J2P Finding love instead of hate

English: White peace dove in the air with wing...

English: White peace dove. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s reached a point in all the fallout following the election when I’m having trouble deciding whether I’m more perturbed by the bigoted, racist, misogynists who voted for Trump or the supposedly spiritual and kinder Democrats I know who are spewing hatred just as steadily.

I’ll admit, right up front, in spite of years of trying to be a person who holds only a space of lovingkindness, I considered Trump one of the most disgusting and despicable people on the planet YEARS before he decided to run for President, so this election has challenged me right in the center of the divide between who I want to be and who I too often still am.

But I truly believe there’s no such thing as righteous hatred.  There’s either loving or hating.  Vicious attacks on those who hold different viewpoints are just vicious and hateful regardless of how sincerely you believe your viewpoint is right and the other is wrong.  And hate just begets more hate.  If hating isn’t okay, then there’s no group or individual it’s okay to hate.  Hating haters just makes you a hater too.

I believe in one web of all life.  The web pulsates to whatever we all feed into it.  If there are more people feeding hate than love, then wars and torture and discrimination and crimes against humanity expand and grow stronger.  When enough people hold compassion and love in their hearts, the web can finally hold love strongly enough for it to rule.

I also believe thoughts of hatred have energy and power and go out into the world.  If you send hate to the President-elect, an energy of hatred permeates his life and his being.  How do you imagine that translates into decision- and policy-making?  Is more bigotry, racism, and misogyny what you want to fuel?  Do you want to see how much bigger his tantrums can be when millions are sending the energy of hate to surround him every minute of every day?

I propose love is the answer.  I propose sending healing and love.  I propose finding forgiveness in our hearts and holding a space of peace and compassion no matter what.  I propose we fill the web with so much love the whole world is bathed in it and changed by it.

SOME HEALING SUGGESTIONS

  • If you know how to do long distance Reiki, send Reiki
  • Use this Huna healing technique.  Sit comfortably and close your eyes.  Take a few deep breaths and center.  Visualize a screen and see Trump or the KKK or whatever political figure or appointee you think needs healing (or whichever one(s) your heart needs to heal about) on the screen.  Use your inner awareness to see where healing is needed and direct healing to that place.  You might see energy moving there, you might see one color and feel a need to change it to another, you might hear a sound and change it, you might feel a vibration and the need to shift it, you might breathe into it.  If you do any kind of healing with your hands, you might imagine directing that energy.  Your inner voice will know what to do, just follow it.  Continue until you feel you have done all you can.  Repeat this exercise as necessary.
  • Check out my post from a few days ago and use the lovingkindness chant to heal your heart and send love.
  • Discover in yourself the source of every bit of fear and anger you feel and use the ho’oponopono prayer to heal it.  To do this, name each fear or incident or origin of anger and say:  I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you

Note:  I’ve written often about using ho’oponopono, including many examples of examining an issue to find the components to heal.  Click the Journey2Peace tab above and meander through the posts.

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J2P Monday: Compassion, Politics… Peace

United States flag with peace sign canton

United States flag with peace sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m a little early with Tuesday’s NaBloPoMo post but I wanted to make it a J2P Monday post and to get it up ahead of the U.S. elections.  In the run-up to the election I posted a challenge a couple of times, asking people to delve within and heal in themselves everything that upset them about these elections.

Now I want to just raise some thoughts about compassion and this process.  Because what’s more disturbing to me than the vitriol in the candidates is the apparent lack of compassion and empathy among ordinary people ranged on both sides.

While I totally disagree with Trump, I understand that many of his supporters feel they’ve been left behind, excluded from the economy, disenfranchised…  I don’t agree with many of their conclusions about how these problems have arisen or what the answers are.  But I’ve been around long enough to know that the answers I stand by could just as easily be disproved next year; in other words, I am not God and I feel there’s a great deal of hubris in assuming my assessments are correct and those who disagree are stupid.

And whether I agree or not, I feel for their sense of disenfranchisement.  I know it feels bad to feel left out and disregarded.  I feel compassion for their pain.  I hear a comment that makes me mad and drift away from my neutral space and compassion; it’s work to keep moving back there.  For me that’s just part of the path I’m walking.

I know it’s not everyone’s path, but it concerns me that so few people seem to have any place in their hearts for anyone who fails to share their views.  In the streams on social media and in the news I don’t get the sense that supporters of either candidate have an iota of empathy or fellow feeling about the people on the other side.

This growing inability to empathize with the feelings of people whose views are different is one of the biggest obstacles I can see to peace.  If we can’t learn to feel compassion for people whose opinions don’t reflect our own how can we ever expect to reach a place of peace on earth?

It starts with me.  It starts with you.  When you open your heart enough to feel the pain of “the other” you take a first step.  When you heal within yourself whatever keeps you from perceiving with the eyes of love and compassion, that’s a big step.  Are you willing to step toward peace?

