Homa Psychotherapy: Training the Mind


By Barry Rathner, Clinical Psychologist

Last month I wrote about thriving as a goal—not mere surviving.
Life, it seems, has a way of influencing our agendas and the phase we seem to be in currently—individually and collectively—seems to have surviving being in the driver’s seat.
Pick your poison: Covid-19, Climate Change, economic devastation and on and on.
Even if we were to survive 2 out of 3, we—again, collectively and individually—may not find ourselves in a good place.
Of course, how we REACT to our external circumstances determines outcomes often. Nonetheless, in a phase of intense challenges, we are pushed to our limits.
Last month we reminded that Shree Vasant said that humans are like the children of a millionaire not knowing our father.
If we would react with mindsets of abundance, for example, our attitudes and actions with matters related to finances, no doubt would be different than if we focused on poverty consciousness.
Of course being the child of a millionaire certainly goes beyond money. The stress, worry and fear that can accompany poverty consciousness can be alleviated not only in financial spheres, but in several areas of our lives.
So perhaps thriving midst periods of intense challenge may not be an unrealistic goal after all.
The beauty and uniqueness of regular practice of Agnihotra—the core of HOMA PSYCHOTHERAPY— is that it pushes our minds in the direction of positivity (and love). This greatly increases the chances of maintaining the positive mindsets we refer to here.
In this age of lockdowns and social distancing, establishing and maintaining positive mindsets are not small victories. Mental disturbances are exploding worldwide. To say we were not prepared for the ‘deprivation’ of sorts being forced on us, may be a great understatement.
Add to this the lifestyle changes that were not anticipated, and it is not surprising there is widespread angst among us.
If there were less division brought on by political and other agendas, we might be in a better position to adjust to the forced ‘disciplines’ and lifestyle changes. If wearing a mask in USA, for example, did not identify the wearer as a Democrat, Republicans might be less inclined to look for excuses not to wear them. They might live longer as well.
But remembering or accepting that going within ourselves carries the answers we seek, at least can help ensure our focus and energy are centered in a place which guarantees optimal outcomes.
A possible first step can be putting concentration and faith in what is called The Serenity Prayer in Alcoholics Anonymous. It goes like this:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Certainly directing our thoughts (and prayers) to a Higher Power is a form of going within. The practical use of The Serenity Prayer then transforms our day to day decision making into a practice less fraught with worry, indecision and stress.
Reducing stress, worry, fear, anger and such are big steps in actualising the goal of THRIVING.
May it be the will of Higher Power that we are successful in this endeavour.

Photo: "Light Midst Darkness".

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