What is healing?
Shi Yao Lian, Practitioner Buddha’s Alchemy
28 March 2017

Over the years, I have learned a lot from the patients I have worked with in my nursing career about healing. I have learned that healing is not necessarily the curative aspect of care that I initially thought it was. I have learned that healing has different meanings and implications for people. I have learned that not everyone even views healing as positive. But more recently the most important realization I have had about healing is that it is an essential process through which every single individual must progress, whether they are physically manifesting illness or not.

Why would healing have anything to do with a physically and mentally “well” and “healthy” person? You might even be thinking that you have never had an illness or condition that needed to be healed, so what is she talking about? I am talking about the fact that every person born into the human race suffers some level of fracturing from their essential nature. They are by virtue of being born into this world, bound to a journey that entails recognizing and transforming their relationship to ego, which obscures essential nature. Sometimes, people seem not so lucky, and they attract more than their fair share of challenges, and may even appear to be in a constant state of needing care and attention for most of their lives. In these situations we can easily identify the need for healing. However, at a more subtle level, usually invisible to most until certain events or levels of awareness occur, is an inherent need and drive that comes along with being human. It manifests due to a self propelling force that drives our species towards consciousness evolution. In fact, you could say that our greatest purpose in life is to heal. It is a force that exists in the collective karma of our race.

Shoghi Effendi of the Bahai faith summarizes this perfectly:

Physical pain is a necessary accompaniment of all human existence, and as such is unavoidable. As long as there will be life on earth, there will be also suffering, in various forms and degrees. But suffering, although an inescapable reality, can nevertheless be utilized as a means for the attainment of happiness. This is the interpretation given to it by all the Prophets and saints, who, in the midst of severe tests and trials, felt happy and joyous and experienced what is best and holiest in life. Suffering is both a reminder and a guide. It stimulates us to better adapt ourselves to our environmental conditions, and thus leads the way to self-improvement. In every suffering one can find a meaning and a wisdom. But it is not always easy to find the secret of that wisdom. It is sometimes only when all our suffering has passed that we become aware of its usefulness. What man considers to be evil turns often to be a cause of infinite blessings. And this is due to his desire to know more than he can. God’s wisdom is, indeed, inscrutable to us all, and it is no use pushing too far trying to discover that which shall always remain a mystery to our mind. (In a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, 29 May 1935)

“Physical pain is a necessary accompaniment of all human existence, and as such is unavoidable. As long as there will be life on earth, there will be also suffering, in various forms and degrees. But suffering, although an inescapable reality, can nevertheless be utilized as a means for the attainment of happiness.”

Ego attempts repeatedly to define who we are, right from the moment we are an infant learning how to get mom’s attention, through to an adult choosing our behaviours, ways of perceiving and what to identify with and off of in the world. We quickly forget about and don’t recognize our essential nature. Other words you may have heard used to describe essential nature are big or true Self (vs small self), groundless being, Buddha nature, Atman. Our essential nature defies description by it’s very definition. The closest we can get with words is to say that it is boundless, groundless, without characterizations, limitations, attachments, or judgement. As these descriptors add an element of duality when used, even they are misleading. Essential nature is our inner reservoir of pure, untainted life force energy. It cannot be tainted by physical or mental maladies. It is limitless in potential and unmarred by conceptual ideas and labels. Therefore, it can be anything, exist in any time, and move in any direction. Can you imagine living life from this perspective and place of endless possibility? This is what ultimate healing is – to know our essential nature and revere it’s Source.

In our very short life here on this planet, we may or may not attain to the heights of ultimate healing. Our journey does not end here, but that is a story for another time. It is important to know right here and now, that healing at all levels is beneficial and brings us one step closer to being in that limitless space. For some, intense physical healing may be a karmic requisite to be able to keep going and overcoming the obscurations to liberating the heart and mind from ego attachments . For others, instant recognition of the true Self comes at death, as the death process can trigger annihilation of the ego. Others still will forge ahead at a level of physical comfort their whole lives, but constantly be beckoned by a more subtle restlessness residing in their awareness, calling them home to that great reservoir of stillness.

It does not serve to judge what healing means to each individual. It takes on so many meanings and karmic forms, that it would be impossible to know them all. One thing is certain. Healing will occur (sometimes is a very fragmented, come and go way), to all people, regardless of what appearances in the world seem to be indicating. If one desires a certain type of healing, and their intention and purpose is in alignment with the flow of life force and it’s commanding Source, then it is more likely that this will occur. Finding your still space and BEING from that untainted essential nature is core.


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