(Awareness Meditative Relaxation)
A Way to Love, Peace, and Joy
Fr. Joe Kunnumpuram, SJ and Sr. Dr. Archana, UMI
Atmadarshan, Patna-800 011, Bihar, India
Tel: 0612-2560537, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile: 09430212655, 09661993753
AMR makes use of a profound synthesis of awareness, meditation, and relaxation to bring about transformations in the human person. Awareness is the key to any transformation. Awareness is the process of focusing our attention to the true nature of reality as it manifests itself in our consciousness. In meditation we get absorbed into the true nature of reality and become identified with the core of that reality. This identification gives a clear perception of reality as it manifests itself to our hearts to open ourselves to the revelation of the divine at the core of our being. This experience overflows into our body as a profound relaxation. Thus Awareness Meditative Relaxation (AMR) is a unique experience to bring about harmony in the human person. This harmony overflows into all beings as harmonious vibrations of love and compassion.
The human person, male or female, is a composite of body, mind, heart, and spirit. The core of the human person is the wellsprings of the Spirit flowing from the Eternal Being. The Eternal Being manifests itself as consciousness in the human person. The consciousness narrows itself down as the human mind expressing itself in a concrete word. Every word has a corresponding image. A positive word has a positive image. A negative word has a negative image. They create positive or negative feelings in the human heart. These positive or negative feelings create positive or negative sensations in the human body. Any excess of positive or negative sensations produce tensions in the body as toxins. The result is disharmony in the body chemistry. This brings about physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual illness in the human person.
Purification of Consciousness
By observing the rising and falling of pleasant or unpleasant sensations in a spirit of detachment, the person transcends the desire for pleasant sensations and aversion towards unpleasant sensations. As a result toxins from the body get dissolved. As the toxins from the body get cleansed, the positive and negative sensations also get purified. As the positive and negative sensations get purified, the positive feelings such as desire for happiness, joy, or peace and negative feelings such as fear, sadness, or anger also get purified. As the positive and negative feelings get purified, the corresponding positive or negative thoughts, beliefs, or images in the consciousness also get purified. The result is that consciousness itself gets enlightened to the true nature of all phenomena as passing away except the core of one’s being in union with the Eternal Being. And the person attains inner freedom to open to the true nature of reality as it flows in his/her purified consciousness. These experiences can bring about profound changes in the personal, interpersonal, and transpersonal realms of one’s whole personality conducive to integral human liberation.
Way to Love, Peace, and Joy
The root cause of all human problems is lack of experience of love. Where there is no love, darkness of fear reigns. Fear often turns into anger or sadness in the human heart. The result is that we live in the darkness of our ego enveloped by fear, anger, and sadness. This ego blocks radiance of love shining at the core of our being. AMR helps us to penetrate the darkness of our ego blocking the radiance of love. In this process fear is turned into love; anger is turned into peace; and sadness is turned into joy. Thus we have a method dissolving the negative effects of our ego blocking the radiance of love to lead us to peace and joy.
The basic insight of AMR Therapy is that awareness of the rising and falling of the stressful sensations in the body brings about therapeutic healing. Since nothing remains permanent in our consciousness, the stressful sensations will rise to a maximum and slowly it will come down to a minimum and disappear. Similarly negative images corresponding to the stressful sensations will rise to a maximum and will disappear to give positive healing images. These healing images also will rise to a maximum and will disappear. The same experience is true for the rising and falling of color and light. Even the divine images, color, and light also will rise and fall away. The result is the experience of harmonious vibrations in the entire person as a body shift leading to profound therapeutic changes.
Rapport is the ability of the therapist to create an atmosphere conducive to bring about desired results in the subject. This is done by allowing the subject to explore all his /her feelings in an atmosphere of empathy, genuineness, understanding, acceptance, and unconditional positive regard for bringing about therapeutic changes. Moreover, it is only in an atmosphere of genuine love and transparency, effective healing will take place. In all AMR Therapy the dictum, ‘Love alone heals’, is valid.
