What an amazing dream God has created for us! It is engaging, intense, happy, sad, frustrating, fulfilling, and, above all, mesmerizing. And it is all of these at the same time, all of the time. Our days and weeks are so entrancing that we rarely step back to see a broader perspective. When we do so, we see that there are layers to the apparent reality.

First, and most obvious, is the physical level, that which is revealed to us by our senses. Secondly, there is the world of thoughts, emotions, and reactions. This level, too, is obvious to most people. But the third layer, the spiritual, is subtle and largely invisible. Yet, unless we become aware of the omnipresence of God in creation, we are strangers in a strange land, destined to roam forever through the dream-world of appearances. The challenge of life is to integrate all of these together.

Sierra Clinic patient with integrative medicine in nevada city with dr peter van houten, founder who does warm handoff

At the Sierra Family Medical Clinic in Nevada City, California.

Near Ananda Village in Northern California is a clinic founded by one of our members, Dr. Peter Van Houten. Even though relatively small, the clinic has become nationally recognized for its practice of “integrative medicine.” Integrative medicine approaches patient care with the understanding that there are multiple layers to most health problems. Consequently the clinic has counseling available on site and a practice called a “warm handoff.” If a doctor feels that a physical condition is caused by emotional or behavioral problems, he not only prescribes counseling, but takes the patient to the counselor, introduces them, and makes an appointment on the spot. The result of the warm handoff is that a person is more than three times as likely to keep the appointment with the counselor than if they had simply been given a recommendation.

For the problems of life we need our own warm handoff from one layer to the next. It is not enough to acknowledge vaguely that a challenge may have an emotional dimension. We need actually to introduce the issue to our inner counselor, introspection. And then we need to recognize that our mental/emotional issues always have a deeper, spiritual dimension. We need to see behind our reactions to the attitudes that produce them, and behind the attitudes to our soul identity. If we try to solve a problem only on one plane, we will be no more successful than a smoker who blames the weather for his cough.

Try a little experiment with me. Take a situation that you’re dealing with currently. First, see it clearly in all its details on the obvious, physical level. Then do a warm handoff to the emotional level. Forget about the endless details and concentrate on the causes of your emotional reactions. Are they due to fear of an unknown future? Or anger because some desire has been frustrated? Or the complex mix of emotions that arise when we want reality to be different and can’t accept that what is, simply is? As you learn to get in touch with this layer of reality, you will gain much more control over your life.

Finally, make a warm handoff to the spiritual level. This is best done in meditation when the mind and emotions have been stilled. Every negative emotion has a spiritual solution. Fear is eliminated by faith. Desires dissolve in the fires of love for God and Gurus. And the inability to accept life is conquered by the realization that everything is God’s dream and is created, as Yogananda said, “for our entertainment and education.”

Warmly,

Nayaswami Jyotish

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18 Comments

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  1. Dear Jyotishji,

    Thank you again for the wonderful guidance. Super technique to use warm hand off.

    Love,
    Ilango

  2. Over this current lifetime I’ve come to an understanding of what may be. Experience & knowledge are cumulative. Our lives are an embodiment of metaphor. The aging body, brain & heart reflect the levels of refinement that the nascent consciousness or developing personality within the Soul sphere must travel through. before acquiring the ability to return back to the “God” form from whence it came. I wonder if our uniqueness could be seen, metaphorically speaking, as potential individual components (i.e. brain cells) that come together to form a singular entity. What if there were more of such entities awaiting their moment to become whole? Would that mean countless universes creating countless shells were meant to form countless gods?

  3. Thank You. Sounds very good. It is time we take our life in our hands and try to seek the real problem
    before the intake of medicinal drugs. We remind ourselves that scripture tells us that we are our own physician but those
    are only words repeated which we do not understand. Maybe the time has come for us to be taught how to live by Spirit
    which is our true identity. Does one has to be on the spot to receive the “Warm hand”? Than you

  4. Dear Nayaswami Jyotish Ji,

    Thank you for this wonderful blog. It’s a great guide. Everyday and in every situation the introspection and warmhandoff is required.

    Aum
    Prem

  5. Having worked with Dr. Peter and the staff of Sierra Family Medical Clinic, I am quite familiar with the warm handoff as it was being developed. Blessings to Dr. Peter and JAI GURU. Great idea Jyotish. Namaste

  6. I love this! I’m on my cell phone, just opened Ramesha’s Nextdoor post of Aum Kali / Aum Guru Kritan and while listening to it opened your post here sharing this technique for a “warm handoff”… all after having my car’s CD player spas-out and start playing Aum Kali. I love this world!

  7. Thank You Jyotishji for the Spiritual Handoff you and Deviji had been extending to people around the world. And constantly nudging us all for our own Inner warm hand off .

    God and Gurus bless you always!

  8. Thank you for highlighting the Clinic. It is a honor to be in the company of the great souls who serve there. Their practice of a warm handoff is shared with remarkable caring and is an ongoing inspiration to me.

    1. Hi,

      I do have a question to ask. I understand what you are trying to say, and I do believe that a lot of our physical and mental health issues are due to our own current & previous personal emotional experiences. But what about things that affect us as a whole, that are not necessarily created by us completely. I know many people that are affected by all of the technology that has gotten out of control which is causing not only physical & mental disabilities, but also spiritual issues. It is getting harder to sit still and try to meditate. I know so many people that are dealing with anxiety, PTSD, etc..,, and due to this, it is making it even harder to meditate. Please can you help me with this. I am watching so many people suffer, especially my husband who had a very bad experience, that it really scared me. I try to meditate and it seems like I can’t quiet the mind enough to get any answers.

      thanks so much,

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