Truth Through Action

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” ~ Brené Brown

6705-water-lilies-purple-lotus

We are all searching for some tangible sense of contentment, happiness, and truth that helps us to understand the life that we are all collectively living. Of course, there are numerous paradigms that we prescribe to for various reasons, as a means of searching for something greater than ourselves. The question I have, is what stops us from really practising what we believe; really being the energy of what we speak and write. This is why, I only write about subjects that I am experiencing through my own actions; rather than just write about all of the health, philosophical, or holistic concepts that I have spent a considerable amount of time studying. I find tranquility through: simplicity, awareness, and working each day to really practice what I deeply believe within the teachings that I follow on a holistic level. The daily health and holistic advice that I give to others, has come about not only through the years of theoretical training, but also a lifetime of experience and observing how these aspects affect the human body, mind, and spirit.

In my own life, I have been interested in many aspects of spirituality, philosophy, and understanding the human condition. However, one thing that I have always done is to find some level of awareness and observation. I try to be observant of my environment, through watching others and the related dynamics that ensure, including my own actions. Through this process, I have seen time and time again how easy it is to write or speak words of various meanings, yet unless you can fully embody what you believe through these truths; it becomes meaningless to repeat such things to others. Inevitable, it does not matter what or how much you know, if it’s not transfered through your actions, it profoundly lacks any real meaning.

I felt inspired to write on this subject, as I tend to read numerous articles and blogs on health and spirituality. In addition, I tend to spend time with many people who are trying to find meaning in these two areas. I notice time and time again, we as individuals don’t practice what we deeply believe, on a large scale. Yes, there are many people who do make a huge effort and their truth is easily seen through all of their actions. However, I have witnesses people who are spiritual seekers, yet still their actions are not in direct correlation with what they inevitably believe. This phenomena is very prevalent, where most people create their own ideologies around others, allowing them excuses to treat others poorly or wreak havoc on someone else’s life through creative gossip and untruths.

Through such experiences, I find a sense of incredible resolve to focus on developing greater levels of awareness and not inflicting harm into my environment. Inevitable, it is only through our own actions that we should be concerned, even if someone else is at fault or has done the wrong action and you are the one blamed, for your reaction – to their poor action. Still, you must continue to bring the awareness back to your own actions; this is true self empowerment and will make your life much more authentic, transparent, and honest. Thus, bringing a congruence with your thoughts and beliefs, aligning these with all of your actions.

Often, it is through our greatest suffering that we make the greatest effort to change, or through our witness of someone else’s very destructive patterns that have touched our lives. If you witness others behaving in ways that are based on poor judgment; remember that action will ONLY ever harm them.

The real reality is that what we believe is inevitably conveyed through our actions, regardless of what we think or say; if we are not able to convey these into action, then we have a lot of work to do. As many of us know, this can pertain to anything, from negative mental and emotional patterns that we constantly play out in our minds, to cruel and destructive tendencies that we justify to ourselves. The truth is that regardless of who someone is or how they behave, no one deserves to be treated poorly. Moreover, if we find ourselves treating another person poorly because of what someone else has told us through their transfer of hate; we should be very cautious with our actions by taking on someone else’s issue, which may not even be a real phenomena.

In our society, we as a collective love to discriminate against others and demonize them, even if it’s to justify our own self created ideas.

Inevitably, each negative action that has come to slice through my life; I have become much more diligent with my own transformation, focusing on trying very hard not to be this way myself. In addition, we must become more aware of our actions and the consequences that follow. If we have contributed to some harm, due to our actions, the most benevolent role to play is to take accountability and do your best to amend the action. It takes a certain level of self honesty to really find a sense of self awareness. Even though I make an effort to attempt to be more and more aware and be mindful of my own actions, I also make many mistakes. The thing that I am trying to convey is the importance of having this awareness, thus making our lives an expression of who we are and what we believe, seen through the quiet simplicity of our actions.

The most powerful truth is only see through action, this is something we see with the Mahatma’s (great saints) of the world. Their actions are completely in alignment with the universal truth, there is no hypocrisy. All of us can practice some level of truth through repeatedly invoking them within all of our actions. By becoming more observant of our own actions, we can mediate them as we go along to become more harmonious with the universal truth. I find that one of the most motivating factors, as discussed above is to become aware of the actions from others that we have found painful and try very hard not to inflict those onto other people. If we find ourselves in the process of doing this, we always have the chance to retract our steps and make amends. This is my ongoing practice that requires tremendous patience and self forgiveness, to continue practising. Self forgiveness, when our actions are not in harmony with peace and love and inflict harm onto another; to become aware of this and try and correct this action. If we make the effort, it’s really amazing how we can find greater inner peace, love, and harmony in our relationships.

