The True Source of Healing (★★★★★)


Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche  *  Hay House  *  July 7, 2015  *  160 Pages

The basic premise of The True Source of Healing is that our souls are made up of five elements (earth, water, fire, air, and space), and these elements need to be balanced if we want to be healed, whole people. In more practical terms, being balanced in earth means you feel grounded and connected, being balanced in water means you feel comfortable and fluid, being balanced in fire means you feel joy and inspiration, being balanced in air means you are flexible, and being balanced in space means you are open and accommodating. If you are out of balance in any one element, you are out of balance in all elements. But if you balance that one element, it may bring into balance all of the others.

You can become unbalanced for many different reasons: unhealed trauma, war, the sudden death of a loved one, or sometimes you just gradually become unbalanced from the accumulated stress of everyday life. The important thing is that you actually notice–because once you know you are “off,” then you can begin to change it.

But Rinpoche warns about trying to “think” your way out of your problems. Instead, he advocates a different kind of approach–one that focuses on stillness, silence, and spaciousness. In order to heal yourself, Rinpoche suggests acting like a gracious host to negative emotions and painful experiences. He says, “Allow your guests [your pain and negative thoughts] to come as they are, stay as long as they wish, leave when they’re ready, and even return…Allow the pain to freely arise, abide, and dissolve.”

“Stillness, silence, and spaciousness” is a theme repeated many times over in this book. Actually, a lot of this book is repetition. Normally that would irk me, but not here. The book becomes a meditation in and of itself and helps reinforce soothing ideas. And because those main ideas are repeated again and again, I finished reading the book and felt like I genuinely understood how to help myself. I’ve been embracing the painful feelings I’ve been holding on to; I’ve been trying to accept them and then let them go. Instead of dwelling on negativity or trying to “figure out my mood,” I’ve been shifting my attention and focus to (what else?) still, silent space. And, amazingly, it has actually been working for me. (FYI, I found the guided meditations in Chapters 5 and 6 [“Finding the Friend Within” and “Nourishing Your Inner Being”] to be especially helpful.)

Ultimately, I really connected with The True Source of Healing. Maybe I am just in a place that needed to hear Rinpoche’s message, but his words spoke to me. Maybe not everyone will respond to this book the way I have, but it is such a short, quick read–it really doesn’t require a huge time investment. And, who knows, maybe it will help you find a little peace.

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