Meet Your Subtle Body: Discover Cyndi Dale’s 12-Chakra System

August 22, 2019

Meet Your Subtle Body Header Image

 

“I think [the 12-chakra system] is a good compilation to get us going so that we can be the entirety of the human that we are—the human divine being that we are.”

 

—Cyndi Dale

As seekers, instead of following set rules, we may set out to discover routes that feel uniquely true and right for us.

Cyndi Dale, a luminary writer on the subtle body and its connection to the physical world, works with a unique 12-chakra system in her healing practice.

Cyndi’s 12-chakra vision helps her pinpoint feelings and where wounds are emanating from the invisible, spiritual self.

Chakras Infographic

from Enlightened Energetics

WHAT IS THE SUBTLE BODY?

Each of us have both a physical body and a subtle body. The physical is what we think of normally: our shape, our volume, and that which we can touch. The subtle body arises from a different place: the intuition. 

The subtle body seems to be some sort of underground pathway for our physical one. It is invisible not because it doesn’t exist, but because it’s sub-observable to the five senses we normally use. I might even argue that she sees the intuition as the 6th sense, and that the creative nature of our spirits gives us the ability to wield this power for healing.

Just like quantum physicists are starting to say, our world (or, at least, some dimension of our world) is not physical at all, but actually consists of “immaterial energy waves.” These waves somehow come together and entangle to create the material world.

As I listened to Cyndi’s interview with Tami, I was struck by the idea that healers like her use the subtle body every day. In the interview, she really helps you comprehend how that’s possible by guiding you through an exercise that’s less about understanding and way more about feeling. (It made me whisper, “whoa!” out loud.)

Here’s an exercise from that part of the interview if you want to try it:

Rub your hands together until you create some friction, and then put your hands palms facing each other about three or four inches apart. You’ll feel that there’s still an energy in between those hands—because there’s chakras in the hands and because there’s fields of energy emanating from the hands.

If you start patting your hands, not touching them, but kind of patting that energy ball. Again, you can bring your consciousness into your hands and pour more energy into that ball that’s being created. All of a sudden, you’re going to feel like your hands are moving farther away from each other. If you turn the spigot down, your hands—in order to feel that friction or the energy between them—are going to move closer together. Then a really fun thing to do is imagine or turn that energy red—it’s not clear anymore; it’s red—and get a sense of how that red energy field can have a certain reaction to red, especially in comparison to blue . . . as we’re now going to turn that energy blue. It’s really different, isn’t it?

About energy workers and healers she says: “They’re consciously kind of deciding what type of energy might be useful, what might be helpful for them, for somebody else, and they’re sending that.” 

THE 12-CHAKRA SYSTEM

According to Cyndi, the western tradition of the 7-chakra system is based on a book by Sir Arthur Avalon. 

Chakras are eddies of light and sound. They interact, dance, rotate and orbit us like our very own planets.

7 Chakras Infographicfrom MindBodyGreen

THE 12 CHAKRAS

1. Root

The root chakra is about spirituality, purpose and connection, as well as our relationship to Mother Nature and the Earth. It is associated with the underlying structures (both intuitive and ordered) of our minds. It is associated with pheremones and our sense of smell

2. Sacral

This is a chakra of motion and flow, representing the water element in the body. It bears a relationship to reproduction and fertility, joy and desire, and the kind of rest that encourages immune system recovery. It is associated with our sense of taste.

3. Solar Plexus

The solar plexus is a fiery center for our unique powers and gifts. When it’s in balance, we can feel like our lives are autonomous and in harmony with our value system. It helps define the energy that guides our motivations, disposition and mood, and it expands our idea of what’s possible when we are inspired by it.

4. Heart 

The heart chakra is related to our personal and romantic relationships. When it is in balance, we might be immersed in feelings of joy and real freedom. It is strengthened through trust, non-manipulative communication, and authentic respect for ourselves and others. It is also strengthened by the exploration and implementation of personal boundaries. With the heart, we send and receive our gifts.

5. Throat 

Here is our center for speaking and listening. The throat enables expression and facilitates spiritual dawnings of both rational and emotional understanding. Balancing the throat chakra can help prevent burnout. If you have writer’s block, it can be helpful to check with this chakra.

