WE MEDITATE TO BRING ourselves to stillness, to find our center balance point where the whirlwind dust of our days can settle and be processed, and we then find we can keep going, keep pressing on with our strength renewed.
We know from our direct experience that this is very necessary for us, so we don’t crack and cave under the pressure of daily demands.
What is affected by our stilling of ourselves?
We know that everything everywhere is interconnected—why should this apply any differently in the case of meditation? We may sit down to do it with only our own benefit in mind, but every time we do, our environment is also changed, stilled, balanced, able to breathe a bit easier.
In his book Emptiness Dancing, Adyashanti explains this way we all naturally affect our environment—by whatever energy we choose to put out, positive or negative—with the following story:
The old Taoists would call this [harmonizing of energy] “rectifying the chi.” In ancient times, and probably today in a few places, the Taoist priest was called in if there was a problem in the village. If the community was not getting along or there was turmoil of some sort, he or she would be invited. So he would trot off from his hermitage and go to the town and say something like, “Give me a quiet place, give me a cabin, and leave me alone.” There he would sit down and open himself to the chi of the environment, to the energy. Now that’s great compassion because when you open yourself to the environment, if it’s out-of-kilter, you are going to feel the out-of-kilter in your own being. It’s all going to happen inside just as it’s happening outside. But if you have enough stability, if you have enough insight, nothing in you is going to be worried about that. It’s not going to be a problem. It’s not even going to make you suffer, but it will just happen: turbulence. Only when you’ve fully realized yourself, do you have the fearlessness to do that. Otherwise, if you open yourself up, you get totally lost.
The Taoist priest would sit there in the cabin and just open himself to the chi, or the energy of the environment—feel it, experience it, and then open the chi to the light of his own consciousness. It could take a day, a week, sometimes a month, but he’d just expose the chi to the light of his own consciousness and the energy would start to rectify itself. Then people in the village would start to feel better and get along for a while.
That’s why scriptures have advised us to hang out with awakened beings. The awakened one could be a human being, a tree being, a street-corner being. Expose yourself to them…
The light of consciousness has no mind to change or alter anything. There is no sense that anything needs to change, but it does change. So the priest could just sit, and all would rectify. Everybody would just feel much better. Of course, not for very long because, if they haven’t seen the sun inside themselves, once the awakened consciousness leaves the environment, everyone goes crazy again. But the priest is cool with that. The sun doesn’t argue about where it’s shining or why it was asked to shine. People awaken and transform only when they truly want to. Until that time all change is temporary. No one can force permanent awakening upon you.
So what sort of chi are you choosing to transmit into your environment?