“There may be many factors in the creation of illness,
but for sure the consciousness plays a big, and often directive, role in the onset of illness”.
Master Yuan Tze, Qigong Master
Recently I have been diving deeper into the concept of ‘healthy consciousness’. Ren Xue – or Human Life Science – has a profound understanding of the nature of health and disease and provides an excellent roadmap on what we need to do to recover health if we have lost it.
One of the core precepts is that we need ‘healthy consciousness’ in order to be healthy, because most, if not all, illness has its roots in the consciousness. Whilst it may be difficult for some to understand that illness starts at this level, (because most people are experiencing their pain or symptoms in the body), the reality is unhealthy beliefs and mental and emotional patterns, which are part of our consciousness, play a huge role in the creation of illness.
Rather than going into the negative aspects of what our consciousness can contain, here are some of the key concepts of a healthy consciousness, which are the foundation and prerequisites for true health and happiness:
I AM ALREADY HEALTHY.
This is an absolute knowing that YOUR ESSENTIAL NATURE IS ALREADY GOOD HEALTH. Yes, we are innately healthy at our very core. Whilst many people today have become professional patients, the truth is good health is our natural state. To give you a mental picture of ‘good health’, one can compare it to the fact that the sun is always behind the clouds even on a cloudy day. It is ALWAYS there. If there are clouds (illness) in the way, the clouds can and WILL move away to reveal the sun. This means if we are not experiencing good health, there must be something getting in the way of the natural state of true health manifesting. Usually this ‘something’ is quite unconscious, because after all, who really wants to not feel good? We will come to what this ‘something’ is in a moment.
I AM HAPPY.
An absolute knowing that at your very core YOUR ESSENTIAL NATURE IS HAPPINESS AND JOY, no matter what the external circumstances are. True joy has nothing to do with anything going your life. It is your essential nature. And again, if we are not experiencing this, it’s because something is getting in the way, a bit like clouds covering the sun: most people say ‘the sun came out today’ when the truth is the sun is always there, it’s just sometimes obscured by clouds.
An open heart. We must be open to the world, to others, to ourselves. The opposite of openness is closedness, and many of us ‘close’ our hearts without realizing it as a result of past hurts. Unfortunately we do ourselves a disservice in the process. When we are closed, not only can this lead to ill health, but we will feel disconnected from people and life. When we are open, we will feel supported and connected with all of life.
To be grateful for everything in life is to have a focus on what is good. It can be so easy to get stuck in a pattern of negativity, criticism and seeing what is wrong. But we have a choice – we can see the glass half empty, half full or even full. It’s all up to us. Practising gratitude can change your life: try it for a week: when you go to bed at night, go through the whole day and notice what you can find to be grateful for. It changes our body chemistry and how we view life.
We must learn to be humble, to put ourselves ‘lower’. This does not mean we make ourselves meaningless or small compared to others. The opposite of humility is arrogance, and arrogance is really a high state of ignorance. When we are arrogant we become very narrow-minded and are closed to new information coming in, to learning more. Humility keeps us open to learning and growing.
We must respect all of life. This includes ourselves, others, nature, the whole universe. True respect means we value all of life, and see the beauty in living everything. This reminds me of the title of one of my favourite books by Maechelle Smallwright ‘Behaving as if the God in all life mattered’.
We must trust ourselves, others and life. The opposite of trust is distrust, doubt, scepticism. When we mistrust we close ourselves to life. Many people have low levels of trust as a result of being hurt as a child, either mentally, emotionally or physically. If this is the case, we have to learn to open ourselves up again to trusting life, because when we do we will find there is more support than we could have imagined.
Self-love is a basic, inborn human instinct, but many of us have lost this ability. We must love ourselves, others, nature, the universe. Without realizing it many of us our failing to love ourselves and spend most of our time seeking love from others. The two go hand in hand. If you do not have love for yourself, you will feel that lack and unconsciously seek it in others or external factors, until you start giving it to yourself. Then the paradox is once you love yourself more love will come into your life, because you will be attracting it naturally magnetically, because it is what you are at your core.True self-love means we are NOT DAMAGING OURSELVES. THIS is the ‘something’ I referred to in point 1 above. True self-love is manifested in the action of no self-harm. The opposite of self-love is therefore self-harm.
So how do we unconsciously damage ourselves? With our behaviours, which includes our mental thought patterns and actions. It all comes down to whether our life behaviours are healthy or not…
HEALTHY LIFE BEHAVIOURS.
In order to be healthy we must have healthy daily habits which are a manifestation of self-love and self-respect. Every action and every thought can either have a positive or negative consequence, because we live in a universe of cause and effect. EVERY action has an effect. So is what you are thinking or doing benefiting – or damaging – your life? It can only be one or other!And whilst some of these patterns can be easy to spot if we put our mind to it, others are trickier to notice. So we have to become very aware of our habits and the effects they are having on our body-mind. Does watching 2 hours of TV a day really serve you? Does your liver really appreciate that cup of coffee in the morning? Do your worrysome thoughts benefit you? Every action has to be assessed in the light of is it healthy or not. As you can imagine this is not an overnight task and require deep introspection and observation.
CALM, RELAXED, NATURAL.
Our natural state is to be calm (of mind) and relaxed (in the body). When our mind is calm our body can be relaxed. We feel a deep sense of peace and wellbeing when we are in this state. Unfortunately most people are too busy rushing around to experience this often and have forgotten what it feels like to be truly calm and relaxed. One of the main culprits of this is the over-use of our external senses: seeing, hearing, speaking all drain our energy and take our attention externally rather than keeping our attention inwards. We should be able to go about our daily business with our mind centred inside…
According to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and even more so Classical Chinese Medicine, a human being comprises of 3 core elements: Jing, Qi and Shen.Jing is the body, Qi is Qi (energy, life force) and Shen is our consciousness and mind.
When all three are in a ‘unified state’ we feel very calm, peaceful and safe, and we do not lose our Qi (energy). Preserving our energy is an essential behaviour if we are to prevent illness. Most people are unconsciously draining their energy through daily activities which deplete Qi, in particular through the use of the senses (sight, talking, hearing etc). In Qigong we learn how to stop the damage and preserve / build up our Qi.
So, these are a few items you can get going with to ensure your health or recover it if it has been temporarily lost.
Wishing you the best of Qi.
Kim Knight, Director, The Art of Health
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“Change your thoughts if you wish to change your circumstances. Since you alone are responsible for your thoughts, only you can change them. You will want to change them when you realize that each thought creates according to its own nature. Remember that the law works at all times and that you are always demonstrating according to the kind of thoughts you habitually entertain. Therefore, start now to think only those thoughts that will bring you health and happiness”. Paramahamsa Yogananda