Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Healing the Healer Within (part one of two)

The world works in cycles of activity and rest. Just as the sun rises and sets, the year waxes and wanes from Spring to Autumn, we wake in the morning and rest in the evening. As in the outer world, Spring and Autumn, day and night, there are great and small cycles, so too are there great and small cycles in our lives. These cycles of activity and rest are critical for all of us, especially for those who wish to accomplish some great work, like healing. To be an effective healer we too must be mindful of these cycles in our own lives. Healers have great responsibility and must take on great endeavors, going outward, exploring, growing and benefiting others. But healers must always remember to return to themselves, nourish themselves, empty their minds and rest. With this balance healers can accomplish great things.
With proper nourishment and cultivation in periods of rest we can be responsive in tense situation as opposed to reactionary. If we have cultivated a proper detachment from the fleeting emotions that arise in our minds then we will respond from a space of effective freedom just beneath our surface reactions. From here we will have true insight into the nature of things. This is how we can provide some lasting benefit. With this right action, right response, we can truly heal.
This right action is rooted in proper rest, or proper cultivation. Instead of filling our time with various stimuli, we can take proper rest…sit with ourselves, live simply. This is why meditation is often called sitting. This sitting is the simplest and most important practical meditation we can do. To simply sit, nothing more, nothing less, is very important. Knowing when to sit and when to return to action is very important. Knowing where to sit and where to act is also very important. When we sit properly we can return to ourselves. And our mind can begin to settle like silt settles in a river after being disturbed. As the silt of our mind settles we can become more clear-minded. We can begin to see ways in which we should act properly and prepare for renewed work, renewed action with a settled mind. We can begin to see what is important and what our current life situation is asking from us. We can begin to enjoy and draw energy or inspiration from things around us… like looking at a clear landscape from a window, watching our pet cat or remembering the things we love about life, these things that we have sought in the past and how they have become manifest before us in the present. We can remember how we work best and how to organize our affairs in order to work that way again. In short, through proper rest, many unimportant thoughts and reactive habits can settle away leaving us with a clear view of our destiny in our current life situation.
From this proper rest we will be energized to remain in the proper way as we take action. Our clear vision from rest will remain with us as we face distractions and challenges in action. We will be less burdened by distracting, superficial, thoughts and emotions as they will have settled during rest. This will free up much energy that would have otherwise been expended chasing our tails around and around in our minds. This energy will emanate from us, into our work. We can put energy into working others, help them see how to disperse their own distractions, how to find their own clarity for self healing. We can see what it is we are supposed to do, with a clear mind. We can learn how it is we are supposed to act properly in each given situation.
There are many levels and forms of rest, for example the sun rests at dusk, the year rest in winter, and people rest in nightly sleep. In our daily lives when we begin to take on the habit of using rest wisely, we learn to restrain ourselves from expending our energy improperly. In this way we can learn to find moments of rest, great and small in heretofore unrecognized opportunities. We can find rest in various situations. For example when we refrain from talking when we have nothing to say, when we refrain from walking where we have no reason to go. This is the beginning of simplicity. This is what it means to truly have ‘priorities’. By practicing such restraint we will have energy for the things that truly matter, for the words that heal, or for the walking that takes us to our proper place. We will have time and energy for good food, because we will see that nutrition is a priority. We will restrain ourselves from arguing because we will not wish expend on our energy on such a fruitless endeavor.
As we keep practicing this restraint we find spaces of peace, opportunities for rest and cultivation even amidst chaos. Waiting until the proper time and place for action, we build up our energy until finally we find the time and place to speak or act appropriately, responding to our situation with deeper insight. When we avoid reactivity, avoid getting caught up in untimely and inappropriate entanglements, we create space for ourselves. This space is a free space from which we experience patience and equanimity. When we wait…cautiously, for our time to act we avoid putting ourselves in exhausting situations. When we act in this way we find more than enough energy for the actions for which we are destined. When we give our lives to only what we should do, avoiding deviations, we find that we have energy and strength for right action, for insightful response. This is healthy living. This is healing for the healers, so that they will be better able to truly heal others.
This same practice is important in monitoring our thoughts. When we learn to avoid continually cycling through inessential topics, we learn to maintain the capacity for thinking about the most important issues in our lives. For example, when we avoid continually busying ourselves thinking about celebrity divorces, or strategies for our favorite football team we can avoid expending our healing energy into unnecessary realms. If we use this thought energy to think about our bills, our meals, our loved ones and our relationships we can send our healing energy, our contemplative power into untying the knots of these issues...part two to follow

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