Everyday Thoughts for Everyday Happiness
Welcome to the Modern Healer blog. Here, I will share thoughts on meditation, love, how emotions affect our bodies, ancient wisdom and many more…
Bing Wright captured this image by photographing the reflection of a sunset through a broken mirror. The first time I saw it, I couldn’t help but see the mirror as a reflection of our journey through life.
During our lifetime, we have to face many challenges, trauma, loss of the ones we love, physical pain, hurt, unfair decisions and situations, all of which move us away from infinite love and pure light. Although these times are painful and we would all prefer to avoid them, they are in fact our greatest teachers as we learn and grow from the situations.
Recently I got a splinter stuck into my middle finger, between my nail and the tissue. Trust me it was very painful and I was constantly reminded of this pain as I use my hands daily to treat. I went to the doctor and he told it was going to be difficult to remove it as it went deep into the nail and tissue. In order to remove it, he was going to have to scratch the top of the nail and remove it from there. It would take 40 minutes and would leave me with an open nail / wound. I decided not to do it.
As things always happen for a reason, later that night, I realised the splinter was stuck in my middle finger which represents the heart. As the splinter was causing a constant throbbing pain in my finger I took a moment to reflect on what it meant for me to feel pain in my heart. In that moment, I realised that I had spent my whole life protecting my heart and avoiding feeling emotions in it.
The small splinter managed to penetrate the thick nail which was reflective of the thick walls I had built around my heart and consequently offered me a clear vision into it.
It was like I was standing on top of those walls and looking down through an open window, the window to my heart. The insight into my heart was quite an intense moment. Tears and sadness came up as I realised how much tension I had been holding onto for such a long time as well as the realisation of how my behaviour had been affecting others – not being able to give unconditional love, nor receive love and so many more…
When the storm of realisation passed, a rush of energy flowed into my chest. It felt like a river was washing away all the dust from my heart. The thicks walls started to collapse. At that moment, I felt less scared of opening to love and to myself. I felt closer to pure love.
I then jumped into a warm bath and performed 30 minutes of surgery on my middle finger. The splinter was easily extracted, without any pain. I then took out my phone, called my parents and told them how much I love them which is something I was always afraid of doing. For a moment, the broken mirror was partially fixed and I felt more ready than ever to continue on the amazing journey of life.
PS: thanks to Bing Wright for letting me use his art for the post. You can check his amazing work on http://www.bingwright.com/
Love & Happiness
Veronica, 32 years old, has been going out for three months with Ben. So far, so good. A few dates, loads of texting, sharing passions & dreams, watching movies, meeting each other’s friends and hopefully soon each other’s families… Suddenly, one night while having dinner, Ben shut down and left the room abruptly. His whole personality changed, he completely disconnected. Veronica could feel the anger rushing through his whole body. What did I do ? What went wrong ? she asked herself as she was left there alone. Was it because I asked about the relationship ? She sends him a text the next day asking if he is ok. No response, nothing. Three days later, she finally receives a response through a text, not even a phone call “ I have lots of work on at the moment. Talk to you later. Ben ”. Sad but true. Let’s try to understand what happened to Ben’s heart.
The act of feeling
First, the act of feeling for men is both challenging and scary. Men’s bodies are filled with masculine / yang energy and that energy is less receptive to emotions. Emotions are subtle, delicate, fragile and are only understood through the heart. The natural reaction for a man when facing emotions is to try to understand and rationalise them through his brain. This doesn’t work. The language of the heart and brain are different. Due to their innate feminine energy in their body, emotions penetrate their core and heart with ease then flow to their brain. That is why women understand emotions without effort, without the filter of the brain. The counterpart of that gift is that because they feel it so much, it can sometimes be a struggle and an overwhelming sensation resulting in chronic worry or panic attacks… French writer Honore de Balzac understood women’s nature well when he said “Women are always true, even in the midst of their greatest falsities, because they are always influenced by some natural feeling.” For men, to grasp and acquire that natural feeling, they have to learn to meditate, to sit still, be quiet and more importantly to listen and act from their hearts. If they don’t, when confronted by emotions and asked to respond in this language, they will do what Ben did, shut down.
