Thursday, November 3, 2016

Healing is more about listening than speaking - Journaling Questions "Healing into Life and Death" by Stephen Levine

I finished reading the beautiful book Healing into Life and Death last week when I was up at Sivananda Ashram.

I felt like it was a spiritual practice just reading the book.  And I shouldn't write just because the book is extremely profound.  I found myself wanting read instead of going to kirtan.  But I didn't.  I find some evening times to read and it was beautiful.

I had read the journaling questions from IYT for my Yoga Therapy internship before I finished reading. This idea of listening as healing was something that was stressed a lot during the previous chapters writings on Siddhartha for IYT. But it didn't really hit me hard until I did the Spiritual Counseling Training at Ananda/Expanding Light.

Listening really did work.  When we did our practice counseling sessions I experienced the power of Listening and Being Listened to.  I also learned how the Conscious mind wants to always jump in and fix everything.  I learned to not try to bring in your own story that you feel relates. Just shut up and listen.

In the Healing into Life and Death Stephen Levine mentions a woman on page 10 who two types of people that come to her room. One had no room in their hearts for her pain because they had no room in their hearts for their own pain.  “there were others who could just come in and sit down with me. And if my pain was so intense or I was too fidgety that day and couldn’t even stand to be touched, they would just sit quietly next to me. They didn’t need to give me anything or to take anything away for themselves.  They didn’t need to take my pain away, and they didn’t make me feel that I needed to be different when I was in pain.  They had room for my pain because they had room for their own.”

I think a few months ago this would to be shocking to me.  I think of cousin Dolores who I thought was dying a couple years back and I rushed to be by her side and I didn't think that was enough. But now I think it was a good thing to do.

I remember in April sitting at the nursing home every day with my Mother-in-law and I think my heart was not open to her. Next time I will hold her in the light.

I was sad in angry much of my life about my brother's epilepsy

and cousin Davida's Sickle Cell Anemia.

Why them? Why not me.  I am holding a lot of guilt about that so it was helpful. My guilt has kept my distanced and separated.

p.46 Stephen Levine says “I can no longer second guess God as to the meaning, cause or effect of illness… I just trust “don’t know” to stay open to the process and how deeply we heal when we bring our attention to life and all it entails."

When I was doing spiritual counseling training and talking about my brother my counselor said everyone has to unravel the knots of their own Karma.  That was helpful to me.

Remembering once again about God at Expanding Light. Remembering that it is not all in my hands has been very healing too.

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