Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Art Of Healing

"The most divine art is that of healing.
If the healing art is most divine,
It must occupy itself with the spirit
As well as with the body -
For no creature can be so sound
So long as the higher part is sickly."

Appolonius of Tyana

What does it mean to heal? For most of us, healing is an external process - visiting someone who is an expert in the particular area in which we feel pain or discomfort. We put our bodies and hearts into trusting these experts, hoping that their knowledge and experience will relieve our problems.

We know that something in our bodies is amiss, and with the experts'  guidance, follow a regimen which takes us from illness to health. An operation, procedure, and medication are our weapons against the challenge that we face.

But, we miss something important in this externalization. We forget, or perhaps never knew, our our own innate healing abilities.

There is an interplay in each of us - a balance - hot/cold, hard/soft, tense/relaxed. A thought in the mind affects a muscle in the body. A pain in the body creates fear in the heart. The fear in the heart sends the mind racing. It is a challenge to remain calm while we are feeling pain, a challenge to relax our bodies when our minds are shuffling through the myriad of possibilities - is it this, or that, or what?

Back and forth, brains strain bodies, bodies respond, emotions bound all over the place. We look around and see a variety of diseases and conditions, and wonder, "What's going on? Why are so many people getting sick?"

Even when "healing" is taking place, it comes from an external source, a drug, a procedure, a "fix." We have forgotten our own power and perhaps never even thought about it. Western culture spends precious little time nurturing and training us in personal power. Sure, we use the term, but it is associated with running a marathon or enduring a Tough Mudder.

We are all cells in one gigantic organism
In which you can’t draw an artificial boundary any more.
Between inside and outside, visible and invisible,
Between psychology, emotion, intent and even words and actions,
Because we affect each other, responsibilities follow.
Larry Dossey, MD

The REAL cultivation is both deep and subtle. As we practice, we barely notice. We ask, "What are we doing this for? How can this possibly make a difference? How will this help my heart/kidney/lung?"

Each of us is a universe. We are comprised of trillions of cells. Each cell is comprised of molecules, which are all comprised of atoms. Each atom is comprised of atomic particles.

So, how does your practice affect your heart/kidney/lung? What do you think they are made of? Are the electrons in your knee different from the ones in your stomach? Are the protons in your liver behaving differently than the ones in your esophagus?

I've moved from talking about the gross physical body to the subtle physical body. From muscle, to cell, to molecule, to particle. One thing is certain - Everything is Energy.

Let's heal at the energetic level. Each particle vibrates, and as they vibrate in unison, blood, nerves, hearts, brains, and all the rest, develop and evolve.Our healing must begin at the deepest level - energy transforms our bodies in their entirety - far more potent than just giving a pill to thin the blood.
This energy is called Chi, Ki, Lifeforce, Pneuma, Prana. Many cultures throughout history have recognized this energy, and based their healing practices on it. If we think of atomic particles, we realize that all energy, at its core, is the same. It is the arrangement that creates variety. It is our INTENT that brings purpose and creates action.

"If the art of shipbuilding were in the wood, then we would have ships by nature."

Healing begins with Intention, moves through Process, and manifests in Transformation and Restoration.When we are ill, our Chi is in a state of disarray. Practice that cultivates and balances Chi is the foundation for restoring improving overall health.

Don't discount those minutes of deep, mindful breathing. Don't scoff at the slow, graceful movements of your arms. Don't skip the weight-shifting practices, slow knee bends, and spine stretches.
  • Each time you engage in a practice, set a Healing Intention before you begin. Make the intention very clear and specific. If you are in good health, set an intention to be grateful for that health, and commit to doing everything to maintain it. If you are not feeling well, or are facing a a major health challenge, set a healing intention that is Specific, Concrete, and Observable.
"My knees are pain-free and supple."
"Arthritis is easing out of my body."
"Cancer cells are being released from my body each time I exhale."
  • Keep the Intention current - not "I will" but rather "It Is."
  • Breath move Chi - Chi moves the body. KNOW that each inhalation is an act of healing. KNOW that each exhalation is an act of cleansing.
  • Bring the inner Chi into alignment with Universal Chi. Begin to experience the easy flow of breath, and then go deeper. Concentrate on one organ at a time. Take 3 breaths for each organ, moving from one to another throughout the body. Then, concentrate on each system: nervous, circulatory, digestive, reproductive, excretory.
  • Experience your skin. Feel the air and your clothes touching it. Be fully aware of your face, the tension in the muscles, and begin to relax them.
  • Put yourself into a state of Already Healed. Bring a look of peace, contentment, and joy to your face. Feel strength, courage, and certainty in your heart.
This is vitally important, healing work. Don't skirt it. It is as necessary and valuable as any other obligation that you have.

Set aside 15 minutes twice each day for this. After one week, start to increase the duration by a few minutes, every few days, until you reach 30 minutes of sitting in Mindful Healing.

Click here for a simple, heart-centered meditation.

You think that you don't have 30 minutes?
We all drop minutes all over the place. E-Mail, Facebook, text messaging, family, job, chores...

Set Aside The Time
Turn Off The Phone
Be Away From The Computer

Mindful Healing. Every day.

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