J2P Monday: Peace and politics

English: Peace, Love and Increase

English: Peace, Love and Increase (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I posted a challenge for this U.S. political season a while back–with practice possibilities for people everywhere.  As we grow closer to the election and the vitriol grows ever worse, I find myself struggling to hold a space of love and compassion and I see the angst rising everywhere.  Even though it’s a bit late to call this a Monday post (hey, I’m still up… 🙂 ), I wanted to copy that post in, edit a bit and challenge everyone to find the peace within:

Every political season (does it ever end now?) for some years has felt a little ornerier and more contentious than the last.  This time around I’m struggling to hold my space of peace in the face of the vitriol I run into every time I look at Facebook or turn on the TV.

Whatever your political persuasion, you do not contribute to peace by ridiculing, vilifying or angrily condemning the folks on the other side.  And I get it.  I struggle to keep hatred at bay when I contemplate Donald Trump.  But as I look at the countless ugly remarks, snotty commentaries and general malevolence toward him I wonder if anyone stops to think about how hatred and malevolence destroy peace.  Same thing in the other direction.  If you’re lobbing hate bombs at Hilary how can you possibly be holding a space of peace?

Every time I think those angry thoughts or see one of those snotty posts, if I direct those kinds of barbs and jokes at him, I have to ask myself how am I then any different than him?  When I behave as badly as he does, I am basically being him.  More crucially, when I aim those arrows, I am not staying conscious of the one true thing:  I AM HIM AND HE IS ME.

I really like Deepak Chopra’s analysis of Donald Trump as being the representative of the Shadow.  And his reminder that failure to face the shadow within us is always present when the Hitlers, Idi Amins, Joseph McCarthys and Trumps of the world step up and carry us into darkness.  For me the key point of this reminder is the knowledge to which I always return:  the only heart I can change is mine.

Anyone or anything I see outside of me and feel is bad or wrong or disturbing reflects something in me.  So if I’m not happy with Trump (or substitute whatever candidate you abhor), then what aspects of him are in me?  What am I not facing?

  • What do I fear so greatly in the world?  If I see him as coming from fear and working on creating fear, where is the fear in me that I’m not seeing?
  • How poor is my self-esteem if I see him as lacking it?
  • In what ways am I as hateful as I perceive him being?
  • How am I “dumb” to the realities of life going on around me?
  • How and when do I share fear instead of love?

Anything I can see in me I can heal.  As I’ve noted many times, I love using the Ho’opono pono prayer for healing.

  • For every way in which I allow fear to displace love and peace, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you
  • For every hateful thought I harbor for anyone, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you
  • For seeing anyone ever as “other”, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you
  • For any way in which I lack enough faith to know in all ways every day all is well, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you
  • If there is anything within me that blocks me from “being peace”, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you

CHALLENGE:

Yep, I haven’t issued a challenge for a long time, but here’s one I challenge you to do throughout this political season in the U.S. or, if you live in a place where no election is looming until you feel at peace with it:

  1. No matter who you favor and who you don’t among the candidates [if you’re not in an election cycle make it a politician you dislike], every time you catch yourself thinking with fear, animosity, or hatred about any candidate, stop and create a list of things that upset or disturb you about that candidate.
  2. Go deep within and ask yourself where within you does each thing on the list exist?  What are the fears that create the anger?  What’s going on with your faith?
  3. Do whatever healing practice you wish, whether it’s saying the ho’onopono pono prayer or doing Reiki or following a guided meditation for healing or???, about everything you discover within you.  And keep doing it until you can look at all the candidates and only feel peace.

J2P Monday: Peace and Politics

English: Peace Symbol at a school in Germany. ...

Symbol at a school in Germany. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every political season (does it ever end now?) for some years has felt a little ornerier and more contentious than the last.  This time around I’m struggling to hold my space of peace in the face of the vitriol I run into every time I look at Facebook or turn on the TV.

Whatever your political persuasion, you do not contribute to peace by ridiculing, vilifying or angrily condemning the folks on the other side.  And I get it.  I struggle to keep hatred at bay when I contemplate Donald Trump.  But as I look at the countless ugly remarks, snotty commentaries and general malevolence toward him I wonder if anyone stops to think about how hatred and malevolence destroy peace.

Every time I think those angry thoughts or see one of those snotty posts, if I direct those kinds of barbs and jokes at him, I have to ask myself how am I then any different than him?  When I behave as badly as he does, I am basically being him.  More crucially, when I aim those arrows, I am not staying conscious of the one true thing:  I AM HIM AND HE IS ME.

I really like Deepak Chopra’s analysis of Donald Trump as being the representative of the Shadow.  And his reminder that failure to face the shadow within us is always present when the Hitlers, Idi Amins, Joseph McCarthys and Trumps of the world step up and carry us into darkness.  For me the key point of this reminder is the knowledge to which I always return:  the only heart I can change is mine.

