The Temple of Healing
Aging, sickness and death are suffering.
Loss, grief, and despair are suffering.
To lose what you love is suffering.
We all need healing at different times in our lives. Sometimes we need healing for physical illness. At other times, we need to heal the traumas that we’ve suffered and find ways to release the difficulties of the past we carry in our bodies. We need release from the struggles and emotions brought about by our conflicts and the pain we experience from the follies of humanity.
To heal we cannot reject our illness and grief or use anger and aversion to try to get rid of them. Instead, we have to bring a tender, healing energy to all that is sick or torn, what is broken or lost. In the Buddhist prayer of healing, similar to the spirit of Jesus, we recite: “May I be the healing medicine for all who are sick. May I bring healing to myself and others.” We believe that healing is possible and dedicate ourselves to be part of that healing. We become tender and wise with ourselves and those around us, especially when we are experiencing fear and grief ourselves.
Sometimes this is all that healing asks, that we become present. You should never underestimate your power to heal when you step toward difficulty with courage and love, when you touch pain with healing rather than fear. Our healing comes with our own kind attention and through the kind embrace of another. As long as you can, find a passion for the preciousness of life, and bring this care to the healing of your heart and body.
Sit comfortably and allow your eyes to close. Make sure your seat allows you to be present, awake, grounded, and relaxed. As you sit at ease, feel your connection to the Earth. Center yourself and feel how your breath breathes itself in your body. Then, without trying to change anything, bring a kind attention to what’s comfortable and uncomfortable in your body. Notice if there’s tension, contraction, or pain in certain areas, and ease and relaxation in others. Notice if there’s clutter in your mind or repetitive thoughts. Notice the state of your heart. Does it feel contracted, or soft and open? Is it full of some emotion or feeling, such as fatigue or joy, sadness or irritation? Simply witness whatever is present without judgment. Breathe and let yourself be easy with it all.
After a few minutes, begin to envision or sense in any way you can that you are floating up into the air as if on a magic carpet, up into the clear, blue sky. Take your time. Feel or imagine or sense that you’re floating above the Earth in the stillness of the clear air and luminous sunlight. After a minute or two, allow yourself to gradually descend. Set your intention to descend into a sacred and beautiful Temple of Healing, into a place of great wisdom and healing and love. Let this temple be a surprise. It may be some place you’ve been before or it may be some place you’ve never seen. It may be indoors or out. Come to rest in it. Take as much time as you need to imagine and feel and picture this temple.
Now sense how you feel being in this Temple of Healing. What does the energy of this healing place feel like to you? How does it affect your body and spirit to be present there?
As you sense yourself in this temple and feel how its energy is affecting you, let yourself become aware of the wounds you carry that require healing. Once you have at least one injury clearly in mind, become aware that there is a beautiful altar of healing nearby. Now imagine yourself sitting in front of this altar. After a time, a wise and loving healer who lives at this temple will walk toward you. Let yourself open to, sense, or envision this luminous being as they appear. As this healer approaches you, they will bow lightly to you. Next they will put their gentle, healing hand on the part of your body where you are most deeply wounded. Feel the presence of this healing hand on your injured limb, your pained heart, or your wounded brow. If you wish, you can take your own hand and put it on the location of your deepest wound. Hold the place of your sorrow, your difficulty, or your illness. Touch it as if you were guided by this great healing being. Know that no matter how many times you have buried or resisted this injury or sorrow, how many times you’ve greeted it with fear or aversion, now is the time that you can finally open to it.
As you feel your body opening to this healing touch, explore your sensations. Is the touch warm or cool, hard or soft? Let your awareness be gentle, as if learning the loving touch of Kwan Yin, the goddess of compassion, or Mother Mary, or Jesus. Feel your wounds, fears, and difficulties touched by pure sweetness and openness.
As the very core of your wounds opens to the touch of healing, sense how you’ve closed off from this pain, how you’ve wished it would go away, how you’ve rejected your feelings. Now you are ready to open your heart to experience this pain at last, held by loving attention, with the touch of this luminous being, and by your own hand. Feel the medicine of healing enter you through this touch. Stay with this healing for as long as is helpful. Then shift to any other areas that ask for healing. Take your time.
After this luminous being removes their hand, they have gifts to give you. There is a package of the perfect medicine for you on the altar that this luminous being now places in your hands. This medicine will be in the simple form of a symbol of exactly what you need for healing. Open this gift of medicine and see what is inside the box. If you cannot see it clearly, hold it up to the light. Hold this symbol of the medicine that you need in your hands and become aware of just what it means for you.
Now relax and drink in the blessings of being at this healing temple and in the presence of this luminous and wise being. Finally, imagine that they lean over to you with great compassion and whisper into your ear the healing words you most need to hear. Let yourself hear, imagine, think of, or sense the healing words of this being. Receive their blessings in any way you can. Remember their gift and these words and take them into your heart. Before you leave, if you have any questions for this wise healer, you can ask them and they will answer you. When you feel satisfied, rest in this temple and allow its healing and compassionate spirit to fill your heart and body and mind. Let it touch every part of your being. Stay as long as you wish. When you are ready to leave, imagine you can bow to this healing being with gratitude for everything they’ve given to you. As you depart, know that this temple is inside of you. It is available to return to any time you need it. Remember that you carry all the medicine and healing you will ever need inside your own heart.
This excerpt is taken from the book, “A Lamp in the Darkness”