Archive for the ‘Spirituality and Healing’ Category
Religion benefits and plays a very important role in our complete Mind Body Spirit wellness. But how? To answer this let us first define religion. The word Religion comes from Latin word religare. Ligare– means to unite and re– means again or back. So the meaning of religion is the one that “units back to your origin”.
What is our origin? Universal consciousness, force, energy, or out of love we have called this energy “God”. No matter what name you give, our origin is one and the same. The purpose of religion is to open our mind and thereby gaining the ultimate experience which merges all distinctions of color, caste, creed, all philosophies, dogmas, our body, mind, & intellect, time, space, and causation in this world & in all other worlds into ONE. Any systematic approach we take to experience this ONENESS is your Religion.
I find the following short story by William Levacy very interesting in illustrating this point. “It seems that God was sitting one day and playfully remarked, “I would like something more enjoyable to do!” So He decided to create a splendid yet complex game for Himself, perhaps a magnificent puzzle. He decided, “I will make this puzzle out of Me! I will break Myself down into all the myriad creatures and creations of existence, and as part of my game, try to bring all the pieces back together into Myself.” God thought for a second (probably eons in our time) and said, “Now since I am God and I can do anything, I will make this puzzle really challenging and fun. I will not only break Myself into all these pieces of creation and bring Myself back together…but I will also make Myself forget that I did this!”
So our challenge, since we have forgotten, is to become aware of who we really are? In words it is easy for us to recognize who we really are but in actions it is entirely different story. When we act identifying only with our physical body, we are like any other machine. When we act identifying with our body & mind, we are a physical being with emotions. When we act identifying with our body, mind, & intellect, we are a physical being with emotions and ability to think & analyze.
In all above instances we act as if we are separate & disconnected entities from rest of the creation. Beyond BMI (Body, Mind, Intellect) is our real Self (God Itself) that is experiencing the creation thru BMI. And it is this real Self when we identify with, we realize that we are not separate & disconnected. However, our BMI can only experience physical objects, emotions, and thoughts but not the Self. It is not possible for BMI to experience the Self as the Self is the subject sustaining the BMI. Just as when we are holding the tweezers, it is not possible for the tweezers to hold the very fingers that hold the tweezers. This is where the benefits of religion come in to takes us beyond our BMI to experience Self (Oneness, God, Energy, Force, and Universal Consciousness).
As long as we continue to identify only with the BMI, we continue to see ourselves as separate beings disconnected from our origin and suffer. Our suffering stops when we start to assert our real Self in all our physical, emotion, & intellectual actions. Any systematic approach that supports our personal efforts in asserting our true Self in all our actions in life is our religion. Does that mean if we do not belong to any religious institution, we do not have a religion and we need to choose one? Absolutely not! Remember your religion is your own personal systematic approach that works for you. It need not have a label of any religion. On the other hand if you belong to a religious institution, does that mean you need to change your religion or quit the institution? Absolutely not! You only need to evaluate and make changes accordingly.
Carefully evaluate your religious path if it does not take you to the experience of oneness, it should be replaced with the path that does take you to the experience of oneness. Your spirit has inherent affinity for this oneness. When you start stuffing your mind with doctrines, ideas, and thoughts that go against this, it creates “indigestion” for your spirit & mind. To live with such “indigestion” creates conflict in your spiritual body which will ultimately manifest as disease in your mind & physical body. All benefits from religion are lost.
A point to note is every one of us has a religion whether or not we belong to any Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or other faiths. Religion is our personal way of living, our routine, our habits, food we take, emotions we take in & give out, thoughts we have, and all actions we do every moment of our life. If we live true to our Self, we will benefit from our religion in promoting health in us. Your religion is a one-on-one relationship between you and your Self (God). Life is a journey back to our Origin. Enjoy & “travel” in good health.
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It is my privilege to share “daily inspirations” to inspire wellness in your life. The following inspirational thoughts have emerged over the years from reading philosophical and scientific literature, practicing Ayurveda, and of course from observing real life situations. The following pragmatic daily inspirations are subtle but super “food” for your intellect. I hope, these daily inspirations will increase your mental capacity to understand nature’s ways and will support you in releasing the stress in situations you can not or do not control. When you develop mental capacity to let go in difficult situations, you experience true wellness and peace from within.
We will continue to post here new daily inspirations. Please come back from time to time to inspire wellness in yourself and share with others. Be Well.
