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November 2008
Maya Tiwari
A Prescription for Inner Medicine
By Gillian McCann

The message from Maya Tiwari (formerly Maya Tiwari) was clear when she stopped in Toronto as part of her book tour: We can heal ourselves. However, that doesn't mean it's easy. Maya Tiwari warned against making concern with physical wellness just another form of self-obsession so prevalent our culture. Health from this point of view is not an end in itself but rather is a state from we which we can then fulfill our duties in life and serve others.
The audience was told that the first and most important step on the road to health was a change in awareness. And this world-renowned spiritual Mother knows of what she speaks, having been diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer at the age of 23.

This experience with a life threatening illness was a turning point for Maya Tiwari and forced her to completely transform her life and consciousness. In The Path of Practice she writes, "early in life, I discovered for myself that serious illness can offer extraordinary opportunities for healing and self-knowledge."

After recovering completely from cancer against all odds, Maya Tiwari immediately began to help others to develop ways of living that would help them heal. As part of her own process she returned to her traditional heritage of Hinduism and eventually became a renunciant in the Veda Vyasa tradition.

Maya Tiwari is the founder of Wise Earth School of Ayurveda in North Carolina and the pioneer of Inner Medicine® healing. She has spoken in a wide variety of settings including the Global Peace Conference Congress of Women's Spiritual Leaders in Geneva, Switzerland. Along with the Dalai Lama and other pre-eminent spiritual leaders, Maya Tiwari will be a featured speaker at the Parliament of World Religions in Australia in December ‘09.

Maya Tiwari's latest book, Women's Power to Heal Through Inner Medicine, focuses on health practices specifically directed at women and emphasizes the necessity of living a life in harmony with nature and its cycles. In this way women can reclaim their birthright as bearers of the primordial feminine energy or shakti.

The suggestions in the book are down-to-earth but based on profound spiritual concepts and, as the author writes in Chapter Two, "simplicity has the greatest power for healing." These suggestions include simplifying one's home, recipes, meditations, and physical practices aimed at aligning the menstrual cycle with the lunar cycle. The book addresses healing at all levels from the spiritual to the physical.

Interviewing the Mother I asked her what she thought was the single greatest problem facing women today in relation to their health. Her reply was, "Fatigue and stress." In her lecture Maya Tiwari emphasized that pausing did not have to include complicated forms of meditation. One could begin by simply taking a 20 minute pause every day. This break is the "best antidote for fear, anger and other debilitating emotions." In a city like Toronto this advice is sorely needed.

Much of the Mother's work has been aimed at helping women to reclaim what she calls their "divine authority." This is a spiritual inheritance available to all women that allows them to protect their families, communities and Mother Nature herself. Gaining access to this inner power can be achieved through a process that includes alignment with nature and a commitment to ahimsa or non-harmfulness. Ahimsa is a concept that applies both to our relationship to other human beings and animals, and to the world. This commitment means that we no longer harm ourselves through an unhealthy lifestyle and also that we support movements like organic farming and the larger environmental movement. "People think that healing is about just healing themselves," she told the Toronto audience, "but it doesn't work like that. As each person heals they affect everyone and everything around them."

The following is a simple everyday practice, excerpted from her book. This practice is best performed in the evening before you go to bed and while facing the direction of the sun:

1. Sit in a comfortable, quiet and uncluttered space in your home. Allow the mind to settle. Listen to your thoughts. When a fearful, anxious, agitated or otherwise troublesome thought arises, do not engage it. Simply step back from the thought and watch it.

2. Become the witness observing the thoughts. Let the thoughts flow. If you find yourself fidgeting, or responding to the thoughts by recalling the incident from which they arose, distance yourself again from the thoughts. As the thoughts flow, repeat the following affirmation silently: "Let me see the karma behind my thought. Unfold this karma in its own time so that I may understand my actions and why they create distress. Show me the resolve for this karma."

3. After you have done with affirmation, sit for a few minutes longer, but do not try to recall your thoughts or concerns that arose during the meditation. Be aware that by expressing your intention, it will be held in a safe space within the Mother Conscious-ness. Retire for the evening and do nothing else.

Sri Swamini Mayatitananda is a Vedic monk, and the founder of Mother Om Mission, a charitable organization in Guyana whose inner-medicine healing education for at-risk communities is transforming violence and disease into harmony and health. Maya Tiwari is a best selling author of Ayurveda: A Life of Balance; Ayurveda: Secrets of Healing; and the The Path of Practice. For more info, or to order books, see www.wisearth.org. In Toronto, books can be purchased at Wonder Works 79a Harbord St. Tel. (416) 323-3131, email: info@gowonderworks.com, website: www.gowonderworks.com

Originally Published in Vitality Magazine, Toronto's Monthly Wellness Journal - http://www.vitalitymagazine.com/nov08_nav
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