6. Third Eye

The third eye is associated with the pineal gland and rules telepathic ability. A vortex of sublimation, it is empowered by critical thinking, especially when we seek to release fear and guilt. Through the third eye, we can become more lucid, deepening our understanding that duality is an illusion. Opening it helps us to understand symbols and receive messages in both dreams and waking life.

7. Crown

The crown chakra is related to your nervous system and brain. Tap into its power by becoming present in the body through meditation, visualization and relaxation. It can look like a circle of light around your head, and is an expansion into space where you connect with the rest of the universe. It is related to transcendence & wisdom.

8. Soul/Shaman

Located a few inches above the head, this chakra encompasses past lives and your memories of other dimensions. From Cyndi’s description, it is a beautiful, mysterious chakra that connects our physical body to our soul’s experience in its totality. It empowers our ability to transcend spacetime and engage with “the sphere of potentialities in the making.” When it’s in harmony, it becomes easier to communicate with beings in other realms, like your spirit guides.

9. Luminary

This chakra is about an arm’s length above the top of your head. Lift your hand all the way up to connect with where it is. Cyndi sees this chakra as gold, related to our connection to the divine. It is the space of the greater spirit, the “seat of the soul,” which can act as a doorway into your divine self and your archetypal patternings.

10. Earth

This chakra blooms from beneath your feet. It is how your body connects to the earth, a cord that goes through the legs and feet into the ground. It is associated with nature and the cosmos in their simple essence, and the memories that arise from it can be related to ancestral lessons and inherited traumas. Substantial healing can arise from relationship with this chakra.

11. Supernatural

This chakra is “actually around the body. It’s like this lovely rose film, like way out in our energy field, but it’s collected around the hands and the feet.” Through this chakra, you can discover your inherent connection with both natural and supernatural forces. In this part of the interview, Cyndi mentions that chakras are located in multiple dimensions, existing in different places at the same time. She observes this chakra, which is responsible for our ability to move energy, as energy balls around the hands and feet.

12. Auric

This chakra surrounds the auric field of the body like a halo. Cyndi says, “I think of [it] as the outer bounds of our own unique essence or our own spirit.” She emphasizes the uniqueness of this chakra—its defining characteristic is you, and your individual purpose as a spiritual being. There is a connection between this chakra and the ability to envision, create and become, alongside the truth of universal unity.

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Listen to Tami’s full interview with Cyndi Dale here on Insights at the Edge.

 

ABOUT CYNDI

Cyndi Dale is an internationally renowned author, speaker, intuitive healer, and visionary who has taught thousands of students to access their spiritual gifts through her books and workshops. She has authored several groundbreaking books and audio programs on energy healing and the chakras, including The Subtle Body, The Subtle Body Practice Manual, Advanced Chakra Healing, Energy Clearing, Attracting Prosperity Through the Chakras, and New Chakra Healing. Her work has been translated into nine languages.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

When she isn’t writing poetry or music, Dani Ferrara blogs for Sounds True and seeks to learn more about healing alchemy. Learn more about her art at daniferrarapoet.com.

Cyndi Dale

Photo of ()\

Cyndi Dale is an internationally renowned author, speaker, intuitive healer, and visionary. She is president of Life Systems Services, a corporation that offers intuitive-based healing, destiny coaching, and corporate consulting. Cyndi has been trained in multiple healing modalities, including shamanism, intuitive healing, Lakota medicine, and Reiki. She has written several groundbreaking books on the chakras, including Advanced Chakra Healing, Attracting Prosperity Through the Chakras, and New Chakra Healing, and her work has been translated into nine languages.

Cyndi Dale has received the following awards for The Subtle Body:

2010 Gold Nautilus Award - Health/Healing/Energy Medicine
2010 Silver Living Now Award - Health/Wellness
2010 Bronze IPPY - New Age (Mind-Body-Spirit)

Author photo © Sasha Z Bates


Listen to Tami Simon's in-depth audio podcast interviews with Cyndi Dale:
Discovering Your Subtle Body »
What Happens When We Die? »
Energetic Boundaries »
Destiny and the Chakras »

Author Info for Dani Ferrara Coming Soon

Also By Author

Meet Your Subtle Body: Discover Cyndi Dale’s 12-Chak...

Meet Your Subtle Body Header Image

 

“I think [the 12-chakra system] is a good compilation to get us going so that we can be the entirety of the human that we are—the human divine being that we are.”