Body’s natural state is health and it inherently gravitates towards health. No one doctor can give you health from outside. The outside sources can only help to remove diseases. Once the disease is removed, body restores itself to its natural state, health.
I think when it comes to health most people are health conscious and have an inkling of what is right choice and what is wrong. Then why is it that people often take the wrong choice? Okay I will accept in some cases people do not know but what about most people who hear and see many times what they ought to be eating and doing. Still they do not follow the advice, and knowing very well, take wrong decisions and land themselves a disease. What happened to their health consciousness?
Sense objects, in this case food, can have enormous power over one’s mind, even when the mind is healthy. And if one is going through depression, this power is even more gripping. Mind gets carried away by the senses; sight, smell, and taste of food. And the next thing you know is that outside elements have grab hold of your senses; as a consequence senses control your mind, and influence your decisions affecting your inner wellbeing.
The irony is your inner self is equipped with health consciousness and intellect, remarkable tools, to take decisions. However, yet your mind continues to take decisions without consulting with your health consciousness and intellect. You need to change the direction of taking your decisions.
Let the health consciousness guide your intellect to take a decision for inner wellbeing while the intellect keeps your mind under its strict control so it would not to be taken for a ride by the outside (sense objects). This is the right direction in taking decisions. Health consciousness, this “natural intelligence” resides within us. You are born with it! No one thing or person can “install” the natural intelligence from outside. Just because you don’t access it, it doesn’t mean you do not have it. You already have it in you, but it is dormant. It needs to be awakened.
You just need someone or something to awaken your consciousness to make you health conscious. This someone or something becomes the enabler for awakening the consciousness. It could be a person or perhaps even this article. You just need to find your own “enabler”.
You cannot lead your life by taking decisions at the surface level, namely under the influence of sense objects, and depending on external quick fixes, for example diet pills. You must take control of your life by taking decisions from the “depth” of your being. Stop taking decisions at the “surface” level. When consciousness, intellect, and mind are in agreement, lasting wellness dwells there. Isn’t it time you awaken your consciousness to become health conscious? Be Well!
Setting “Speed” Limit
Bad economic cycle is just a nature’s way of telling us that we need to lighten up on our material quest. It is great to be on a material quest and enjoy it. I am not implying you need to end it. I am only suggesting that nature is prompting us to set limits on this quest, if we had not already done so. It is not possible to go through life continually accelerating. You have to know your limit and then learn to cruise. In the same way when you enter a freeway you accelerate but then after reaching a speed limit, you cruise. Becoming aware of this fact is a start of spiritual growth to help you with surviving bad economic times.
Learning How to Cruise
No doubt surviving bad economic times can create tremendous anxiety and mental agitation. So besides learning to cruise, it would be even better to grasp how to cruise light. Time is here to drop off excess weight (material or desires for more) and only keep the necessities on your journey. With this action alone, you will immediately lower the level of anxiety and mental agitation. This awareness shapes your spiritual growth. However, I feel the biggest growth is yet to come with the following awareness.
Discovering Real Self
In these bad economic times it is normal to feel down but not out. It is true, what changes in nature outside affects nature inside of us. That is the nature’s law. The question is- has the nature outside of us changed due to bad economy? The fact is, good or bad economy, nature is NOT affected by it. Wouldn’t you agree the sun, the moon, the earth, & the seasons, etc. will continue on their rhythmic cycle without missing a beat? This means nature inside of us is also not affected. Think about it! When you gain or lose wealth, you don’t say you gained or lost yourself.
So discover your real self. It is beyond any wealth.
So go out and feel the smooth touch of the air playing with your skin, soak up the warmth of first ray of sun falling on your face, enjoy the coolness of the water flowing through your body, get pleasure from the sounds of chirping birds, experience the ground below bare feet on the wet grass, and you will start to connect and know your real self is part of this. Cultivate this awareness.
Connecting to Real Self
Such an awareness will help you realize you are more than a just your mental self. You see when you only relate with your mental self, you suffer the agitations. However, when you relate to your real self, calmness comes over you and you live as a witness to all the drama around you (as outlined in the “Movie” example) You didn’t bring any material wealth with you when you were born and nor will you take any with you when you die. The material wealth was never yours and could never define or affect your real self.
Surviving bad economic times requires mental tenacity and can be the test of your perseverance. Let these times be the opportunity for you to discover your real self. In turn let this awareness of your spiritual being become the strength to your mental self in bad economic or in any turbulent times. Be Well!
