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If Love is Forever

Robin Pan

Love, when misused could cause more harm. There are countless sad stories on the love of a couple and love of parents and children. Modern medical researches and statistics have demonstrated a strong co-relationship between cancerous conditions of females and their emotional problems. Emotional health is indeed the wellspring of physical health.

A healthy marriage is most essential to emotional health. Marriage is the inception of the family. Family is the framework of the society. Everyone comes from a family; the well-being of families has a direct impact on the harmony of a society. Therefore, a happy marriage is important.

The era of matchmaking is over; modern marriages are the result of mutual liking. Martial problems are therefore due to the inability to resolve differences and maintain the relationship. These problems are usually bad habits that should be corrected. This may sound simple. However, in the book “Love Buster”, authored by Dr Willard Harley, the marriage counsellor of twenty-five years pointed out five obstacles to martial happiness, which are basically the results of:

Violent Rage

A flurry of temper can cause one to forget the reason for being angry. The weaker party would resort to other means to take revenge. This revenge would then lead to another round of fury; these negative emotions became endless. This habit may cause danger to your partner. A family living in fury affects the emotional health of the offspring.

Disrespectful Criticisms

Criticism is never welcomed in marriages. Disrespectful criticism is an arrogant behaviour. It is used to force others to accept one’s view.

Irritable Habits

Usually, it is the females who find males’ bad habits intolerable. Changing these habits are not difficult; it is a matter of will. The party having difficulty should be tactful in requesting for change and the party needing change should view the change as a personal challenge and progress.

Selfish Requests

Dr Harley pointed out that none of the parties in a marriage wants to be a slave. Between a lover and a slave, you can only opt to be one. Whether male or female, one should seek the consent of the other party for any kind of assistance.


Dishonesty is not restricted to infidelity; it includes not disclosing one’s feelings. If you are used to not expressing your feelings, the other party will never know how you really feel. If you do not express and bottle up unhappiness, it will not only lead to the main reason for marital breakup but also to chronic diseases.

In fact, a successful marriage needs effort. This effort involves getting attention and time. These are being mentioned in Dr Harley’s book “His Needs, Her Needs”.

Giving attention involves understanding what one’s spouse really wants? How to satisfy his/her wants? The Chinese traditionally wishes newly married couples “Hundred Years of Harmony” and harmony requires giving attention to living harmoniously.

On giving time, Dr Harley suggests couples should spend fifteen hours together without the intervention of external parties. Remember that being together is to satisfy each other’s needs. A marriage that needs repairs demands having more time for each other.

The book also lays down the different methods of resolving conflicts in a marriage, one of which relates to career. People nowadays place great importance on materialism, leading to sacrificing family life due to work. Many because of career change or promotion, change residence without considering the effect it might have on the family and children. Dr Harley advises one not to sacrifice marriage for the sake of career. In the course of his work, he has not met anyone at his/her deathbed regretting not having spent sufficient time at work. Instead, regrets are more on not spending enough time with loved ones and enjoying family life.

Indeed, pursuing a successful career is not a sin, except that success causes one to lose one’s self and become greedy. Success sometimes causes one to feel that the existing partner or friends are no longer suitable for one. These cases happen in history and still exist now. Greed leads one to encourage the husband to be successful and when success comes, the wife lives to regret the husband abandoning her.

Hence, there are many cases of love turning to hatred between couples. These love and hate relationships occur in every generation. Fate brings a couple or parents and children together. Therefore, one should treasure the togetherness, remind oneself to kick off undesirable habits and train one’s self to be at peace with others. By not overindulging in any relationships, one is relieved of emotional stress which eventually leads to good health.













Healing With Loving Kindness

Mariette Risley

When someone is very ill they need loving kindness as much as they need medicine. The medicine, hopefully, will help to reduce physical illness but loving kindness will benefit that part of the person known as the soul as well as aid in lessening physical problems. The patient treated with loving kindness will be more interested in getting better, will be more interested in what is going on daily, will be more aware of life than the person who is being treated only with medicine.

Why this is so is not really a mystery. Picture a gravely ill person in a hospital. There are several people involved in her health – her doctor, nurses who check on her night and day, keep tabs on her pulse, blood pressure and temperature, bathe her, see that she eats properly.