The domino effect : fear, anger, disconnection.
Emotions remain unknown to most men, similar to an invisible world. What happens when men are facing the unknown ? They get scared as men fear what they do not understand. Now, Fear is a very interesting emotion. In Chinese Medicine it belongs to the Water element (Kidneys organ) and the virtue of that Element is Intelligence and Wisdom ( that is why when we are scared we are never able to make the right decisions). The Water Element if balanced flows and nourishes the Wood Element (Liver organ). When fear is in excess in our body / spirit, men, the flow of the Water element is disrupted and will not be able to nourish the Wood Element. You can think of it as a drought in a river (Water element) not being able to nourish and feed the plants (Wood element) This results in triggering anger in our bodies through imbalances and restrictions of energy flow in the liver, the first domino effect : Ben got scared and got angry. Depending on his personality, childhood, astrological sign and so many more, he might express his anger or not. In this case, he did not.
Now, the excess of energy in his Liver, manifesting as anger, will then crawl into his heart. Too much wood has been burning and the Fire Element (Heart organ) is out of control. The excess of energy will shut down his heart and he will disconnect from everybody starting with himself ( the Heart is the organ responsible for connecting with yourself and others). This disconnection, which is sometimes called cave’s time, is a natural reaction for Ben. His heart is just protecting himself in order to regenerate himself. Now, how long it stays in this state and cave will solely depend on how long it takes him to reopen to love and let go of his fear.
Honesty, the only path
To prevent the physiological reaction when facing fear and anger, the only path is the path of honesty. Honesty ensures we face our deepest fears (Virtue of the Water element), accepting them (Virtue of the Wood element) and remain open in sharing them (Virtue of the Fire element) A great way to start cultivating those virtues is the Pure Heart Meditation. Until a man goes through this process, he will never be truly free and is there anything more beautiful and attractive than a free man ?
Below a fantastic scene from the movie Good will hunting where Matt Damon’s character explains through amazing acting what men go through when facing emotions. At the end, his heart opens.
Hope you enjoyed this read 🙂
Enjoy life !
The Pure Heart Meditation
Meditation helps us connect with ourselves, find answers, relax and heal our bodies, balance our hormones, stop worrying, surrender to love, forgive, feel the divine within us, let go, feel good enough, be at one with the universe, trust, be less scared, give up anger, find true love, let go of traumas, release shame, help express our true self and so much more…
To feel and experience the virtues & qualities listed above, we do not need to swallow pills, there is no need for a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, there is no need to become a monk and isolate yourself in a monastery and no need to go to on pilgrimage to India. All you need, lies within you, in your heart.
An Indian proverb says that God concealed the secret of the universe where man will never look: his heart. I have found this proverb, through my own personal experiences as well as through observing the experiences of others. Our mind, “yang” and active by nature, has a tendency to look outwardly for answers, comfort, support and love.
Meditation allows us to use the feminine aspect of our mind, the “yin” energy, to look within us and find answers. When we connect and let the feminine energy flow, the Heart will naturally open (the Heart is more yin & feminine by nature) and we will then be able to experience its virtues and wisdom.
To do so, I have designed a simple meditation that will help you tap into the energy of the Heart. If practiced regularly, the effects can be felt rapidly !
The Pure Heart Meditation – 6 steps meditation
The best time to practice The Pure Heart Meditation is in the morning when you first wake up. If this is not possible, you can also do it before you go to bed at night
1/ Find a comfortable position
It does not matter if your back is not straight. You do not have to be a Buddha or a yogi, just be comfortable 🙂
2/ Close your eyes
From the moment you close your eyes, your thoughts will instantly start running through your head. To help relax your mind, consider your thoughts as passing clouds of the mind: they come and go, some bring sunshine, some bring rain. If your mind is too busy, feel your breath for a few minutes and feel the rhythm. It will act as an anchor on your mind and will slow it down.
