Meditation at the USA Pentagon 1988 Jul 08Filed under americas | Prayer or silence day - event | Room of Quiet | Significant events & meetings
Edward Winchester, President of the Pentagon Meditation Club, escorted Sri Chinmoy on a personal tour of the Pentagon – explaining his Peace Shield Meditation/Prayer Campaign to promote good will and inner peace.the Pentagon.
Sri Chinmoy meditates in the room dedicated to prayer and meditation in the Pentagon.
Defense Department employees then joined Sri Chinmoy in meditation during a lunchtime gathering. Sri Chinmoy offered a song, which he had composed about the Pentagon, and answered a number of questions.Below is a transcript of the Pentagon session.
Pentagon Meditation Club President Edward Winchester gives the following guided meditation at the start of the meeting.
Mr. Winchester: Let us begin in the usual manner. Let us close our eyes. Notice the breathing, keeping your awareness on your breath. Take a few deep breaths and then just relax. Let go-releasing the cares, the tensions and the stresses of the day-and just be here for now.
We begin by taking our awareness to the world of our inner being. We ask forgiveness for any wrongdoing we have done to ourselves or to others. And we ask for Grace to experience our true nature-God within us, love and light. We are beings of love and of light. Deep within ourselves we are peaceful.
So now, as is our usual practice, we call to our awareness the Name for God. We begin by repeating that mentally to ourselves-just noticing any thoughts that come to our awareness and letting them go, always taking our awareness back to the Holy Word. And we do this to quiet the mental chatter of our minds … to experience the deeper profound silence within … and to release the real in us.
A period of silent meditation follows.
Mr. Winchester: Now, with love in our hearts and devotion to the divine Presence, let us take a few moments just to see ourselves happy and peaceful. We touch that place within us that yearns to love ourselves and other people more. We call awareness to our family and relatives-both living and passed on – and see men, women and children everywhere joining together in spirit in unity and harmony with one another. We see our world leaders-friends as well as adversaries-joining together to resolve conflicts and issues that divide us or nations.
Be aware for the moment of the light that is emanating from within your very being-touching everyone else in this room and expanding to include this whole building, to uplift and support everyone in it. Take the light beyond the confines of this building across the nation, to every military installation around the world-particularly to our 40,000 troops in Korea. This same meditation was done there just a few months ago, and already we see a breakthrough in the unification process between North and South. So we direct the light there and to all troubled areas of the world. And we see the vision of the world at peace within our heart-in our heart centre. The world is at peace because we are at peace. Thanks be to God!
And now I will ask Sri Chinmoy if he will lead us in a programme.
Sri Chinmoy: My esteemed Brother-Friend, I am ~extremely grateful to you for having given me this golden opportunity to pray and meditate with you in absolute silence. In these last few minutes we have deeply felt the Presence of the Inner Pilot, who guides us, moulds us and shapes us according to His Will.
We are at the Pentagon. Yesterday I composed a song about the Pentagon. This particular song is a soulful offering from my aspiration-heart, and I wish to offer it to you, my most esteemed Brother-to your heart of most exemplary aspiration and to your life of supreme dedication.
I shall sing the song first and then my students will sing it.
Sri Chinmoy reads the words to the song and then sings, accompanying himself on the tote-a-tune. Afterwards, the singers perform.
Mr. Winchester: We would now like to invite Sri Chinmoy to answer some spiritual questions.
Question: What is the significance of the word “Himalayan” when you talk about military leadership in your song?
Sri Chinmoy: To me the word “Himalayan” represents the height-the inner height of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. When the outer force is unified with the inner height, which comes from deep within, then our life becomes most successful and most fruitful. The inner height and the outer strength must go together.
Question: What is your current peace project regarding the planet right now? Is there anything in par1ticular that you are working on?
Sri Chinmoy: I am a student of peace. For quite a few years I have been offering peace concerts all over the world. Wherever I am needed, I go and offer my soulful service, according to my capacity, to bring about world peace. It is through my prayerful life and soulful meditation, and not through any kind of political means, that I am working for peace.
Question: In what way does inner strength translate into or become outer strength?
Sri Chinmoy: We sow a seed, and for a while it stays under the ground. Then it germinates and becomes a tiny plant, then a sapling and eventually a huge tree. In exactly the same way, we have indomitable inner power deep within us. And by means of our prayer-life and meditation-life, we can nourish it and bring it to the fore. Then it germinates into outer strength.
Here at the Pentagon we see the Army, Navy and Air Force. Let us call them three friends. Whenever there is a problem, these three friends meet together, and united they fight for the right cause-to defend their country. If one more friend -a prayerful life of inner discipline- can be added, then we have four friends. In a tug-of-war, if you have four friends on one side and only one enemy on the other side, then naturally the four friends are going to win.