If all these people attend the patient in every way they know to make her more comfortable the sick person certainly is being well taken care of physically.

But! It’s the caregiver who makes the patient feel like a human being and not an object in bed, who will ask permission to enter the room, who will smile, who will ask permission to hold the ill one’s hand, who will look at her while she talks, who will feel and show loving kindness – this caregiver will have a tremendous effect on the sick person’s recovery.

If the patient is too ill to be aware of loving kindness, someone sitting quietly by her bed can have a very beneficial effect.

Where is the will to get better if one is treated only physically?

If one is treated as a human being, treated with loving kindness and respect, the will to get better is almost automatically set in motion. The patient starts to smile back at a friendly face, at someone who is non-judgemental, someone who is not giving advice.

If nurses and doctors and caregivers all treat the patient with attention, acknowledgement, affection and acceptance, that patient will show marked improvement faster than a patient who is not treated as humanely.

Dr. Dean Ornish in his latest book Love & Survival talks about the need people have for emotional support which involves the verbal and nonverbal communication of caring and concern. He emphasizes that it is not only people who are ill, who need emotional support, who need to be acknowledged, who are accepted as they are, who are given as much affection as they can handle (some people love hugs, others are comfortable with just a handshake), and who are listened to, and not patronized nor given advice. Illness can actually be prevented by treating people with loving kindness.

What a wonderful and peaceful world this can be if we all treat each other with acceptance, affection, attention, respect and acknowledgement; if we give each other emotional support; if we treat others as we wish to be treated. People would be healthier, happier, more confident, and it follows there would be less crime.












Clear Mind, Clear Body – An Interview With Robin Pan

Thor Peng Tiong


Robin’s articles and translation make regular appearances in Taiwan’s Lapis Lazuli Light quarterly magazines. His creative way of writing has brought to life the stories of people from all walks of life, of how they started on the path of total health, and I have certainly gained a lot from reading them. He has benefitted readers by allowing them the opportunity to learn about the courage and determination of those people who appear in his stories.

“The Holographic Universe” is a book which receive a lot of comments from readers. Many who read this book expressed that they had indeed gained precious knowledge on the Laws of the Universe from this book. This is not a book which is easy to read or understand, and it is even tougher to translate it. And yet, Robin is the translator of this book. To do such a good translation job, he must have a good grasp of scientific knowledge, a sound basic in the teachings of Buddha and knowledge of the Universe.

I was fortunate to have the chance to interview and at the same time learn from Robin when we met in California. We had a good time talking about everything under the sun, from our links with Lapis Lazuli Light to the great poets of China.

Having interviewed so many people, Robin is definitely their best representative. Here, allow me to share part of my conversation with him.

Q: When did you get to know about Dr. Lai and Lapis Lazuli Light?

A: My family and I attended a seminar conducted by Dr. Lai in Taipei in 1993. That day, Dr. Lai led the participants to visualize golden light, and I felt a cleansing energy through my whole being. It was similar to those instances when monks lead believers to go through a 7-day Zen meditation. At that point of time, my perception was that she possesses special ability to lead us to such achievements.

When I returned to the States in 1994, my wife attended the workshop conducted by Dr. Lai, and got to know some of the volunteers from Lapis Lazuli Light. From that time on, we started on the diet recommended by Dr. Lai, and I really benefitted from it.

Q: Did you attend Dr. Lai’s workshop yourself?

A: Yes, I attended once. That time, I was the Mandarin-to-English translator for Dr. Lai. It was necessary because there were quite a few participants who did not understand Mandarin. After that, it became a regular activity for me to help out at such events. To me, it is helping myself, as what I gained definitely exceeded what I gave.

Q: When did you start becoming a vegetarian?

A: Actually, I was already a Buddhist and a vegetarian before I knew Dr. Lai. It was actually a habit in my life. At that time, I was lost, and I returned to the place where I was born in an attempt to change environment. Incidentally, my sister just started learning the teachings of Buddha, and I went along with her!

