In this article, Peter Ng, Chairman and Founding Partner of Singapore-based Avanda Investment Management and National Coordinator for WCCM Singapore, reflects on the role a contemplative practice such as meditation has in today’s crisis of democracy. The John Main Seminar 2022 will seek to explore this topic further and will be an opportunity, as Peter Ng states in this article, to reflect on how we can recover the spiritual foundation for the freedom and responsibility of democracy to be sustained.
You can play the audio below or read the full transcripts from it underneath.
“The John Main Seminar of 2022 to be led by Herman van Rompuy continues a series of WCCM Seminars on how a contemplative practice such as meditation can contribute to dealing with the crisis of our time.
Our crisis is global and multidimensional inflicting suffering and anxiety, especially among the poor, arising from escalating geopolitical conflict, climate adversity and pandemic risks. Can meditation make a difference?
It is the conviction of WCCM as a spiritual community that, as there are more and more people meditating, the change that happens is no less than the transformation of human consciousness. Meditation tackles at its root the causes of egocentricity, domination, division, self-centeredness and irresponsibility. For example, John Main speaking about war and peace said that the peace we want in the world cannot be imposed by force. He said that the only power that can create peace in our world is the power of peace found, known and experienced in human hearts.
Herman Van Rompuy will reflect on the challenge to democracy as a form of government, in the light of meditation. Democracy aspires to be government of the people, by the people and for the people. This is an ideal which can only be sustained by self-restraint on the part of those who govern as well as those who are governed. Democracy decays when people discover that they can abuse the system for their own selfish interest. Meditation helps to bring about self-government.
When the practitioner experiences and acts out of the true self rather than the ego-centred self, meditation strengthens the capacity of human beings to govern themselves. Herman van Rompuy’s reflection at John Main Seminar 2022 will help recover the spiritual foundation for the freedom and responsibility of democracy to be sustained.”