Unit XI. Healing

1.  Areas of healing
2.  Disorders and healing
3.  Wholeness
4.  Spiritual practices
5.  Principles

Materials needed: Journal, chart paper

Books needed:

The heart of healing
Healing the wounded king
When things fall apart*

Exercises and practices:

Physical health
Soul work
Healing a relationship
The right path
Hari Om

* You may already have this book

“ The journey to wholeness usually involves restoring balance and expanding awareness through reclaiming what has been denied, repressed or overlooked.”  – Frances Vaughan

Healing lies in the understanding on a very deep level that we are all One.  There is nothing or no one outside of the Divine One.  This means that we must create balance and harmony within so as to become whole and integral, but we must also be willing consciously to merge our identities with Spirit.  All of the mystical traditions insist on this.  As long as we are wounded or feel ourselves to be victims of life and/or love, we are not whole.  So a good part of the journey involves recovering bits and pieces of soul that were lost or repressed along the way.  Essential to this quest is love, forgiveness, devotion and service.  But, you may say, how can I love if I am wounded or if I have been betrayed, raped or otherwise abused in my lifetime.  I have withdrawn from love, so I can no longer be hurt.  How can I forgive those who destroyed parts of my soul through their insensitivity, neglect, abuse or ignorance?  How can I love God if I cannot even love my neighbor?  These are good questions and, if you are still asking them, there is still work to do.

“I will seek that which was lost and bring back that which was gone astray and bind up that which was injured and strengthen that which was sick”  Ezekiel 34: 16

Fifth Chakra The trikona in the fifth chakra, the downward pointing triangle, represents the Beloved reaching down for us, to help bring us Home.  Sada-Siva  means the everpresent Siva.  Since there is only One, Spirit is always there and ready to help if we only ask.  Probably the most important zhikr in Sufism is La ilaha il’allah hu.  La ilaha il’allah means there is only one god.  Hu means the omnipresent oneness or Presence.  God is always there.

Since we are talking about integration and wholeness, this unit will be organized around the various parts of ourselves that need healing and integrating.  So we will look at the body, mind, ego, emotions, soul and relationships, note a few common disorders and what is required to heal them.  Following that, we will see what wholeness in each of these parts looks like and, finally, what a fully liberated person might resemble.

Disorders and Healing
   On the path of practice, we adopt the belief that disease happens from within, and
    so must any cure.  We decide that any lack of peace or dis-ease or illness becomes
    an occasion to go deeper into ourselves, to examine where we must make changes
    in order to heal our bodies, feelings, or lives.  We accept that our ailment is an
    assignment, and that to complete it satisfactorily, we must do research into it and
    into ourselves.  Each of us is unique; no one else can complete our assignment for us.  
    –Bri. Maya Tiwari (2000, p. 2-3).
We usually think of wholeness in terms of body, mind and spirit.  In this context, we will let soul stand in for spirit because it is the aspect that is most likely to be injured as a result of living in the world.  Spirit is impregnable.

BodyThe Person

Most disorders in the body show up as illness, disease or some sort of malfunctioning.  As we saw in anarlier guidebook, the model of a person resembles a series of concentric circles (Figure II-1) that interpenetrate each other.  We also learned that difficulties at higher levels of the person, if not dealt with at that level, filter down to lower levels until finally manifesting in the body.  What this means is that a spiritual or mental problem can show up as an emotional or physical disorder if it is not confronted and resolved at the level at which it originated.  Or an emotional issue can be expressed in the body.  Most of the bodywork disciplines and therapies help the body to release what is stored in the cells and muscles, so the individual can recognize and address the problem.  

Another source of difficulty in the body is aging.  As a result of time and wear and tear, the body begins to degenerate and its functions slow down or begin to malfunction.  Reaction time slows and everything takes longer.  Muscles and joints tend to stiffen, arthritis may set in.  If during the lifetime the body has been abused by overeating, drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, lack of exercise, stress and lack of moderation and reasonable care, more lethal forms of degeneration such as cancer, strokes, diabetes, and heart attacks may occur.

There are numerous ways to prevent or cope with these problems.  However, keep in mind that it takes seven years for the body to completely replace itself, so don’t expect miracles if you have let it go unattended.  However, with determination and care over time, most of the body’s health can be recaptured.

Nutrition is critical.  The body can only use what is put into it as fuel.  So, if you do not eat properly, whatever nutrients are lacking will skew your health.  Using chemical drugs to try to correct dis-ease tends to compound the problem because the body can become  poisoned by the chemicals.  There is a wealth of information now on the market about how to care for your body, what nutrients are related to the various systems of the body and how to use them to best advantage.  Optimal wellness by Ralph Golan (1995) and Nutrition almanac by Kirschmann and Dunne (1973) are two good ones to use as source information.  Optimal wellness describes the major systems of the body and what they need for optimal performance.  The Nutrition almanac describes the nutrients the body needs and how to use them.  Both of these books are probably out in newer editions than mine.  Supplements and herbs are particularly useful in staving off the effects of aging.  My impression is that assimilation of the vitamins and minerals that are needed by the body slows down in older age, so adding them to the diet really helps.

If you can handle a vegetarian diet, you may feel better and be in less danger from cardiovascular disorders.  However, there is a body type that must have meat in order to feel right and have enough energy to function.  Usually folks of this type  have the O+ blood type.  If you fall into this category, by all means eat the meat you need.  You can still cut down on red meat which tends to be fattier, to have adrenalin and possibly hormones in it from production practices.

