Note: For the complete lessons,
with additions, see the AYP
Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living Books.
Lesson 420 – The Doctor Is In
Date: July 11, 2010
New Members: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q: I have been practicing samyama for the last year, and recently added on
cosmic samyama. I realized a few months ago that I was automatically
incorporating samyama into prayers and even routine thoughts and emotions.
After a recent neck sprain, I was amazing to find that after a couple of
days of easily feeling and releasing the painful symptoms in stillness, the
discomfort was completely gone. In the past, similar injuries have lingered
and caused much agony for weeks.
As a physician, the healing benefits of deep meditation and samyama really
have my attention, and I am actively promoting more research on yoga in the
This knowledge is ancient and known, and all "complimentary and alternative
medicine" (CAM) approaches are probably based on similar principles.
However, these work for some but not all. I wonder if it is the presence or
absence of inner silence that determines if these therapies are effective in
healing? But how many people have the patience and diligence to cultivate
inner silence in deep meditation, even for the sake of healing? I'm afraid
not many of my patients have the required discipline to meditate twice
daily. Nevertheless, currently I'm prescribing meditation for "stress
relief" and medical benefits, with the hope that those inclined will
continue on this remarkable path of healing and much more.
In the 6th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, it is said that meditation should
be performed with the sole intention of realizing the Self, implying
that all other benefits are side-effects. As much as this may be true, I'm
not sure this is something I can tell my patients, who may not realize that
there is a Self to realize! Instead, I just encourage them to meditate for
From my own experience, inner silence and samyama work miracles, and I wish
everyone could tap into this to heal their medical conditions (and then
some). How can this be taught? Please advise.
A: It's wonderful that you were able to initiate your healing in stillness.
Yes, the key to all of it is cultivating abiding inner silence – whether it
be for better quality of life, results-producing samyama, self-inquiry, the
end of suffering, Self-realization, helping
others, etc. And to the extent other systems work, they rely on inner
Inner silence is the Self, so the cultivation of abiding inner
silence is Self-realization. However, Self-realization does not have to be
viewed in a religious or spiritual context. Nor does meditation have to be
thought of in terms of Self-realization. The process of meditation and its
results do not care about the reason why the practice was undertaken. Any
reason will do. Who does not want to be more centered, healthy, happy,
productive, free from worry, and at peace with the flow of life? Any or all
of these reasons are adequate for undertaking daily meditation. People come
to the practice for their own reasons. The door is wide open.
Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that the human nervous system came
before the religions. The practices we utilize are related to the human
nervous system's inherent ability to purify, open, and heal itself, and the
religions have only borrowed and incorporated these methods (and their
effects) into the various philosophies and doctrines. Sometimes this has
been limiting. But, in fact, there are no limits!
So any reason for meditating daily is the right reason – health, stress
reduction, creativity, productivity, relationships, etc. The trick is to see
where your patient's deepest longings are, and present meditation in tune
with that. Where there are health issues, it is pretty easy. As a doctor,
you can prescribe: "Do deep meditation twice daily for 20 minutes, and call
me for help with self-pacing."
What you are experiencing with the samyama habit creeping out into your
everyday patterns of thinking and doing is perfect. When we are operating in
stillness, we may not call it samyama anymore, but that is what it is – the
habit of releasing in stillness even as we are acting, and everything works
so well from there. It is "stillness in action."
Structured samyama practice cultivates that
ability, once we have the ball rolling on cultivating abiding inner silence
in daily deep meditation. Then our life becomes a
divine flow in service to the whole of life. It is the fruition of a
physician’s purpose. Every doctor should be "in" like that.
The world is catching on gradually. There are more into meditation now than
ever before, and in less faddish and cult-like ways than we saw in the
latter decades of the 20th century. Now it is more about a
gradually rising common knowledge on how to establish a solid a basis for a
full and happy life. It begins with cultivating abiding inner silence. With
that, the possibilities are endless, whether viewed in a secular way or a
religious way. We are working on raising public awareness. The best way to
do that is to help the people find the truth through direct experience. Then
it is up to them.
Scientific research has an important role to play in this. Not only to
inform, but to steadily improve the application of spiritual practices for
best results across the entire population. It is a massive undertaking, with
a huge payoff. That is what we are attempting to do in AYP – help get the
ball rolling, first by providing access to effective means, and then
encouraging and supporting self-directed practice.
Your wish to share useful knowledge will translate into action, and many
will benefit. It is the same thing that happened here. There are a thousand
ways to do it. You will find your way.
We who are in this field are building a collective body of knowledge on
practices and real-time evidence on human spiritual transformation. In time,
no one will be able to ignore it. Each will always make their own choices on
personal action. But the choosing will no longer be for lack of reliable
information on causes and effects.
The guru is in you.
For detailed instructions on deep meditation, see the
Deep Meditation book.
For detailed instructions on samyama, see the Samyama book.