About easternhealingroom

Buddhist Scholar & Eastern Healer. I'm alive today because in my world 'Laughter is Law!' - Many weren't so fortunate.

Meditate for Change – Autumn

Warm fires, dark nights and the Rich colours of falling leaves all bring to mind the powerful impact of Autumn. It’s a time when like the little bird who makes her nest, we all start to prepare for the new year & new life ahead, and the magic that comes with it. Autumn is a time for change – a time for letting go of the old and embracing the new. 

 

Here’s a little Autumn meditation I hope you enjoy!

https://youtu.be/65bU3Q_ue40 

What are you thoughts on Autumn ? What emotions does Autumn evoke for you?

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COPD – Not Me!

 

Over the past couple of years, I’ve literally lost count of the number of people telling me they have COPD. This is a condition affecting the lungs and subsequently the ability to breathe. 

According to https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease-(copd)

Symptoms of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Include:

Breathlessness (or a “need for air”), chronic cough, and sputum (mucous) production. Daily activities, such as walking up a short flight of stairs or carrying a suitcase, and even daily routine activities can become very difficult as the condition gradually worsens. Sufferers also frequently experience exacerbations, that is, serious episodes of increased breathlessness, cough and sputum production that last from several days to a few weeks. These episodes can be seriously disabling and result in need for urgent medical care (including hospitalization) and sometimes death. Symptoms are usually apparent after 40 -50 yrs of age.

In the past 12 months I’ve noticed a wheezing in my chest and a tightness plus a chesty type cough & you can guess the rest right?

So off I went to my GP (Whom I have to say I haven’t visited for at least 6 years) usually as a healer I cure my own ailments but somewhere in the midst of panic at not being able to breath well I forgot this and off I trotted.

This is really how it went….

Doctor: What seems to be the problem?

Me: Well over the past year I’ve noticed a wheezing in my chest at night and it’s loud. Also in the last 12 weeks my chest has been really tight.
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3 Incredible Reasons to Laugh

We all have a good laugh when something funny comes on TV, and even more perversely when someone accidentally goes skidding on the ice (or maybe that’s just me) nevertheless, we all have a laughter trigger. There are lots of reasons why we should laugh more but here are my top 3…..

  1.  Laughter lifts our mood and alleviates symptoms of stress & anxiety instantaneously Laugh laughing laughter health healthy happy mood feel feelings
  2.  Just 10 mins of belly laughter everyday can release enough seratonin (happy chemical) to help conditions causing physical pain.
  3.  Laughter not only gives your face a great workout (making you look younger) it’s also contagious – when you laugh others laugh too but even more importantly, it’s fantastic for the respiratory system (your lungs)                                             

Laughter works in exactly the same way as the anti depressant you get prescribed from your doctor but with no side effects except happy ones.   

 So how do we connect Laughter with Health? 

In 1995 Medical Dr. Madan Kataria, founded the Laughter Club of India, has started a revolution of joy and laughter that is spreading around the world. A former Allopathic Physician and ex-registrar at the Jaslok Hospital (Bombay) in Internal Medicine and Cardiology, he now has thousands of people laughing their way to better health. 

Dr. Kataria developed a new technique of Laughter Therapy called Laughter Yoga involving self-induced laughter, subtle yoga exercises, breathing techniques and stretching exercises. There’s also lots of joy & playfulness thrown in which kind of releases the inner child that often gets forgotten in adulthood. 

During his research into the power of laughter, Dr. Kataria discovered a large amount of scientific literature about the benefits of laughter on the human mind and body: “I was very impressed by the American journalist Norman Cousins, whose book, Anatomy of an Illness, describes how he laughed his way out of an incurable disease of the spine. Cousins said, ‘What was significant about the laughter…was not just the fact that it provides internal exercise for a person…a form of jogging for the innards, but that it creates a mood in which the other positive emotions can be put to work, too.'”

Having discovered this testimony, it hit Dr Kataria like a bolt from the blue….. “If laughter is so good, why not start a laughter club?” Several hours later he tried out the idea with the regulars at his local park who initially reacted with, “Doc, are you OK?”, “Are you crazy?” He eventually motivated four of them to start laughing in a corner of the park. Others laughed at the concept and ridiculed the idea but were converted when the health benefits were explained. Attendance grew and the rest, as they say, is history. There are now hundreds and hundreds of Laughter Clubs all over the world, including India, USA, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, France, Malaysia and Dubai.

http://www.feelgoodcommunities.org/laughter-yoga

 PLEASE LIKE SHARE & LETS HAVE A GREAT DISCUSSION! What are your thoughts on Laughing Yourself to Better Health? 

 

 

VULNERABILITY- Who Decides?

Vulnerability – The quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.

So often these days, we hear talk of vulnerability, and how people we consider less fortunate than ourselves are ‘vulnerable’ in some way. How egotistical does that sound? To categorise someone as less fortunate than ourselves – just because they may look different, appear less financially secure or speak differently. We might want to ponder this… In what way are they less fortunate? and are they more fortunate in other areas of life? If so, does that take away their label of vulnerability and transfer it over to us?