Anyone or anything I see outside of me and feel is bad or wrong or disturbing reflects something in me.  So if I’m not happy with Trump (or substitute whatever candidate you abhor), then what aspects of him are in me?  What am I not facing?

  • What do I fear so greatly in the world?  If I see him as coming from fear and working on creating fear, where is the fear in me that I’m not seeing?
  • How poor is my self-esteem if I see him as lacking it?
  • In what ways am I as hateful as I perceive him being?
  • How am I “dumb” to the realities of life going on around me?
  • How and when do I share fear instead of love?

Anything I can see in me I can heal.  As I’ve noted many times, I love using the Ho’opono pono prayer for healing.

  • For every way in which I allow fear to displace love and peace, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you
  • For every hateful thought I harbor for anyone, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you
  • For seeing anyone ever as “other”, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you
  • For any way in which I lack enough faith to know in all ways every day all is well, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you
  • If there is anything within me that blocks me from “being peace”, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you

CHALLENGE:

Yep, I haven’t issued a challenge for a long time, but here’s one I challenge you to do throughout this political season in the U.S. or, if you live in a place where no election is looming until you feel at peace with it:

  1. No matter who you favor and who you don’t among the candidates [if you’re not in an election cycle make it a politician you dislike], every time you catch yourself thinking with fear, animosity, or hatred about any candidate, stop and create a list of things that upset or disturb you about that candidate.
  2. Go deep within and ask yourself where within you does each thing on the list exist?  What are the fears that create the anger?  What’s going on with your faith?
  3. Do whatever healing practice you wish, whether it’s saying the ho’onopono pono prayer or doing Reiki or following a guided meditation for healing or???, about everything you discover within you.  And keep doing it until you can look at all the candidates and only feel peace.

 

J2P Monday: taking a break

pray for paris

I had a plan for a challenge today, but the story in Paris left me wondering if I should create a challenge about current events instead.

Ultimately I decided it’s too soon for a challenge inspired by the attacks in Paris and doesn’t feel timely to add the challenge I’d created.  So I’m going to invite you to continue with the last challenge, in which I asked you to consider issues about prisoners and/or to help me start a movement to use ho’ponopono to heal in prisons.

In the meantime, everyone please keep your thoughts turned to peace.

J2P Monday: Prisoners, Healing and Us

Last week I posted about Oprah’s interview with Bryan Stevenson, which I’ve again embedded — I found it so inspiring, I want to make sure everyone has a chance to see it.  As I watched I also felt inspired to issue a big challenge.

I’m really issuing it as a two-tier challenge.  The usual challenge for everyone to consider crime and prisoners and heal yourself is below.  First, though:  as I watched and listened to Stevenson’s great compassion for prisoners I started thinking about Hew Len and his work with the criminally insane.

The short version:  Hew Len was asked to help out at a ward for the criminally insane where conditions were so bad the staff turned over constantly, inmates never improved, etc.  Without ever seeing a patient, Hew Len sat in an office with their files and healed IN HIMSELF anything he saw in the files that needed healing.  Because everything you see in the world you created, so if you see a problem healing yourself heals the problem.  Longer version is here.

It didn’t take long before patients went off meds, patients who had to be shackled walked free, staff came to work every day… and then things improved so much the ward closed.  He NEVER SAW A SINGLE PATIENT!  He only healed himself.  Info about the prayer he uses is here.

Suddenly I had a BIG idea.  What if we could get a network going all over the country — or better yet, how about all around the world??? — of groups who go to prisons and heal in themselves every problem they see in every file of every prisoner?  And/or catch it earlier and have groups reading the files of kids in Juvenile Detention and healing themselves of every problem they see?

So my first challenge is bigger than any I’ve made.  For this one I’m asking you to get it out there on social media.  Let’s spread the word and spark a movement!  I’m better at vision than execution but if anyone wants to take up the challenge and try to coordinate a broad movement I’ll be happy to help in any way I can.  If anyone wants help to start something in their state or province or county, etc., I’ll be happy to step up.

I see a threshold issue of getting permission to go into the prisons and get access to the files, so if someone has an answer for that, I’ll get the word out.  It may be as easy as asking or going in under the umbrella of a church or it may take forming a 501(c)(3) [for folks in other countries, that’s the U.S. tax designation for a nonprofit organization].

Results will be measurable.  When the prayers are healing the inmates, recidivism will start going down and to whatever extent they keep records on violent incidents within the prisons, the rate will go down.  Ultimately crime rates go down.  So this is a chance to use ho’oponopono in a setting where tangible results will occur.  Just as Hew Len’s work erased the need for the ward, a network praying at all the prisons can reduce prison populations and crime.

Is anyone in with me?  Does this inspire any of you?

My usual challenge is for all of you to examine this issue in yourselves.  In this case, it’s a question of looking at your beliefs about crime and criminals.  Whether you believe in punishment or in rehabilitation, whether you believe many criminals have excuses due to hard childhoods or you believe there is no excuse, where does your belief come from?

