As a culture, we tend to focus on our well being from the neck up, with exercise added in to take care of our bodies. We spend most of our lives engaged with our senses and interacting mentally with others. We may also focus on getting in touch with and expressing our emotions. However, there is something missing from this approach, which still follows a fragmented paradigm that involves seeing things in terms of separate parts that all need special attention. Despite all of our efforts, we are still missing something when it comes to our whole entity. We are missing a level of natural subtle attunement to ourselves and the world around us – something we feel as an undefined yearning or longing that we cannot quite put our fingers on.
Where Do We Look For What is Lacking?
Many ancient cultures that depended more directly on nature for everyday survival had a closer attunement to nature and thus to themselves. Practices were developed to enhance this natural attunement and we now have access to many such practices . I encourage my patients to investigate in order to find what works for them, and anything from meditation, yoga, Tai Chi and Chi gong are some of the most popular therapies. Even within these disciplines, however, there is still the danger of imposing our fragmented, goal-oriented patterns. Thus, we find ourselves striving to empty our minds and perform the poses correctly, rather than focusing on the benefits they have.
Seeing Our True Nature
All of this needs to be released in order to truly find the essence of these practices, which is more about “being” than actually “doing.” It is about allowing something that is our true nature, rather than imposing something upon ourselves or accomplishing something specific in our usual sense of the term. It is about seeing inside to discover the “sea” inside, which is the non-material, non-verbal, but yet very tangible experience of our inner life, along with the connectedness with everything that we usually perceive as external to ourselves. This is our natural state and yet it is elusive until we really slow down and unravel the layers of patterning that has built up over our lifetimes. It is important to carefully choose teachers that can model the gifts of the practices from their own experiences. Many tend to lose themselves in teachers, while others never venture, which can both be counterproductive pitfalls. There are a lot of pitfalls on this journey from “doing” to “being,” and yet there is vast treasure worth diving in for. I wish you all the best on your own journey.
By Dr. Isaac Eliaz M.D., L.Ac., M.S.
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