 

—Cyndi Dale

As seekers, instead of following set rules, we may set out to discover routes that feel uniquely true and right for us.

Cyndi Dale, a luminary writer on the subtle body and its connection to the physical world, works with a unique 12-chakra system in her healing practice.

Cyndi’s 12-chakra vision helps her pinpoint feelings and where wounds are emanating from the invisible, spiritual self.

Chakras Infographic

from Enlightened Energetics

WHAT IS THE SUBTLE BODY?

Each of us have both a physical body and a subtle body. The physical is what we think of normally: our shape, our volume, and that which we can touch. The subtle body arises from a different place: the intuition. 

The subtle body seems to be some sort of underground pathway for our physical one. It is invisible not because it doesn’t exist, but because it’s sub-observable to the five senses we normally use. I might even argue that she sees the intuition as the 6th sense, and that the creative nature of our spirits gives us the ability to wield this power for healing.

Just like quantum physicists are starting to say, our world (or, at least, some dimension of our world) is not physical at all, but actually consists of “immaterial energy waves.” These waves somehow come together and entangle to create the material world.

As I listened to Cyndi’s interview with Tami, I was struck by the idea that healers like her use the subtle body every day. In the interview, she really helps you comprehend how that’s possible by guiding you through an exercise that’s less about understanding and way more about feeling. (It made me whisper, “whoa!” out loud.)

Here’s an exercise from that part of the interview if you want to try it:

Rub your hands together until you create some friction, and then put your hands palms facing each other about three or four inches apart. You’ll feel that there’s still an energy in between those hands—because there’s chakras in the hands and because there’s fields of energy emanating from the hands.

If you start patting your hands, not touching them, but kind of patting that energy ball. Again, you can bring your consciousness into your hands and pour more energy into that ball that’s being created. All of a sudden, you’re going to feel like your hands are moving farther away from each other. If you turn the spigot down, your hands—in order to feel that friction or the energy between them—are going to move closer together. Then a really fun thing to do is imagine or turn that energy red—it’s not clear anymore; it’s red—and get a sense of how that red energy field can have a certain reaction to red, especially in comparison to blue . . . as we’re now going to turn that energy blue. It’s really different, isn’t it?

About energy workers and healers she says: “They’re consciously kind of deciding what type of energy might be useful, what might be helpful for them, for somebody else, and they’re sending that.” 

THE 12-CHAKRA SYSTEM

According to Cyndi, the western tradition of the 7-chakra system is based on a book by Sir Arthur Avalon. 

Chakras are eddies of light and sound. They interact, dance, rotate and orbit us like our very own planets.

7 Chakras Infographicfrom MindBodyGreen

THE 12 CHAKRAS

1. Root

The root chakra is about spirituality, purpose and connection, as well as our relationship to Mother Nature and the Earth. It is associated with the underlying structures (both intuitive and ordered) of our minds. It is associated with pheremones and our sense of smell

2. Sacral

This is a chakra of motion and flow, representing the water element in the body. It bears a relationship to reproduction and fertility, joy and desire, and the kind of rest that encourages immune system recovery. It is associated with our sense of taste.

3. Solar Plexus

The solar plexus is a fiery center for our unique powers and gifts. When it’s in balance, we can feel like our lives are autonomous and in harmony with our value system. It helps define the energy that guides our motivations, disposition and mood, and it expands our idea of what’s possible when we are inspired by it.

4. Heart 

The heart chakra is related to our personal and romantic relationships. When it is in balance, we might be immersed in feelings of joy and real freedom. It is strengthened through trust, non-manipulative communication, and authentic respect for ourselves and others. It is also strengthened by the exploration and implementation of personal boundaries. With the heart, we send and receive our gifts.

5. Throat 

Here is our center for speaking and listening. The throat enables expression and facilitates spiritual dawnings of both rational and emotional understanding. Balancing the throat chakra can help prevent burnout. If you have writer’s block, it can be helpful to check with this chakra.

6. Third Eye

The third eye is associated with the pineal gland and rules telepathic ability. A vortex of sublimation, it is empowered by critical thinking, especially when we seek to release fear and guilt. Through the third eye, we can become more lucid, deepening our understanding that duality is an illusion. Opening it helps us to understand symbols and receive messages in both dreams and waking life.

