Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Definition of Wholeness - "I am whole and healed"

"I believe many people . . . take so quickly to the meditation practice and find it healing is that the cultivation of mindfulness reminds them of what they already knew but somehow didn't know they knew or weren't able to make use of, namely that they are already whole... We remember wholeness so readily because we don't have far to look for it.  It is always within us, usually as a vague feeling or memory left over from when we were children.  But it is a deeply familiar memory, one you recognize immediately as soon as you feel it again, like coming home after being away a long time. When you are immersed in doing without being centered, it feels like being away from home.  And when you reconnect with being, even for a few moments, you know it immediately. You feel like you are at home no matter where you are and what problems you face." - John Kabat-Zinn

I am presently working with a mantra "I am whole and healed."  I woke up one morning a few months ago saying it.  It was on my lips as I took my first conscious breath. The resolve most have come from a dream.  I didn't remember the dream but I remembered the affirmation.   The fact that I woke up saying it made it more powerful for me because it felt like it came from a very deep place.

I have been struggling many years with shoulder pain, knee pain, foot pain, job dissatisfaction, childhood trauma and general dissatisfaction with myself.  I struggle greatly with not feeling good enough.

When I say to myself now  "I am whole"  I mean that I complete, good enough, satisfied, unified, one and connected. This is a move towards the positive and optimistic. A realm that I avoid a lot. I usually feel more comfortable in sarcasm and negativity.

These aches, pains, surgeries, traumas, depressions I have and still experience are my "scars."  Zinn eloquently talks about these scars

"No matter how many scars we carry from what we have gone through and suffered in the past, our intrinsic wholeness is still here . . . we are also what was present before the scarring-our original wholeness, what was born whole."

When I say to myself "I am healed" I mean that I am healthy, content, at peace and at ease in mind and body.  I have achieved the "citta vritti nirodah" is described in Sutra 1.2.  Although I have struggled with injury and depression I do share Jon Kabat-Zinn's optimistic world view when he says ". . . our bodies are undeniably self-organizing and self healing at every level you care to look at." Because I know when I practice yoga, meditate and feed my body healthy things I feel wonderful.  I have used yoga and meditation to alleviate my knee pain and when I separate from consistent practice the pain comes back.

Jon Kabat-Zinn says the meaning of wholeness is found in the words holy, healthy and healing. He describes health as a dynamic process and not a fixed state.  When the pain comes back in my knees, feet, shoulders or heart I am reminded that I haven't been taking care of myself.  The pain is an alarm that I have gotten off balance.

I love the statement by Jon Kabat-Zinn:

"All life is fascinating and beautiful when the veil of our routinized thinking lifts, even for a moment."  I see this fascinating life when I am painting or drawing.  I observe very closely and I am profoundly touched by the beauty of a human body or a landscape.  I feel wholeness when I am making art. As I work in making my yoga studio a successful and vibrant place and do all the assignments for the internship I have not had time to make art.  I know that art making is fundamental to my wholeness and when the internship is over I will find time for my art again.

I am trusting in Paul Coelho's statement “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” The Alchemist. I want to use Art and Yoga together for healing myself and share these modalities with others to guide them to their own healing.

I also work with the mantra So Hum a lot.  I was taught that it meant - "I am all that is" or "I am that."  For me this is the definition of wholeness to understand that we are all connected and we are all part of the same cosmic consciousness.  I have been practicing this meditation for years but I like what Dr. Vasant Lad says about it in the book Ayurveda: The Science of Self Healing, "In so hum meditation there is a union of individual consciousness with Cosmic Consciousness...Your breathing will become quiet and spontaneous and you will go beyond thought, beyond time and space, beyond cause and effect. Limitations will vanish; your consciousness will empty itself and in that emptying consciousness will expand."

I believe strongly that the universe inside of me is the same as the universe outside of me.  I am reminded again of the Rumi quote, "You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop."

This belief that I firmly hold that the microcosm is the same as the microcosm is shown in a beautiful visual manner in the movie the Powers of Ten by Eames.

"At each level of our being there is a wholeness that itself embedded in a larger wholeness. And that wholeness is always embodied. It cannot be separated from the body and from an exquisite and intimate belonging to the larger expression of life unfolding." - p.179-180 Jon Kabat-Zinn "Full Catastrophe Living"

In sum, the mantra "I am whole and healed" has been transformative for me.  It marks the beginning of my own experience of wholeness and unity.  My subconscious mind has reminded the conscious mind that I am all that is . . . I am that."

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