All the suffering, unrest and violence in the world represent negative forces. But if our love, sympathy, concern and feeling of oneness-which all come from deep within-can be brought to the fore, easily they can stand against the negative forces and defeat them. And they can be brought to the fore the way a seed slowly, steadily and unerringly comes to the fore and becomes a fully blossomed tree. _
Question: If the outer strength seems to go beyond the inner wisdom, what is the best way to change that? Sri Chinmoy: Sometimes the outer strength becomes unruly; it acts like a mischievous monkey. But somebody is the owner of the monkey. In the beginning the monkey may run wild and destroy things in various ways. But if the owner invites a few friends of his to his rescue, then together they can control the monkey. Similarly, our life of love, devotion, inner faith and inner courage are our friends. When we pray and meditate, they come to the fore and challenge the restlessness of our outer life. The more we pray, the sooner we establish a free access to our Inner Pilot, who is the Almighty. And He, out of His infinite Bounty, will grant us the necessary strength to calm down the outer restlessness.
Mr. Winchester: If I could take the Chair’s prerogative and ask a question: We’re frequently asked what impact we think we’re having on the world because of the work we’re doing. I know that you’ve met with people in the British Parliament and leaders in high places in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere. Could you tell us what impact you feel the work that you are doing is having on the world?
Sri Chinmoy: I am a God-lover. According to my service-capacity, I try to serve my brothers and sisters. From a seed you eventually get a tree, and the tree produces countless fruits and beautiful flowers. Again, from the fruits come new seeds. This is how the world-creation continues.
If a teacher is soulful and spiritual, then he can inspire his students. Similarly, if the leader of a particular group or the head of state of a particular nation is spiritual and believes in prayer and meditation, then his countrymen will see and feel something in him, and automatically they will get inspiration to lead a better life. Then they in turn will inspire others to become good and divine.
There are many people who do not believe in harmony, peace and oneness. But here we are all seekers. Because we are seekers, with our prayer life we are trying to establish a oneness-world-family. You are head of this particular meditation group, and you have inspired others to a great extent. From one person, many have derived tremendous inspiration and aspiration.
It happens exactly the same way with other groups. If one individual comes to the fore with inspiration and aspiration, he inspires many, many others. This is how the rest of the world can be inspired. From one seed eventually there comes a tree with many beautiful flowers and fruits.
Mr. Winchester: Sri Chinmoy, on behalf of all of us I want to thank you for sharing the blessing of your wisdom and your presence with us today, and particularly for the inspiring and beautiful song you wrote. We will pass this up to the Secretary of Defense. We . tried to arrange a meeting with him this morning, but I regret that he was involved in meetings on the Hill and at the White House.
As a token of our appreciation for your coming here, I’d like to give you a memento. This is a study on meditation; it relates to decision-making in the Department of Defense and the Government in general. The study went through our security procedures and public affairs office in 1985. The study said that if enough people would meditate, there would be some things happening here that would increase efficiency and productivity. Maybe I should send this to the Defense Secretary.
Now, three years later, what we are seeing is about one percent of the population in the Pentagon meditating. Scientific studies show that when one to five percent are meditating, very positive changes begin to take place. So while we undergo some stress release and catharsis in our individual meditation, what we’re seeing is its impact on a whole organisation- with the release, say, of the stress associated with the investigation related to the procurement fraud. Is there some connection here between meditation and what’s happening in the Department of Defense? We think there is.
We don’t have a scientifically controlled study at this point, but some years ago when we did our first Peace Shield flyer, we had a picture of George Washington above the Pentagon, with a burst of light coming out. It seems that now this is literally happening, because all around the country people are writing in, and various spiritual groups are connecting here. They want to know what time we are meditating. So, today at 11 :30 we were connected with many groups around the country that were sending their prayers and good wishes to us. And we, in turn, have that same inner resource, which is the most fundamental resource-more important than dollars – to send back out into the community.
So on behalf of the Club, I’d like to give you that study. And I have one more little item here. Knowing that you are an athlete and peace enthusiast, we have a peace T-shirt. A luncheon follows.
Pentagon Meditation Club President Mr. Winchester and other members of the Club attend Sri Chinmoy’s Peace Concert at the Jefferson Memorial the evening of 8 July.
Sri Chinmoy performs in front of the Jefferson Memorial, with the outline of the Washington Monument appearing behind him.
Pentagon, Pentagon, Pentagon!
America’s sovereign victory-horn.
Himalayan military leadership-
You shatter the world’s indolence-sleep.
Pentagon, Pentagon, Pentagon!
Earth’s brightest, bravest Power-Dawn.
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