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The Doctor Is In (Audio)
July 11, 2010
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the 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, it 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 medical field.
This knowledge is ancient and known, and all "complementary 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 their
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,
helping others, etc. And to the extent other systems work, they rely on
inner silence also.
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
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 physicians 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 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
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.
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Note: For detailed instructions on deep meditation, see the
Deep Meditation book.
For detailed instructions on samyama, see the Samyama book.
Also see and AYP Plus.