• To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.

    - Buddha
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Give Up Being Safe

Safety Is An Illusion



Today’s post is somewhat different than my usual ramblings on Shiatsu and Mind-Body-Spirit healing because it includes an oath that I wrote a month or so ago. The oath honors the tradition of Hara as it has been cultivated in the Eastern healing and martial arts.

You might be wondering what Giving Up Being Safe has to do with the philosophy of Hara?

To have Hara translates into the ability to get things done; to not shy away from the difficult and to overcome setbacks. These are noble qualities that show strength of will. The challenge here is when one is operating purely on personal power in pursuit of a goal because it is common to force our will onto the environment and onto other people. It is so easy to fall under the spell of our attachment to an expectation, which then fosters the need to control others for our own assurance and safety. To avert this end requires personal standards for accountability combined with integrity.

However, one can access the will of the Spirit-Mind, which comes from an ego-free understanding and use of Hara. In this context Hara is a thought in action, manifest, and it is connected with all that is, as all things are a manifestation of the Tao. One realizes that the will of the Spirit-Mind integrates with the will of others to assure the best path for us. Herein there is no need to cling to safety, which is only an illusion.

In Shiatsu, we are taught how to use our Hara to access the total power of our whole body while giving a healing session. We are also taught that a person with a healthy Hara acknowledges that it is in facing challenges and trying new things that we develop self-esteem and confidence.

For me the greatest aspiration of a developed Hara is for a level of acuity where you are always calm and sensitive to the developments around you. Engagement at this level is when one can “see what cannot be seen,” and responds in accord with the Spirit-Mind to coming events.

I find it fascinating that the final element of training for indigenous healers and shamans in some parts of the world is to personally face death. This spiritual calling is survived by very few since the path is meant to challenge their faith and to compromise their integrity.

Initiates from some of the older traditions will be taken to a cave, temple or remote area where danger exists in the form of venomous cobras, scorpions or other deadly threats. Sitting still in meditation for an extended period while surrounded by imminent danger crawling, or, slithering over your defenseless body is not an easy test to pass.

Focus and compassion and the willingness to renounce safety are the qualities that keep these people alive and sane. Those who pass this deadly challenge become praised as mystics carrying with them the knowledge of death and rebirth and often return bringing to their tribes and communities new approaches to harmony and peace.

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I wrote the oath below after I meditated on renewing the emotional and spiritual energies associated with my navel and with my solar plexus. Both of which are anatomically housed within the physical Hara.

Perhaps you may feel inspired to awaken the will of your Spirit-Mind with this simple oath:

In honoring the fact that the world is not safe, I willingly give up my need for safety and assurance.

I have to let go of wanting everything known ahead of time in order to overcome criticism, misunderstanding, rejection, and the possibility of failure in my future.

While it is important for survival, I realize that there is no challenge to actualizing my dreams if everything I do is already removed from any real risk. It is okay for a child to cling to safety and security, powerlessly needing the world to be shaped for them. However integrity challenges me to mature, accept responsibility, and carve the shape of my future.

My personal power increases through meeting challenges and by resolving them with integrity. I am willing to take risks, be courageous, venture into the unknown, and release the familiar in order to expand upward and outward in my life’s story.

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One Response

  1. This taps an ancient wisdom and reminds me of a piece of inspirational prose that has been one of the greatest influences on my own spiritual life. Is is from the poet Rilke’s passage – from a letter, as I understand it – that is usually known as “The Dragon Princess”:

    “We are set down in life as in the element to which we best correspond, and over and above this we have through thousands of years of accommodation become so like this life, that when we hold still we are, through a happy mimicry, scarcely to be distinguished from all that surrounds us. We have no reason to mistrust our world, for it is not against us. Has it terrors, they are our terrors; has it abysses, those abysses belong to us; are dangers at hand, we must try to love them. And if only we arrange our life according to that principle which counsels us that we must always hold to the difficult, then that which now still seems to us the most alien will become what we most trust and find most faithful. How should we be able to forget those ancient myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.”

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