This question often confuses people, as they believe that they need to choose between these two options. Then they can’t choose and get stuck or they do choose and miss out on one or the other opportunity. It is a simple yet also somehow complicated question, so I am afraid my attempt to shine some light on it turned out to be rather lengthy – which surprised me as well. So take your time in reading this.
In current mainstream culture many people bring their problems to a doctor or therapist and expect them to just prescribe a pill or to “do their thing” so they can get on with their lives. The people I see as a healer are usually more aware of the need to also question their lives, but still I get people for example with a severe backache who come every few months for healing, but still continue to live such a stressful life only for the sake of their ambitions. And I tell them every time that one day the healing power won’t be enough if they don’t make a change. I am sometimes tempted but not allowed to refuse a healing - unless the healing energies tell me it is not a good idea, which is rare.
It may be equally rare to find a disease or mental imbalance that can be entirely cured without requiring any change from the patient. Problems usually never purely come from the outside – there is always a connection to the inside, long or short term karmic effects. Peoples’ lives, thoughts and feelings created the imbalance, which then manifests as a syndrome, which is nothing but a set of symptoms. Then these syndromes are given names as diseases and so they are externalized. Doctors will say we have “caught” the flue, cancer, an auto-immunity based inflammation or a bipolar personality. While those are just symbols of an imbalance in ourselves, which invited these symptoms. And maybe antibiotics can remove the current symptoms, but they will also push the imbalance into producing other symptoms, often more severe.
Except for some really bad habits maybe, you are not to blame yourself for the imbalance that leads to these symptoms. All too often it lies beyond your current understanding or control. But that also means that you are responsible somehow or other to gain what is needed to make a change. Many imbalances in attitude, habits, life style or food & drink can easily be changed, when people take proper responsibility for their own well-being. For some, even the very idea that they might be themselves in part responsible for their problems is too heavy to bear. But these days many are willing and able to live more mentally and physically healthier lives, even if it sometimes just ads to the overload of projects. We then find however that there are also many things in ourselves that make changing our lifestyle or diet or way of thinking, feeling and interacting difficult. These blockages come in the form of habits, attachments, addictions, neuro-emotional patterns, old triggers and feedback loops. And that these things do not only limit our freedom in making more healthy choices, but are also in themselves causes of the imbalances that produce the symptoms known as disease or habitual unhappiness.
Habitual anger is related to vascular diseases, stomach aches and ulcers, skin problems, nerve pains, liver malfunction… Prolonged sadness lowers our immunity against infectious diseases, causes all kinds of mucous imbalances and takes away our vitality. Endless worrying also affects our immunity, causes many respiratory diseases and imbalances our nerves and digestive system. Depressive feelings cause unhealthy addictions and also auto-intoxication, produce cysts and cancers, lead to constipation (the mother of all diseases in Ayurveda) and blood diseases. Have I not covered most common diseases just now ? To quote Nobel-prize winner Candace Pert : “I’ve come to believe that virtually all illness, if not psychosomatic in foundation, has a definite psychosomatic component.”. And of course, these unpleasant feelings in themselves are even more common in simply creating unhappiness for people than are the resulting diseases. Health and happiness go together.
So the seekers that have come this far in their view of themselves and their problems, are trying very hard to become more emotionally balanced. They also quit overly much blaming any others and are going inside to start the true process of self-healing. And then some emotional issues are more easily solved than expected, just taking some thinking, some breathing, some talking or purifying herbs maybe and often some discipline and forceful detachment. Yet others seem near impossible to resolve, because when triggered the emotion appears to come out of nowhere, invading with brute force the sea of loving calmness that we try to maintain. We can soften the edges, find ways to manage, try acceptance or invoke the healing breath in an emergency, yet still we cannot say to have made any real change. It will clearly take time, attention and effort.
At some point, we then recognize that these feelings that seem to come “out of nowhere” actually originate with the subconscious, aka the soul. They come from that place where we cannot consciously go, usually. We realize that we all have the responsibility of a blind man walking around in the dark. We can’t be blamed to stumble or run into a wall and yet we are responsible to move forward. What can we see behind our own eyes in the mirror ? We have to learn to truly go inside, which is the objective of meditation, and let the pure light of our consciousness shine there. So that finally we can see and resolve those subconscious blockages in meditation and life itself. We all have blockages, whether they are more pressing or not. We all are in this process of spiritual growth called yoga, awakening or self-healing. Even if we feel quite ok at this phase in our lives, we all need further healing or balancing.