Is fear involved in forming your view?  Does your view come from your heart and a place of compassion?  If not, why not?  What do you think causes people to commit crimes?  Name all the reasons you can think of for why people are in prison.

For every reason you name, say the prayer.  Heal those reasons in you.  Or if you have another healing modality you like, do that.  For every problem you believe exists in society related to crime, heal it in you.

Examples:

For all my beliefs that I have been abandoned or mistreated, “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.”

For all my fears that someone may hurt me, “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.”

For any feeling of lack within me, “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.”

For any violent feelings I hold toward others, “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.”

You’ve got the idea.  Go forth and heal!

Even if we never go into a prison, I think if we pray for the “us” in every “criminal” we see on the news and for every prisoner in general and heal in all of us the “problems” in us that we project into what we see in the world, we can change the world.

nanopoblano2015dark

J2P Monday: when it makes me mad…

When I finished watching a recording earlier, the TV was sitting on 60 Minutes and a story about Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner from Burma/Myanmar.  The story included a fairly lengthy look at current battles between Buddhists and Muslims, focusing on Buddhist monk leader, Ashin Wrathu.

I watched the Wrathu interview with growing indignation at his hatefulness and advocacy of violence.  Outraged that he could foment such horrors while considering himself to be a good Buddhist.  I realized with a shock this was the first time I’d ever seen what fundamentalism looks like on a Buddhist.  And I LOATHED it.  I found myself reflecting on the similarities among fundamentalists of all varieties and feeling angrier.

For a little while after watching I carried on inwardly raging.  And then I smiled.  If I can be that mad, unleash that much fury… I am him.  And I can heal that in me.  Great moment for me — and of course I realized, a perfect tale for J2P Monday.

For the fear I note in him and therefore acknowledge in me:  I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.

For the fury within me that reflects the fury in him, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.

For the intolerance for fundamentalism I hold in myself, reflecting his intolerance for Muslims:  I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.

For the judgments I hold about who is wrong and who is right, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.

For the anger that rises so quickly in me at whatever I see that I don’t like, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.

What makes you angry in the news?  What can you see in yourself that’s reflected in that story?  What can you heal in you?  Say the prayer.

For other posts about healing in yourself whatever you see as a problem in the world, see here, here,  and here.  For more on ho’oponopono and other versions of the prayer see this post.

J2P Monday: The Crime “Problem”

dont beat drum quote

I’m turning attention next to the perception that crime is rampant and constantly growing worse.  We’re increasingly living with locked doors, security systems, in gated communities, etc. because we have a perception of crime permeating society.

PROBABILITY OF CRIME HASN’T CHANGED!

I wrote a post a while back about our false perception of crime.  The short version:  as a sociology grad student in the 70’s I participated in a project in which we studied crime statistics, whether crime had increased over time and how perception related to fear.  Over the years I periodically ran into updates or actively searched for current data.

The results in every decade:  the probability (or statistical chance) of being the victim of burglary, robbery, assault, murder, kidnapping, etc. HAS NOT CHANGED since at least the 1940’s (except for Black and Hispanic males in inner cities)!  Two major changes, however, influenced the PERCEPTION of crime increasing:

  1. Most crime before TV news was reported only locally so most of the country never heard about lots of crimes.  With the advent of TV, national reporting on “big” stories became commonplace, making people feel there was much more crime instead of understanding it was just a change in the reach of news coverage.
  2. Law enforcement changed from offering crime statistics based on probability, or the chance any given person would be a victim, to reporting gross numbers.  As long as the population grows, the number of crimes also grows–until we heal.  In fact, the percentage rise in total crimes has been very close to the percentage rise in population growth.  By offering totals, which keep growing with the population, they create fear — along with willingness to fund more law enforcement.

While crime happens to be the area in which I’ve participated in a project and done research to back up my claim that perception and reality are far apart, you could apply this idea about perception to many problems you see in the world.

A combination of collective consciousness and your own fears and worries can lead you to see problems, fearful things, etc.  Heal whatever in you clings to the belief or to the fear or anger driving you.

CHALLENGE

Explore your feelings about crime.

  1. Are you fearful about being a victim?  Of particular sorts of crimes but not others?  Which and why?  Of being a victim in general?
  2. Does knowing you are just as safe now as people were in the 1940’s when they didn’t lock doors and children played freely outside change your perception of crime in any way?
  3. Do you have underlying fears or beliefs about the world as an unsafe place?  About life as fraught with danger?
  4. Do you have fears about things being taken away from you?  Loss?  Personal safety?  When did those fears start?  What incident(s) started them?
  5. What in you responds to the fear-mongering in the media?  Why are you more willing to believe in that than in the good stuff?  When and why do you think you started buying into the fear?  Why do you support the fear-mongering by paying attention to it?

