Where is the light during the darkest of times? The mind swirls with fear, anger, sorrow or self-pity. There seems to be no end and no way out. Working harder, perhaps trying to blast a way out sometimes works, but even when it does, it leaves a person exhausted and fragile, setting the stage for a return in the future. Deep healing has not occurred.
The mind is the key to peace, contentment and lasting happiness. So difficult to tame; emotions surf on the waves of thought. Storms in the sea of consciousness knock us to and fro. Sometimes it feels as if we will drown. Swimming harder, faster, we try to find our way to solid ground. Sometimes we make it, sometimes we drown.
Control over the mind requires only one very difficult thing: stillness. Stillness is the opposite of doing. Ironic that the doing of nothing is so difficult. This is surrender. Surrender does not mean giving up, it does not mean giving in, it means surfing in a different ocean. Rather than surfing on the waves created by the storms of the ego, it means surfing on the waves of love created by the peace of the higher Self- the soul. Call it following God’s will if you like. It is what occurs when you step out of the way, when you get out of your own way. A higher power than the ego takes control of the mind. Rather than getting knocked about, the ocean of the mind becomes still. In the stillness, the light shines bright, illuminating the path of dharma (higher purpose) and love. This is not the fleeting, intense and passionate love of two egos finding each other but the infinite, unconditional love that fills every cell of the body. Stillness on this level brings such a deep rest to the mind. This is the source of the deepest healing.
How does a person cultivate stillness? This will be the topic of the November letter from the President. In the meantime, if you feel like you’re drowning, slow down, take a deep breath, and rest.
Dr. Marc Halpern is the author of Healing Your Life- Lessons on the Path of Ayurveda, and the CD; Yoga Nidra and Self -Healing. President of the California College of Ayurveda, he is also the co-founder of the National Council on Ayurvedic Education, the National Ayurvedic Medical Association and the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine.