Health improvement self-help programs are experiencing explosive growth. Book writing on this hot subject, conferencing to large audiences and coaching self-help programs are growing exponentially as well.
Yoga and various form of meditation are not only great relaxation tools, but by helping to eliminate daily stress, these practices are very effective health maintenance tools. Additionally, those engaged with their own self-healing path with enough enthusiasm, devotion, willpower, time and energy, will most likely succeed one day.
However, while health improvement and self-healing programs are not necessarily doomed to fail, the chances of them failing are substantial. Those engaged in an emotional self-healing journey through spiritual awakening will soon realize that it is not an easy-going and quickly finished process, but a time and energy-consuming, lifelong battle. With time, they will discover that the feelings that arise against their will won't succumb to their reason. Because only what is born of reason can eventually be banned by reason alone.
During their journey, self-help enthusiasts may discover that Western culture mistakenly considers traditional healing therapies and self-healing practices to be nothing more than a set of easy-to-learn, specific techniques and procedures, similar to Western allopathic medicine. The effectiveness of self-help programs is conditioned by the ability of the self-help practitioner to effectively focus on his practice. This task is not easy to complete when the mind is crippled by overwhelming fearful or painful feelings, or by pain. Therefore, self-help programs are not the best option to consider when you are facing serious or life-threatening health conditions, as those programs are lengthy and time counter-efficient.
Spirituality and meditation have a long traditional practice path and a recent laic (secular) history. The teachings of Lao Tzu, Confucius and Buddha have undergone profound changes during the last 2500 years, as they evolved and moved over an extensive geographical space and through large cultural diversities. During the late 60s, the concepts of spirituality ond mind-emptiness traditional meditation have been hijacked by some enthusiasts of Ulrich Neisser’s cognitive model and were shifted from a religious spiritual practice to the practice of mind-fullness which is a mere cognitive exercise.
The mind-emptiness approach to meditation known in Western cultures as the Spiritual Emptiness, Creative Void, Hesychasm, Universal Soul or the Clear Light is all about quieting the mind and focusing on feelings, perception, and intuition, while modern mindfulness meditation is all about intellect and focused thinking. The disturbing fact is that mental silence-orientated approaches to meditation have been systematically associated with specific health benefits above and beyond those seen in non-mental silence approaches.
As an example of how traditional concepts have been manipulated to the benefit of the cognitive model and its derivative products, is the well known Mahatma Gandhi’s quote: “Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your behavior. Your behavior becomes your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.” What people don’t know is that originally, this quote began with an extra line that is systematically erased in the process of hijacking and manipulating the traditional teachings. This extra line is: “Your beliefs become your thoughts.”
Adding this first line to the above quote restores its truth and completely changes the message by shifting the interest from your thoughts to your beliefs as the main source of your life-reality. Moreover, when Lau Tzu said “If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place,” by “mind” he meant soul and spirit, not the brain and the intellect. Although you are the creator of your reality, your life-reality does not necessarily emerge from your desires. Your reality springs from the behavioural programs deeply rooted in your subconscious and governed by your beliefs. Your mind tends to create coherence between what you really believe and the life-reality you experience.
Although the time-effectiveness of self-help programs for serious health problems is questionable, these techniques are definitely very effective tools for relaxation and health maintenance. While Ericksonian hypnotherapy is used successfully as a self-help tool, it is not advisable to use traditional or somatic hypnotherapy as self-help tools.
For the irreducible enthusiasts of the practice of self-hypnosis, I must mention that the induction of hypnosis by itself does not bring any health benefits aside from relaxation. It is the suggestion contained in a hypnotic framework that leads to health improvements. These suggestions represent the hallmark of each type of hypnotherapy.
Intuitively, people feel that there must be something beyond the limits of the observable world, that it might be something beyond the so-called death and they genuinely want to discover and take advantage of it. Reading books or attending conferences on spirituality will definitely bring new knowledge, but will not necessarily help you to attain a spiritual awakening.
Spiritual awakening is a profound change and may happen only if you truly believe and practice. It appears that the rational mind and the intellect were given to us rather to trigger our existential curiosity, to motivate the search for answers and spirituality, rather than to help us to rationally understand spirituality.
Spirituality is not necessarily about intellect, cognition or understanding. Spirituality is all about quieting the mind and focusing on perception, feelings and intuition.
Or, to quote Lao Tzu, "Stop thinking and end your problems"
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Disclaimer: The above content is intended for general informational purposes and does not constitute any psychological or other medical professional advice. I don't diagnose conditions, nor do I interfere with any treatments given by your medical professional.
If you are already under the care of a doctor or under medical treatment, follow the advice and treatment recommended by your doctor. For any medical emergency, call the Info-Santé service by dialing 8-1-1
*The results may vary from person to person.
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