Mind Heals Itself

No doctor in the world knows how to heal a papercut.

But the body does. All a doctor can do is provide the necessary conditions for healing to take place. Keep the wound clean, apply a bandage, prevent infections and the body heals itself.

Likewise no psychiatrist, therapy or drug can heal mental illnesses.

But observe mental events arise and disappear without reaction, and the mind heals itself.

Healing seems more to be a process of getting out of the way. Instead of asking what I can do, ask:

Healing is an innate process. But often it is blocked. The role of the physician is to diagnose, to identify what is blocking the healing process.

To observe without reaction is not to numb oneself. When you see an event that triggers emotion, for example this:

Were you aware of the emotions that arose? Or was there a complete fusion of you and the emotion?

Parsing these two is the way to non-reactivity. Emotions still arise and pass, but there is no fusion of ‘me’ with the emotion. This opens up the capacity for empathy enormously. There is no longer fear of feeling certain types of emotion.

Sitting still is good for this. But once a baseline is there, trigger practices can be used.

Approach what you find repulsive, help the ones you think you cannot help, and go to places that scare you.

Machig Lapdrön

Imperturbaility is a trainable skill. It’s not about becoming a rock – hard and unfeeling. It’s about being space-like – vast, encompassing and permeating everything. Holding all that comes your way.

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