2. Focusing on to the Main Problem
The main negative feelings that affect humanity are anxiety, fear, guilt, hurt, sadness, resentment, anger, dislike, hatred, and depression. In general fear is the root cause of all problems in every human being. Anxiety is an objectless diffused apprehension or fear of something. Therefore, it is important to focus on the concrete object that creates anxiety. Once this is done, anxiety is reduced to a concrete experience of fear and then anxiety can be easily removed. Guilt may be defined as self-accusation or self-pity that brings about sadness in the subject. Therefore, guilt has to be reduced to the feeling of sadness accompanying the guilt. Then therapy can be more profitably conducted for sadness.
Hurt leads to sadness and hence in doing therapy for hurt the subject is helped to experience sadness from hurt and therapy for sadness is easily conducted. It has also been found that sadness leads to resentment and resentment leads to anger. When the person experiences anger, therapy is easier to be conducted. Again extreme anger can lead a person to full-blown dislike or hatred towards a person. And the root cause of dislike or hatred is anger.
The subject may bring other problems like depression, disappointment, shyness, frustration, jealousy, or envy. With regard to depression it is essential to realize that depression is caused by negative thoughts about one’s past, present, and future. These negative thoughts in general bring about deep-seated sadness. The root cause of disappointment is sadness. Shyness is caused by fear of appearing in public. Frustration, jealousy, and envy arise from deep-seated anger.
It is important that the therapist explores the subject’s various concerns systematically to diagnose the main problem facing the subject. Very often the presenting problem may not be the main problem. The therapist helps the subject to choose the main problem from among the various concerns confronting the person. From among the various concerns it is the subject himself/herself who chooses the main problem. Then the main problem is reduced to the basic feelings of fear, sadness, or anger. As we have seen, all negative feelings produce negative sensations. AMR removes these negative sensations from the body to bring about therapeutic changes.
After diagnosing the main problem, the subject takes a comfortable sitting posture and listens to the various sounds coming from the environment. Then he/she becomes aware of his/her natural process of breathing.
Awareness of Posture
In order to enter into the healing process you are going to relax your body. Sit quietly in your posture… back bone straight… neck straight… relax… Sit free, spontaneous, and weightless… Close your eyes… Now you become aware of your posture… Stay in silence for sometime…
Awareness of Sounds
Now you become aware of the various sounds coming to your ears… Observe vibrations in your ears… Observe the texture, pitch, and the tone of sounds… Far away sounds… Close by sounds… Listen with the heart… Float in the sounds… Observe the mysterious vibrations resounding in your ears… Sit in silence for sometime…
Awareness of Breathing
Now you become aware of your breathing… Cool air going into your nostrils and warm air coming out of your nostrils touching the upper lip… Cool air going in… warm air coming out… Continue the observation of breathing for some time… You can feel yourself going deeper and deeper into silence… You are going deeper and deeper into deep relaxation…
- Age regression
After awareness of posture, awareness of sounds, and awareness of breathing relax the body, age regression is monitored. In deep relaxation the subject is helped to observe the various significant events of the past related to the basic feelings of fear, sadness, or anger. In deep relaxation the subject is helped to go back into the past negative events systematically in five year cycles or shorter periods of time from the present moment through his adulthood, midlife, early adulthood, adolescence, school age, childhood, moment of birth, mother’s womb, moment of conception, back into family history, and even back into prehistory according to the needs of the subject.
- Focusing on to the Main Negative Event
Then the subject focuses his/her attention to the main negative event from the many negative events of his/her past waiting for healing. Then the subject is helped to relive the main negative event in all its emotional content. It is important that the subject gets absorbed in the event and identifies himself/herself with the event fully and totally.
- Focusing on to the main Negative Feeling
As the subject relives the negative event, fear, sadness, or anger will come up for healing. Then the main negative feeling is taken up for therapy. Then the subject is helped to get absorbed in the negative feeling totally and fully. The negative feeling will come up to the maximum and the body will start releasing the negative body sensations.
- Focusing on to the Main Negative Sensation
The subject focuses his/her awareness to the main negative body sensation. After this the subject names the negative body sensations like heavy, tight, burning, churning, chocking, numbness, palpitation, coldness, heat, etc. Now the subject is helped to get absorbed in the main negative body sensation. Then the subject slowly observes the main negative sensation spreading into every part of the body. Every cell in the body will experience the negative body sensation. This creates stress in the body and the following steps are used to release stress from the body.
