Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi
  AHYMSIN NEWSLETTER, ISSUE - February 2015 
 
   
 
   

 

Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…

Sometimes students write to or ask Swami Veda and other senior teachers in our tradition questions about practice. This is one such “Question and Answer,” or Q&A.

Question

I know that death is part of life, that the price of living is death, but we prepare for life, the successes and joys, but for death we are never prepared. How can I reduce periods of depression and anxiety, what can I do to overcome this loss of my loved one, what is the best way to handle the grief?

Answer: Three have answered this question: Wolfgang Bischoff, Michael Smith, and Carolyn Hume.

From Wolfgang Bischoff:

I take care of 2 Mothers, one 100 years old, one 97 years old. Both wait for their leaving this earth. My Mother has cancer and so has my wife. Death and the fear of dying is a close friend in our lives. The best way to deal with all the emotions in this period of life is from my experience to be close with the dying person and to concentrate on all the especially difficult issues, as intense as the person can dare it. Crying and laughing with our loved ones, looking with no hesitation at all facets of life feels like an intense cleansing process. But mainly sit aside that person who is dying and put your hand on the head and the heart, not moving, be silent and observe what happens.

Then after death overcome your grief and depressing feelings by concentrating on the people who need your help. Support those around you and change that energy into caring, loving service. That will give joy and deep satisfaction and look for someone with whom you can talk about everything which is bothering you.

I wish you a fulfilled life

Wolfgang

From Michael Smith:

That’s a very profound question. The whole practice of Yoga is devoted to helping people conquer the fear of death.  In the Yoga-sutras it is called abhinivesha and it is said that even the very wise are daunted by the fear of death.   Both Swami Rama and Swami Veda have written very helpful books on the subject.  Swami Rama has written Sacred Journey and Life Here and Hereafter.  Swami Veda has written Meditation and the Art of Dying.

From Carolyn Hume:

When writing to someone regarding the death of a loved one, Swami Veda wrote "Souls come into this world to fulfill certain karma. They have karmic debts. That is what makes a family. Once these karmic debts have been paid the soul leaves your body. The soul goes to a next body karmic debts to pay somewhere else. If your karmic relationship has come to an end, it is because they must come to an end. You should see it from this point of view."

Having experienced the death of my parents and also a son, my thoughts and feelings have turned to a deeper appreciation of the life that flowed through them, of the joys shared, but also of the suffering they experienced. And actually this continues in the way that their being in my life touched mine.

We realize that one lifetime is short, but we are given the opportunity to love and to serve the people around us during that time. This opportunity existed with loved ones who have died and continues to exist with those still embodied.

The death of someone we know also brings to one’s mind at some level the knowledge of one’s own death. And a remembrance of the questions: Who am I? From where have I come? What is the purpose of life? Where will I go from here?

“Human life is a cycle of coming and going, birth and death. The death of the body is not the end of the soul. The Self is unchangeable.” – Swami Rama 

Reading Swami Rama’s book Sacred Journey can be helpful. And also Life Here and Hereafter by Swami Rama and Meditation and the Art of Dying by Swami Veda Bharati (Pandit Usharbudh Arya).

In addition, counseling may be helpful to deal with depression and anxiety.  Sometimes there are also support groups for individuals who are grieving; perhaps there is one in your area.

Diaphragmatic breathing can be helpful to help us balance our emotions and also 2 minute meditations.  Here is a link to information about 2 minute meditation http://ahymsin.org/main/practice/2-minute-meditation.html


Editor’s Note:

If you have a question about spiritual practice, you can use this link to ask it: http://ahymsin.org/main/adhyatma-samiti-spiritual-committee.html

 

   
       

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