“Good health is more than a state of not being ill. It is a radiant state of inner wellbeing. Physical illnesses may be cured by medicines. No medicine however can induce that state of boundless energy which comes when every cell in the body cooperates with the mind willingly, joyfully in all that it seeks to do. Such radiant wellbeing comes after the mind has been cleared of every shadow of unwillingness, of fear and of doubt when one has learned to say “yes” to life and when one has learned to love.”
– Affirmations for Self-Healing by Swami Kriyananda
When I was preparing for this topic and thinking about what want to say about good health, I was reading this in “Affirmations for Self-Healing” by Swami Kriyananda (in that photo). So unwillingness, fear and doubt are just negativity. I think what he’s saying there is that perfect health is our natural state and then what happens is that we add all this stuff. And it’s not necessarily intellectual, it’s not necessarily thought-based, but I think it’s experienced based. You know, right away when you’re like a little baby and you’re living life and a baby doesn’t have any limitations usually. It depends on their karma I guess, but in general when I think of an ignorant infant being in a way not ignorant because they feel like anything’s possible – they’re not afraid of fire, they’re not afraid of falling, everything is their own in a way and then unfortunately we have the roles of being parents and saying “No, no, no. Don’t go this way, go that way. Now it’s time to sleep, you have to take your nap because we have to get ready for that appointment or we’re seeing a friend.”
And we start taking on the belief that we have all these limitations. “I’ve got to do all these things that maybe I don’t want to do, but I need to do them to pay my bills or I need them to do them to please my parents or I need to do get the grade or the degree and it’s all not bad stuff, but there’s a danger of becoming negative or feeling trapped or just developing anxiety about what it is that we end up doing with ourselves throughout the day and throughout the week. Then meditation becomes like a healing experience, where we can go into an experience and just let that all go. That’s great, that’s really great, but what we don’t want is our meditation to always be like that. I mean if meditation is like that I think it’s good to have a place, like a safe place or a happy place where you just don’t have to think about everything and you don’t have to worry about what’s on your phone, that’s really great. But, this boundless health and wellbeing, when everything inside of us is agreeing, and it’s moving in the same direction is when we can take what we’ve developed in meditation (and that’s why a lot of us practice daily at least once or maybe twice or more), take what we’ve developed and what we’re experiencing in meditation and then trying to really apply it in everything we do, when we’re faced with things that are more challenging and we’re in situations that we can’t control and there might be physical stress, there might be mental stress, there might be life basically asking us to step up in some way that doesn’t always feel natural or comfortable or easy, that’s normal.
But sitting in meditation isn’t easy either, right? So I think if we’re meditating the right way and we’re meditating and experimenting with opening our heart and if we’re approaching meditation in a way that we’re not training ourselves that we’re in control, but we’re actually training ourselves to be OK with what we can’t control, then eventually (and there’s active things we can do in the active part of life), but eventually we can actually replace the bad habits of unwillingness, fear, doubt, negative emotions with better habits of “I’m just going to be positive about this and I’m not going to let it bring me down”, whatever it is, especially if it’s something or someone that you deal with on a regular basis, so that we don’t walk into the situation all loaded up with anxiety and negativity, then what happens is that magnetism comes into play and you actually create it. So your energy, the stronger you feel about it, has as a very strong effect on things around you and people around you, to create things and so we would say your magnetism, if you’re really negative or you have a really strong feeling of doubt or negativity toward another individual or to a project or to a specific scenario that you’re facing, then it’s like when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed.
You wake up and you bash your foot and then your whole day turns into that. That’s not a good way to start the day, because what happens is you create a momentum and it just snowballs. So to get up and meditate and figure out a way that works for you where you meditate or you’re just going for a walk or just having a quiet cup of tea and watching the sun in the morning, the leaves and the birds, something that opens your heart, something that’s quiet. It’s not getting up and checking text messages and emails and Facebook and all that weird stuff, but it’s more learning to create space in your life to be who you want to be and then starting your day that way and then if you need to bringing the right music or talk tape in your car or whatever it is to try to continue it.
We can learn to dive into this peaceful, expansive, true feeling that we you know is home in a controlled experience of meditation – that’s challenging enough – and then the next step (there’s always more) would be when you come out of your meditation, if you’re meditating now. A lot of you already do this, but when you come out of meditation, remaining quiet and really learning to cherish that transition time after meditating. So let’s say it’s in the morning and you’re preparing breakfast or coffee or something like that and maybe you learn to keep your inner peace and your quiet self through that, then the next thing is this where you work. I have my office at home, so then you turn the computer on and you start looking at all that stuff and dealing with it.
OK, so now the world’s coming in on me and I have all these responsibilities and things to do and realities. But can I feel my breath, is my chest relaxed? So I have things on my desk or things around me that remind me of what’s really important in life for me and so then it’s a constant process of extending what we first get in meditation or something similar that’s controlled and then extending it farther and farther out into our life, until it becomes a cycle, until it becomes, for some people, routine. We know some people that are so routine about this stuff. I have a good friend that so routine, he never breaks it. I know exactly when he’s going to get up from his desk and exactly when he’s going to be there. He’s so routine about it, but I think it’s dangerous to make it too controlled because then it I think it becomes fragile, but it’s a step in the right direction.
But ultimately, we want to be able to walk around in this world and face everything that it offers, life and death and the really big tests and challenges, and stay in our spine – is what a yogi would stay, to stay centered and be able to be absolutely effective and useful and helpful for other people and ourselves. And it’s way better than a board game or gambling or race horses, it’s your own life and it’s the most rewarding and fulfilling and challenging game that we’ll ever play. It’s how do I remain (someone use that word today, I think it was you), but how do I remain authentic to the way I want to live and what I really believe is right, the right way to live for me and the right way to behave and the right way to feel. Because the reality is even though we find ourselves in this time in the world putting ourselves in little dry wall boxes and thinking that this is somehow good, but the sky is always there and the stars are always there and the moon and the planets and everything’s moving around and our lives are so tiny and so insignificant. But if we would just recognize the beauty that’s in everything and it’s manifesting through your eyes and through your speech and through your kindness, we’re really involved in something that’s very inspiring and very sweet. And then health just becomes the natural symptom, your natural state of being and it’s not something we have to fight for.
So that’s all I have to say about that. My name is Turiya and this is Yogananda Meditation Center.
Recorded at Yogananda Meditation Center on April 24, 2017.
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