Skills for Healing and Spiritual Well-Being in a Materialistic World
Excerpts from a talk at 2010 Convocation by Brother Chidananda
Connecting to Divine health is the first skill. You can’t find these skills through the Internet. The world today tries to make us forget this. We need to go beyond information to find sacred knowledge. We need to find a way to access sacred knowledge. The world today is a very toxic environment. Environment is stronger than will power, but we can’t use this as an excuse because we won’t get anywhere. We can’t get caught up in victim consciousness—Our potential is vastly greater than we think.
Yoga teaches that it is the nervous system in our bodies that can be a barrier or a portal. It is up to us to choose. It’s not up to our environment. Brother asked why hospital workers don’t get diseases they are exposed to and he said it’s because their will is stronger—they are in the hospital but not of the hospital. Disease can’t take hold in a host that doesn’t accept it. Don’t permit disease to take a foot-hold. This is true of emotions too. Anything that creates a state of dis-ease. We usually think of toxins as physical but they can be so much more.
According to Guruji, there are three types of diseases:
1) physical: disease, dying;
2) mental: worry, fear, anger;
3) soul: ignorance of our true relationship with God.
According to Sri Yukteswar “wisdom is the greatest cleanser”. And cleanser is needed from too much immersion in the material world. We are constantly barraged by mass media with materialism unless we are actively discriminate. We need a spiritual technology that is more powerful than material technology. Inner warrior qualities are needed to fight materialism.
Yoga is that technology. By concentrating within we can access this infinite power and we can tune in with God’s power and resources. Don’t indiscriminately accept what the world offers. But with the science of yoga we can learn to make our nervous system transparent reflecting the light of the soul inside each one of us. This is the process of detoxing.
The nervous system is neither purely physical or emotional. Both mental and physical toxins affect the body as the body and mind are linked. Purifying can always have an effect on either type of toxin—they are in a symbiotic relationship. By keeping our emotional life calmer through meditation we will experience a better life and see a beneficial effect on the physical body.
The Fall 2007 issue of SRF magazine has an article by Guruji on healing: 1) exercise until the body breaks out in a light sweat; 2) stretching; 3) right diet; 4) periodic cleansing; 5) right posture; 6) breathing to purify the blood and clean the mind.
Brother started off by mentioning the classic “stress diet” Instructions for Stress Diet
1 slice whole wheat toast
8 oz. skim milk
4 oz. lean broiled chicken breast
1 cup steamed spinach
1 cup herb tea
1 Oreo cookie
The rest of Oreos in the package
2 pints Rocky Road ice cream, nuts, cherries and whipped cream
1 jar hot fudge sauce
2 loaves garlic bread
4 cans or 1 large pitcher Coke
1 large sausage, mushroom and cheese pizza
3 Snickers bars
LATE EVENING NEWS:
Entire frozen Sara Lee cheesecake (eaten directly from freezer)
If your health permits it do a cleansing diet. Bro. joked that “after 40 you can be your own doctor or your own enemy.” If you can do a 9 day cleansing diet, it will add to your even-mindedness and meditation. Purification (the stopping of grossness) is one of the spiritual skills for manifesting the nervous system. All religions teach this: lent and Ramadan were two examples given.
Observe the Sabbath. This doesn’t have to be on a particular day. Spend the day deepening your sadhana. Have a long meditation, fast, introspect, read Guruji’s writings. Recharge your mental, physical and spiritual batteries for the week ahead. Discourse 32 in The Second Coming of Christ discusses the Sabbath. Gradually the nervous system will become more and more transparent.
How can we restore transparency over the nervous system. Sri Daya Mata (whose name means mother of compassion) and Brother Premamoy (whose name means the monk who is permeated with divine love) were two of Brother’s spiritual advisors. The talked about the amount of loving kindness you express in daily life. It determines how advanced you are on the path to progressing spiritually. The essence of compassion lies in the recognition of how hard it is to be good.
The source of emotional toxins comes from a lack of love and compassion. Instead of dealing with these toxins, we project them outward to others and create toxic environments. According to Guruji, when you see others as souls you can break the cycle of pain. See the divine soul in every person and then you will begin to see the divine in yourself. Brother quoted Emerson: “If we meet no Gods without, it’s because we harbor none within.”
It’s easy to get discouraged on the path. We’re not stuck with the body and the personality that we have. Every 6 months every cell in our body is replaced. We are not static. We are constantly rebuilding; If we don’t like the pattern we have great ability to change.
Information is the level of reality that our waking consciousness deals with. Jesus said “take up your bed and walk.” This is the sacred knowledge—this is the higher level. The intellect cannot understand sacred knowledge. Sacred knowledge reorients the nervous system. I am made in the image of God.
"Wisdom is not assimilated with the eyes but with the atoms—not with your mind but with your being."— Sri Yukteswar.
Make a personal effort to assimilate ideas. Don’t crave quantity. The world encourages in us a craving for quantity and variety. Instead take our truths and practice one at a time and go deep into it. One of the downsides of our world is the sheer ease of finding information. Because of how much knowledge we have—we gain an indifference in divine subjects. We need to convert intellect to sacred knowledge.
Convert Intellectual Information to Sacred Knowledge
Convert intellectual information to sacred knowledge. Take prayer and affirmation after meditation. Affirm a statement, visualize it and affirm it. For example, when you pray “Father, Mother, Friend, etc.” pray it, affirm it, visualize it, feel it. This turns information into sacred knowledge—and this is how the healing begins. Healing begins with the sadhana of yoga.
See others as souls and treat them accordingly. Meditation is the dynamic connection to the source of true knowledge. We can change our identity from human to divine!
These notes are not an official publication of SRF. They were taken by the devotees during talks given by the monks and nuns. Please be aware that there is a degree of human error involved in taking and transcribing notes.