the week of spirituality, which revolves around UN day.
Thus, a few brief words about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: This "conscience of humanity," translated into over 360 languages, holds the world record as the most translated document. This Declaration was the very first international recognition that all human beings have fundamental rights and freedoms.
The theme of this 60th anniversary campaign as the logo indicates is, "Dignity and justice for all of us."
The logo depicts a human shape standing with arms wide open, representing liberation and equality.
Please know that copies of the Declaration are available on the literature table.
The Answer Lies Within and that answer is accessible only through the process of deep and reflective meditation—of which there are many different forms and techniques.
If you look up the available books on meditation in the Amazon website, you will find that there are 193, 980 listed. If you google the word, "meditation", you will find listed 44 million and 100,000 entries.
In our brief program here today, we will hear from six practitioners of several different forms of meditation and based on the figures I just gave you, you will realize that this will be but an infinitesimally, small sampling.
In general, we can say, that the life of the human being is suspended between the poles of heaven and earth.
These are but the symbols of the finite and the infinite, in which, as human beings, we share equally—although, as we know, "heaven" or the infinite is seldom acknowledged or considered. But this is changing—again, the attendance at the various programs throughout this week and your presence here is a wonderful testament to this fact.
With humor, modern psychology reflects humanity's duality, between these two dimensions of itself, by pointing out that each human being is part jerk and part jewel.
This duality is addressed in many religious traditions; for example, St. Francis of Assisi often referred to his physical vehicle as "Brother Ass" and Jesus is depicted riding into Jerusalem on a donkey; the Buddha is often pictured astride a water buffalo, and Mother Mary is seen with her foot atop of a snake. In spiritual terms, humanity is the meeting point of spirit and matter—and meditation is the process by which the two begin to know each other and eventually become integrated.
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