Process of Therapy
The simple but profound graded seven steps used in AMR are: (1) Pure Awareness of Body Sensations, (2) Awareness Breathing, (3) Body Dynamics, (4) Imagery, (5) Color, (6) Light, and (7) Divine Image, Color, or Light. In all these steps the rising and falling of body sensations are powerfully monitored for therapeutic changes. The result is that the body becomes profoundly relaxed and the resulting relaxation response brings about a body shift as harmonious vibrations in the body leading to integral human liberation.
- Pure Awareness
In pure awareness the subject becomes an observer at the core of his/her being and observes the changing reality of pleasant or unpleasant sensations. Since nothing remains permanent and all things rise and fall away, the stressful sensations also will rise and fall away as non-permanent reality. And the subject observes how these sensations rise to a maximum and comes down to a minimum and slowly disappears, giving a relaxation-response in the body, highly conducive to therapeutic healing. In this process, the stress has to be felt totally and fully (100%) for complete healing. If any residual stress is allowed to remain in the body, to that extent the healing will be partial.
- Awareness Breathing
Our breathing process is highly related to the stressful sensation in the body. When pleasant or unpleasant sensations rise or fall away in the body, correspondingly the breathing also rises and falls away in the body. This insight is used in AMR Therapy for healing. The subject is asked to become aware of the stressful sensation in the body and become aware of his/her breathing process. Then the subject breathes in and out with awareness a few times to release the tensions from the body. And the result is stress reduction and healing. Usually it is good to do the awareness breathing at least 5-7 times for complete healing.
- Body Dynamics
Again it is found that the stressful sensations are very often in a diffused state in the body. In AMR as the subject is observing the diffused stressful sensations in the body, they tend to gather into a specific spot in body. Body dynamics are used to tighten and loosen the affected part of the body with awareness breathing to dissolve the tensions in the body. The tension in the body will reach a maximum and slowly dissolve and disappear. It is to be noted that any shooting pain in the brain or in the heart should not be allowed to increase to its maximum, as the process may damage the brain or heart. In such cases the subject must be helped to relax slowly and systematically.
In general the above three methods are sufficient to bring about therapeutic changes in the subjects. But in some cases the stressful sensations may be so very deep that the above methods may not be sufficient to bring about therapeutic healing. In such cases the subject is invited to observe an image corresponding to the stressful sensation he/she is experiencing in the specific body part. This image is called the symptom image. Since the symptom image is non-permanent, it too will rise and fall away. As the stressful sensation rises to its maximum, the symptom image also will rise to its maximum and slowly will disappear. The result is that a positive healing image will appear. And this positive healing image also will rise and fall away as nothing remains permanent in our consciousness. This results in a deep relaxation in body, mind, and spirit.
The stressful sensation also can manifest itself in a specific color corresponding to the intensity of the stressful sensation in the body. This color is called the symptom color. And the color corresponding to the stressful sensation also will rise and fall away, giving rise to a pleasant color corresponding to the reduction of stressful sensation. This pleasant color is called the healing color. This pleasant healing color also will rise and fall away, as nothing remains permanent in our consciousness. And the result is healing, relaxation, and harmony in the body.
Sometimes a pure light can emerge from the unconscious and touch the stressful area in the body and bring about perfect healing. As the pure light touches the stressful area the stress will rise and fall away, giving relaxation and harmony in the body. Since pure light contains all the color vibrations, the unconscious will pick up the necessary color for stress reduction and make use of the necessary healing color for the final healing.
- Divine Image, Color, and Light
In some special cases the subject may see a divine image, color, or light emerging in front of him/her inviting him or her to enter into a deeper healing. And then the subject is helped to surrender to that divine image, color, or light. And the healing can be very deep and profound. After the healing is completed the divine image, color, or light will slowly fade away, as nothing remains permanent in our consciousness. All things rise and fall away, except the core of one’s being in touch with the Eternal Being. It is here that the final liberation from all suffering is possible.