Again, you don’t HAVE to explore your underlying feelings to heal, you can just say the prayer every time current thoughts about crime arise.  And you may well have beliefs or issues in this arena that are represented by my questions, so carry on your own investigation of your past as needed.

I’ve suggested two versions of Mornah’s Prayer to use for healing:

  1. I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you
  2. Divine Creator, Mother, Father, Son as One, I wish to do ho’oponopono between myself and (name the problem, issue, fear, incident, etc.)_____.   Cleanse, sever, cut, release and return to the path of pure light.  HA!  MAHIKI! We are set free and it is done!

You can also use a healing modality like Reiki, a releasing process such as Fischer-Hoffman, a ceremony, or whatever healing practice you prefer.  Doesn’t matter how you heal, just matters that you heal.

Every time you think or hear about crime, say the prayer.  Every time you examine your life about the roots of belief, heal whatever you find.  Heal any fears about being a victim that arise.  Just keep healing.

Knowing that the collective perception about crime does not reflect “truth”, work on believing in the essential goodness of others and a safe and healthy environment for everyone.

As always, if you care to post about your experiences with this challenge, let me know and I’ll link to it. Please also link to today’s post.  For more about collective perception and how healing impacts the whole, see this post.

J2P Monday: Heal the Refugee “Problem”

A camp in Guinea for refugees from Sierra Leone.

A camp in Guinea for refugees from Sierra Leone. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I posted a while back about my belief that we need to stop beating the drums of problems.  Then I wrote about Hew Len and his use of the ho’oponopono prayer to heal within himself anything he sees as a problem in the world, anyone he sees as in dis-ease.  Since then I’ve been working on an idea to address a series of  “problems” in the world that are constantly discussed.

Since Syrian refugees have been so much in the news, along with refugees from Africa and elsewhere who are stranded in camps, escaping in boats, flooding into countries seemingly ill-equipped to handle in the influx, I thought I’d begin here.

It doesn’t really matter which you side you’re on in viewing it as a problem:  (1) something must be done to help these people, or (2) something must be done to stop the flow of refugees into other countries.  If you see a problem, there’s something to heal in you.

Since I’m into using ho’oponopono I’m suggesting that as one possible way to heal, but if you have another technique, use whatever works.  It’s the healing that matters.  The two shorter versions of ho’oponopono are:

  1. I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you
  2. Divine Creator, Mother, Father, Son as one, I wish to do ho’oponopono between myself and ____ (name the issue, problem, person…).  Cleanse, sever, cut, release, transmute and return to the path of pure light.  HA!  MAHIKI!  We are set free and it is done!

There’s a much longer version reproduced on the post mentioned above.   Or you may have a Reiki technique or a prayer or meditation.

In ho’oponopono you don’t necessarily have to consciously name the problem in you that causes you to see the problem in the world. But if you like to explore, here are some questions you might consider:

  1. When you hear about refugees, does it induce fear?  Fear of what?  That it could be you? That the world is uncertain?  That you might lose your home?
  2. When it comes to refugees, do you feel angry?  Are you afraid they’ll take your job?  Do you think there are scarce resources and shifting populations will somehow reduce availability of them?  Are you angry that someone else out there isn’t fixing the problem?
  3. Is there something in you that’s abandoned or lost?

Whether it’s these or some other issues in you, when you heal the problem in you, you contribute to the solution or the elimination of the problem.

So this week my challenge to you is to heal in yourself everything that relates to refugees.  Every time you hear or think about refugees, say the prayer — or do whatever healing practice you’ve chosen.  Just keep healing.

J2P Monday: spinning chakras

I haven’t meant to ignore J2P Monday for so long.  Combo of life getting in the way and the fact that I’m working on an idea for an ongoing (sporadic) series of challenges that are proving a bit complex to work out.  In the meantime I thought I’d give you this little practice idea for helping with balance.

Some years back an acquaintance of mine who channels healing energy received a message to give me free sessions and I gratefully accepted.  One day she commented on a block in my second chakra and gave me a simple exercise to do, involving spinning the chakras.

I’ve done it more or less regularly ever since.  When my mind is clear enough upon waking to remember, I generally do it every morning first thing.  I like the way it starts the day with a sense of balance.  And, since energy flows where attention goes, attention placed on all the major chakras (I include the thymus and transpersonal) brings energy to all the major energy centers and gives me a little boost.

wikimedia

The Exercise

For this exercise, you just close your eyes and, beginning with the root chakra (the red one on the bottom), you imagine the chakra spinning.  Direction doesn’t matter, just picture the round sphere of energy spinning.  I usually spin 6-8 times at each level.  Move up one level at a time.  The thymus chakra is in between heart and throat, a little below the clavicle; aim for halfway between heart and throat chakras and you’ll be good.  The transpersonal is about a foot above your head.  That’s it.  Just close your eyes and, one at a time, from bottom to top, imagine each chakra spinning.

