Tue, February 3 – Thu, February 5
Tue, February 3, 5:00 pm–
At the Am Kolel Sanctuary in Beallsville MD.
Save the date!
More information to come.
Resting and Healing
from a Dharma Talk by Thich Nhat Hanh on July 30, 1997
Our body has the capacity of healing itself. You know that. When you get a cut in your finger, do you have to do anything? No. You only have to keep it clean and in a few days it will be healed. Your body has a number of problems within because you have not allowed it to rest. If you know the art of total relaxation, the art of allowing your body to rest, most of these troubles will go away after a few weeks.
When an animal is wounded in the woods, it knows how to do this. It seeks a peaceful corner in the forest and it lays down for several days. Several generations of ancestors have transmitted to them the wisdom that this is the only way to restore themselves. They don’t have doctors, they don’t have pharmacists, but they know how to rest. They don’t need to run after their prey, they don’t need to eat—in fact, they fast during these three, four, five days of resting. And one day the animal is healed and it stands up and it goes to look for a source of food.
We don’t know how to do like animals. In order to get well quickly we bring a lot of interventions into our body: we take a lot of drugs, we undergo a lot of treatments. But we don’t know how to allow our body to rest. So learning how to allow your body to rest is a very important practice. Love your body. You learn total relaxation and you can do it several times a day. Five minutes is enough, ten minutes. Even three minutes are already very good if you know how to allow your body to rest completely.
And for your spirit, it is the same. Our consciousness is able to heal itself. It has the power of self healing but you don’t allow it to rest. You continue to feed your consciousness with your anger, your worries, your thinking, and so on. You don’t believe in your consciousness. You are seeking for a means to heal it but you don’t know how to allow yourself to rest. You keep thinking the whole day and you keep worrying the whole day. You never allow yourself to rest. If you know how to practice total relaxation, you’ll know how to smile and how to send your smile to different parts of your body. During that time, you have stopped thinking and worrying because you are focused on your body, your breathing, your walking. When you practice mindful breathing, when you practice “In, out, deep, slow,” not only can you nourish yourself—body and spirit—but you can also stop your thinking. Stopping the thinking, stopping the worries, is very important.
. . . We have to trust our spirit in the way we trust our body. Our spirit has the power of self healing if only we know how to allow it to rest and don’t continue to feed it with more worries, with more projects, with more fear. The practice of mindful breathing, mindful walking, enjoying the contemplation of the sky, of the vegetation, of being with friends, enjoying things in the present moment, helps you to stop . . . the heart and the spirit filling with worries and fear. You will heal in the inside.
Am Kolel Sanctuary Retreat Center
19520 Darnestown Rd
Beallsville, MD 20839