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I want to share a short real life example that I hope will change the way you look at yourself and your role in this life forever. The wisdom in this example challenges your subtle intellect and awakens your spirituality to question your real-self and role in this life. As soon as you begin to practice this awareness, spiritual healing starts to replace your sufferings with peace, health, and wellness.
Do You Ever Question This After Watching a Movie?
A friend comes back after watching a movie. He can not stop talking about how good the movie was. The story touched him in many levels. Sometimes he laughed and another he even cried. I asked him why he liked so much. He liked it because the actors played their parts so real and the story unfolded beautifully not knowing what will happen next. These are main hallmarks of any good movie. He enjoyed the movie even though he cried through the tragic, depressing, and sad parts of the story. But if similar tragic events happened in my friend’s life, he wouldn’t enjoy the experience of suffering as he did while watching the movie. Why is that?
This is a question that warrants a closer observation. Is it because we enjoy watching tragedy in other people’s lives? I hope not. Or is it because, we engage with the movie as a witness knowing very well that all characters in the storyline are just actors. Each actor also knows it is a temporary role and not their real self so they also enjoy and do their best to play their role. In fact their real self is observing to make sure that their character comes across real whether it is rich, poor, good, funny, or tragic role. And after the movie is over, everyone goes on their new and separate ways.
Doesn’t That Sound Familiar?
Now think subtly. Isn’t this what happens in our life? We try to perform our role on this “stage” of life to the best of our ability in good, sad, or bad times. While performing, if we strictly identify with the physical self playing the character role permanently, we suffer. On the other hand while performing if we identify with our higher spiritual self (individual consciousness), we realize the character role we are playing is temporary, and our higher spiritual self is overseeing as a witness. Remember, my friend really enjoyed the movie as a witness. So it is with our life. Identify with your higher self, become and live as a witness, and enjoy while performing your physical role with full vigor and conviction. With such awareness, you enjoy playing any role just as the actors enjoy playing their roles in the movie.
Now Put This to Work for You
Can you cultivate this subtle shift in your awareness about your self? It will not be easy, especially the way we are programmed to live. You need to give your self time to reflect. Be among people with such attitudes. Read inspiring, motivating, and thought provoking writings, books, or poems. Recently I came across a wonderful collection of inspiring and spiritually healing poems and other work by an artist, Milo Adorno. Do whatever it is you need to do to cultivate this spiritual awareness.
I am not saying you have to enjoy your sufferings. I am saying that living with such spiritual awareness you can enjoy the experience of healing while suffering. One common theme that was found in most 70 and older healthy people aging gracefully was their ability to accept and then let go of the tragic events in their lives.
You see spiritual awareness causes subtle mental shift that creates powerful healing effect that permeates health and wellness through out your mind and body. In fact the impact of spiritual healing on our mind body health is far greater than the foods, herbs, or any other supplements.
First I would like to remove a myth about aging. So far there is NO natural or manufactured products in the market that can reverse aging. Some hormone supplements seem to work in slowing down the aging but we are unsure of their side effects in the long run. So the best bet is to accept the notion of aging and age gracefully as oppose to fighting it.
Aging Gracefully and Looking Younger
To age gracefully, we must keep in mind that aging has physical, mental, intellectual, and spiritual components. All these components are inter-twined and together they make us a “whole” person. As part of aging gracefully, what we loose in physical is made up by gaining experience, wisdom, and peace in mental, intellectual, and spiritual. To focus only on the physical and try to stop or reverse the aging would be going against nature.
Earth, stars, universe, everything around us is aging. It is a law of nature. So you as a part of this nature, if try to go against this natural law, you would only create aggravation and unstable mind. Try to understand this concept from your mature spiritual side; a humble acceptance will replace the aggravation in unstable mind. If you don’t, agitated and stressful mind would only speed up the aging process.
Once we embrace the aging as natural part of us with healthy mental attitude, we can focus on the physical. The basic idea is to slow down the rate of physical decline as we approach the later years of our life. However, preparation to achieve this begins in 30’s and 40’s by eating right foods and having right life style with exercises (or activities).
Imagine our body as a building where each cell is a “brick” in this building. And if the walls of a building have bricks missing here and there, the strength, integrity, and shape of the building is compromised. Our goal is to continue building healthy new cells to replace the old dying cell for as long as possible. If the old cells are not replaced with new cells, skin becomes wrinkled and body looses its strength and shape.