Relation to Yoga

Balancing the chakras is the central point of hatha yoga. Although that point seems to often be lost in the interest of combining sweating and aerobics with yoga, a good yoga practice is designed to balance the chakras.  Hatha refers to the sun (ha) and moon (tha) channels which run in intertwining pathways down the chakras, creating the round sphere-like circles of energy we see depicted as chakras.  Yoga means yoke, or balance.  So you’re balancing those two channels and at the same time the major chakras.

My yoga teacher always organized our classes so we began with root chakra postures and worked our way up until we had done at least one posture –sometimes several–at each level.  The postures help to open the flow of energy in each of those levels and when you open it in all of the major centers, it helps restore balance

Thanks to his influence, wonderful classes and great teaching, every class I teach is designed to cover all seven of the major chakras.  Even when I teach the movements from Robert Masters with yoga, trying to match postures with areas opened by the triggers of release, I aim for the selection to cover all seven.

I often have students who don’t want to hear about chakras or energy (so I avoid that language) who smile beatifically at the end of class and exclaim over how good they always feel.  Though the stretching and postures feel good in themselves, I just smile and feel glad my class covered the chakras, because I know the extra feel-good in those smiles arises because they’re in better balance.

How It Relates to Peace

The body is so integrally connected to spirit and mind, I don’t think you can be truly at peace without adding your body into the equation.  Being in balance is just as important physically as mentally or spiritually.

I’ve been realizing that this aspect of my journey needs to be the subject of some of my writing and I’ll be launching a series of posts –not as part of J2P Monday– that will show up randomly (since I’m not that great with posting on required days 🙂 ) to discuss this mind-body-spirit connection, what I’ve learned about Western medicine and healing, alternative medicine and healing and taking charge of your own healing process as part of your spiritual journey.

In the meantime, this little practice is a quick and easy way to restore some balance, which will, I promise you, help you along on your Journey2Peace.

J2P Monday: Understanding We are All One

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Sometimes I think one of the most mysterious and hard-to-grasp elements in metaphysics is the notion that we are all one.  It’s easy to pay lip service to it but the idea that we are not our bodies and instead are energy beings who meld into one large All That Is is beyond what most of us can completely comprehend.

Oneness is also why the ho’oponopono prayer works.  Hew Len was able to heal the inmates on a ward for the criminally insane without seeing any of them because there is no separation between him and them.  When he healed their problems within himself, they healed too because of that connection.

I’ve been contemplating that a lot lately.  Watching myself and my reactions to people.  Taking it in that every time I’m irritated by or upset for or impatient with someone else I’m looking at something that’s within me.  I’m about to work on the ho’oponopono prayer, either writing into the short version the specific issues I’m seeing so that I have specific versions of the prayer for each circumstance I see or concentrating on each issue before saying the long version (see below).

For me, the journey to peace means healing within myself everything I see that I judge as needing healing, including the need to be the arbiter what does and does not need healing.  Every time I see someone else’s issue or ailment, I intend to heal it within myself.

The short version, with an example of filling in an issue:

Divine creator, father, mother, son as one, I, Leigh Gaitskill, wish to do ho’oponopono between myself and my tendency to judge what is healthy and what is not. Cleanse, sever, cut, release and transmute to the path of pure light. [Say this next part loudly and forcefully] HA MAHIKI. We are set free and it is done.

And the longer version, which I feel can be said for every issue though I like to focus briefly on the specific issue before I say it:

Divine creator, father, mother, son as one.  If I, my family, relatives and ancestors have offended you, your family, relatives and ancestors in thoughts, words, deeds and actions from the beginning of our creation to the present, we ask your forgiveness.   Let this cleanse, purify, release, cut all the negative memories, blocks, energies and vibrations and transmute these unwanted energies to pure light.  And it is done

Join me if you like.  Notice what irritates you, upsets you, infuriates you in others.  What are the arenas in which you tend to judge others as doing things wrong or at least not the “right” way?  Everything you notice, heal it in you.  Then let’s see over time whether we notice anything changing.  Comment here or post and link to this post whenever you feel you’ve experienced enough to have something to share.

J2P Monday: Ancestors, Healing and Forgiveness

The Reiki Distance Healing symbol Honshazeshon...

The Reiki Distance Healing symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On my last J2P Monday post I wrote about ancestors and suggested that you look for patterns among your known family and in your ancestral lineages.  This time I’m going to suggest some means of healing ancestral issues.  Once you’ve healed, the final crucial step is forgiveness.

When I started discovering ancestral issues and working on healing them, I found I needed some different tools (or maybe just extra tools) than I’d used for hunting down and releasing my personal issues.  I wound up using an array, all of which helped, none of which worked alone.

1.  I started off just sending love and healing thoughts back up the line.

2.  At a friend’s suggestion I took the second degree Reiki class so I could learn the distance healing technique with which you can send energy through time as well as space.  Then I often sent Reiki.