After reading some Buddhist scriptures, I thought about it and decided that, if I did not go vegetarian, it will be going against the Buddha’s teachings on Compassion of Heart. It would also have been going against myself, and other loving beings (animals). Therefore, I literally forced myself to embark on this path. Human beings tend to be greedy where food is concerned. Therefore, I had to get rid of this greed, and at the same time felt much better not to eat meat. However, I am not a vegetarian for health reasons.

In the initial stages of learning Buddhism, it was equivalent to starting from the spiritual aspect of my life. Hence, in descending order, health was not of utmost concern then. Understanding the concept of total health and natural healing can put us on the right pathway to health very quickly. However, when we look at it as such a descending order, it becomes a slower process. On the contrary, if we start from the bottom rung, that is, to start cleansing the body, it will actually be a more balanced process. I am really grateful to Dr. Lai for her courage in encouraging this concept of total health.

Q: Did changing your diet help in spiritual advancement?

A: Being more alert mentally, I was able to advance better spiritually too. Being tired mentally, it is easy to get discouraged. I am a quick-tempered person, and I am still trying to improve on this aspect. From the viewpoint of a Buddhist, everything arises from your heart. The external environment and factors only assist. To change, we have to start from ourselves, while everything outside only affects the process, be it positive or negative.

Q: Did you make a big change in your diet after getting to know Dr. Lai?

A: Actually, where this is concerned, I have to thank my wife. At that time, I was rather disconnected. That is, I felt a distance from the external world, and was not enjoying a solid presence. I felt that I was “up there”. My wife, on the other hand, was able to handle a lot of matters in a more practical way. She is what I would call, more “earthly”. We sort of complement each other.

Q: Is this the norm for most people?

A: Maybe! I was probably brought on by our old habits that die hard. Therefore, my wife helped me greatly in this, both physically and spiritually.

Q: We know your child is the healthy Vegetarian Baby. Was he born after you and your wife changed diet? What is the difference between him and other children?

A: Yes, we had him only after we changed our diet. Actually, this child does not have a very good temper. But the good thing is that he does not worry easily like some other children do. Many people say that parent’s energy will affect a child. I guess my own personality is a rather big influence on him too. Like Rudolf Steiner ever mentioned before, when a child is young, his whole body is like a sensor. They absorb fully whatever influence their parents have on them. This actually served as a big warning to me, that I was always careful of what I did that could affect my child adversely. Steiner said that the influence one has on his child is not what he says, and it is not even what he does. It is actually what you are. Therefore, a parent has to change himself positively to have a positive influence on his child. Of course, it is not easy to achieve this, as whatever we are is actually brought forward from our previous lives. What Steiner teaches only serves as an alert to us.

Q: How is your child’s state of health?

A: Very good. He has definitely benefitted from all these changes. My wife breast-fed him, thus he is practically free from all childhood illnesses. Occasionally he gets the flu, but nothing major, and it only takes him a day or so to recover. He never has to see the doctor. In my opinion this is also his own good destiny, which led him to be born in a family of vegetarians. He probably has good karma from previous lives.

Q: After getting to know Dr. Lai, was there any change in your thinking and life’s path?

A: Yes. I feel that Dr. Lai is indeed a precious “scarcity” I practice Tibetan Buddhism, and yet I still hope that I can be like Dr. Lai, to have the courage to be the first to “light the lamp”, Dr. Lai reminds me of a brightly lighted candle which goes around lighting up other candles, and yet does not diminish itself. After attending Dr. Lai’s seminar, I return to my own country and started practising what I learnt from her, and to me, that is a form of spreading the light too.

Q: How do you intend to spread the concept of total health in the near future?

A: I do not have the answer to such a question. I will let nature run its own course, I guess. Its all fate and destiny. I think, if the beings in the world do not have them, Dr. Lai would not have appeared, and Lapis Lazuli Light would not exist.

Q: Have you ever made the wish to follow Dr. Lai the whole of your life? Or is there any other wish you have made before?

A: It’s my good fortune to have known Dr. Lai, and I am really grateful to her. Actually, I have not really made any wish, but I believe that once you have decided to step on a certain pathway, even if you have not made the decision to follow whoever, the right people will still appear to lead you in the right direction.

