Jiv Daya? what's that mean?

“jiv daya” (जीव दया) means compassion for all living beings.

  • jiv = being

  • daya =compassion

Jiv Daya is traditionally associated with Jainism’s virtue of animal welfare (Ahimsa) – to cause no injury or to do no harm. This includes one’s deeds, words, and thoughts.

Mahatma Gandhi promoted the principle of Ahimsa (do no harm) very successfully by applying it to all spheres of life, particularly to politics. In Gandhi’s thoughts, Ahimsa precludes not only the act of inflicting a physical injury, but also mental states like harmful thoughts and hatred, and unkind behavior such as harsh words.

The way I see it, the principles of Ahimsa (do no harm) and Jiv Daya (compassion for all beings) not only apply to how we treat each other, but also how we treat ourselves.

Long before I became a practitioner of Oriental Medicine I knew that I felt very drawn to "jiv daya" when I had stumbled upon some readings on spirituality and health. When I decided to go to school to study Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) I set the intention to be compassionate throughout my studies and clinical internship, but the hardest part was staying compassionate toward myself. Since this was such an ongoing and integral part of my personal focus and growth I felt it meaningful to apply jiv daya to my future health practice - hence the name: Jiv Daya Whole Health.

To me, jiv daya means that I help promote compassion in this world - toward balance & health in the mind, body, and spirit. To do that, I do my humanly best to meet people where they are and offer a safe space for their healing. I believe that from a place of compassion healing will be a natural reaction. It's a starting point for deeper healing, health prevention, and treatment of disease.

What I've learned in my life is that being met with compassion by another person is an important thing, and treating others with compassion is another important thing, but learning to meet yourself with compassion is often quite harder to do, and might even be the most important thing. I also believe emotional and mental stress can easily bring the body into a state of imbalance & illness. That is why the practice of compassion in medicine is absolutely necessary. And this is also one (big) reason why I chose TCM as my medicine of choice. Other competitors were: Medical Doctor, Physician Assistant, Nurse, Physical Therapist, Dietitian, and Fitness Trainer. But Chinese Medicine had the thousands of years of history in its court, along with a whole-body, holistic approach, and a philosophy that resonated with me. I knew that the "work" I do in this life would need to be meaningful, but also congruent with my values. And for these reasons, TCM was my medicine of choice - for my own healing and for my professional study.

I do not call myself a "healer". I consider myself a "helper" - I help facilitate healing.

When someone walks into my door they already took the first courageous step toward their own wellness. I am just a part of their health journey, and by continually working on my own health & well-being, they are also a part of my journey.

To sum it all up, "Jiv Daya" means to pay it forward - with compassion for all beings (including yourself).

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