There are also other systemic disorders, some inherited, some created that you must see a doctor about, but once the problem is identified and if it is not critical, do some research and see if you can remedy it before accepting drugs.  For instance, I have a tenuous calcium/magnesium balance and my body will cramp if I do not get enough of them as well as the right ratio between them.  I am able to keep this under control by taking a calcium/magnesium supplement and vitamin D which is necessary to metabolize calcium.  Another disorder that may be hereditary is diabetes.  It is related to faulty carbohydrate metabolism as is the weight gain that usually accompanies it (Puhn, 2003).  Diabetes can be controlled with diet and supplements if you do the necessary research.  

These are just a few examples of how to care for your body by giving it the proper nutrients.  They highlight the importance of taking responsibility for your own health and for finding the cause of anything that goes wrong.  Look first at your current lifestyle to see if you are abusing or starving your body.  If not, look at other levels of your being for problems or issues that might be manifesting through the body.  Body language is very helpful here since the disorder’s location in the body is related to the issue.  I had tendonitis in my heel for two and a half  years because I was afraid to fall in love.  (I’m sure you know the story of Achilles and his heel.)  Falling in love healed it.  The phonetic similarity is no accident, of course.

Adequate exercise and sleep go without saying.  Sleep occurs in 90-minute intervals, so the only way you can get eight hours is by use of an alarm clock.  However, it is possible to teach your body to awake at a specified time if you take the 90-minute intervals into consideration.  Obviously you have to get enough sleep or inner timing won’t work,  so aim for 7 ½ or 9 hours/night.

Hatha Yoga is ideal exercise plus it prepares your bodymind for meditation.  Done, correctly, Yoga will stretch and condition every muscle in your body to say nothing of harnessing the breath.  Pranayama can go in tandem with Hatha Yoga as breath training.  Both practices are subsets of Raja Yoga or meditation.

It is important to learn how to deal with your sexuality, to find an appropriate way to express it.  A committed relationship is the best context as it allows relaxation and safety.  If you are celibate or not in a relationship, sexual energy can be transmuted through specific practices that have already been covered in previous guidebooks (or see the last page of Unit VI in this book).

Stress takes enormous tolls on the body, so it is wise to learn how to reduce it and keep it under manageable control.  Exercise helps relieve it.  So does bodywork.  In this domain, your attitude is critical.  The Type A personality that is hard-driving and ambitious is particularly prone to stress-related illnesses.  It would be better for your body to focus attention on acceptance of what is as we noted before.

Lastly, a positive attitude toward life, one that is optimistic, outgoing, kind and friendly toward others tends to allow the body to relax and release its tensions.  A sense of humor is a gift from God.  If you don’t have one, it can be cultivated.  Perhaps you take yourself too seriously.  If you cannot laugh at yourself and your foibles, you are in serious trouble.

Exercise: Physical health

1.  Read  The heart of healing (Institute of Noetic Sciences & Poole, W., 1993) or use one of the books mentioned above.  Do some research on your own to help you understand how your body works, so you can take charge of its condition.

2.  If you are not already engaged in one of the spiritual disciplines that works on the body such as Yoga, Tai Chi, Aikido or Qi Gong, experiment with a few classes and see if you can find one that inspires you to continue.  Look for how the discipline connects you to your spiritual aspirations.


It is probably only necessary to mention disorders of the mind as so much attention has already been paid to them.  Psychopathology comes to mind first and needs professional attention when it occurs.  This category would include neurosis, psychosis, and other forms of mental illness that are clinically recognized.  Aside from mental illness, the problem that is most invasive and resistant to change is discursive thinking, the run-on background chatter in the mind that we all experience.  With persistance, this responds  to meditation; that is, those forms of meditation that do not entertain you as does music, visualization, working in the garden, sports or exercising.  Vipassana meditation is the most effective I know of.  You just sit there without any stimulation: alive and awake, watching.

Inability to concentrate is another problem.  Mindfulness training or concentration forms of meditation address this issue satisfactorily.

Allowing the senses to dominate your life is another problem that is not so obvious because our materialistic society blesses and advertises it.  However, the senses feed the mind, so allowing them to go unchecked means the mind will soon follow.  The basic senses need to be refined into higher level feelings that can inform the spiritual journey.  This will result in the development of intuition and the buddhi mind.  Discipline is essential, so the mind does not run amok.

Discontentment is allied to repression as well as to a busy mind.  When there are memories and energies that are tied up in repression, the mind becomes irritated and restless.  Working through purification exercises and practices (cf. Return to Spirit, Books I-III) as well as meditation will enable subconscious issues to surface so you can deal with them.  Eventually, contentment and harmony will be the result.

Thoughts are one of the components of attitudes (emotion is the other), so it is important to learn how to govern our thinking processes if we want to shift our attitudes to more favorable outlooks on life.  Sometimes negative attitudes are simply habitual.  When that is the case, systematic work on them can usually turn them around.  Chronic irritability, complaining, whining, criticizing and temper tantrums are signs of negative attitudes.  Affirmations can help in this regard as can pinpointing and removing the negative thoughts behind them.


You will, by now, be familiar with the distinctions between emotions and feelings.  Usually the emotions that prove troublesome are negative ones such as fear, anger, mistrust, hatred, spitefulness, jealousy, envy, etc.  Most of these can be dealt with by changing our thinking or our interpretations of what is happening.  Examining expectations and assumptions is also productive.  