If I have to state a wish I have ever made, it would be that when I came to this earth, I decided that if I did not step on the path of righteousness, I will suffer from illness and pain.

Right now, I need pain and suffering to advance myself. Like Steiner said, suffering is present because we want to improve ourselves spiritually.

Q: What was your feelings like when you were translating “The Holographic Universe”?

A: I found this book too condensed, and hence more difficult to comprehend. The author included too much content in it. If a comprehensive explanation of it is to be given, the book would be very thick. In the process of translation, we are also not supposed to include any sort of explanation on behalf of the authors themselves.

As a matter of fact, I was translating word for word at that time. Therefore, I was pretty much restricted by the words themselves. I guess it is possible to translate this book in a more “balanced” manner. However, due to time constrain at that time, I did not put in my utmost effort in translating that book.

The main point of this book is actually the fact that all things arise from the heart. If the readers had understood this point when reading the book, the author had achieved his aim. My knowledge of science and Buddhism helped me a lot when I was translating this book.

Q: From what you have learnt from Rudolf Steiner’s (publications), what have you actually learnt and achieved?

A: I feel that the Buddha is really a noble and wonderful being. From Steiner’s books, I have comprehended the detail of the mundane world, what it is really like. For instance, the daily morning and night meditation and scripture-chanting routine was never clarified by Tibetan Buddhism, but in Steiner’s concepts, we could clearly see the importance of these routines. He teaches in a manner that reaches our heart directly, he teaches us how to solve problems in the most straightforward says. Human beings tend to think of doing this, accomplishing that, but that is where we stop too, the word “think”.

In this case, what is the point of knowing what the end result would be like? Reading and understanding Steiner’s works has indeed increased my confidence in what Buddha teaches and advocates.

Steiner’s teachings have also benefitted me on other planes of understanding. For example, I used to think that Christianity is all about heaven and earth, which to me was definitely not substantial enough. After Steiner, I realized that I had been too narrow-minded all along. I discovered that what Christians meditate on also help them to advance spiritually. Therefore, never turn your nose at religions other than your own.


With destiny on our side, I was able to go into retreat with Robin in Los Angeles. In that short period of time, we learnt together, and discussed about Buddha’s teachings, which undoubtedly benefitted me to a great extent.

Oozing with the type of confidence and easiness that can only come from poets and spiritualists, Robin exuded a unique charm. What is wonderful about him is that he was so modest, never hinting at all that he was so full of wisdom and knowledge, and the level he has reached spiritually.

We were once talking about the day I interviewed him, and I revealed to him that I had felt like I was chatting with a monk, and surprisingly he said that he had felt similarly about me, and we could not help but start chuckling away at each other.











The Path

Barry Long

When one chooses to walk upon the Path of Life (the Path of Inner Obedience), then one takes control rather than being buffeted by the waves of life. Although the waves continue to hit our vessel through our actions and those of others, we are steadfast in our conviction.

The Path is a path of Love. It is a Love which is not flimsy and weak but powerful in its answering pursuit of its purpose. To become conscious of this Love, we need to listen to the voice of the God within. This is not the voice of knowledge or intellect but your personal voice guiding your daily existence here upon the earth. This voice of Love inspires us while shopping or readying, nurtures us when sleeping and lifts the Soul from its current situation to a new position in life, if the effort warrants it. We then form an inseparable bond between us and our Beloved. This bond is formed through inner obedience to the Lord within. If the voice says turn left but you go right out of habit, then separation rather than bonding takes place.

The Universe often presents us with two paths or two opportunities in life. It is not that one path is right, and the other is wrong, rather it is our free will that is enabling us to make a choice. In effect, both paths are correct. The important point is that the decision as to which one we choose must come from within, rather than influenced by friends and family. When you make the choice yourself, you are not making it alone because the Lord and our Lady, the Mother of God share every moment with us if we invite them into our lives. Even if you feel at times you have failed or are lost; they will be ever present if you ask for them.

