Two Views on How Dharma Heals Us

This week, we’ve put together two shorter pieces into one blog, giving you two individual perspectives; one from our longest-term resident, and one from our newest. You can read a little more about Maureen and Richard at the bottom of the page.

Maureen: The Great Healing

” There is a way of speaking about meditation and dharma as the great healing. I believe this to be true from my firsthand experience and it’s easy to come up with a list of concrete examples of this. Really the list is endless, though, and that’s not just a cliche.

  • Fewer allergies
  • Better mind states
  • Less depression
  • Less anxiety
  • More friendly
  • Better able to cope with the unexpected
  • Better at communication
  • Better sex
  • More able to receive and give
  • and on and on…

I like to think of healing as an evolution, as movement that is affecting everyone and everything, not just you.

Generally we think of healing as in being sick and then getting well. For example, perhaps I have a head cold or flu, with obvious symptoms that lessen over time until I can call myself well again. Or, even if an illness might not have clears external symptoms they can be identified by doctors from pulse reading, blood tests, or other forms of diagnostics. They are the experts who can tell me if I am well.

Similar in dharma, we need experts to show us the blind spots that we can’t see for ourselves. The difference is how do we know when we are well? In the dharma context, wellness is a path without an end. Illness is a state without a beginning.

It is not that I am going to get healed and then it’s over. If it was over, then what would you do next? There is always a next moment that demands we show up in some form.

The constructed “I” can never be or feel healed. Its very basis is founded in its sense of lack, of not being connected, of not feeling good enough. By walking the awakening path we accept what is, we get out of the way, and healing happens. So trust, apply yourself, get in a community. Get a teacher and do the work! “

Two butterflies on a flower in Colombia
Photo by Joshua Torres on Unsplash

Richard: What does healing mean to me?

” To me, healing means the cessation of suffering. Suffering comes from false or partial views, so healing also means greater awareness and understanding. With healing, there comes the understanding of the essential goodness everyone has and seeing how the hurt is nobody’s fault.

What are three ways my practice has healed me?

I experience more joy. I am not as serious as before, and I try and see the humor in any given moment and situation. When I make mistakes, I do not blame or shame myself as much as I did before. I am more positive, and I give less attention to negative thoughts and feelings.

I experience more calm, and I have more confidence in getting through difficult situations. Through karma yoga, I have a better understanding of where I get stuck, and I am better able to work and communicate with others, which has helped me feel more connected with others and has reduced feelings of loneliness.

I have more awareness of how I suffer and that I have blind spots. When I get bugged or annoyed, I see it as an opportunity to investigate it and see where the suffering is rather than putting the blame entirely on the person, object, or situation. As I become more aware of situations where I suffer, I naturally start to heal and the same situation doesn’t bother me as much anymore.

When I feel hurt, I try to create space in my mind and to feel it in my body. I try to have compassion for myself because the hurt is a result of conditioned patterns that are not my own. “

Maureen is a long-term resident at Clear Sky. Richard is beginning his second stay at Clear Sky as a resident after completing the Karma Yoga Program.

Edited by Andrew Rogers.