Sometimes the task seems impossible doesn’t it ? Sometimes people feel that the pain only increases and that this awakening is a dark journey without light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes we are truly successful in making a deepfelt change that makes many things possible. Until after a while somehow the next bit of disturbed energy emerges from our soul and we feel again as if we have learned nothing. Which is not true, as spiritual growth is a step by step process with many mysterious layers to unravel. We are learning and growing every second of every day. All we need is patience and a sufficient level of self-love and self-confidence to keep us going.
During this process, there may be moments with good reason to accept help. Which does not mean you can avoid your own responsibility in healing yourself. To get the help you need is part of that responsibility. You are not alone in this struggle, because we are all in the same boat, somehow or other. We are all having similar problems. Humanity is – in part – also solving these things together. That thing that you are trying to let go may be attached to more parts of you than you can even imagine. The herbalist, the osteopath, the therapist, the dietist, the acupuncturist, the spiritual healer or soul worker and so many kinds of healers have skills and understanding on those very parts that are reasonably impossible for one person to master. The diverse kinds of help that they have on offer are clearly to be seen as complementary to each other, and not in the least to your own efforts. There is light at the end of your tunnel, and helping hands along the way. Accept those hands while moving forward.
The main moment to reach out for help is when you feel either that there is nothing more to do but to stick to acceptance, or when you feel totally overloaded, unable to manage. That is often a matter of circumstance aka karma. Sometimes we feel like a barely budded lotus flower stuck in the mud, with the light above the troubled water surface all too far away. Sometimes we feel progress is impossible because we are too much involved with trying to simply function or put up an appearance at least. Sometimes we feel to have tried everything, with no game-changing result. Then why keep putting all the responsibility if not blame on our own shoulders ? When that homeopath’s one pill will have made such a huge difference (happened to me really, just one), when that bodyworker’s touch removes a pain that almost felt like having become a part of you (oh yeah) or when that spiritual healer suddenly lifts that heaviness weighing on your heart (yes, been there many times), then the rest is still up to you. There will be enough left for you to do.
Skilled healers of any kind can really only help you forward by removing some or other blockage that literally blocks you from moving further. It buys you some time, with more energy, more balance and some better understanding maybe, allowing you to pursue the self-healing process. Don’t let it fool you in offering anything more than that, don’t get lazy. Neither get stuck in the belief that nobody should help you. You are not separate. We are one. Don’t get stuck in totally needless confusion about getting healing somewhere or healing yourself. They are one.
The spiritual healing that I offer is based on the shamanic Tantric tradition of Nepal, which is also where my healing energies originate. I am so grateful for their unique help in removing blockages that are related to the subconscious, the very soul of people and its relationship to the spiritual world. For those that are open to it, I also offer further guidance on the path of self-healing. My experience with diverse yoga & meditation practices, as well as with emotional balancing through the rasas or emotional essences, is at your service. This way, the release created by the healing may be put to the best possible use in restoring balance and growth.
Leela is the ancient vedic name for the theater of life. Life in all its forms is an illusion behind which we can find the ultimate truth of pure Being. Yet life is also a divine theater, a spiritual game played by us, the actors. Yoga allows us to hold on to the bliss of truth while playing the game. And also this yoga is a game, which we can only take seriously if we do not take ourselves and this game too seriously. That is the meaning of Leela Yoga, nothing more, nothing less. So, Leela Yoga is a vision on yoga and also a name for a simple organisation that allows me to bring this vision into practice... more about Leela Yoga & Peter Marchand
Belgium : www.leela-yoga.be
New book : www.tantricadvaita.org
Harish Johari students sangha : www.sanatansociety.org
|in sweet memory
of Harish Johari
As the destination is the same for all, it is easy to make the error of assuming that the path must be just as universal.
The attachment that happens in the pursuit of happiness is the main source of unhappiness.
Don't think of going somewhere, because this somewhere will come along with you wherever you go, as you are already there.
Yoga requires unity between enjoyment and suffering, between bhoga and yoga, even between attachment and detachment.
How can anyone be "good" without a choice between good and bad?
While the mind creates the illusion of the universe through the senses, the intellect creates the illusion of understanding it.
When our day has been entirely ego-centered, then our meditation will probably have similar poor quality.
When the focus on the self is held strongly enough, the flow of kundalini energy happens on its own, naturally.
Tiptoe inside, don't make a sound, don't scare away that which cannot be found.
Enlightenment is nothing more or less than the final level of the game of life.