The most recalcitrant emotion is fear, and fear is very likely the basis for many of the other emotions.  The reason it is difficult to deal with is that it is grounded in survival instincts.  In addition, it gets attached to other ego control mechanisms, so it manifests in a myriad of different forms.

Emotions are healed by disarming them, finding and deleting the thoughts, habits  and energies that are sustaining them.  Sometimes it is necessary to go back into the past and unearth repressed traumas or memories.  This is an example of how mental activity can influence emotions and even the body.  Therapy may be necessary if the emotional stress is too intense.  Otherwise, the purification practices we have been using will likely do the job.

Renunciation, detachment, acceptance and surrender are spiritual practices that work on cleansing and subduing tempestuous emotions.  Attempting to cultivate contentment, trust, empathy and compassion will help substitute more favorable attitudes.  Emotion is the other factor that creates an attitude, so a two-pronged approach of investigation into thoughts and emotions can yield information about and promote change in attitudes.


Soul emerges as an important player in the higher level chakras because it is the character that mediates between Spirit and the egomind.  It is partly divine and partly human, so it has a foot in both courts.  However, this also means that it can be torn between two allegiances.  As a result of socialization practices and repression, we become disconnected from the Source and spend the rest of our lives yearning for our spiritual Home.   Loss of soul causes wounds that never heal because they are repressed and cut off from consciousness.  Hence they cannot be addressed and healed but simmer continually below the surface with unrequited energies.  Also, as a result of repression and the necessity for conformity, the soul becomes overpowered by the egomind whose primary wish is to keep painful issues out of sight and mind.

Healing the soul is a matter of reversing the patterns that created the wounds.  In order to do that, they must be unearthed, recognized, and lovingly confronted with  forgiveness, empathy and compassion.  This is never easy because there is so much pain involved.  Purification work clears the decks, but then we must go deeper.  Dream work can offer a gateway to the unconscious as does visualization, doing artwork, listening to music, daydreaming and ritual.  It is important to check out your boundaries and make sure they are appropriate - neither too stringent nor too lax.  It is really important to recognize that those relationships which caused the wounding have now changed and are no longer powerful forces in our lives.  Finding ways to forgive those who hurt us is essential; but, in order to do so, we may need to discover the motivation behind whatever they did.  On the other hand, the culprit may turn out to be our own minds and how we interpreted the situation at the time.  Or we may have misunderstood the reasons for what happened due to our immaturity at the time.  In cases of outright abuse, we remove ourselves from the scene and examine the ignorance and pain of the abuser to see if we can reconstrue what happened.  In any case, events from the past can be reframed in the light of what we now know so as to remove their traumatic charges.

Breathwork is often helpful in healing the soul because it connects the body and mind, and also because it aids relaxation.  Breath can be used to open the chakras and as a support for chanting and mantra.  It can be used to bring healing light into specific parts of the body and mind.  It is also used in Tonglen to help remove traumatic negative energies.  For more instruction in how to use Light in healing, consult Hands of Light by Barbara Brennan (1988) or one of her later books.

Love is the most powerful medicine in the world.  Even if you have no one else to love you at the moment, you can generate love for yourself, or for your inner child.  Rick Phillips’ (1996, 1997) books deal with such techniques as does much of contemporary transpersonal psychotherapy practice and bodywork.  But, most important, is the love of Spirit or the Beloved which is omnipresent and unchanging, totally reliable once we learn how to tune in to it.  This is done through meditation and devotional practices as well as mantra and zhikr.  Sacred dance, if you have access to it, is also helpful.  Finally, the love of a favorite animal can temporarily substitute for other sources of love in the interim.  There is something deeply satisfying about the purring of a cat on your lap or the snoring of a beloved dog at your feet in the evening.  Horses, birds, dolphins and other animals have their own forms of loving that are equally advantageous.  There are times in everyone’s life where this kind of love may be the only thing available; and, it seems to me, that our pets are thus surely gifts from God.


Problems in our own psycho-spiritual dynamics almost inevitably spill over into relationships with others whether it be family, friends, coworkers or just acquaintances.  We have already discussed projection which is a primary cause of poor relations, but there are numerous others.  Almost all are due to ego’s efforts at control.  Some power issues show up as suspicion, dominance, rape, enslavement, engulfment, conflict, patriarchy and argumentive discord.  The inner judge manifests as criticism, comparisons, competition, put-downs, pride, authority and all forms of non-egalitarianism.  Insecurity and jealousy may lead to betrayal, possessiveness or excessive dependencies.  These are just a few examples.  You can come up with others from your own experience.

Healing relationships begins at home, with healing ourselves.  We need to undo projections and reclaim responsibility for our own woundedness.  The judge must be cut down to size and put in the service of the Higher Self.    The inner child must be acknowledged and protected in its vulnerability.  We have to learn how to set and protect our boundaries and to keep them flexible.  All of this is basic self-maintenance.  Beyond that come the spiritual practices to develop patience, tolerance, forbearance, forgiveness, gratitude, kindness, compassion, sensitivity, courtesy, consideration and empathy.  All of these characteristics also serve to define and describe the enlightened being.

Now let us look at what the healed individual would be like.


Wholeness is characterized by integrity in the sense of being integrated as well as by integrity in the sense of honesty or truth.  It is what it is meant to be.  So we would expect to find balance, harmony, interdependence, beauty and optimal functioning in any being that is whole.  Let us look at the parts of Self we have been describing.


