I am convinced that meditation is the method the sages of the East employed to access the power of the god-brain. To us in the West, it serves only as a means of relaxation. To the Laika, meditation is journeying—entering the Timeless Now to heal events that occurred in the past, and to correct the course of destiny. It is the first step toward accessing the divine within nature, and within ourselves. In the Timeless Now, destiny hangs like a ripe fruit for our picking. This is the fruit of the second tree of Eden, the fruit of life everlasting.

In many Indigenous communities, elders sit in meditation, envisioning the world they want their grandchildren to inherit—one in which the rivers and air are clean, there’s food for all, and people live in peace with one another. They track along our collective time lines to find a more harmonious future. This is not the probable future, because they already know what that will be: a world much like the one we’re now experiencing—filled with pollution, devastation, and war. Instead, they track for a possible future, no matter how improbable, where people live in harmony with nature, and peace with each other. The sages of old called this “dreaming the world into being.”

Whether we realize it or not, we are all dreaming the world into being, although most people have lost the ability to guide the dream, and are, as a result, at the mercy of the collective nightmare. Shamans understand how to dream with their eyes open to envision the possible. It’s not a fantasy or hallucination, but rather the ultimate nature of reality itself, where one can actually steer and guide the dream. This is how creation happens.

Dreamtime—the creative matrix—exists in a place within us. It infuses all matter and energy, connecting every creature, rock, star, ray of light, or bit of cosmic dust. For the shaman, dreaming reality is not only an ability but a duty one we must perform with grace and love so our grandchildren will inherit a world of peace and abundance.

This is our ultimate task today: to look through a narrow window into the future to find what our species is becoming 10,000 years from now, and to bring that vision back into the present to inform the person we’re becoming today. In this way, we can consciously participate in our own evolution.

Many of us have tried to meditate but stopped when we become bored or frustrated. Try resting your mind on a single point or object of focus. The Laika developed a form of meditation called Stopping the World. They inhale and follow their breath into their body, exhale, and follow their breath to join the mountains and the wind. Eventually they become their breath and are able to ride the wind anywhere they chose, to visit in their imagination the four corners of the world.

Try this:

Sit in a darkened room with a small candle lit before you. As you gaze at the candle, note that your awareness is like the flame, darting here and there, blown first in one direction and then another.

Invite your mind to be the observer as you focus on your in-breath. Find the space at the top of the breath where the lungs are comfortably full and pause there for an instant, silently saying “I am…”

As you exhale, notice how your breath stirs the flame ever so slightly. Release all the air in your lungs, and at the bottom of the breath, pause for an instant and silently say “My breath…

I am my breath.”

Continue the exercise for five minutes. As you become more comfortable sitting still, you will gradually increase the duration of your inhalation and your exhalation.

Research has shown that meditation results in longer telomeres, the end-caps of chromosomes that protect the integrity of DNA and determine health and longevity. Just as stress switches on the genes that create cardiovascular disease and cancer, the serenity of meditation switches on the genes for a long and healthy life.