Healing Ourselves, Healing the World
The world that we are living in now needs healing—the healing qualities of positivity, silence, relaxation, care, compassion and cooperation.
We have daily reports in the news of people in pain, hunger and poverty, of killings, sickness and death. When negativity and greed tip the balance, the world becomes an unhealthy place to live, lacking the physical and spiritual resources to care for people. We often feel helpless and separate from the rest of humanity.
But remember that we are not separate beings and we can consciously access the will to bring healing forces into the world in which we live and into ourselves.
In the Tibetan tradition, there is an aspect of the Buddha called the medicine Buddha, who is meditated on to activate self-healing. This Buddha’s message is that our body has the capacity to cure itself from ailments. There is a healing spring deep inside that’s available, constantly available. It gives us the opportunity to transform our life, to turn it around, to do the inner work and make healing changes.
The Buddha’s promise is that we can find out what is in disharmony and bring it back into harmony.
Coming back to harmony. What does that mean?
Every person is unique, so there is no definite answer, but we can think of it as a sense of well-being, an ability to cope with life’s challenges and possibilities, an integration of the good and the bad, the easy and the difficult. We know we are in harmony when we are courageous enough to yield and yet know where we stand.
The yogic practices are a means of clearing the mind and body, giving us the strength to be ourselves. The practices stretch the mind to incorporate the aid of the divine forces to help, to inspire, to surround and protect us. The tools available are light, rest, silence, time, movement through the asanas, sound and vibration of mantra, your own imagination and the power of choice.
Most people want instant results, but the practices are not instant. The practices and reflections are sustaining and designed to mature the positive seeds of light within into a person that is truly human. It will be natural to be positive. It will be nourishing to be still.
Relationships can be harmonious. Inner development is a long-term remedy and the process of engaging in persevering spiritual practices will benefit ourselves and others.
As we begin on the path of healing, we will discover calm, focus and a clear mind to enable us to act from highest ideals. We can start using the knowledge we have with respect and gratitude. In a time of disharmony, can we remain there without fear? Can we help and serve others without fear? How are courage and faith established?
The power in healing is that even though we are in a painful situation, we don’t flinch. We incorporate, we embrace. As we live through these experiences we note the pain and our reactions. We can resolve to be clear, to learn and do our best in the situation. Whatever we can do to heal keeps the learning positive and supportive.
In doing so, we will gain a sense of victory and an understanding of what life is really about.
Yoga brings us to wholeness. The benefit of coming into health and wholeness through self-awareness is that we stop being just a body—needy, grasping, selfish—and become a living being in the process of gaining wisdom and compassion.
When you do everything in your power to keep your focus on the light and bring the light to each person in your life, then you are being responsible for your inner health and having a positive effect on those around you. The more positive view we can have, the more positive effects we can have on the world around us.
Practice: Spreading the Light
Light is a powerful symbol to send a positive feeling into the world, to people you know and love and to anyone who is in need. Here are three simple visualizations that can help you to connect with light.
1. Visualize your heart center and imagine a blue flame on an altar there. Take the flame and place it on the heads of friends or loved ones. Continue to other people in need of the Light.
2. In your mind’s eye focus on a dot of brilliant white Light. Let this spark of Light flood your mind, fill you entirely, ripple out to those who are close to you. Fill the place you are in, and spread it out to the community, the city, the country, continent, and to the whole world. See everyone and everything in the Light and then draw the Light back into the space between your eyebrows. Sit quietly.
3. Sit and see brilliant white light filling your spiritual heart center. Open to a sense of generosity and ask: What am I grateful for? Desire to give generously to someone in need. Know that the more you give, the more you receive.
Swami Radhananda is the spiritual director of Yasodhara Ashram in Kootenay Bay, BC, Canada. Appointed president of the Ashram in 1993 by her guru, Swami Radha, she carries forward the spirit of Swami Radha’s work with heart and integrity. As a longtime householder yogini, she has a special understanding of how to incorporate yoga and spiritual practice into daily life. With a specialization in educational consulting and a passion for adult learning, she has been instrumental in developing the Yasodhara yoga training programs. She has also successfully opened the way for young people to become involved in yoga through the Ashram’s Young Adult and Karma Yoga programs.
Under her stewardship, Yasodhara Ashram has thrived as a harmonious community built on the spirit of generosity and inclusion. Swami Radhananda encourages practitioners to live their yoga in daily life and to realize their potential through self-inquiry, service and devotion.Swami Radhananda is the author of a memoir about her time with Swami Radha, Carried by a Promise: A Life Transformed by Yoga, and a book of inspirational essays, Living the Practice. She teaches internationally.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise
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