3/ Relax your body
A couple of tips to help relax yourself :
Make sure your hands are loose and relaxed. The hands are the reflective zone of the Heart so the more relaxed your hands are, the more relaxed your Heart will be. As well, do not allow yourself to feel guilty for taking the time for sitting and doing “nothing”
4/ Feel the love
Find a thought that brings bliss, joy or happiness into your heart. Not just a happy thought but
one that is going to make your heart melt and liquify ! When I first started meditating, I struggled for days before finding a good thought which was pure bliss to my heart. A friend told me to use my cat as each time I was talking about her, a big smile would appear on my face. To this day, my cat continues to be my blissful thought (see my previous post “Dharma, Cats and Love”)
5/ Surrender to love
Play with your blissful thought for 5 minutes in your head. If the thought is powerful enough, a genuine smile will appear on your face. A smile is a good indicator that your heart is opening. After a few minutes, let the thought fall into your heart. To do that, simply surrender to the feeling of love and bliss. It will naturally find your heart.
6/ Do nothing
Once the bliss has entered your heart, you will feel your heart beat, a movement of expansion into your chest, tingling into your hands, and an increase in positive emotions. This means your Heart has opened. Stay present and aware of this feeling in your body. The natural movement of the Heart is toward love and expansion so the feeling will keep growing. If you are getting distracted at any time during this process, bring your attention back to your breath to re anchor your mind (Step 2), return back to your blissful thought and let it fall, once again, into your heart.
I hope you enjoy this meditation. I have created a PDF version so you can download or print it : The Pure Heart Meditation
If you have any questions, struggles or challenges, please do not hesitate to contact me through the Modern Healer website www.themodernhealer.com
With Love & Happiness
07.30am. The sun is piercing through the curtain and slowly warming up your feet. Outside, tradies are knocking down the neighbour’s wall. You hit the snooze button for the 5th time. You get out of bed like a zombie. Your homemade smoothie doesn’t taste anything like the one you had at that cool cafe in Surry Hills the other day. In the sink, some crumbles of your last piece of gluten free toast. No time to yell at your flatmate sleeping on the sofa still drunk from last night. You rush outside, grab a piece of banana bread while the barista brews your favourite coffee. You quickly hand a $10 note, spill some coffee on your jacket, and jump in the bus. Your right hand wipes the stain while your left hand checks Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and your email. Your boss is hassling you about the deadline for this new project. A mild headache is rising from the stress and the coffee. It’s only 8.20am. You close your eyes. No time to take a deep breath. The bus just stopped on George St. Another day in paradise, you say to yourself.
07.30am. You finish meditating and keep feeling the warmth of the sun warming your face. You smile. Next door, the builders start working. The noise does not faze you. In the kitchen, you look carefully at all the ingredients: bananas, rice milk, honey, and wheat germ. You think about that great cafe in Surry Hills with the cool atmosphere, the chilled music… Your intuition tells you to try today’s smoothie with peanut butter. Best smoothie ever! Your stomach is happy and full. No need for the extra piece of toast. You write a note saying ‘buy gluten free toast’ and stick it on your flatmate’s head, who is sleeping on the couch, still drunk. The barista has already prepared your favourite coffee. It is waiting for you on the bench. You smile at him and wonder when he is going to ask you out. On the bus, you rest your head on the window, close your eyes and feel the sun warming your face. This feeling takes you back to your meditation this morning:sitting quietly, feeling the warmth of your heart, letting love fill every part of your being, breathing gently, letting your intuition flow throughout your whole body. The bus stops.It’s 8.20am.You calmly walk to work.
