As we face the challenges of the times, at both the personal and global level, we need effective tools and methods to deal with day-to-day issues. These solutions need to help in the present and last into the future.
We want to heal our planet. Understanding the interconnectedness of all life on earth, we are alert to the dangers that modernization has posed to our planet and its resources. Public awareness has given birth to numerous groups actively seeking to heal the world. These awareness groups are changing public thinking, but this change is coming slowly. Modifying the habits of others takes years and even decades.
I propose a simpler, quicker and more effective solution to healing the planet. Let us look at the problem from a different angle. If we wish to heal our planet, we must heal ourselves. We may not be able to change another person in weeks, years, or even a lifetime, but we can change ourselves immediately. If each person healed himself or herself, the effect would be monumental. One person could inspire others to do the same. Like a wave, the effect would spread, bathing the world in healing waters.
The word “healing” involves making us whole in all aspects of our life: body, mind and soul. Healing involves eliminating disease. “Dis-ease” is not being at ease. We are not at ease physically because of various medical conditions. We are not at ease mentally due to problems at our job, in our homes, in our community, or at the emotional and psychological level. We are not at ease spiritually because we have questions regarding our soul and the Creator, our purpose in life, and what happens after death. Until we find answers, our soul is restless. Thus, to heal ourselves, we need to remove the “dis-ease,” to put us “at ease” physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Healing Our Body and Mind
Scientists and medical researchers are working intensely to find cures for many diseases. Some are studying our genetic make-up for solutions. However, to claim that we can eliminate illness is unrealistic. What can be done is learn how to ensure the optimum performance of the body and reduce our suffering when we face a medical and emotional challenge.
Let us take a good look at our own lives. If we want others to live a healthier lifestyle, then we should first do so ourselves. If we give up harmful substances, eat healthy foods, safeguard against habits that spread disease, and keep the body fit, then our example will convey a stronger message to others than preaching to them.
Doctors and medical researchers have discovered another dimension to personal health. They have learned that stress plays a vital role in health. Stress causes a breakdown of our immune system and opens the door to ailments. It interferes with the healthy functioning of some bodily systems required to resist disease. Stress activates the “fight or flight” response causing biochemical reactions in the body. Under stress, certain hormones are released, which cause the heart to beat faster and blood pressure to rise. Messages from the brain prepare the body to protect itself.
Whether there is true physical danger or only mental or emotional stress, these hormones circulate through the system. A ready-alert system originally intended to help us escape physical harm through running or fighting becomes activated even in the presence of day-to-day situations that do not pose any threat to our lives. Thus, the body is in a state of stress in response to fear and threat even in situations that are only problems for the mind.
Healing our mind refers to having healthier reactions to problems affecting our thinking and emotions. In modern societies, stress is mostly mental rather than physical. Many jobs involve computers, machines, and technological advances that do not require strenuous physical activity. Thus, challenges at work are mostly at the mental level and involve working with others. This requires us to find agreement with those having different opinions and ideas than we have. We often protect the mental territory of our own ideas with as much defensiveness and force as we would our physical property. Thus, when we feel threatened by someone else’s ideas, decisions, or power at a mental level, we go into our fight-or-flight mode as if being physically attacked. The result is a stress response that leads to physiological reactions. This continual fear and stress can cause painful emotional problems.
Eliminating stress does not mean we can eliminate life’s problems. However, we can control our unhealthy responses to those problems. Meditation provides a defense system against stress. Rather than stimulating the physiological reactions of stress, it slows the heart beat and relaxes the body and mind.
If we become habituated to meditation, we may call on that same calming response when in difficult situations. Rather than reacting immediately, we can take a moment of silent meditation. Even with open eyes we can put ourselves into a meditative state when in the midst of a tense situation. If we learned to meditate and applied it to daily challenges, we would be more peaceful and effective in all we do.
Furthermore, the joy we have in meditation lingers long after we emerge from our sitting. It can stay with us all day. Thus, while our mind engages in work, we have an underlying peace that guides our thoughts, words, and deeds. We can then act from a higher place of peace and calm, remaining undisturbed by life’s problems. Rather than being drowned by sorrows, we can drink from life’s joys and blessings.
Healing Our Soul and the World
The soul is naturally whole and healthy. It lives in a state of bliss and love. What is unhealthy is that we have forgotten the soul. What causes us “dis-ease” is obliviousness to who we are as souls. Instead, we identify with our mind, body, and the world so much that we have lost sight of our true essence, our spiritual side.
Being disconnected from our inner core, or soul, causes us pain. The pain may manifest as a continual restlessness for something of which we are not aware. We rush around trying to find happiness in outer pursuits and are confused when the satisfaction that we thought we would gain eludes us. We know something is missing, yet we know not what it is. What we are searching for is already within us. That which can bring us happiness is our soul.
There is a simple solution to help us recognize ourselves as souls and function as whole human beings. That technique is to connect with our soul through meditation. As meditation reduces stress to heal our body and mind, its greatest benefit is to put us in touch with our essential core.
In the stillness of meditation, we withdraw our attention from thoughts of the world, body and mind to experience our soul. Through identifying with the soul, we perceive through our spiritual awareness. A whole new world opens up. Immersed in an inner dimension, we perceive a realm of Light, love and inner Music. Through further absorption in these inner manifestations, the soul experiences states described in the scriptures of various religions. It enters a realm of Light and Celestial Harmony, and we find answers to those questions that perplexed us throughout our life.
We understand that we are more than the body and mind; we are souls, filled with spiritual gifts far more valuable than any in this world. We are at peace because we learn the answers to the mysteries of life and death and know that we will survive beyond the demise of our physical body.
Through meditation, we light our own lamp. We then can radiate our light to others and accelerate the process by which the whole world can be illumined. By healing ourselves, we speed up the rate at which the world can be healed. Let us discover the peace and bliss within so that our pains and wounds can be soothed, and we can contribute to the healing of the world.
Instructions for Jyoti Meditation:
To meditate, find a quiet spot and sit in any pose that is comfortable. Meditation is a process whereby we withdraw our attention from the outer world and concentrate it at the seat of the soul. We should close our eyes gently and look straight ahead, focusing our attention in the middle of the darkness lying in front of us. That which sees the darkness is not our physical eyes, but is the third or single eye located between and behind the eyebrows. Continue to gaze into the middle of whatever lies in front, and repeat silently and mentally any name of God. This repetition will keep the mind occupied and prevent it from wandering. When Light or inner vistas appear, keep the attention focused. As we meditate, we begin to experience the reservoir of peace within, and we are able to spread this peace to others.
Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj will speak on “Lasting Peace and Happiness” and “Unfold Spiritual Secrets,” followed by meditation instructions at 2:30 p.m. July 10 at the Hindu Temple in Maple Grove and 2:30 p.m. July 11 at St. Paul Crowne Plaza Riverfront Hotel. For more information, contact Arvind Naik or Tom Samsel at 651.472.5071 or email [email protected].