Over the past five years, I’ve had the privilege to help create an Integrative Medicine program in a rural health system that services central and northeast Pennsylvania.
One of the sub-populations I work with is hospice and palliative medicine patients.
I use the modalities of Reiki, Vibrational Sound Therapy, and Yoga Therapy to help these patients taste the eternal dimension that resides within each one of us. I believe that tasting eternity while still in the physical body helps diminish the fear of death and ease the transition “to the other side.”
According to yoga philosophy, “Our real self, the soul, is immortal. We may sleep for a little while in that change called death, but we can never be destroyed. We exist, and that existence is eternal,” writes Paramahansa Yogananda in The Divine Romance: Collected Talks and Essays on Realizing God in Daily Life.
“The waves come to the shore, and then go back to the sea; it is not lost. It becomes one with the ocean, or returns again in the form of another wave. This body has come, and it will vanish; but the soul essence within it will never cease to exist. Nothing can terminate that eternal consciousness.”
There is a wonderful practice for entering into that eternal, infinite dimension that I often use with hospice and palliative medicine patients. You may want to practice it too.
Close your eyes, and with your eyes closed, turn your attention up to the space between your eyebrows. Establish a connection to your breath, maybe a 4-count inhale and a 5-count exhale. Notice what you experience.
Maybe you “see” a white light? Maybe you feel a sensation of lightness come over you? The proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” described in near-death experiences may be the soul passing through the spiritual eye/third-eye entering into expanding consciousness or a grander state of being or eternity. Entry into this dimension is not restricted to end-of-physical-life scenarios.
We have access to this realm each moment of each day.
The vibrations and sounds created by The Tibetan Singing Bowls, the healing energy transfer in the practice of Reiki, and various meditation and breathing exercises within the yoga toolbox are all invitations to experience eternity in the physical body here and now.
We can use these modalities as opportunities to die to ourselves daily and live in the spaciousness of eternity. This opportunity to abide in the grandeur of eternity, I find, is what extends extreme comfort and peace to those at the end of life.
Guest post by studio BE mindfulness Facilitator Michelle Smith.
Michelle Smith is program manager of Geisinger Medical Center’s House of Care, an outpatient home for cancer patients undergoing treatment, and has worked to helped create an Integrative Medicine program for the health system. Michelle has introduced yoga therapy, vibrational sound therapy, and Reiki to many staff, patients, and family members.
In addition to her work at Geisinger Medical Center, Michelle teaches yoga at several studios in Northeast Pennsylvania and several yoga and mindfulness courses at Luzerne County Community College. Michelle also volunteers her time at a local addiction treatment center teaching patients how to use the many tools of Integrative Medicine to find freedom and peace.
Feature photo by sbw19/Adobe Stock