A whole body is healthy, full of energy and stamina, active, clean and functioning at its optimal potential.  It supports the life activities of the individual and moves with grace and elegance.  There is a sense of joie d’vivre and happiness along with optimism and flexibility.


The healthy mind is one that is relaxed, quiet, contented and singlepointed, able to concentrate or to shift into unfocused activities when it wishes.  This mind is intelligent as well with easy access to intuition, knowledge and wisdom.  It submits to meditation willingly and releases into sleep when the time comes.  A healthy mind is free of obsessions and compulsions and other forms of psychopathology.  It takes pleasure in new learning and problem-solving and can switch into a creative mode upon request.


A healthy ego is centered and grounded in reality and maintains balance in functioning.  It can surrender when appropriate without emotionality and without losing its balance.  It protects the sanctity and privacy of the individual with flexible boundaries and ensures survival and self-preservation through its watchfulness.  The healthy ego feels happy and actualized as well as worthy and full of personal power.  At the same time, it is humble and willing to render service to the Most High.  It knows its legitimate place in the personality structure and is willing to rescind its power when that is called for.


Emotions are serene, low-key, appropriately controlled and largely positive when all is well.  They tend to be loving, caring, benevolent, loyal, honorable and dedicated to fostering wholesome relationships.  At first when emotions reach this state one may feel something is lacking in life.  Things are on too even a keel.  There is no longer the roller coaster ride of ups and downs in temperament.  It may even feel boring for a while.  But, once you become used to the serenity and contentment, you can see how devastating an effect the discord was having on your life.  Peace and harmony now become a way of life and provide a context for spiritual practice and service.


A healthy soul is identified with Spirit and feels connected to the Source.  It is awake in all its functions, open and vulnerable while simultaneously feeling safe and protected by divine guidance.  A mature soul is infused with Light and beauty and capable of giving love to all comers without discrimination.  It feels compassion for those enmeshed in ignorance and evil and is able to forgive them.  An integrated soul is able to project Light out from itself and from the Source to benefit others and to heal.  It joins and bridges the egobodymind to Spirit and thus enables constant nourishment and support for the individual person.  It is empowered to do Spirit’s work in the world and so engages in selfless service.

Exercise: Soul work

1.  Read Healing the wounded king taking notes as you go on how the symbols relate to the soul’s journey.  Then put them together to come up with your own summary of what soul work means for you.  Think about how all the different characters reflect personality aspects in you.  What is the question that needs to be asked and why?  Who is the Grail King in you?  What is the wound and how is it healed?

2.  Create a large, wide chart for the following with four or five columns.  Make a list of your major soul wounds down the side leaving some space between each of them.  In the next column, indicate what part of yourself or your abilities or your qualities was damaged by each wound.  “Rejection wounded my self-worth” would be an example.  Next figure out what caused the wound.  Make one column for what caused the other person or event to wound you (e.g., ignorance) and one column for your responsibility in it (possibly self-will or stubbornness).  Lastly, list the general causes, by way of summary, for each wound.  For example, “rejection comes from non-conformity” - or whatever it comes from in your experience.  You may have several to a dozen causes so leave space for them in your chart.  

Then look at what you have and see if you have gained any insights into your wounding.  If so, write down your conclusions.  Also write down any questions you need to get answered.  If you run into any snags along the way, don’t just skip over the wound.  Recognize that where you lack insight is a vital point of departure.  That shows you a place where your wound is still active and needs attention.  

Likewise, anxiety is a pointer to a trouble spot.  It may signal a repression.  If so, ask for a dream to help discover what it is.  And, if you do this, put paper and pen by your bedside.  When the dream comes, write it down immediately upon awaking even if it is in the middle of the night.  Do not depend on your memory because if it is repressed material your ego will re-repress it before you come fully awake.  Think of this as a descent into the underworld in search of your soul pieces.  If you want to explore this further, you might want to look at a book called Soul retrieval: Mending the fragmented self by Sandra Ingerman (1991) which is a shamanic approach.

3.  You may want to draw or create some form the represents your most serious wound, so you can objectify it.  Put it where you can live with it for a while, so it loses its emotional charges.


Wholistic relationships are harmonious, satisfying, loving, egalitarian, reciprocal, respectful, considerate, kind, balanced, tolerant, and patient.  The whole person is able to engage in consensual decision-making and to collaborate with others in creating community.  This is not to say that disagreements will not arise nor problems make their appearance.  Understanding and awareness of ego’s potential to create conflict due to self-will is critical for success.  We are human after all.  But the modes of resolving issues would tend to take on the qualities mentioned above.  Above all, mutual respect would characterize a mature, wholistic relationship.  Creating such a liaison requires not only commitment but a willingness to work at it constantly because old habits have a way of re-surfacing when we least expect them.

If we could manage to get ourselves as a group to this point, then there would emerge a new hope for the future of humanity.  However, contemplating how distant that prospect is is no cause for dismay.  We always begin with ourselves and gains that each of us makes move out from us in concentric circles that impact others in ways we could not possibly imagine.  So we all have a role to play in restoring planetary harmony.

Exercise: Healing a relationship

Reflect on your most important, current relationship.  Think about the relationship itself rather than the person with whom you are involved.  It is, after all, an entity the two of you have created between you.  Would you say the relationship is healthy in terms of the criteria we have been describing?  Is it whole, lively and functioning optimally to the benefit of both parties?  If not, make a list of its ailments just as if it were another person.  You could also use some ideas from the previous exercise on soul work if you wish.