Vulnerability vulnerable Attack Defence Inadequate Inadequately Inadequacy

It’s a very difficult but interesting dilemma, & even more interesting, does vulnerability exist at all? or is it simply part of the ego? Of course, there’ll be many viewpoints on this but for argument sake, let’s say vulnerability does not exist.  In a world where vulnerability doesn’t exist, where does that leave the services designed especially for vulnerable people? Services such as psychologists, counsellors, GPs & pharmaceuticals?  This post isn’t aimed in any way to discredit such services. After all, they’re in place to help the vulnerable aren’t they? Let’s face it, the very definition of vulnerability is the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.

On the TV and radio pretty much 24/7 we are bombarded by news bulletins telling us who’s been stabbed, beaten up or terrorised on our streets. We are warned about terrorist attacks and theIr impending threat – is it any wonder we are cautious about venturing out into the big wide world? All over America we hear from those who feel they need to carry guns to defend themselves. I’m not here to be opinionated, but I do admittedly find myself pondering the big question, protect themselves from what? And why do they need such protection?

Then when we get ourselves into such a frenzy as we try to make sense of things, that’s where the services kick in. Services such as counselling to help us to talk through our issues and vulnerabilities, medication to help us feel better, and all of those medications have a side-effect of some kind. Believe me, being vulnerable isn’t an easy ride. Before you know it you’re addicted to shed loads of medication and trying to talk things through with someone you never met before, only to find – the answer was right here within you all the time.  It’s funny really how the very services aimed to cure us, also seem to link in with the definition of vulnerability. For example: Every medication has a physical or emotional side effect which needs another medicine to counteract it.  Each time we receive a prescription and encounter a side effect from that medicine, is that not considered an attack or harm either physically or emotionally? What if simply by changing our way of thinking, we could become invulnerable? Let’s face it, there is a lot of money to be made in having us believe we are a vulnerable society. What it’s just by changing certain aspects of our life and our behaviour, we could start to play to our own strengths instead of letting others play into our weaknesses? I’d like to clarify, I’m not saying, its the main aim of advertisements and services to harm us – but is this something we really shouldn’t  be ignoring? 

What are your thoughts & views?

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Emptiness & the Human Mind (Eye Consciousness)

In my last post, we looked at the nature of emptiness & that according to Buddhism, the mind is a sense organ – not something tangible like the brain. So if the mind isn’t tangible, and we can’t pinpoint it to a specific location, how come it gets so affected by negativity etc?  

In Buddhism we have different levels of consciousness related to the different senses. Eye consciousness is one of these, as is ear consciousness, body consciousness, tongue consciousness & nose consciousness. In the west, we know these as sight, sound, touch, taste and smell, but how do they relate to mind and our perceptions of the world? More importantly how does this relate to future experiences? Let me explain…. The brain is the power station for the eyes physical movement & sight so when we see something, we recognize it with a name because of how we were taught  at school or by our parents. 

At night, I look up to the sky and my eyes see the golden orb immediately recognised as the moon. There’s no disputing it’s the moon,  but sometimes our eyes say something and the information passed to our mind may be incorrect. In Buddhismconsciousness is just one of the five defined  “aggregates” of experience. It’s called consciousness because it recognises. So Eye conscious sees something and recognises it & straight away it relates it to good or bad. For example…..On the table there’s a plate of mushrooms, my mouth starts watering because I love mushrooms but my friend feels physically sick at the very sight of them. This is because our eye consciousness sends messages back to our mind consciousness – which then makes sense of things & forms a bigger picture. So what we must try and do is learn to acknowledge and accept, what we see is only part of the experience & not everything. What happened in our lives to make me love mushrooms & my friend hate them? One thing’s for sure, mushrooms ane mushrooms – neither good nor bad.

Here’s an exercise you can try to prove the power of eye consciousness. It’s called the “Invisible Ball”

You’ll need a small ball that you can hold in your hand (make sure it doesn’t have patterns. 

  • Place the ball in front of you and stare at it but don’t move your eyes. Of course you can blink if your eyes get tired and close them for a moment but don’t look away from the ball.  
  • As you hold your gaze, you’ll get the urge to look in other directions, but try not to. Try to just hold the gaze of the ball. 
  • After a few minutes, you’ll find things start to happen such as the ball changing shape, moving slightly or even having some kind of mist or a halo around it.
  •  Just observe this visual phenomenon and try to understand and acknowledge how you can see or perceive so much that really isn’t there.

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Art of Emptiness

Many different viewpoints, concepts and opinions exist around why we are here on earth. For Christians, God the supreme being is the very reason we exist. For Hindus it relates to Karma and how we lived in our past lives. It’s pretty much the same in Islam & Buddhism too.