Copyright © All Rights Reserved 2015

Advertisements

Into The Stillness

“Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found.” Pema Chodron

Lotus_Flower_IMG_1463-375X450

Like all of us searching for a life of meaning and inspiration, there have been many times in my life where I have found a sense of deep joy; despite there being many factors in my life that would instead, compel a sense of unhappiness. As we all have realized in life, happiness is not dependent on our external circumstance. Of course, there are numerous connections that we experience where we are intrinsically tied to some event or shared experience with another that makes us feel happiness.

However, the truth of the matter is that regardless of our ability to see the external experience as bringing us joy, or if we can feel that the joy was actually already there. The reason that we were able to perceive this sense of happiness, that already existed within us, is that we were able to focus our minds on the present moment to such a degree that we experience a slowing of the mind. Similarly, when we invoke any kind of meditative, spiritual practice, or anything that allows us to use extreme focus, bringing our minds more to the present moment with a concentrated focus. It is during this silencing of the mind that we can tap into the inner joy that exists within all of us and is not dependent on any external stimuli.

I came to realize this experience through spending most of my life doing hatha yoga. This practice has fluctuated in my life, since I started almost thirty years ago, despite the fact that I am only forty years old. Yet, something has remained consistent, the deep inner peace generated. I noticed this when I was very young, through holding each asana for a duration of time, I would experience a deep sense of peace. Now, I don’t hold any posture for long, yet feel plunged into the present moment with each asana, each breath is a mantra and the focus becomes very concentrated. Through this practice, there is a bubbling of such inner joy, its like a warmth that spreads throughout my being, delivering a deep inner peace and contentment.

Most of us who have tried doing yoga maybe have not felt this type of experience. There are many reasons for this, the most obvious is that most of us go to classes, where our attention is very much outwardly directed. The second, is that the focus on proper posture has overtaken the body culture, that yoga has always been in the West. Proper posture is important, yet there are many schools of yoga that focus to such a degree on posture, it actually takes you completely away from the internal experience.

Despite having started doing yoga in the late 80’s, including going to classes in the early 90’s, my first opportunity to properly study Yoga was in India in 1997 when I did my teachers training at the Sivananda Ashram in Kerala South India. Since this time I have continued to study with numerous well known teachers who specialize in various styles. Currently I do a combination of postures that have some Iyengar with a very energetic focus on the breath, using mantras for each inhale and each exhale.

This practice is very physical, yet allows the practitioner to go within to such a degree that your awareness can exist physically and energetically. However, doing any practice is a cumulation of repetitions that generates a specific energetic result. Each posture, like continuously chanting the same mantra, invokes a certain energetic response. Thus, the more one practices doing asana the more power the energetic experience one will have. The most important aspect of any practice is to allow our minds to slow down, where we can experience a deeper sense of inner peace and happiness.

When we can just let go of our self imposed ideas on what ‘mood’ we should assume, based on the day’s events. If we can just allow ourselves a small moment of being in the present moment; all possibilities open up and we realize that we can experience happiness and inner peace, regardless of what preconceived stress and ‘suffering’ we may be enduring.

The human mind is a very unpredictable aspect of our human experience, thus no one is static and perfected in any idealistic way. Thus, through the storm, we can find ways of experiencing peace and joy, even while we are surfing the eye of the hurricane. Inevitable, something inextricably amazing may be waiting right around the corner for us.

It has been my experience in life that if we cling too hard or long to painful experiences, we miss out on the beautiful gifts that are waiting for us to discover them. Thus, the goal of doing any spiritual practice or self improvement, is to move beyond extreme reaction, to have more equanimity, where we can experience suffering, yet allow it to be released; to make space for joy. Through our practices, may we find deep inner peace and joy.

Copyright © All Rights Reserved 2014

The Concept of Holistic

“Health is the proper relationship between microcosm, which is man, and the macrocosm, which is the universe. Disease is a disruption of this relationship.” ~Dr. Yeshe Donden

Image

I actually went to see Dr. Yeshe Donden when I was in McLeodganj, North India several times, which is where the Dalai Lama’s main residence is located. It was an awe inspiring experience to have a consultation from him, as through taking your pulse and looking into the iris of your eyes he can tell everything that is wrong with your physical body, as well as every disease or accident you have ever had. I mention this in light of the fact that he never asked me any questions, yet knew exactly what was imbalanced within my body. Dr. Yeshe Donden is a master of Tibetan Medicine, he has lived as a Tibetan monk his entire life, and all of his consultations are free. He is someone who truly embodies the holistic paradigm of treating his patients, as his understanding of the patient goes far beyond merely the physical body.