Next, see if the other person will cooperate in making a diagnostic examination.  If so, ask them to do the same thing, but before sharing what you have done  yourself.  Then find a time you can talk uninterruptedly for an hour or so.  Exchange and share each other’s observations and see where you agree and disagree.   Think of yourselves as two doctors consulting about the well-being of a patient.  Together, create a diagnosis you can both ratify.  Do you have a wound in your relationship, or is it just a matter of minor disagreements and conflicts?  If it appears to be a wound, discuss how it might be healed.  Is trust a major issue?  What information, if any, is missing in order to heal the wound?  What do each of you need to do to correct  your input to the problem?  Allow each person to submit his/her own information on this question.  Avoid criticism, advice-giving, suspicion, etc.  Strive for respect and mutual reciprocity.  

Listen and really hear what the other person says.  If this proves difficult, allow each person to speak  for a timed period, say five minutes, without interruption.  Then allow another five minutes before the other person  responds in order to let the information sink in and run through your heart.  Do all of this as if the relationship were another person, perhaps your child.  After the initial consultation, discuss what treatment plan seems to be called for.  Then make some commitments to put it into practice.  Plan for a followup at a reasonable interval to evaluate your progress.  You can then cycle through this process again if necessary adding other procedures you may have discovered that proved to be productive.  Tonglen is a useful practice in working with relationships (cf Chodron, 1997, pp. 95-7 for directions).

Personal integrity depends upon the rescue of all parts of ourselves.  Then they must be woven into a newly-patterned, whole person. This needn’t alarm you because it will happen so slowly you may not be aware of any change in yourself  for a long time.  I’m told that I am now viewed by many members of my family as “quirky.”  I don’t know how long this perception has been around but have to admit I am not surprised.  And, apparently, they still love me.

Surrender plays its role as well.  We must be willing to give up the ideas about who we think we are for an identity that is hugely larger than we can usually imagine.  We also have to surrender our favored defenses in exchange for divine protection.  The ego and judge must be tamed and harnessed to spiritual service.  We let go of our pain. . . and our pleasures.  Hope turns into knowledge and wisdom.  Desire becomes rapture.  Control yields to guidance from Spirit.  Dreams approach reality.  Light and Love become a way of life.  Spirit says, “Come to Me, Be with Me, Be Me, Be My Love.  Listen, do you hear It?  Answer. . . answer. . . answer.

Spiritual Practices

Each of us has the capacity to enter the vast universe within ourselves and become conscious of the Divine Spirit that is beyond the material reality we understand through our five senses.  
– Bri. Maya Tiwari (2000, p. 7)

The value of spiritual practice lies in its ability to focus your attention on your spiritual goals.  It also gives vital support to the reformulation of old habits that are no longer useful.  It supports the nascent, emerging soul as well as the surrender required of the ego and mind.  In addition, spiritual practice has the capacity to transmute emotions into that devotion which attracts the attention of the Beloved and inspires Its cooperation and collaboration.

In trying to set up a spiritual practice, it is important to give it a reasonably long period of time to get established.  It is impossible to tell what effects it will have over the short term because we are reworking old and usually very resistant patterns of behavior.  When I first went to the Ashram for six weeks, I found out what a marvelous practice Hatha Yoga was and decided to continue it when I returned home.  However, I could not sustain it because the habit was not yet firmly established.  After I had lived at the Ashram for two years and done Hatha Yoga every morning first thing upon arising, I was able to keep it going when I returned home.  This is just to give you some idea of how difficult it is to really get a spiritual practice going.  Support of a like-minded group is enormously helpful if not essential in the beginning stages.

It would probably be wise to experiment at first to find a practice that you can enjoy and that you feel holds promise for your future.  Then find a support group or spiritual center you can join on a regular basis to practice together until it becomes self-generating.  It is like any exercise or new project you want to get launched and responds to the same rules.  There is always a period of boredom or lack of motivation or disinclination that has to be surmounted.  These are the times when compatible others can give you just the boost you need.  An honest commitment helps as well.

My bias, as you undoubtedly already know, is for meditation and Hatha Yoga.  However, you are free to choose whatever works for you.  Ideas have been scattered throughout these guidebooks.  You will be guided to the ideal practice for you if you consult your inner guidance and ask for direction.

Healing Principles

These are just a few ideas, continuing the pattern set in previous guidebooks, that are especially applicable to the fifth chakra work.


Panoramic awareness  results from meditation.  It is what my Buddhist teacher called “spacious meadow.”  As the mind comes under control, vast space opens out, an emptiness without impediment.  This is the ether of the fifth chakra.  It is a space of infinite creative potential, the void out of which everything has come and to which everything will return in its time.  This is Zen “no-mind.”  Settling into this space has enormous promise for rest and recuperation because there is neither  stress nor any demands being made upon us.  This boon is available to anyone for an investment of only a half hour to an hour a day though the longer time offers more benefits.  By itself, meditation can change your life bringing not only peace of mind, but a whole new world of intuition and insight.  Chodron calls this paramita meditation or unconditioned openness.

Skillful means is sometimes referred to as skillful conduct or exertion.  Khentin Tai Situ Pa (Holmes, no date) says skillful means has “three main aspects: 1) to refrain from negative actions, 2) to accumulate what is positive and 3) to help others” (p. 47).  We are talking here about readiness to act.  Trungpa (1984, p. 72) likens it to using a bow and arrow.  The arrow is discriminating awareness and the bow is skillful action that gives direction to the arrow.  We need to be able to discern what is helpful and what is not, when to act and when not to act.  And we must work on ourselves to remove as many traces of negativity as is humanly possible.