7. Crown

The crown chakra is related to your nervous system and brain. Tap into its power by becoming present in the body through meditation, visualization and relaxation. It can look like a circle of light around your head, and is an expansion into space where you connect with the rest of the universe. It is related to transcendence & wisdom.

8. Soul/Shaman

Located a few inches above the head, this chakra encompasses past lives and your memories of other dimensions. From Cyndi’s description, it is a beautiful, mysterious chakra that connects our physical body to our soul’s experience in its totality. It empowers our ability to transcend spacetime and engage with “the sphere of potentialities in the making.” When it’s in harmony, it becomes easier to communicate with beings in other realms, like your spirit guides.

9. Luminary

This chakra is about an arm’s length above the top of your head. Lift your hand all the way up to connect with where it is. Cyndi sees this chakra as gold, related to our connection to the divine. It is the space of the greater spirit, the “seat of the soul,” which can act as a doorway into your divine self and your archetypal patternings.

10. Earth

This chakra blooms from beneath your feet. It is how your body connects to the earth, a cord that goes through the legs and feet into the ground. It is associated with nature and the cosmos in their simple essence, and the memories that arise from it can be related to ancestral lessons and inherited traumas. Substantial healing can arise from relationship with this chakra.

11. Supernatural

This chakra is “actually around the body. It’s like this lovely rose film, like way out in our energy field, but it’s collected around the hands and the feet.” Through this chakra, you can discover your inherent connection with both natural and supernatural forces. In this part of the interview, Cyndi mentions that chakras are located in multiple dimensions, existing in different places at the same time. She observes this chakra, which is responsible for our ability to move energy, as energy balls around the hands and feet.

12. Auric

This chakra surrounds the auric field of the body like a halo. Cyndi says, “I think of [it] as the outer bounds of our own unique essence or our own spirit.” She emphasizes the uniqueness of this chakra—its defining characteristic is you, and your individual purpose as a spiritual being. There is a connection between this chakra and the ability to envision, create and become, alongside the truth of universal unity.

*

Listen to Tami’s full interview with Cyndi Dale here on Insights at the Edge.

 

ABOUT CYNDI

Cyndi Dale is an internationally renowned author, speaker, intuitive healer, and visionary who has taught thousands of students to access their spiritual gifts through her books and workshops. She has authored several groundbreaking books and audio programs on energy healing and the chakras, including The Subtle Body, The Subtle Body Practice Manual, Advanced Chakra Healing, Energy Clearing, Attracting Prosperity Through the Chakras, and New Chakra Healing. Her work has been translated into nine languages.

*
*
*

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

When she isn’t writing poetry or music, Dani Ferrara blogs for Sounds True and seeks to learn more about healing alchemy. Learn more about her art at daniferrarapoet.com.

Cyndi Dale: Discovering Your Subtle Body

Cyndi Dale is a renowned intuitive healer, bestselling author, and recognized expert on energy healing. With Sounds True, Cyndi has published the seminal The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy and The Subtle Body Practice Manual: A Comprehensive Guide to Energy Healing. Sounds True will also be hosting Cyndi’s upcoming online course The Subtle Body Online Training Program. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Cyndi about the many extraordinary experiences and important lessons that brought Cyndi to energy healing. They discuss the basic structures of the subtle anatomy and how physical ailments often have energetic causes. Cyndi explains her understanding of the chakras and details how people can maintain their personal energetic boundaries. Finally, Cyndi leads listeners in an exercise for recognizing their own subtle energetic field and talks to Tami about the “energy egg” that surrounds each of us. (70 minutes)

Cyndi Dale: What Happens When We Die?

Tami Simon speaks with Cyndi Dale, an internationally renowned author, speaker, intuitive healer, business consultant, and authority on alternative healing modalities. Cyndi is the author of a number of top-selling books, including the Sounds True titles The Subtle Body, The Subtle Body Practice Manual, and her most recent release, The Journey After Life: What Happens When We Die. In this episode, Tami speaks with Cyndi about the similarities between birth and death, the purpose of our soul’s incarnation and evolution through multiple lifetimes, and what Cyndi calls the “Twelve Planes of Light”—the dimensions through which our soul travels in its greater journey through this life and beyond. (63 minutes)

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Why We Need To Live the Full Spectrum of Human Experie...