We are chosen in as much as we choose. The purity of the Light demands a pure palace to live within and so purity of thoughts, words and actions are paramount to progress. We never fail, so if you stumble, pick yourself up and go back to basics. When you feel all around you have crumbled, think of a river flowing from the mountain to the sea. Sometimes, the river travels through beautiful countryside, perhaps within woods and at other times, it travels through towns and villages. Some rivers travel through cities, each giving off a different vibration. Focus on the sea, for as sure as night follows day, the sea, the light, is your destination.

Through prayer and constant dialogue between you and the Beloved, the bond tightens. Ask to be graced by the presence of the Light that you have chosen to adhere to. Make no judgement of others as we all have different paths to walk. Know the power of silence. Through silence and observation, much is learnt. Be concerned with your own thoughts, words and actions for we are the world, and the world is us. By changing ourselves, we change the world.

By listening within, we know when to act. If you are at a party and the voice tells you it is time to go, listen. If the voice tells you to buy when shopping, buy. When the voice tells you to be still, be still. Deviation from this disrupts the inner peace that it obtainable through inner obedience. God so loves humanity that he has created a path for each of us. We all have the opportunity to walk in the Light, the true Light of reason, the Path of Truth.

Perseverance is the key to success upon the Path. So many stops en route to the freedom that is within their grasp just before they reach the crest of a wave. No-one ever said that the Path was easy, but the rewards are great.


Trust always

“Know yourself – and you will know the Universe and the Gods. To yourself be true”










Wise Man of the World – An Interview with Mr. Goenka

Thor Peng Tiong


Originating from India, Mr. Goenka was born in Myanmar in 1924. In 1969, he was handed the baton by renowned Buddhist teacher the Venerable Obakim to instruct students on Vipassana Meditation. Now he is based in Bombay, spreading to the people the teachings of Buddha. He also travels to Europe and America to instruct Vipassana courses.

In February 1998, I was in New Delhi, India to attend in the ten-day Vipassana Meditation course. As the Chinese saying goes, “Only the one who drinks the water knows whether it is warm or cold; hence only those who have gone through the Vipassana course will really know what it is like.” This ten-day course indeed roused a huge chance within myself, and I was able to let go of my previous rigid beliefs and fanciful thoughts. That was the first time in my life that I ever experienced such peace and tranquillity.

I am really grateful to all the friends and the teacher who had prompted me to attend this course, because what I gained from it was simply so bountiful! And special thanks go to Mr. Goenka for organizing so many Vipassana courses worldwide, and for allowing people who seek spiritual improvement and tranquillity to learn this unique art. I am one of those who benefitted greatly from his generosity and concern!

Last year, Mr. Goenka was in Singapore for a two-day seminar. Response was enthusiastic, and many interested friends who came to know more about Vipassana have been practicing regularly since then. This is certainly gratifying.

I was fortunate enough to meet up with Mr. Goenka then, and had a meaningful chat with him. His wisdom and “beyond mundane” state of mind is really rare. Let us take this opportunity to step into his inner world together, and let his words cleanse us spiritually…

Q: We are keen to have a course similar to Vipassana for children in Singapore. Its emphasis would be on activating their self-potential. How should we go about achieving this?

A: Vipassana courses for children started in India, and since then have spread to Taiwan, Burma, Thailand and some Western countries. They have been successful. However, it is important to take note only to organize two or three-day courses for children, and not the normal ten-day course. The teacher, on the other hand, must be an individual who has gone through the ten-day course.

Q: Has there been any research done so far?

A: Yes, lots of it. It has been found that, with Vipassana, the students have sharper memories and their ability to understand increases. In addition, Vipassana helps a student to focus on an object with no distraction. For example, in exams, many students previously failed because they are distracted by anxiety. Vipassana teaches the students the technique to observe (the paper) before starting and helps the mind to calm down. It is good to start Vipassana at a young age as it aids in character-building. When they reach sixteen or eighteen years of age, their minds will be more open when they take the full course.

Q: Many people relate meditation to religion. How, in this case, can we convince the government to help in this cause?

