The scourge (whip) of the Kali Yuga
We cannot consider this subject enough. Stress affects the mind, body and subtle body. One doesn’t have to be an expert on the subtle body to feel the effects of subtle tension on the physical body. This is due to changes in the subtle body- a residue left from memories. The subtle body consists of winds, channels and energies: the one we are interested here is wind, called ‘lung’ in Tibetan (it’s pronounced loong).
This tension, coupled with physical external events, creates dis-ease. Worrying never made things better; relaxing does. We have had traumas and subtle traumas throughout our life which has an effect on us now, and if we are not careful, this becomes a resident personality. This residue doesn’t go away, but we can note it and use an antidote to counter the effect.
We have a mental store house (bank!) of karmic imprints in the mind which work as filters through which we see and react to everything. Surprisingly, the memory – or feelings – of these imprints is also held in our subtle body as well as in the mind.
Interestingly, as we get older, our facial expressions and mannerisms seem to leave an imprint in the physical body after a lifetime of acquired, exaggerated behaviour.
So where does stress come from?
There is a ‘wind’ just below our navel (four fingers width below) that rises when we feel stressed or anxious: we then feel tension somewhere in the upper body. This is very exhausting, and has a detrimental effect on our immune system, so it is very important. We get too tired or exhausted to practise.
When we take a subject apart, it is easy to see what is going on. In our minds, we are either in the future or past, and set up a picture of expectations of how things should be. When this doesn’t happen, we become stressed. Animals feel this when their routine changes…we all get anxious.
It sometimes feels that this modern world (the Kali Yuga) is made to keep us distracted and stressed.
Complying to others’ standards is very stressful, and they too are stressed by others’ stress!
So it’s time to not comply, and to thine own self be true.
We can counter anxiety with simple, gentle lung practice. Simply note where the tension is in the body, take a gentle breath and mentally take it down to below the navel. Hold it there for a few seconds. Then expel the air, leaving about 10% below the navel. Of course, our breath doesn’t actually go down that low, but this exercise has a effect in the subtle body. Just try it and see.
The next time you meet someone (just meeting people seems to raise the lung), take a couple of these gentle breaths, and feel more relaxed and in the present.
Stress isn’t a pill deficiency,
it’s natural in a Samsaric world.
All we need is to recognise.
Recognition self heals.