According to Buddhist philosophy & Science there are two main factors –  Emptiness & Interdependence. Nothing and nobody exists in the way we perceive it.  Here’s an example to consider;

In a room there’s a wooden coffee table. We know it’s a coffee table because it’s got four legs, a square wooden top & it’s made of wood – right?  We can walk around it, and from all angles we can pretty much say it’s a coffee table.

Now consider this…..

The next day you enter the room and the coffee table is in pieces on the floor. All 4 legs scattered around, the base somewhere else – just a mishmash of wood and screws. All different parts of the thing we call a ‘coffee table’ but not one of them identifies within itself as a coffee table. The table is what we perceive it to be, when all the parts are put together to create something we recognise. 

And now it gets even more interesting……

Each individual part of this thing we call a coffee table, is made up of several different components of its own.

Wood is one component & we know wood comes from trees. 

But for that tree to exist, it needs the right weather conditions & a seed to be planted by a human or at least an animal of some kind. 

But that human or animal also needs to be born in order to exist in the first place. So there’s parents too, who also needed to be born and so on. 

So you see…….. What started off as a simple coffee table, suddenly doesn’t exist at all in the form we first thought it did.

Although it seems complicated, the reality is very simple. Nothing exists independently in the world. There is nothing at all, whether it’s human, phenomena, material, plant or animal that exists independently of other factors. But all these different factors come together in an illusion, an illusion we perceive as absolute reality. 

This according to Buddhism, is why people suffer so much with stress, anxiety & other mental health problems.  We look at a problem and see it as massive, something big enough to ruin our lives.

When we apply the coffee table concept to the human body or to situations & experiences, it’s the same thing. We can’t actually pinpoint the problem as a single entity.

So here’s the big question…….

If nothing or nobody exists in the way we perceive it…..why do we get so hung up on things?  

According to Buddhism it’s because the mind is constantly racing and attaching itself to negative beliefs, concepts and ideas. The mind is a sense organ and not something we can see or feel.

We know this is true, because if we got even the cleverest surgeon In the world to open up our skull, they would never be able to locate anything resembling the mind. Yet it’s the mind that causes most of our problems.

This is why Mindfulness is so beneficial as it brings the mind back home. Home to a place of peace, tranquility & comfort. 

Only when the mind enters this space, can it begin to unravel itself and make sense of things. This is why bringing the mind into the present moment is key to good mental health. 

                   Gain control of your mind before it gains control of you.


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Early Morning Thoughts on World Peace

 

 

As I lay in bed watching the dawn break,and staring silently into the blue morning sky, I found myself pondering on the issue of world peace & how to achieve it.

Being 17 floors up, is sometimes a great bonus because the only thing I see when I open my eyes is sky.  There is a beautiful kind of silence as the dawn breaks, and these are the best moments for which to gather your thoughts. My thoughts were about world peace and whether or not it’s a possibility or something we can only dream of but never achieve.  Lying there, I found myself acting out a scenario and in my mind, it all works out beautifully. In reality, who knows?

So this is my scenario:

On a certain day at 12.00 noon everyone in every country a cross the globe stops what they are doing and hugs the person standing closest to them. Of  course, 12 noon May, different times of the day in different countries. This means that all over the world there will be people hugging at different times.  After each person has hugged the one standing closest to them, they should then share food together. This is my answer to how we can achieve world peace.   You may be feeling confused, not understanding my thoughts so I’ll explain. If for one moment we can break the link of the chain that keeps us tied into violent & self obsessed thoughts and replace it with actions of love and compassion, it surely becomes harder to pick that gun back up.  We humans are social animals, we need people around us and we need to feel loved and cared for. Over centuries, food and drink have been excellent tools for bringing people together in dialogue & reconciliation.

What are your thoughts? Please like, share and let’s discuss further.

World peace calm cooperation love compassion 

 

Life isn’t as bad as your mind would have you believe

Accepting or acknowledging our own minds may be responsible for the physical pain we’re feeling today can be hard. After all, no one would deliberately consciously choose to be in pain every day surely? Here I’d like to share a real account from one of my recent treatment sessions….

Recently a woman in her late 50s came to see me about pain in her lower back & neck. For 14years she’d tried practically every painkiller known to man (or woman) and was scared of the impact on her body.  So after she made herself comfy, I asked her to tell me about the pain. She looked puzzled and told me “Well it’s just a pain really, I’ve had it for about 15 years and it won’t go away no matter what I do. This pain just keeps coming back ten times worse if I stop the pain killers. My doctor says I’ll need them for the rest of my life”. She wasn’t impressed by my suggestion that we forget about the pain for a moment, and look at something much more important. This being, what actually happened 15yrs ago to create this situation. I could see she was irritated by my suggestion as the only thing on her mind was the pain.  She did decide though to remain in the session, and told me “The pain just happened during that period without any real cause. There’d been no accident, or such thing.”  We spoke at length about her life at that time for example, her job, family life, interests etc. It turned out, around that time she was working as a teacher, but lots of new legislation had placed immense pressure on staff to meet impossible targets and deadlines. At this point she went off sick, never 
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