Underlying all of the paramitas is prajna.  This is discriminating wisdom often represented by the vajra or thunderbolt because of its power and indestructibility.  Prajna cuts through all non-essentials and drives straight to the truth.  Situ Pa (Holmes, no date, p. 62) indicates three stages of development of prajna: 1) to know the way things work, 2) to know the way they really are, and 3) to know that which is truly the essence of everything.  The highest wisdom is non-duality which is what we aim for.  Non-duality is the transcendent, ultimate truth just as it is.  “The realization of the ultimate truth is always there.  He who achieves such realization is a Buddha” (Holmes, p. 63).

Exercise: Paramitas

Read chapter 16 in When things fall apart.  Chodron introduces us to the paramitas and talks about how they can manifest in daily life.  Make a quick outline of them in your journal for future reference.  I find myself coming back to them time after time again.

Eight-fold path

Two items in the eight-fold path are particularly relevant to the fifth chakra: right speech and right livelihood.  The latter interacts with skillful means.

Right speech means not just talking but any form of self-expression that connects us to the outside world.  A very important aspect of it would be self-control.  We do not just rush in mindlessly and do or say whatever comes to mind.  Instead we reflect a moment on whether it is necessary, useful and harmless.  One of the most irritating of human behaviors is seen in the person who says everything s/he is thinking to the detriment of whatever discussion is ongoing.  Or those who interupt because their own agenda is more important to them than anything else.

Right speech would also rule out pornography, violence on television, and other forms of perversion that are released into the shared consciousness.  Rock music blaring from automobiles is wrong speech, for instance.  This is not that rock music is bad in itself, but that broadcasting it indiscriminately is inconsiderate of others’ peace and quiet.

Drenching another person in one’s own anger and inner confusion can be devastating because the negative energy is transmitted often over great distances.  So abuse of others, in any of its forms, is wrong speech.   

Right livelihood means that we make our living in ways that do not harm or offend other people.  So, for example, most of the advertising we see on television and in the newspapers can be construed as wrong speech either because it is not true or because it tries to sell things that are not good for us, and thus those who participate in disseminating it are practicing wrong livelihood.  Likewise those politicians who accept bribes to enact legislation that encourages big business and wealthy executives to betray the public’s  trust.  Making garden poisons is wrong livelihood.  Killing animals is wrong livelihood.  We fail to acknowedge these issues because  to do so would threaten our entire way of life in the materialistic west.  We are not even conscious of them in the same way that we suppress our awareness of death and aging.  Perhaps the best we can do is to change our own way of life, so that we do no violence to others or to sentient life forms at least within the parameters needed for survival.

Exercise: The right path

Read chapter 22 in When things fall apart.  Reflect on what is truth in your life.  Are you living up to it?  If not, why not?  What stands in the way?  Is that something you can or will attempt to change?  Where will you begin?  In what areas do you suppress the truth?


In the end, we have silence.  Silence in the mind, ego, emotions and heart.  This is not silence in the sense of no physical noise necessarily though that helps, but silence in the sense of inner peace.  In this silence, we meet our soul, our guide, our truth, our destiny, our own divinity.  In silent space, we meet the Beloved and find that we are deeply cherished and nurtured by Its Love and Light.  From this contact, we can draw the power to create a life of beauty that gives light and sustenance to
the suffering souls of others. “Be Me,” Spirit says.  That is who we are.  That is our truth and our mission in life.

Practice: Hari Om

Hari is another name for Vishnu the Hindu god of protection and preservation.  The Hari Om mantra is a healing mantra and may be used for any type of healing practice.  Please secure the tape from Timeless Books in order to learn the melody.  When you have it, practice chanting with the tape until you learn it.  You may also play the tape in the background as you work or go about your daily routines.  It is especially helpful to disperse harmful emotions as well as to help allay other disorders of body, mind or spirit.

If you have done the work so far, you may find yourself standing on a threshold peering through the Gateway to Liberation into the Light, Hope and Joy of a new life . Are you ready to live in the Light?


Brennan, B. (1988).  Hands of light: A guide to healing through the human energy field.  New York: Bantam Books.

Chodron, P. (1997).  When things fall apart: Heart advice for difficult times. Boston: Shambhala.

Golan, R. (1995).  Optimal wellness.  New York: Ballantine Books.

The Institute of Noetic Sciences & Poole, W. (Ed.). (1993).  The heart ofhealing.  Atlanta: Turner Publishing.

Holmes, K. (Ed.). (no date).  Way to go: “Sowing the seed of Buddha.” Dumfriesshire: Kagyu Samye-Ling.

Ingerman, S.  (1991).  Soul retrieval: Mending the fragmented self.  New York: HarperCollins.

Kirschman, J. & Dunne, L. (1973).  Nutrition almanac, 2nd ed.  New York: McGraw-Hill.

Matthews, J.  (1997).   Healing the wounded king: Soul work and the quest for the grail.  Rockport, MA: Element Books.

Phillips, R.  (1996).  Healing communication: A psychospiritual approach. Glorieta, NM: Deva Publishing.

Phillips, R.  (1997).  Windows to the soul: Healing the emotional body.  Glorieta, NM: Deva Publishing.

Puhn, A.  (2003).  The midlife miracle diet: When your diet doesn’t work anymore. New York: Viking.

