Children: Top Row 1: Ana Marquez-Greene, Jack Pinto, Catherine Hubbard, Jesse Lewis; Row 2: Avielle Richman, Caroline Previdi, Noah Pozner, Allison Wyatt; Row 3: Chase Kowalski, James Mattioli, Josephine Gay, Grace McDonnell; Row 4; Olivia Rose Engel, Madeleine F. Hsu, Emilie Parke, Benjamin Wheeler; Row 5: Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Dylan Hockley, Jessica Rekos. Educators: Row 1: Rachel D’Avino, Dawn Hocksprung; Row 2: Mary Sherlach, Anne Marie Murphy; Row 3: Lauren Rousseau, Victoria Soto.

Once again, we are all in pain. But horrific tragedies like Newtown do not materialize in a vacuum. Because each of us plays a role in our collective destiny, all the children of humanity (including you and me) share responsibility for contributing to the problem, and for manifesting a solution.

Now more than ever, an openness to embracing new (and old) ideas from beyond our present cultural matrix can bring us the sustenance and growth we desperately need. A pond whose source has dried up becomes stagnant. Our modern American culture must learn to go beyond rigidity, superstition, blind customs and dogma. Freedom is not just confined to material, political or economic freedoms alone. True freedom means the freedom of thought to attain the spiritual and philosophical wealth necessary to meet our ever-changing challenges.

French composer Claude Debussy said, “Music is the space between the notes.” For thousands of years people who practiced meditation learned that without a space between the notes of their lives, the music they tried to create became only noise. Today’s 24 hour “news,” filled with relentlessly angry, fear-filled posturing, resembles a brutal jousting match between handicapped combatants more than a thoughtfully reasoned and respectful examination of the vital issues of the day. Absent from our vision are the philosophers and sages who once helped guide humanity. Those intuitive seers have now been replaced by (mostly) well-intentioned but narrow-minded individuals whose limited perspective only assures that the blind will continue to lead the blind.

What is truly needed in the wake of the Newtown tragedy is a new paradigm and new climate for us to live in and raise our children. Meditation alone can provide us the intimate experience of therapeutic silence––the space between the notes––so that each of our voices can reach its full measure of expression in peace, happiness and freedom from fear.

Today, meditation can make it possible for each of us to access and integrate an intuitive, unalloyed wisdom to help humanity establish personal security and peace of mind. Daily meditation can provide the blueprint, resources and inspiration to explore beyond the boundaries of thinking, feeling and reasoning. All the answers to what is to be done and what is not to be done are patiently waiting for us in the silence of meditation. Without exploring the silent space between our notes, we will never be able to think clearly enough to resolve our problems.

Nearly two thousand years ago Jesus the Christ poignantly confessed in the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, “I took my stand in the midst of the world, and in flesh I appeared to them. I found them all drunk, and I did not find any of them thirsty. My soul ached for the children of humanity, because they are blind in their hearts and do not see, for they came into the world empty, and they also seek to depart from the world empty.”

Are we still too drunk to see our way out of our pain? Whenever we individually and collectively disregard our own inner wisdom (found in silence), we are committing acts of violence against our conscience that will eventually bring about painfully “evil” experiences endured by all. But when we meditate and explore the profound gifts of silence, we think, speak and act as instruments of our conscience and become prophets and beneficiaries of love, security and peace. For this noble endeavor, a daily meditation practice is not simply a good idea––it’s a dire necessity.

About the author


Leonard Perlmutter (Ram Lev)

Leonard is an American spiritual teacher, a direct disciple of medical pioneer Swami Rama of the Himalayas, and a living link to the world’s oldest health and wisdom spiritual tradition. A noted educator, philosopher and Yoga Scientist, Leonard is the founder of the American Meditation Institute, developer the AMI Foundation Course curriculum, and originator of National Conscience Month. He is the author of the award-winning books The Heart and Science of Yoga and YOUR CONSCIENCE, and the Mind/Body/Spirit Journal, Transformation. A rare and gifted teacher, Leonard’s writings and classes are enlivened by his inspiring enthusiasm, vast experience, wisdom, humor and a clear, practical teaching style. Leonard has presented courses at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, numerous medical colleges, Kaiser Permanente, the Commonwealth Club of California, the U. S. Military Academy at West Point and The New York Times Yoga Forum with Dean Ornish MD.