Over the past fortnight I observed some group meditations in Malta.
We have a reading group in Tripoli in which we discuss some of our common
issues within the context of changes in current Libyan society while using
some interesting readings to shape our perspective.
The Indian community centre in San Gjwann Malta holds weekly joint
meditations and group prayers.
The group meditation effort had an interactive component which
reminded me of the Mass Observation efforts.
Mass Observation Anthology was started by Tom Harrison and a
heterogeneous group of middle-class leftish intellectuals in 1937
in Davenport, Bolton.
Anthology of “Ourselves”
The original Mass-Observation group’s aim was to produced an
“anthropology of ourselves”, to discover how people really felt and
behaved at work and play.
The responses to the group coordinator’s question –
What is self-esteem in your experience, evoked some interesting responses
Are we repeating the same things?
Most of the responses were on the lines of self esteem
is being comfortable with oneself, being able to see the dark
and light side of things in a non-judgmental manner, not being
over-critical of oneself, not being shy and overcoming my inhibitions.
To this one experienced person said, when her turn came..
We are almost repeating the same thing , so I have nothing different to add.
A slightly different response
There were two responses which were different
Acceptance as self-esteem
What one wanted from life is not always what one needs.
There is a process of realization in the acceptance of what you are.
If one is comfortable in one’s socks, then it is alright.
This for me is part of a process of self-esteem
Partnership as self-esteem
One can develop self –esteem through connections and partnerships.
Having a good life-partner is part of the process of developing self-esteem.
He may not be a prince or king. But if he respects you, he is good for you.
Being in such a partnership process is part of my self-esteem.
Group meditations, readings, reflections and interactions can be an
interesting platform to bring out such issues.
According to Hindu philosophy- Brahma Yajna is contemplation on
the meanings of scriptures, meditation, chanting and similar disciplines,
which lift the mind from worldly thoughts and take it towards Self-realization.
Hopefully these efforts will help produce a better ‘Anthropology of Ourselves’
in the context of Mediterranean region.