Tiwari, M.  (2000).  The path of practice: A woman’s book of healing with food, breath, and sound.  New York: Ballantine.

Trungpa, C.  (1984).  Shambhala: The sacred path of the warrior.  Boulder: Shambhala.

We have now looked at how healing might occur in the body, mind, ego, emotions, soul and relationships.  This concludes the guidebook:  Return to Spirit, Book V.  Surrender.   The following one Return to Spirit, Book VI should be ready in the summer of 2005.  Thank you for your continuing work on yourself.  

Many Blessings, Love and Light, Hiranya

General References for Book V. Surrender

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Appelbaum, D. (Ed.). (2002). “The Ego and the ‘I̓.” Parabola: Myth. Tradition,
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Bair, P.  (1998).  Living from the heart: Heart rhythm meditation for energy, clarity, peace, joy, and inner power.  New York: Three Rivers Press.

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Bentov, I. (1977).  Stalking the wild pendulum: On the mechanics of consciousness.  New York: E. P. Dutton.

Blake, W.  (1978).  The book of Urizen.  Boulder: Shambhala.

Bragdon, E.  (1990).  The call of spiritual emergency:   From personal crisis to personal transformation.  San Francisco: Harper & Row.

Brennan, B. (1988).  Hands of light: A guide to healing through the human energy field.  New York: Bantam Books.

Brown, B.  (1999).  Soul without shame: A guide to liberating yourself from the judge within.  Boston: Shambhala.

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Chodron, P.  (1997).  When things fall apart: Heart advice for difficult times. Boston: Shambhala.

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Hanh, T.  (2002).  No death, no fear: Comforting wisdom for life.  New York: Riverhead Books.

Harris, T.  (1995).  “The Word Made Flesh.”  Parabola: The Magazine of Myth and Tradition, 20, (3), 16-20.

Heinberg, R.  (1985).  Memories and visions of Paradise: The spiritual heritage and destiny of mankind.  Loveland, CO: Emissaries of Divine Light.

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Ingerman, S.  (1991).  Soul retrieval: Mending the fragmented self.  New York: HarperCollins.

Institute of Noetic Sciences & Poole, W. (Ed.). (1993).  The heart of healing.  Atlanta: Turner Publishing.

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Mishra, R.  (1987b).  The textbook of Yoga psychology: The definitive translation and interpretation of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.  New York: The Julian Press. 

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      Omega Institute.

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Phillips, R.  (1996).  Healing communication: A psychospiritual approach. Glorieta, NM: Deva Publishing.

Phillips, R.  (1997).  Windows to the soul: Healing the emotional body.  Glorieta, NM: Deva Publishing.

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Plato.  The republic: Book VII.

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Radha, Sw. S.  (1978).  Kundalini: Yoga for the west.  Spokane, WA: Timeless Books.

Radha, Sw. S.  (1987).  The Divine Light Invocation: A spiritual practice for healing and for realizing the Light within.  Spokane, WA: Timeless Books.

Radha, Sw. S.  (1980).  Mantras: Words of power.  Porthill, ID: Timeless Books.

Radin, D.  (2003).  “For Whom the Bell Tolls: A Question of Global Consciousness.”  IONS Noetic Sciences Review, 63, March-May, 8-13.

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Trungpa, C.  (1984).  Shambhala: The sacred path of the warrior.  Boulder: Shambhala.

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Vaughan-Lee, L.  (1996).  The paradoxes of love.  Inverness, CA: The Golden Sufi Center.

Vaughan-Lee, L.  (1999).  The circle of love.  Inverness, CA: The Golden Sufi Center.

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Appendix A
Plato's Cave

And now, I said, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened: Behold! human beings living in an underground den, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the den; here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they can not move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads.  Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets.

I see.

And do you see, I said, men passing along the wall carrying all sorts of vessels, and statues and figures of animals made of wood and stone and various materials, which appear over the wall?  Some of them are talking, others silent.

You have shown me a strange image, and they are strange prisoners.

Like ourselves, I replied; and they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave?

True, he said; how could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?

And of the objects which are being carried in like manner they would see only the shadows?

Yes, he said.

And if they were able to converse with one another, would they not suppose that they were naming what was actually before them?

Very true.

And suppose further that the prison had an echo which came from the other side, would they not be sure to fancy when one of the passers-by spoke that the voice which they heard came from the passing shadow?

No question, he replied.

To them, I said, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images.

That is certain.
And now look again, and see what will naturally follow if the prisoners are released and disabused of their error.  At first, when any of them is liberated and compelled suddenly to stand up and turn his neck round and walk and look toward the light, he will suffer sharp pains; the glare will distress him, and he will be unable to see the realities of which in his former state he had seen the shadows; and then conceive someone saying to him, that what he saw before was an illusion, but that now, when he is approaching nearer to being and his eye is turned towards more real existence, he has a clearer vision, what will be his reply?  And you may further imagine that his instructor is pointing to the objects as they pass and requiring him to name them, will he not be perplexed?  Will he not fancy that the shadows which he formerly saw are truer than the objects which are now shown to him?

Far truer. 

And if he is compelled to look straight at the light, will he not have a pain in his eyes which will make him turn away to take refuge in the objects of vision which he can see, and which he will conceive to be in reality clearer than the things which are now being shown to him?

True, he said.