Metabolizing Experience

In order to know and befriend ourselves at the deepest levels, one of the core foundations for true healing, we must cultivate a new way of relating with ourselves that allows even our most difficult and challenging experience to disclose its meaning, intelligence, and purpose in our lives. To do this, we have to slow down and shift our relationship from one of thinking about our experience to fully embodying it. We have to allow ourselves to truly touch it and be touched by it rather than merely orbiting around it, where we are sure to continue to feel some degree of disconnection. Just as we must properly digest the food we eat to absorb its nutrients, we must also assimilate our experience to receive the wisdom and sacred data within it. All through the day and night, we are receiving impressions—through our mental, emotional, somatic (i.e., body-based), imaginal, and spiritual bodies. Life is a constant stream of experience—conversations with friends, caring for our kids, cooking a meal, wandering in nature, practicing yoga or meditation, engaging our work and creative projects, reading a book, shopping for groceries, running errands. But to what degree are we experiencing all of this? How present are we to our moment-to-moment experience, embodied and engaged, allowing it to penetrate us, where it can become true experience and not just some passing event? To what degree are we on autopilot as we make our way through the day, only partially connecting with our friends and family and engaging the sensory reality of what we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch?

I’m pointing toward a way of “metabolizing” our experience that allows us to touch and engage it at the most subtle levels, where it is able to disclose its qualities, intelligence, and purpose. By evoking “metabolization,” I am making use of a biological process in a metaphorical way to refer to working through and integrating our experience, especially those thoughts, feelings, sensations, and parts of ourselves that historically we have pushed away. Other words from the biological sciences, for example “digestion,” “absorption,” or “assimilation” can be used to point to the same idea, indicating that it requires concentration, attention, and a certain fire or warmth to “make use” of our experience and mine the “nutrients” contained within it.

Just because we “have” an experience does not mean we properly digest and absorb it. If our emotional and sensory experience remain partly processed, they become leaky (a psychic version, if you will, of “leaky gut syndrome”) and unable to provide the fuel required to live a life of intimacy, connection, and spontaneity. This inner psychic situation is analogous to not properly chewing and breaking down the food we eat and thus not being able to mine the energy and nutrients our bodies need to function optimally.

Although the desire for change and transformation is natural, noble, and worthy of our honor and attention, if we are not careful, it can serve as a powerful reminder and expression of the painful realities of materialism and self-abandonment. One of the shadow sides of spiritual seeking and the (seemingly) endless project of self-improvement is that we never slow down enough to digest what we have already been given, often much more than we consciously realize. In some sense, most of us have been given everything in terms of the basic alchemical prima materia required to live a life of integrity and inner richness, but not the “everything” the mind thinks it needs to be happy and fulfilled, found by way of a journey of internal and external consumerism. And not the “everything” that conforms to our hopes, fears, and dreams of power and control and that keeps us consistently safe and protected from the implications of what it means to have a tender (and breakable) human heart, but the “everything” already here as part of our true nature, the raw materials for a life of inner contentment and abundance, revealed by way of slowness and humility, not unconscious acquisition.

It is important to remember that for most of us, healing happens gradually, slowly, over time when we begin to perceive ourselves and our lives in a new way. Each micro-moment of new insight, understanding, and perspective must be integrated and digested on its own, honored and tended to with curiosity, care, and attention. Before we “move forward” to the next moment, we must fully apprehend and open our hearts to this one; this slow tending (metabolization) is one of the true essences of a lasting, transformative, and deep healing. If we are not able to metabolize even our most intense and disturbing experience, we will remain in opposition to it, at subtle war with it, and not able to be in relationship with it as a healing ally.

In Tibetan tradition, there is an image of the hungry ghost, a figure of the imaginal realms with a large, distended belly and tiny mouth. No matter how much food (experience) is consumed, there is a deep ache and longing for more. Regardless of how much is taken in, the ghost retains an insatiable hunger. Because this one is not able to digest, make use of, or enjoy what is given, a primordial hole is left behind that can never seem to be filled. One invitation, as this image appears in our own lives, is to slow way down and send awareness and compas- sion directly into the hole, infusing it with presence and warmth, and finally tend to what is already here, not what is missing and might come one day in the future by way of further procurement.