3.  I gathered a group of friends for a ceremony.  We resonated into heart space, talked about our family patterns, then formed a circle.  Each person took a turn sitting in the middle while everyone else did Reiki or other healing for the ancestors.  We finished with saying the lovingkindness chant for the ancestors for a half hour.  We felt the presence of hundreds or thousands of ancestors join us.

In the next couple of weeks there were a number of stories from the group:  someone’s father checked himself into rehab, estranged sisters made up, other family rifts were solved.

4.  I created a ceremony to cut ties with one particular ancestor.

5.  I did some CranioSacral work with a practitioner who was willing and able to work with the ancestral issue.  During one of our sessions she recommended the next practitioner, Osunnike.

6.  Osunnike is not only a Reiki master but has studied Native American and African healing traditions.  There are many healers from shamanic traditions that deal with ancestral issues so ask around wherever you are and see if there’s someone near you.

7.  I said the lovingkindness chant for my ancestors often.

I still have a bit of work to do on the final piece, which is forgiveness.  In the Fischer Hoffman work, the final piece was essentially about forgiveness and Ellen always told us the process wasn’t complete unti there was forgiveness.

It took a long time for that to sink all the way in with me but I’ve come to understand how crucial that finishing touch is.  Because forgiveness is never about the other person or people and what they did or didn’t do.  It’s about you.  Forgiveness is the moment when you let go of what happened in the past and choose to live in the now.

You can choose not to forgive.  But that also means you’re choosing to let whatever happened in the past influence your present and your future.  It means you choose anger over love and compassion.  And you get to make that choice, but be conscious you are making it.  If you want to move on, free of the fetters of the past, you need to forgive.

I found with the ancestral piece it helped me to say the lovingkindness chant for them for a while.  The chant often transforms my feelings about people with whom I have issues.  Then, if there are residual feelings, it’s easier to forgive.

I chose to create a forgiveness ceremony to finish it off.  I wrote some prayers and chose some chants and created a circle in which to perform it.  I like a ritual to bring focus and intention.  but there are so many ways to work on it.  Just find the way that works for you.

I’d love it if some of you would work on figuring out these familial patterns and work on healing then either leave a comment here telling us about it or write a post and link it to this post.  Maybe just start with one and go through the whole process and then share about what happened.

J2P Monday: Bear with me

Peace Bird by Dean S. Miller

Peace Bird by Dean S. Miller (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The final throes of unwinding have been keeping me awake and kind of generally bugging me, so when I tried to compose the post I intended I found I just couldn’t concentrate.

The planned post relates to ancestral and familial patterns and how they interfere with peace.

So I thought I’d just throw out a suggestion — or a challenge, if you will — to give some thought to your family and start exploring your ancestors.

When I started thinking about my extended family in terms of patterns I could see running through the generations, I realized I could see a lot of character traits and physical holding patterns that I’d never noticed before.

Then when I started searching on the internet for more information about my ancestors, I started seeing that some of those patterns started long before the family of my lifetime.

So just think about the family members you’ve known and think of them in terms of patterns and physical movements or ways of holding the body and see if it illuminates any aspects of your life.  See whether censuses and birth and death certificates can suggest more about patterns.

Just explore.  As soon as my muscles settle down and I can get some sleep I’ll work on the post and then you’ll have more you can do with the info you’ve gathered.

J2P Monday: Ho’ oponopono to heal your world

I’m still hanging out with my “don’t beat the drums” thing (see last week’s J2P post).  It’s led me to think about Hew Len and Ho’oponopono.  Long ago I wrote a post about it.  This time I want to switch the emphasis a little to really focus on the well-known story of Hew Len’s work at a ward for the criminally insane at the Hawaii State Hospital.

This ward had become a terrible place.  Inmates attacked each other and the staff.  The staff had a big turnover and those who did work there called in sick regularly.  The grounds and ward had become run down.  Hew Len was a psychologist who followed a long line of others assigned to the ward.

He never saw a patient.  He sat in his office with a pile of files, periodically asking someone to bring him more.  He read each file and then he did ho’oponopono to heal IN HIMSELF whatever he saw in the file that needed healing.   Slowly but surely, inmates became calmer and no longer needed their meds.  The staff came to work.  The place started being fixed up.  Patients became well enough to be released in such numbers that eventually the ward closed.

He teaches that anything you see as a problem in the world is something to heal in you.  EVERY problem.  Terrorism.  Homelessness.  Hunger.  The environment.  Gangs.  Crime.  Cancer.  Disease.  Human trafficking.  Poverty.  Inequality.  Heal it in yourself, heal the world.  If each of us looked inward and healed every problem we can see within ourselves we would live in a different world.

Although the full program of ho’oponopono is more complex, Hew Len basically works with Mornah’s Prayer.  There’s a short version that seems to be most frequently used.  It’s below, but first I’m giving you the long one and I strongly suggest you start with the long version.