Therapeutic healing is registered in the body as harmonious vibrations. And the subject experiences a total well being in the body as a body shift. This body shift can be noticed in the subject’s verbal communication, tone of voice, or body language. The verbal communication will be authentic, genuine, and highly congruent to all that is happening to the subject. The tone of voice also will reveal the authenticity of the change that has taken place in the healing process. The body language will be such that the texture of the skin, facial expressions, body posture, breathing process, and the eye movements will register harmony in the body. This harmony in the body is an expression of harmony in the mind. And harmony in the mind brings about purity of consciousness. Purity of consciousness cleanses the heart from all defilements and opens to the vision of God. “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.”
Now the subject is helped to come out of the healing experience. After resting for while, he/she is ready to validate the effectiveness of the healing he/she has undergone. Now he/she is helped to go back to the main event again. He/she then relives the main event totally and fully. Then he/she becomes aware of the main feeling once again and observes the main sensation in the body totally and fully. If the subject is completely healed, he/she experiences no negative feeling or stressful body sensations. Then he/she becomes aware of any similar recent negative experience. If the subject is completely healed, he/she is free of any negative feelings or sensations. Further he/she becomes aware of any similar future event. If the person is completely healed, he/she is free of any negative feelings or stressful sensations. The negative event will have no effect on the subject. Thus the subject validates his/her healing in the past, present, and future.
It is important that the person is slowly brought back into the normal consciousness. Let the person warm up his/her palms and warm up his/her eyes and face as he/she wakes up from the healing process. Another simple method of bringing back the subject is to count slowly from one to ten as follows: ‘Now you are ready to come out of your healing process. When I count 1 to 10, at the sound of 10 you open your eyes. 1… 2… 3… 4… 5… 6… 7… 8… 9… 10… Now gently open your eyes’.
Fr. Joe Kunnumpuram, S. J.,
Joe Kunnumpuram, S. J., is a trained Psychologist, Spiritual Director, and Retreat Master. Besides his philosophical and theological studies, he has done his Masters in Chemistry and Clinical Psychology. He taught chemistry at St. Michael’s School, Patna from 1978 – 1983. He was Master of Novices at the Patna Jesuit Novitiate from 1983 – 1991. Then he did his Masters in Clinical Psychology from Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines, from 1991 – 1994. He is the Founder of AMR (Awareness Meditative Relaxation), a unique system of therapy for Psycho-Somatic-Spiritual Integration. After his studies he was appointed to Atmadarshan, Patna, Center for Spirituality and Counseling. At present he is the Superior of Atmadarshan and Program Director of Atmadarshan Experience for training participants in AMR therapy. He has conducted numerous AMR workshops in India and Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, Mayanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, and USA.. He has also given various programs in counseling, psychotherapy, healing, spiritual direction, retreats, and leadership training. His first book, The Miracle of Awareness, has been well received by the readers for an easy and quick way to healing and empowerment from within the human person for a new awakening. The readers have also welcomed his second book, On Wings of the Swan, as an excellent guide to meditation leading to healing, empowerment, and spiritual growth. His third book, The Star of the East, is a comprehensive treatise on AMR for persons in any helping profession for integral human liberation. The present book, The Light of Love, is the culmination of the author’s search for the integral liberation of all life in the radiance of love emerging from the heart of God.
Sr. Dr. Archana, UMI
Sr. Dr. Archana, UMI is a regular resource person for AMR Workshops at Atmadarshan, Center for Spirituality and Counseling, Patna, Bihar, India. She is a medical doctor, specialized in gynecology, now posted at Karunashraya Hospital, Sultanpur. She did her medicine and gynecology from St. John’s medical college, Banglaore. In 2001 she got her specialization in AMR therapy from Atmadarshan under the guidance of Fr. Joe Kunnumpuram, SJ, Founder of AMR therapy. She is well appreciated as an AMR therapist in Atmadarshan. Her empathy, understanding, and love for the patients and clients have made her an excellent AMR therapist. Moreover, she has been very effective as an AMR therapist in the AMR Programs conducted together with Fr. Joe Kunnumpuram, SJ in India, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, Mayanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, and USA.