How to Move Past the Grief of Tragedy

When unexpected tragedy strikes our families or extended communities, it can evoke an array of painful emotions. We are deeply saddened, and even angered, by senseless loss. We ask ourselves, “How could something like this have happened?”—a question that cannot be easily answered. While you may never fully understand why a particular tragedy has taken place, there are ways you can move forward through grief and create a new reality.

Tragic events often serve to unite us, and we share the experience through our collective consciousness—the stillness that joins everything in the Universe and from which all life is created. As individuals, we each have this stillness within us; and we connect to it in the space between our thoughts, often referred to as “the gap.” One of the simplest and most powerful ways we can effect real change in the world, and create an environment that supports peace rather than unrest and violence is to access this stillness with the process of meditation.

Dr. Deepak Chopra, who has partnered with Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center, writes and speaks extensively on how committing to a consistent practice of meditation can heal the world. Meditation, brings all individuals to “an awareness of their body, awareness of their mental space, awareness of their relationships—not only with each other, but with life and the ecosystem,” says Dr. Chopra, who asserts meditation can lead to a “more conscious, awakened world.”

Through the practice of meditation, we can begin to access that place of stillness, the gap between our thoughts. Then, when we return to activity, we take the sense of peace and equanimity that resides in the gap into our daily lives. In this way, we move from feelings of fight or flight to a state of witnessing, restful awareness. In the latter frame of mind, we are able to find more creative responses to the challenges we face as individuals and communities and offer solutions to benefit the common good.

As we continue to manage the immediate feelings we experience in the wake of any tragedy and loss, we can employ another form of mantra repetition by reciting a Sanskrit mantra called the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. Saying of this powerful mantra aloud is especially beneficial for those who are suffering through pain and grief. The mantra helps ward off negativity, creating a protective shield, and awakens a healing force that penetrates deep into the body and mind.

The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra:

Om Tryambakam yajamahe, Sugandhim pushti-vardhanam

Urvarukamiva bandhanan, Mrityor mukshiya mamritat

In English, the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra translates to:

We meditate on the three-eyed reality, the compassionate one whose fragrance nourishes all beings. May he liberate us from death for the sake of immortality, even as the cucumber is severed from bondage to the creeper.

When a tragedy or the loss of a loved one occurs, we can sometimes feel helpless and full of fear. Reaching out to your communities, families, and friends can help to assure you that you’re not alone with your pain. If you come to know that solutions are available inside yourself and that you are, therefore, not subject to random factors beyond your control, you will find great comfort and can also access a wonderful sense of peace and understanding that can be readily shared with others to create a beautiful new world.

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About the Author

Nirmala Raniga

Founder of the Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center, Vedic Educator
In addition to being a Vedic Educator, certified in Primordial Sound Meditation , Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga , and Perfect Health: Ayurvedic Lifestyle, Nirmala is an addiction specialist and the founder of the Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center —a residential addiction recovery treatment center in Squamish Valley, B.C., Canada. The Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center offers holistic recovery programs based on the ...Read more