Time for a ‘world society’ | Inquirer Lifestyle
Seventeen-year-old Rav James M. Lopez was at her grandparents’ house in Gattaran, Cagayan, when Typhoon “Ulysses” (international name: Vamco) hit. “We were very…

Time for a ‘world society’

“IF YOU wish to see the big picture, you need a big heart,” says Judy Johnson, Canadian author, organizational facilitator, and government consultant for leadership development.

Why bother, when all that these times of acute uncertainties seem to require of us is to stay alive? Because, Johnson says, “However frightening the situations that the whole planet is facing now, this could be an opportunity to come together as a world society.”

She proposes that everyone should be an “artist” in the conduct of his life. “When every facet of life is filled with the highest energy, living becomes art.”

Thought power

How this works is the subject of her talk on Oct. 29, “Supreme Thinking: Its Importance and Urgency in These Critical Times.” Hosted by Brahma Kumaris Philippines, the class is part of a free online series held Thursdays, 6-7 p.m.

Johnson, a teacher of meditation at the Brahma Kumaris center in Halifax, Nova Scotia, has coached people across the globe on easy methods of living with meaning and grace.

“Quality of life,” she maintains, “is the result of small actions repeated day after day, for a long time.”

For 35 years, she has worked with government and private sectors in international and intercultural settings. Her workshops are known for being “simple, yet memorable.”

From Albay to Tagum

Johnson has spoken to local audiences from Albay in Southern Luzon to Tagum in Southern Mindanao (plus Metro Manila, Tagaytay City, Naga City and Cebu City in between) on such diverse subjects as “Love Beyond Romance,” “Health and Wealth through Meditation,” and “Keeping Goodness Alive.”

She has authored three books that have been praised as “practical explorations of one’s inner landscape.” However, in her most recently published articles—among them “Creating Peace in a Divided World” and “Spirituality for Mental Health—she uses world-view lenses and echoes her responses to questions often asked during her numerous lectures around the world.

Can we hope to recover our balance at the end of this unusually trying period? Meanwhile, what do we do with all this time in our hands?

Canadian author and yogi Judy Johnson speaks with students of meditation during a 2019 retreat and workshop at the Brahma Kumaris Retreat Center in Tagaytay City. PHOTO COURTESY OF BRAHMA KUMARIS PHILIPPINES

Massive change came to us all without warning. It made everyone uncertain of everything. There has been a marked increase in crime, domestic violence, and corruption everywhere as the world becomes more fragile and people feel more insecure. The more insecure the people are, the more self-centered they can become.

We have been conditioned by regional, cultural, political, or religious views of the world. These beliefs that shaped us as individuals prevent us from seeing others as equals.

Does this mean we are a long way from resolving the situation?

At the very least, it is unlikely that the methods we have used to solve our problems in the past will work now. As Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that we used to create them.” It is time to step back and use a deeper perspective to find new solutions. We could use this time to embrace our human family. And then we can do amazing things.

More and more, the pandemic is being seen as the cause of mental health concerns worldwide. Does this mean the resolution of the latter depends completely on the resolution of the first?

Anxiety and depression were declared a global mental health pandemic before COVID-19. Social distancing has left us alone with our minds, having eliminated distractions that we previously employed (to curb restlessness and panic). This forced introversion is intensifying a plethora of mental health issues.

What help can a meditation practice offer in this time of intense emotional and mental disturbance?

Meditation helps me accept myself as the living being that makes everything in the body, including the brain, function. Therefore, I am not my brain. If brain chemistry is out of balance, it can cause depression or anxiety. Understanding this dichotomy allows me to detach from the experience of depression. Instead, I can support the healing process by creating new attitudes and approaches from positive thoughts.

Through meditation, I become familiar with peace, my natural state of mind. I immediately see when my peace has been eclipsed by another energy.

(There are two ways to participate in Judy Johnson’s class on Thursday: via Zoom  or facebook.com/rajayoga.makati. For details, please call/text 09178340118.)