Meditation, Ancient Civilizations, and Seeing Ourselves

Africans were meditating more than 10,000 years ago. The purpose was to see how to live their lives in the same way Buddhist practitioners are called to do. And yet, such meditation was not self-centered. It was meant to discover ways to collectively live. The ones who had deep lucid dreams and could see clearly beyond what was in front of them became diviners. The diviner is the one who meditated long enough to see beyond the chaos and clutter of the mind. Of course, there were some who were born naturally with the gift to see.

In ancient times, in all cultures, it was required that all leaders, queens, kings, heads of the warrior clans display some skill at divination. It was believed that the one who leads must also see and not rely on opinions or untested ideas. And once the messages were clear the leaders had to have the medicine to alleviate the ills of their society. The vote was based on a demonstration of such a capacity.

Today we must learn to see for ourselves. It is not enough to use our meditation practices to calm our nerves or quiet our children. We must use our developing capacities to see who we are as a people and discover our place in easing the suffering in the world.

Posted in dharma-notes

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