Tat sannidhau vairatyagah is a verse from the Yoga Sutras (2.35) that means “In the vicinity of coherence, hostile tendencies are eliminated.” We have all heard the sayings “united we stand, divided we fall” and “strength lies in unity”.
There is a universal principle in Nature that internally coherent systems possess the ability to repel disruptive external influences, while incoherent systems are easily penetrated by disorder from outside. This principle is called the Meissner Effect in Physics. It applies to all levels, from the atomic functioning of a superconductor to national invincibility. When there is some weakness in the coherence of a system, stress or tension builds up around that point and eventually breaks through!
After the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012, the whole national discussion is focused on gun control and reducing children’s exposure to violence in movies, video games, etc.
While that is an important discussion to have, we need a multi-layered approach to solve the outbreak of violence in our society—an approach that also includes reducing stress and creating more coherence in individuals, families, communities, and our nation as a whole. We can associate chronic stress with greater incoherence, a situation that eventually leads to crime, economic instability, and governmental gridlock.
These days our political leaders are exhibiting profound incoherence— they cannot seem to get together to solve or agree on anything. The government is an innocent mirror of the collective consciousness of the nation. If we want to have wiser governmental policies, we need to start by reducing stress and creating coherence in our own lives, as well as in our families. This will then help to reduce stress in society as a whole.
Research on those practicing Transcendental Meditation shows an immediate reduction of stress and anxiety, as well as growth of EEG coherence in the brain, even right from the first meditation. In this case, coherence means that the right and left hemispheres are connected and neurons are firing in synchrony. This demonstrates growth of total brain functioning, where all possible mental resources are available for the task at hand. With continued practice, that internal coherence grows, even outside meditation.
Taking the time 20 minutes twice a day to experience the deepest level of our silence within is so important. In addition to reducing stress and creating more orderly brain functioning, this inner silence is the one experience in life that unites us all.
After a tragedy like Newtown or 9/11, America always rallies and comes together, but after some time it is back to divisive politics as usual. Meditating daily is one way we as individuals can come together on a deeper level to concretely reduce violence and create coherence in society, without depending solely on government policies. A time of silence every day is also a meaningful way to honor the precious, innocent lives that were lost in Newtown, Connecticut.
This is one way we can stand united, thus helping to neutralize any negativity before it bursts forward. In unity we can accomplish anything as a nation!!