A: Convince them that the teachings of Buddha is not a religion. Buddha never founded a religion, the fact is that it was only six, seven hundred years after Buddha that his teachings became organized. He originally taught only morality, that everyone must lead a moral life, and learn how to control the mind in order to lead a moral life. This goes true for other communities and religions. To purify the mind is not a religious subject. It is the intellect, the science of the mind! It is about how sensation arises, how ignorance arises. There are no rites, no rituals, no religious ceremonies, and there is no philosophy. Buddha was the super-scientist who discovered that everything that arises in the mind flows with the sensation of the body. He was the one who found out that we are reacting to sensations and not anything external. This is pure science, which we practice, which anybody can practice! We use Buddha’s name like we use Einstein’s name.

We use the word “Buddha”, but we do not say we are “Buddhists”. The bottom line is … be a good human being. Therefore, we have to convince the authorities that Buddha was the great scientist who understood the interaction between mind and matter, how impurity arises, and how, with every impurity, comes misery. Buddha found the way for us to come out of it. His position is to help people come out of sickness.

Q: Is it necessary for Vipassana meditators to be vegetarians?

A: During the course, they have to be vegetarians. Later on, we do not insist that they continue their vegetarian diet. However, we have found out that, most of the time, after a Vipassana course, they automatically become “full-time” vegetarians.

Q: Can you elaborate on the root problem of suffering?

A: It is a mental impurity! Buddha found out that one is miserable because of the impurity in the mind. A craving arises not because of external factors, but because of the sensations which arise in one’s body. Buddha discovered that life starts with mind and matter. With this comes contact, then sensation, and it is this sensation that we react to. He taught us the world of sensation and change. Anybody can do this at any place!

Q: What about modern diseases?

A: Vipassana will treat any medical disease totally. With regard to physical ailments, there are cases of diseases, for instance, cancer, being reversed after Vipassana. However, we do not say that Vipassana will cure any physical ailment. Instead, we say that Vipassana helps a person be positive (about his/her desire). When your mind is sound, it reflects on your body, and vice versa. This is the law of nature.

Non-meditators usually think too much unnecessarily, while Vipassana teaches one to be equanimous about one’s disease. Whatever treatment he or she is given, he or she takes it positively. However, Vipassana should not be taken for treating physical illnesses. It is more for mental purification, that is, to make your mind healthier. With the mind healthy, naturally the body starts getting healthier too.

Q: How do we love a person without attachment?

A: The love we usually talk about is commercial love. When we love someone, we expect that person to love us back. It is conditional. With Vipassana, we get to know pure love. We give this love to others without expecting anything in return. This is the love that is effective.

Q: Is it not very difficult to love without expecting love in return?

A: It is not difficult! You just have to practice properly, and you will find yourself developing. You will find that this love is so pure, and you just want to give and give without expecting anything in return! You can call this a one-way traffic. And as you practice more, it becomes natural. This is why so many teachers go around teaching without expecting any sort of pay-back. They are so happy to give, and they have so much love for everybody.

When your mind is filled with hatred (impurities), what sort of love can there be? But when your mind is purified, what you possess is real love, the kind that Buddha wanted people to have, the kind he wanted people to practice. However, unless you practice (purifying your mind), everything is just a ritual.

Q: What is our mission in life?

A: To live a good life, one which is good for ourselves and for others. A life with peace and harmony, and to generate nothing but peace and harmony for others, so that they, can live in peace and harmony.

Q: How do we overcome fear?

A: Nothing can arise in the mind without sensation in the body. If fear arises in your mind, you just have to accept that it is present in your mind at that moment, but do not let it lead you into doing things. Otherwise, it would become an intellectual game in which you keep rolling in. Any sensation that you have in your body at that precise moment is related to that fear. A good Vipassana meditator would notice what sensation that is, and see how long it last. He or she would then notice the fear slowly and gradually diminishing. This is true for anger, obsession, egoism or any impurity in the mind. When you have a crisis, and you are suffering from depression, accept that it is in your mind and do not relate it to the cause. Just observe the sensation (of this depression) and you will come out of it.

Q: How can a busy businessman lead a peaceful life without giving up his business?

A: It is not necessary to give up your business in order to lead a peaceful life. Instead, the attachment to your business should go. Be detached from it and you can work much more effectively. My personal experience is such that I used to feel exhausted at about eight O’clock at night after working the whole day. However, after fourteen years of practicing Vipassana, at that time (eight O’clock), I feel refreshed and could keep on working.