Just as with food—choosing wisely, chewing mindfully, allowing ourselves to taste the bounty of what is being offered, and stopping before we are full—we can honor the validity, workability, and intelligence of our inner experience, even if it is difficult or disturbing. The willingness to fully digest our own vulnerability, tenderness, confusion, and suffering is an act of love and fierce, revolutionary kindness. There are soul nutrients buried in the food of our embodied experience that yearn to be integrated, metabolized, and assimilated in the flame of the heart. But this digestion requires the enzymes of presence, embodi- ment, compassion, and curiosity about what is here now.

Let us slow down and become mindful of the ways we seek to fill the empty hole in the center, whether it be with food when we’re not hungry or experience when we are already full. And in this way, we can walk lightly together in this world, on this precious planet, not as hungry ghosts desperate to be fed but as kindred travelers of interior wealth, richness, and meaning.

This is an excerpt from A Healing Space: Befriending Ourselves in Difficult Times by Matt Licata, PhD.

Matt LicataMatt Licata, PhD, is a practicing psychotherapist and hosts in-person retreats. His work incorporates developmental, psychoanalytic, and depth psychologies, as well as contemplative, meditative, and mindfulness-based approaches for transformation and healing. He co-facilitates a monthly online membership community called Befriending Yourself, is author of The Path Is Everywhere, and is the creator of the blog A Healing Space. He lives in Boulder, Colorado. For more, visit mattlicataphd.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Healing Space

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Tools for Cultivating Supportive Friendships & Re...

Tools for Cultivating Supportive Friendships & Relationships:

CHRISTOPHE ANDRÉ:

For this toolbox I’d like to put forward a little bit of theory about how we are supported by relationships — that is, to offer an overall look at what we receive from our relationships with others.

The five benefits of relationships. Studies show that social support can be broken down into several families of benefits:

  1. Material support: Others can help us in concrete ways. If I’ve broken my leg, I will be glad if somebody will do my shopping for me. If I have to move, I will be happy to have my friends help me transport the boxes.
  2. Informational support: Others can advise us, give us useful infor- mation, and play the role of human search engines — as intelligent as Google but alive and compassionate — and they won’t resell our personal information afterward.
  3. Emotional support: Others are the source of positive emotions; they give us affection, love, friendship, trust, admiration.
  4. The support of esteem. Others can remind us of our value and good qualities, tell us what they like about us, and sustain our self-esteem at moments of uncertainty.
  5. The inspiration of their example: This is more difficult to evaluate scientifically, but it’s quite real, as we have indicated.

The four varieties of relationships. Another important point is that it is helpful to cultivate varied social relationships, just as it is important to have a varied diet. There are four families of relationships, distributed in four concentric circles:

  1. Our intimates: the people we live with, whom we touch and embrace practically every day. This means mostly our family and best friends.
  2. Our close relations: our friends and colleagues, people with whom we regularly have close and regular exchanges.
  3. Our acquaintances: the whole network of people with whom we have a connection, even occasional, and who we keep track of and who keep track of us.
  4. Unknowns: those who we might also have relationships with, depending on our character. This includes people we might speak to on the street, on public transport, in stores. They can also be sources of help or information for us, as we can for them.

Specialists in social relations remind us that it is important to draw sup- port from these four circles — not only from our intimate and close relations—and to sustain our connections with these four relational spheres by giving and receiving help, information, support, eye contact, advice, and smiles. Because the idea is not only to receive but also to give, by speaking to unknowns and maintaining warm relations with our acquaintances, neighbors, and shopkeepers, we do ourselves good. And we embellish the world, improve it, and make it more human!

 

MATTHIEU RICARD:

The importance of social connection. We should choose to live in an environment where people are warm, altruistic, and compassionate. If this isn’t the case in all areas of our living space, we should progressively try to establish these values or, if it’s possible, we should leave the toxic environment.

In this connection, I like to cite the case of a community on the Japanese island of Okinawa, which claims to have one of the world’s highest concentrations of people aged a hundred or over. It appears that the main factor in this exceptional longevity is not the climate or the food, but the power of this community, where people maintain particularly rich social relationships. From cradle to grave, they relate very closely with one another. The elderly people in particular get together several times a week to sing, dance, and have a good time. Almost every day they go to schools to greet the children (whether they have familial links with them or not) at the end of the school day. The elders take the children in their arms and give them treats.