In light of using such a revered person as Dr. Yeshe Donden as an example of what constitutes holistic medicine, I am interested in defining my own conceptual understanding of what the word “Holistic” actually means.

In my opinion, ‘Holistic’ is a far more complex and abstract term than many people perceive it to be. For example, many people think that if you eat healthy organic food, do some yoga, and attempt to live a positive life you are living holistically. This is a poor understanding of what ‘holistic’ truly means. If you look at healing systems such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, prior to the British colonization of India and the Cultural Revolution in China, you will see a truly holistic system of living.

The ancient form of both TCM and Ayurveda were not to function as a medical system alone, but as a whole system for living the best life possible where your microcosmic self was in alignment with the macrocosmic universe. Both holistic systems exemplified ancient knowledge passed down generationally to allow humans to live in greater harmony with themselves and their environment, thus propelling their life towards a unity with the larger universal forces, known as the Tao (Universal Intelligence), or the Divine. Within this ancient paradigm there was no separation between our inner world and our outer world, it was perceived as being interconnected as unified within a large circular flowing whole.

The ancient understanding of uniting and harmonizing your own microcosmic self with the universal macrocosmic is a profound and very abstract concept for most people to truly understand. It is difficult to comprehend mainly because all industrialized nations exemplify a highly linear paradigm of thought that functions through intellect, categorization, and purely dissecting everything through the philosophy of Cartesian dualism, the founding father of Western sciences and allopathic medicines theoretical background.

Few of us live in an experiential paradigm of life that is truly holistic, where the understanding of life is in a circular whole that supports, reinforces, and returns to the source as a single unit of wholeness. Although, today both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda are taught in a highly Westernized dynamic, no longer resembling their original power, strength, and wholeness. Thus, its noteworthy to mention that the idea of a medical system that is a circular whole, seems a concept most people have difficulty grasping, since our minds are conditioned to dissect everything down to smaller components of rationale, to fit into our perceived paradigm of conceptual understanding.

However, to understand the ‘whole’ you can not fragment it into smaller components to truly understand the overall concept, you must fully embrace the entirety of it all. Having stated the latter, to really understand the ‘whole’ as a concept it takes tremendous time and a deeper inner reflection of how one perceives the dynamic capacity and flow of life. Hence, it takes a certain amount of inner reflexivity to slowly absorb the concept of holism into our fragmented intellectually conditioned minds. In addition, the concept of ‘holistic’ can be seen in the lives of a few groups of people living in less industrialized nations or groups of people who still function as a community of individuals that are consciously interdependent with the earth’s precious resources, knowing that the effects of nature will in turn affect their own wellbeing and livelihood.

In addition, historically throughout the world there used to be a universal understanding that the natural world had its own energy and power that must be respected and kept in a harmonious and balanced state. Today, there are still a few groups of people in the world who maintain and preserved this understanding, where there are individuals within the society who perform ceremonies to maintain the harmony of the natural world, within the human, and spiritual reals of existence.

In this day and age, few of us are connected to our natural environment, nor to our larger community of individuals; rather we are highly segregated and cut off from the natural world, from our cultural dynamics of our society (especially in the West), and even from our own families. When we are living such highly fragmented lives, disconnected even from ourselves let alone a larger community it becomes problematic to embody a holistic lifestyle.

It is only when we can embody a greater sense of equilibrium and harmony on an inner level, that we can have a much greater sense of awareness to perceive our interconnection with the world we are living in and all of the other beings who are also living within this world. In essence, this is holistic living, to have the capacity to continuously embody enough awareness that we begin to understand that our actions and lifestyle choices not only affect us, but other people, animals, and essentially all of nature that also share this world with us.

It has been my experience, mainly from my childhood of living in a rural environment that I experientially feel inextricably interconnected to the natural world. The experience of feeling this connection is not something that can always be intellectually analyzed, its a sensation, a knowing, and a feeling of when in nature that it exists as a unified capacity with all of us. Therefore, it is this understanding that forms the foundation to my understanding of what the word ‘holistic’ constitutes, through feeling interconnected to something greater than our own sense of selves that is not just physical, like nature, but also spiritual in essence. Hence, the unification of our microcosmic self to the macrocosmic universe is the striving goal that we all carry within our human capacity to embody a holistic life of living as a unified whole.

© All Rights Reserved 2013