I am not the only one to have experienced it. Hundreds of others have found that their capacity to work increased after Vipassana. At the same time, they are able to look out for other responsibilities as well, e.g., family, business and social responsibilities. When a business is attached to his business, he becomes very tense. But when he is detached, there is no tension.



Mr. Goenka’s affable nature was certainly unforgettable. I could feel that every single sentence and every answer he gave came sincerely from the deepest part of him. Sitting beside him, I felt a natural sense of peace arising. It was as though he was a benign father teaching his children how to live a peaceful and meaningful life.

I believe that all who had ever met him, like me, loves and deeply respect him, because the love emanating from him is so strong that there is no choice but to be touched by it!







Healing Your Spirit

Mariette Risley

There are aspects of healing one’s spirit which we do not often think of as healing. The word healing usually brings to mind taking care of our bodies, making an appointment with a doctor, eating the right food, perhaps taking vitamins, doing something to make us feel better physically.

But there are other aspects of healing. And I would like to write about healing the spirit.

Friends are an aspect of this kind of healing. People who care about you and whom you care about, people whom you think well of and for whom you would do almost anything. Friends are nurturing and are definitely an aid to healing your spirit. Think how you feel when the phone rings and it is the voice of a friend on the wire. Or when you are out shopping, and you see a friend. You are elated, happy. And that is what healing your spirit accomplishes – a feeling of happiness and joy.

Love is an aspect of healing your spirit. Love for your parents, your children, your spouse or a significant person in your life, your brothers, and sisters. Most if not all of these people love you in return, and when you all get together you can almost feel the love in the air!

Finding meaning in your life is an aspect of healing your spirit. Dr. Victor Frankl, a noted Viennese psychotherapist and holocaust survivor, wrote a book, Man’s Search for Meaning, in which he beautifully illustrates the need for meaning in one’s life. Dr. Frankl died at age 92 the same week as Princess Diana and Mother Teresa and his death received little notice in the press. I read just one account of this event, which mentioned the above book. I remembered having read the book many years ago, and that it had little meaning for me. Perhaps I was too immersed in problems at the time, perhaps I was too young to appreciate his wonderful view and philosophy of having meaning in one’s life. Rereading this book has been very rewarding and has brought a healing to my spirit.

Being in nature, being aware of nature, admiring all the beauty in nature are wonderful ways to heal one’s spirit. When you see a beautiful sunset or an unexpected rainbow, for a few moments you are not conscious of yourself, but only aware of how beautiful the universe is, how fortunate you are to be part of this wonderful place. Your problems and aches and pains are momentarily forgotten as you live completely in the moment, the moment of appreciating nature. This precious moment is a very spirit-healing moment.

Hiking on a mountain or walking by the ocean makes you aware of the world outside of yourself. Again, you forget yourself and your life and you just feel the healing that is going on in your body and your heart and your soul. People return refreshed and invigorated from these experiences. A wonderful healing has taken place.

Animals are another aspect of healing the spirit. Many people who might be quite alone in the world feel a bonding with their animals, feel that the companionship their cat or dog gives them is quite invaluable. And some people who already have a full life love having cats and dogs, even though taking care of them stretches their valuable time. Many people, aware of the healing power that animals have, are active in organizations for the prevention of cruelty to animals, are actively in trying to ban zoos, do not eat meat because that means killing animals, buy products which the manufacturers state was prepared “cruelty-free”, meaning animals were not used or tortured or killed in testing their products.

When you hear beautiful music or see a wonderful work of art you are momentarily unaware of yourself and your problems. You are immersed in the beauty you are witnessing; in the healing you are experiencing.

Some movies and plays have healing powers. The messages one is subjected to in a well-wrought drama can have wonderful results in our lives through the healing of the spirit that has taken place.

Once you become aware that certain things you do in your life are healing your spirit, you will be conscious that these are joys for you.

The following quote from Goethe may be just what you need to make you want to start healing your spirit right now:

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man or woman could have dreamed would come his or her way. Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.