Our brains like lots of words and to feel things are well-explained.  If you’re not already familiar with ho’oponopono, the long version will give your brain more apparent reasons why this works.  Once you’ve become comfortable doing it and you’ve wired some new neural nets that respond automatically to ho’oponopono, you can switch to the short version.

The full version of Mornah Simeona‘s prayer:

DIVINE CREATOR: Father, Mother, Son as ONE:

If I (we), ____________________, my (our) families, relative, and ancestors have offended you, __________________, your families, relatives and ancestors, in thoughts, words and actions from the beginning of our creation to the present,

Humbly, humbly I (we) ask you (all) for forgiveness for all my (our) errors, resentments, guilts, hatred, hurts, trauma or pain, offenses, blocks, etc., which I (we) have created and accumulated from the beginning to the present. PLEASE FORGIVE ME!

(Response) YES, _________________, I (WE) FORGIVE YOU!

LET THIS WATER CLEANSE, PURIFY AND RELEASE ME (US), offender and offended FROM SPIRITUAL, MENTAL, MATERIAL, FINANCIAL, AND KARMIC BONDAGE. (Note: The use of actual water is not necessary. A symbolic sprinkling gesture made with the hand will be sufficient to suggest water.)

Pull out from our Memory Bank or Computer ALL THE UNWANTED, NEGATIVE MEMORIES AND BLOCKS that attach, knot, tie, and bind us together.

SEVER, DETACH, UNTIE, AND RELEASE these unwanted memories and blocks.

Transmute These Unwanted Energies to “Pure Light”!

Fill the spaces these energies occupied with Divine Light.

Let “Divine Order,” Light, Love, Peace, Balance, Understanding, Joy, Wisdom and Abundance be made manifest for us through the Divine Power of the Divine Father, Creator of all life, Mother, Son as ONE, in whom we abide, rest, and have our being… NOW AND FOREVER MORE. AMEN.

My challenge to you:  print out a copy of the prayer to keep with you.  This week every time you find yourself being upset by anything outside yourself, from your bed-mate’s snoring to fear of crime to the political party you despise to acid rain, stop beating the drums of the problem and instead get out the prayer.  Know that whatever you see out there reflects something inside you.  Say the prayer.

You may have to say the prayer dozens of times for the same issue.  Don’t worry about it.  Don’t judge it.  Don’t beat the drum for it.  Say the prayer.  Heal it within you.  The longer it takes, the deeper the hold of whatever it is.  Doesn’t matter.  Just pray.

When you’ve done it enough to feel in tune with it, you can use the much shorter and easier version, which you do for each problem, with the specific issue in mind:

Creator:  I am sorry, Forgive me, I love you, And I thank you.

See here for more about Hew Len and his time at the hospital.  See here for more about the short version.

J2PMonday: Not beating the drums

Ever since I read this Abraham Hicks quote, the last part has been running often through my head:

dont beat drum quote

And every time I read e-mails or posts in which someone discusses how bad the world is, how full of problems the earth is, how terrible this or that environmental problem is, I think, “Don’t beat the drums of the problems!”

And more and more I think, “I’m not going to beat the drums of the problems — and I don’t want to hear that beat.”  To me, the image of beating the drums is both about drums as a means of communication and the vibration raised by whatever you’re playing on the drum.

There’s an energy to that vibration and it’s a magnet.  If you’re proclaiming the problems, fretting over the terrible crisis of this or that, you’re magnetizing more of it to us all.  Energy flows where attention goes, so if your attention is on problems and trouble instead of what’s good then the energy of trouble is growing.

It’s not that you can’t notice anything, it’s how you pay attention to it.  Louise, at Dare Boldly, does a lovely job of advocating for the homeless.  I don’t recall seeing any posts in which she was hand wringing or pointing fingers and jumping up and down about the problem.  Instead, she reminds us of the essential goodness of the people with whom she works and tells us about success stories and programs that are working.  It’s a small thing that, to me, makes a big difference.

Although there’s no posting challenge this month, I’m going to issue a challenge for you to just try to pay attention to what you beat the drums for.  For a week, see if you can catch yourself every time you’re clucking your tongue and thinking about whatever you see as problem in the world.  Think about whether you want to beat the drum for that.  Are there positive things you can think about instead?  Has anyone anywhere made progress about the issue?

The media tends to emphasize problems but if you look around there are always great stories of people’s kindness, of great non-profits that people have founded, improvements in environmental issues, etc.  Look for the positive stories and beat the drums for those.  A few spots to check:

CBS Sunday morning also offers lots of great stories about people doing good and interesting things.

What do you tend to beat the drums for?  Are you playing the drum beat that sings of all the good and wonderful things in the world?  Or the drum beat that laments the problems?  Are you becoming a magnet for good or bad?  In the great web of all life, what message do you want to bear?

If post about the exercise, link here and when I pick up the pingback I’ll mention it in the next post.