I would like to share a practice with you that uses the mind to access the subtle body. It begins with the idea of using intention to help others. If you are interested in helping or healing someone, what I would suggest is that you don’t use yourself. Instead rely on the forces of nature. Nature has unlimited resources, whereas our own individual resources are limited. So the first step of this practice involves strengthening and filling your own reservoir of peace. The second step is learning how to take that feeling and send it to another person.
What we’re really talking about is moving love. Unconditional love. And that means you may not know exactly how and what is supposed to happen to the person as a result of this infusion of love. You don’t know and you shouldn’t impose it. In other words, you might find that you have a predisposition to what that person needs or should become. But that really isn’t unconditional love. In this offering, we allow the wisdom of love itself to speak through and to the person.
We’re talking about unconditional love. In this offering, we allow the wisdom of love to speak through and to another person.
So just take a moment and think about someone who needs healing or love or wellness. It could be a person or a whole community. It could be someone at home or someone that you know is sick. To begin, sit up tall and close your eyes. Make yourself very comfortable. Soften your shoulders, your jaw, your lips. And now without moving anything, just feel the feeling of a smile. I’m not asking you to change your expression. Just feel the wave, the overflowing of joy and beauty that is the force behind a gentle smile. Now feel that same feeling surround the physical heart. Feel the heart smiling. Feel the wave of beauty and bliss blossoming in your physical heart. Now see it in the lungs and feel it in the lungs—the feeling of a smile. If you have any particular organ that is suffering from discomfort or dis-ease, see the smile in that individual organ or see it in the totality of your internal organs—the digestive, reproductive, purificatory (the liver and the kidneys). Now even feel the smile in both legs, both arms. Allow the body to relax and feel the unfoldment of the natural state of beauty and bliss, of joy. Feel your entire body as one giant smile. From the head to the toes and to the tips of the fingers, feel the smile.
Clinical studies have shown that when we feel love, our immune system is strengthened. The body heals more quickly. We age more slowly. When we are stressed and have worries, the opposite unfolds. As you become aware of your whole body, you might notice that the smile is bigger than your form. It means that you are connecting to some field bigger than form, something more transcendent. From a foundation of peace you can now offer peace and wellness to others, not so much by giving away what little peace you may know in your own life, but rather by drawing upon the limitless ocean of peace and healing and strength.
Bring your awareness to the area behind your navel, in your spine. As you breathe in, softly draw the feeling of peace and light up the spine. The breath is very subtle. It’s not forced. As you breathe out, just feel it softly release out the top of the head, creating a feeling above your head of a profound sense of peace. As you inhale, the sensation rises through your spine. As you exhale, peace unfolds out the top of your head. There’s an amorphous sphere of peace above you, like a cloud. If you like, as you inhale you can say or hear the sound ah-ooo. And as you exhale, the sound mmmm. Inhale ah-ooo, exhale mmmm. Repeat three more times. Om is the sound of the Universal, the Absolute, the Boundless.
Feel that you are literally connecting with the stream of peace, the stream of universal healing.
Now we’ll change the practice slightly. The first part is the same, moving from the navel up the spine. But as you exhale, move that energy through the throat. On the inhale, the sound is shan. On the exhale the sound is ti. Shanti is the Sanskrit word meaning “peace.” Now feel this soft movement purifying the throat. The breath is soft. It’s effortless. Continue three or four more times: shan on the inhale,ti on the exhale. Feel that you are literally connecting with the stream of peace, the stream of universal healing.
When you’re ready, move to the final stage of the practice. Picture the person, the environment, the people, the country, the culture, the community, or the place where you are sending peace. Channel peace toward wellness, healing, and love. Back at the space behind the navel, draw this feeling of peace up the spine to the third eye center, the middle of the brain. As you exhale, project it out your third eye. If you are sending peace to an individual, it’s into the heart center. If it is to a situation, see it pervade the entire environment.
The mantra now is om on the inhale, shanti on the exhale. Within a few minutes you may feel a gentle sense that love is being received, absorbed. And we do this unconditionally with no preconception about what needs to happen. Abandon your own self-interests, expectations, and attachments. Gradually feel the dawning of more love for this person, place, or thing—healing and vibrant, strong and flooded with unconditional love. You may even feel that you are uplifted as the recipient is uplifted. Now see or feel that person surrounded by love. In your own heart wish him or her the very best. And then gently come back to your body and to your breath. Inhale slowly and exhale slowly, then gently lower your chin and gradually reopen your eyes, looking down at a point on the floor in front of you as you bring your attention back to the room
If you practice this meditation, you will find that changes start to happen—sometimes instantaneously. I’ve certainly seen that in my own life and in the experience of my students who’ve done this practice.
Source: Empowering the Soul: A Collection of Essays Exploring Global Healing and Spiritual Well-Being (Himalayan Institute Press, various authors)