And suppose once more, that he is reluctantly dragged up a steep and rugged ascent and held fast until he is forced into the presence of the sun himself, is he not likely to be pained and irritated?  When he approaches the light his eyes will be dazzled, and he will not be able to see anything at all of what are now called realities.

Not all in a moment, he said.

He will require to grow accustomed to the sight of the upper world.  And first he will see the shadows best, next the reflections of men and other objects in the water, and then the objects themselves; then he will gaze upon the light of the moon and the stars and the spangled heaven; and he will see the sky and the stars by night better than the sun or the light of the sun by day?


Last of all he will be able to see the sun, and not mere reflections of him in the water, but he will see him in his own proper place, and not in another; and he will contemplate him as he is.

 Plato, The Republic

Appendix B
Twilight Imaging

Variation on a theme by Ira Progoff

This process borrows ideas from both Ira Progoff (1975) and St. Ignatius and is a form of guided imagery.  It involves relaxing until one can quiet the mind and allow subconscious and unconscious material to surface.  It is a way of accessing the Higher Self as well as some of the archetypes.  Progoff says the psyche is like an underground river which knows our life purpose and everything we need to know to actualize it.  He uses various inductions to lead people into this semi-conscious state that is somewhere between sleeping and waking.  It is rather like that brief period before one drops into deep sleep at night.  Unlike dreams, one is conscious and can remember what occurs.  However, the discursive, evaluative mind is silenced, so material that is not usually accessible can come through.

Twilight imaging has four stages: induction, imaging or experiencing, return, and recording what was experienced.  You may use the following induction or create your own.  What is needed is some imagery that guides you underground and/or into the underground river.  The imaging itself varies according to what you want to find out.  Or it can be left open to whatever your psyche wants to tell you.  It goes without saying that one is polite and respectful of aspects that are encountered in this phase. The return involves a gradual re-entry into your usual bodymind.  And the recording takes place without speaking as soon as you are alert again, so nothing is forgotten.  The material may then be processed like a dream, the images may be drawn, or people may want to share their experiences with others.

You may want to tape the following directions, so you can play them to yourself during the exercise.  If you do this, leave plenty of time between each phase for your experience.  Err on the side of too much time since your sense of time will slow down as the imaging begins.  You may need to experiment to get this right.


Lie down on the floor with your arms out to the side about half way down to your knees and palms up.  Cover yourself because you will cool off as you relax.  You may use an eye pillow if you have one.  Take several deep breaths and release tension on the outbreaths.  If there is any pain or cramping in your body, let it go as you breathe.  Take a mental walk through your body and systematically relax each part of it beginning with your feet and not forgetting your face and scalp.  Relax the mind.  Bring your attention within to the heart center and breathe into that.

Induction:  Now see yourself walking along a path through a sunny meadow.  It is springtime and the trees are leafing out.  Flowers are beginning to bloom and the sky is a clear blue with puffy floating clouds in it.  On your left is a gurgling stream with an occasional willow tree reaching out over it to test the water. . .  You are alone and enjoying the day. . .  Soon you see a small hill on your right. . .  As you gaze at it, you notice a small blue door in the side of it and you are curious to know what it is. . . So you cross the meadow and walk toward it. . .  When you get close to it, you see that it has brass hinges and a large brass bar that closes it. . .  You try the bar, and it opens easily.  The door swings open and you step inside and look around you. . . You find yourself in a large elegant hall with a dark red carpet and golden lamps on the wall that illuminate the whole space. . .  There seems to be no one around, so you begin to walk down the hall. . .   It feels comfortable and safe, somehow familiar though you cannot remember being there before. . . There are no doors, but soon you come to a staircase that is going down. . . The bannisters are walnut with a soft, fine sheen, and the red carpet descends, so you do too.  The lamps continue with you, so there is plenty of light. . . You walk slowly down about twenty stairs sinking slowly into the coolness of underground. . . You are still comfortable and curious to see what is at the bottom. . . When you get there, there is another door.  This one is heavy and made of the same walnut as the bannisters.  It has golden hinges and a golden latch that is intricately carved. . . You notice its pattern. . . Trace it with your finger. . .  Then you carefully open the door and, as you pull it toward you, radiant sunshine streams in and warms your face. . . As you step through the door, you find yourself in a formal garden full of flowers in every color imaginable.  There are trees throughout and some have benches underneath them so one can sit to rest. . . A merry stream of water  rushes out of a rock ledge and falls happily into the small pond beneath it.  Ferns surround this pool and dip their fronds into the water. . . Birds are singing. . . and they hop about in the garden sampling nectar from the flowers. . .

[Here you insert the action you have come to accomplish.  For instance, you may wish to meet your Higher Self in which case you would visualize It approaching and talking to you, etc.]

When you are ready to return, continue the guidance:

Now it is nearly time to leave, so you complete what you are doing. . . [leave a few minutes for this]  Begin to come back into this time and place. . .  Allow your senses to perceive the present. . . Feel the air on your face and hands. . . Hear the words of this guidance. . . Feel the floor under your body supporting your weight. . .  And now, draw your legs up to your chest and turn over on your side. . . Take a minute to fix in your memory what has just occurred. . .  Then open your eyes and look around the room. . .  Supporting yourself with your arms, slowly sit up and come into the present moment. . .

Now write down your experience in as much detail as you can remember along with your feelings during it, and now in the present as you look back into the imaging.

You may make a drawing of the imagery, sculpt it, share it, etc. if you wish.  You may also treat the recorded material as if it were a dream making associations to the imagery that was experienced to try to decode its deeper meanings.

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