In today’s society, living simply has become an art. Too often, we get lost in details. When the mind starts functioning, usually when we wake up, we fill it with ideas, concepts, fears, desires, worries, plans. Quickly, it becomes cluttered and when full, we hold on to our ideas, opinions and refuse to let them go. This is when we get lost in the details of life. The Heart has an incredible power. Its warmth has the ability to melt and soften our minds.This process is done by opening a specific energy into our hearts called Shen in Chinese Medicine. Its meaning is to stretch, extend and express. When opened, we gain access to the virtues of the Heart: love, compassion, honesty, understanding, vision… Charlotte Bronte perfectly understood this energy when she wrote in her poem Evening Solace “The human heart has hidden treasures. In secret kept, in silence sealed”.
When this energy arises in our bodies, it brings changes into our life. With change comes transformation. With transformation comes openness. With openness comes simplicity. Simplicity brings the ultimate sophistication into our life: beauty. Therefore life becomes a journey again. A journey within us, within our beauty that leads to a life well lived, a life full of experience and the feeling of being alive. When the heart has fully opened our senses, we start to see things we have never seen before. The poetry hiding in flowers, the beauty concealed in people, the love that surrounds us every day. “The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper” said the Irish poet William Butler Yeats. This awakening of the senses is done through the awakening of the Heart. Let’s not forget that we only see what our heart feels. The more our hearts are open, the more we can feel, see and experience life and its magic. Our job is to do our best to keep our hearts open and its energies flowing so we can experience the magic of life everyday. The Pure Heart Meditation can help us with it. Stay tuned, I will post it in the next blog !
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With love and happiness – Emeric Israel
In 2007, I remember sitting on a cushion in a strange cross-legged position, diligently closing my eyes and trying desperately to quieten my mind. For weeks, I tried to meditate. For weeks, I failed. As soon as I would sit and shut my eyes, my mind would wonder, taking my thoughts on a roller-coaster ride. At first, I would think of holidays, listen to the birds singing outside, think of my next movie, my desired life. After those pleasant distractions, my mind would go back to what it knew best…fear.
Relationship, family, career, love, life and health, were all on the roller-coaster and were all going down hill and at a very fast pace. At that point in time, my ability to focus was nil and meditation was a waste of time. However, as the universe always conspires to lead you to your truth, one morning whilst sitting, trying yet again to meditate, Fossette, my cat, appeared in my thoughts. Another distraction, I thought to myself. I soon realised I was wrong.
While I was sitting, imagining her yawning and stretching, a large smile came over my face and my mind suddenly stopped thinking. For the next 10 minutes, I was still, focused and calm. Not a single question distracted me, nor any fear. For 10 minutes, I had the mind of a Buddha…quiet but receptive, still but dynamic, empty but filled with love.
F.Nietzsche said “All things are subject to interpretation”. For the first time, I consciously realised and felt things through the interpretation of love, pure love as the love we carry for our pets is sincere, pure and innocent and therefore, very powerful when it comes to melting our hearts. After this realisation, for the next few weeks I would keep distracting myself with that feeling of pure love at the beginning of each meditation. Love was my drug, Fossette my supplier. Everyday, my mind became increasingly quieter and by being less noisy, I could finally hear the music of my heart.
I was happier, less angry and frustrated, less worried about things and was feeling a sense of purpose in my life. More importantly, I was finding trust! Why no one has ever told us that trust was found in our hearts rather than outside of it ? I decided then to leave the corporate world to become a healer…
My curiosity and desire to know more about meditation and its connection with the heart has led me to study old Chinese, Buddhist, Jewish, Zen, Sufi texts for the past 7 years.
I also went on sitting for an hour every day and have created a meditation which helps us to better connect with the energy of the heart, I call it “The Pure Heart Meditation”. I have shared this mediation technique with many of my patients and I have also been lucky enough to witness their physical and emotional transformation. I will share this with you all in a future post.
Thanks for reading this first post. Hope you enjoyed it ! If you did, feel free to share it with friends and also like our page. With love and happiness – Emeric Israel
In this blog, you will find posts about healing, love, fear, happiness, insights, meditation, feelings, ancient wisdom, poetry, inspirational stories, amazing people… For years, I have been wanted to create this blog. First post will be online soon, hope you will enjoy it !
With love & Happiness.