Draw inspiration from the righteous, from people who, in our eyes, embody the values of impartiality, tolerance, compassion, love, and kindness. In these times of the migratory crisis, I think of all those who have taken great risks, and I remember those who protected Jewish people during the Nazi persecutions of World War II, particularly those who hid Jews in their homes. These people have since come to be called “The Righteous.” The only common point that emerges from their many accounts is a view of others based on recognition of their common human- ity. All human beings deserved to be treated with kindness. Where we saw a stranger, they saw a human being.

Meditate on altruistic love. Studies in psychology have shown that meditating on altruistic love increases people’s feelings of belonging to a community; it enhances the quality of social connections and compassionate attitudes toward unknown people, while at the same reduc- ing discrimination toward particular groups, like people of color, homeless people, and immigrants.

Draw inspiration from friends in the good and spiritual masters. I recommend that everyone see a historical documentary made in India by Arnaud Desjardins at the end of the 1960s, in which we are shown the most respected of the Tibetan masters who took refuge on the Indian slopes of the Himalayas following the Chinese invasion of their country. The film is called The Message of the Tibetans.

 

ALEXANDRE JOLLIEN:

The audacity to live. Existing, opening oneself to the other, is running a risk. It means dropping one’s armor, one’s protective coverings, and opening one’s eyes and daring to give oneself to the other and to the entire world. There’s no way you can invest in a relationship, so throw out your logic of profit and loss! What if we were to embark on our day without any idea of gain or of using our fellow human beings? What if we stayed attentive to all the women and men it is given to us to encoun- ter on that day, looking to find among them masters in being human? 

Identify our profound aspirations. Helping others can often amount to imposing a view of the world on them without really paying any attention to what they really want in their hearts. A man bought an elephant without giving any thought in advance to how he was going to feed it. At a loss, he was obliged to turn for help to those around him, and what he got from them was, “You never should have bought such a big animal!” What does it mean to help others? Does it mean committing completely to being there for them? Does it mean going all the way with them?

Authentic compassion. A will to power might enter into our move- ment toward the other—a thirst for recognition, a twisted attempt to redeem ourselves. Daring a true encounter means quitting the sphere of your neurosis and walking the path of freedom together. There’s no more “me,” no more “you,” but a coalescent “us,” a primordial solidarity.

Coming out of the bunker. As a result of having been burned in our relationship with another, the temptation is great to put on armor, to completely shut ourselves up in a bunker-like fortress, even to the point of suffocation. Don’t our passions, our griefs, our loves, and the fierce- ness of our desire remind us that we are essentially turned toward the other, in perpetual communication? Is there a way to live the thousand and one contacts of daily life without our ego appropriating them?

This is excerpted from the newest book from Matthieu Ricard, Christophe André, and Alexandre Jollien, Freedom For All Of Us: A Monk, A Philosopher, and a Psychiatrist on Finding Inner Freedom.

Copy of MatthieuRicard-AlexandreJollien-ChristopheAndré©PhilippeDanais2017

 

Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, a photographer, and a molecular geneticist who has served as an interpreter for the Dalai Lama. 

Christophe André is a psychiatrist and one of the primary French specialists in the psychology of emotions and feelings.

 Alexandre Jollien is a philosopher and a writer whose work has been attracting an ever-growing readership. Together, they are the authors of In Search of Wisdom and Freedom For All of Us.

picture of the book titles Freedom for All of Us

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Matt Licata, PhD: The Alchemy of Befriending Ourselves...

Matt Licata is a practicing psychotherapist, a co-facilitator of a monthly online membership community called Befriending Yourself, and the author of The Path Is Everywhere. With Sounds True, he has written a new book titled, A Healing Space: Befriending Ourselves in Difficult Times. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Matt about what it is to be a healing space, that is to hold space for ourselves and others, as well as how we can feel held by something greater than ourselves during challenging experiences. They also explore our inner wounds and self-abandonment, spiritual bypassing and the ways in which many practices allow us to gloss over the real healing needed, and how coming into an embodied state can open us to greater inner depths. Finally, Tami and Matt discuss becoming an alchemist of your own life, discovering the inner gold that each of us has within, and befriending all of ourselves.

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