Techniques for Aging Gracefully and Looking Younger
• Form a diet plan with foods based on your mind-body constitution that can help you usher in growth of new cells while creating least amount of toxins in the body. This diet is anti-inflammatory and can be further supported by use of turmeric and ginger to reduce internal inflammation and cleanse (detoxify) the body.
• Include the right vitamins and herbal supplements- NOT to supplement good foods but only to cover the gaps.
• Detoxify your body regularly- a weekly fast, a monthly fast, or a quarterly cleanse based on your life style.
• As we age, natural tendency of the body is to loose its muscle mass and to replace it with fat mass. Our goal is to slow down the rate of muscle mass conversion to fat mass and retain as much muscle mass for as long as possible.
• No matter what age, we must stay active. Follow a routine of age appropriate exercises and activities that can help retain the muscle mass, reduce fat buildup, and keeps us flexible.
Besides foods, we need to be aware of the stressful thoughts and emotions we take in from outside or cultivate within. We must figure a way to “metabolize” stress out of our system to remove “mental inflammation.” This can be a cause for many nerves related and other diseases.
Techniques for Aging Gracefully and Looking Younger
• Utilize our life experiences and spiritual knowledge to shift our mental attitudes to neutralize emotions or thoughts that are source of stress.
• Do breathing exercises in yoga and meditation can also help release the stress and eliminate mental inflammation.
• Keep the mind occupied by continuously learning new interesting and challenging things.
• Get good rest at night by sleeping at least 7 hours
Spiritual component supports the both mental and physical. Studies have shown people with strong spiritual connections heal faster and have better immunity. I regard spiritual awareness as the cement holding the bricks together in the building. While the physical and mental components change with age, it is the spiritual component that remains unchanged and is a pillar of support in our aging gracefully.
Techniques for Aging Gracefully and Looking Younger
• Let your conscious be your guide
• Live in harmony with nature within and without (personal and social conduct according to laws of Nature)
• Find out your “gift” and make it a calling to share with the world
As you can tell, all physical, mental, and spiritual are inter-twined, support each other, and make us “whole.” We must identify with each component & address each for our “total” health and wellness in life’s journey while aging gracefully naturally without any risky aging products. Be Well!
If we don’t brush & floss everyday, gingivitis develops creating fowl smell & gum disease. Similarly, if we do not perform mind cleanse everyday, we risk mental sickness. You see mind is like a river flowing with full of new thoughts and emotions every second of the day. Myriad of thoughts & emotions, rational or irrational, just hang around and pollute the mind “river.”These thoughts & emotions must be processed daily otherwise they block the mind “river” and cause stagnation resulting accumulation of brain trash or stress. Once we clear the blockages, we reduce stress.
The challenge is to identify which thought & emotion is rational and which is irrational. This is where our Intellect has to jump in and start earning its keep. Our Intellect must separate the crazy irrational thoughts & emotions and immediately discard or reject them. If for some reason our Intellect is compromised, we will mistakenly accept irrational thoughts and start to live with them creating confusion, conflicts, stress, and basically brain trash. These thoughts need to be “flushed” or “metabolized”.
I suggest use the following techniques for mind cleanse & to reduce stress:
1. We must keep our Intellect sharp and available. Always be aware of your intellectual state. Note the Intellect is not sharp & available when we are angry, depressed, or under the influence of alcohol, drugs, etc. Our thinking ability gets warped or completely stops. Become free of these influences first. It is impossible to reduce stress when the very tool, your intellect, that helps you “flush” brain trash is not available to you.
2. Watch out for the Ego! When a compulsive thought of anger, depression or sensual craving comes in mind, our self-centered conditioning & Ego loves to give attention to it. Mind you a thought has NO power of its own. All the power is in the attention we give. So break undivided attention to selfish & destructive thought by reciting your favorite Mantra. Once the Mantra takes hold, connection between the thought & your attention is broken. The idea here is to have something to break the attention and I have found any Mantra (your favorite) will do the trick and reduce stress. You feel light and your mind becomes available for other tasks.
Remember, it is the good old 80/20 rule. Only 20% of the thoughts are worth paying attention to and the other 80% must be quickly rejected. Once we get rid of the 80%, we have more of our selves available for the real 20% that make a difference in our lives. Thus we accomplish in our life what we really need, keep our mind cleanse of clutter and reduce stress.
If you liked this article then biggest compliment you can give is by sharing i and showing others simple techniques to reduce stress. Be Well!
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