Guest post by John Toomey
We humans are a weird bunch. I mean, think about it, we can be really weird.
Recently I visited the inaugural World Wellness Project in Melbourne and listened to an old friend, Professor Marc Cohen,* speaking about disease. He presented some really incredible data. For instance, did you know that 42% of premature deaths in the Western World are the result of cardiovascular disease. This is a phenomenal statistic.
I get a sense that many people ignore their heart for so long that it just gives up. That's my theory, and however unscientific, it makes sense. But, the thing I find weird is how we treat heart disease.
There are two broad approaches to treating this ailment. I will refer to them as Treatment A and Treatment B. Treatment A has an 8% reduction in arterial blockage, 91% reduction in pain and costs less than $5000. Treatment B has a 28% increase in arterial blockage, 186% increase in pain and costs $40,000 every 10 years or so.
Treatment B involves stripping a vein from the patient's leg, then sawing open their chest, then using the vein to place across the blocked artery. This needs to be repeated, in most cases within a decade. Treatment A involves a change of diet, exercise, stress reduction and sharing feelings.
Now here is the bit that makes me gasp, laugh, sit bemused, or maybe even sit in a corner and rock back and forth. I mean, it's weird. Treatment B is referred to as CONSERVATIVE. Treatment A is referred to as RADICAL. Now, is that weird or what?!
• • • • •
Let's take a look at Treatment A: change of diet, exercise, reducing stress and sharing feelings, which I interpret as opening one's heart.
To change's one's diet and take up exercise, one needs to know what to do and how to go about it. The world is loaded with experts in this area. Information is not the problem, adherence is. To eat well 80% of the time and to exercise regularly takes will power and the disciplined control of one's attention. Further, it takes an exploration into consciousness to discover the factors that create self-sabotage and loss of inspiration.
Reducing stress is not as easy as simply telling a person to 'relax' or 'stop worrying'. Finding the triggers for stressful responses and worry is the key. Taking a person on a journey of discovery to the realization that they are the one who is creating both the stress response and the worry is a kind and compassionate thing to do. When a person gets this realization, not just on an intellectual level, but at a knowing level, they can then take full responsibility and change it.
So, how do you increase your will power, find stress triggers and self-sabotaging factors? How do you teach yourself adherence?
I believe the first step is a ReSurfacing© Workshop. In this workshop a person can achieve many things. First, they will learn to understand their Will, how to awaken it and bring their attention and their behaviour under the control of the Will. Ongoing use of these exercises will support them through lifestyle changes, like diet changes and exercise adherence, that require discipline and commitment.
Further, they will gain insight into self-sabotaging and destructive transparent beliefs. They will also become aware of their operating beliefs and will learn how they can change those beliefs, if so desired. In addition, they will learn about why their heart may have closed. They will get an experiential clarity on what it feels like to have an open heart and tools to train the heart to stay open.
As they set about making the lifestyle changes they choose, I would inspire them to keep moving on the Avatar Path. Having completed ReSurfacing (Section I of The Avatar Course) it is only natural to move on to Sections II and III. Section II stabilizes a person in their heart and Section III provides the powerful discreation technique that can be used to clear many of the old blocks and resistances in a person's consciousness. It is such a powerful and liberating experience.
Then I would inspire them to stretch for The Avatar Master Course. At this level, we really learn to open our heart wide to make room for other people.
From there, I would support them to reach for the Professional Course so that they may be able to learn to protect themselves from the abrasions of the world and remain in service to others without being affected by any of the traumas that life may throw their way.
And finally, I would insist that these students march on to the Wizard Course. There are many, many reasons why, but I will give you one reason, perhaps the most important of all. At Wizards, your heart will open so wide and so deep that you will create enough space for the whole world, even your worst enemy.
I wish to finish with a beautiful experience that Professor Cohen shared. Once at a workshop, a teacher was talking about illness and wellness. Yogi Satyandananda, the founder of Integral Yoga, was present. The teacher asked the Yogi for his opinion on illness versus wellness and the old Yogi simply walked to the whiteboard, took up a pen and drew a circle around the "I" in illness and around the "We" in wellness.
See you all at Wizards 2012 — where we can open our hearts together.
* Marc Cohen is a Professor of Medicine, a Doctor of Chinese Medicine and is Faculty Head at RMIT University's school of Complimentary Therapies in Melbourne, Australia.
Click here to read
Know Your Heart - Part 1.
The Avatar Journal would like to thank John for sharing his perspective.
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