Ayurveda - Do Emotions Matter?

Ayurveda - Do Emotions Matter? 
The ancient wisdom of Ayurveda aims to promote health, happiness, and longevity by taking into consideration the trinity - body, mind, and spirit. In fact, Ayurveda explains further that only when the influences of the body, mind, and senses are balanced and one experiences the sense of happiness is one thought to be in good health. Let us now explore the realm of emotions.

e·mo·tion [noun]
instinctive or intuitive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or knowledge.

 

Storehouse Of Emotions
Many ancient cultures have described feelings and emotions to be a refined and subtle aspect of the intellect; intellect being the act of discrimination or discernment. The science of Ayurveda explains that the connective tissue of the body serves as a storehouse of emotions. In a way, the matrix of the subconscious mind - unresolved thoughts, feelings, and emotions is made up from the substratum of connective tissue [i.e. majja dhatu].

Digestion of Feelings
The human body contains approximately 37.2 trillion cells and every cell of the body is the center of awareness. According to vedic thought, the mind pervades the entire body. However, we may also consider the cell as a unit of awareness and intelligence. The central teaching of Ayurveda is the metaphor of fire ["Agni"] which illustrates the principle of digestion. When this fire of digestion functions properly then the individual will experience a ‘sound body-sound mind’. However, when this cellular digestion is suboptimal it may lead to by-products of poor digestion ["ama"] which may contribute to the manifestation of undesired emotions [fear, worry, anxiety, depression, etc.] and overall poor health. 

Where Do We Physically Feel Emotions? - Good Mythical Morning

Unresolved Emotions
The mind is, after all, the result of the past. Throughout many yesterdays of the past often dwells forgotten regrets, disappointments, and anger which are stored throughout various parts of the body.

Liver - unresolved anger
Gallbladder - hatred
Kidneys - fear
Stomach & Colon - nervousness
Lungs - grief & sadness
Spleen - sadness

“To kindle your pithara agni [cellular digestion] is to look at every feeling and emotion without labeling it or naming it. Then what happens? The observer and observed become one. Then when a molecule of fear enters the cell, pithara agni [cellular digestion] transforms that fear into mind, memory, intellect and into pure consciousness. Then even fear nourishes consciousness and it is no longer fear but pure awareness.” - Dr. Vasant Lad,  Ayurvedic Physician

SNEHAN - "OIL" & "LOVE"
Massage has been used for centuries in a variety of traditional cultures for well-being and vitality. The science of Ayurveda has various factors of healing - for example snehan [Ayurvedic oil massage] and abhyanga [self massage] which is the anointing of the body with oil. The Sanskrit word “sneha” means both ‘oil’ and ‘love’, and the effects of abhyanga are similar to being saturated with love. Often the oils used for massage are infused with herbs, warm, used to massage the entire body, and is used therapeutically for certain conditions.

Benefits Of Oil Massage [Abhyanga]
- Imparts softness, strength and color to the body
- Decreases the effects of aging
- Bestows good vision
- Nourishes the body
- Increases longevity
- Benefits sleep patterns
- Benefits skin
- Strengthens the body’s tolerance
- Imparts a firmness to the limbs
- Imparts tone and vigor to the dhatus (tissues) of the body
- Stimulates the internal organs of the body, increasing circulation
- Pacifies vata and pitta

Ayurveda - The Science Of Life
Ultimately Ayurveda is a comprehensive science which takes into consiseration one’s every daily life. Ayurveda focuses on diet, lifestyle, periodic fasting, herbs, yoga asanas, meditation, pranayama and detoxification & purification measures [i.e. panchakarma] to help promote balance. As a result of this balance is the expression of health, happiness, and longevity - the pillars of true health.


Awareness - The Mirror Of Life

 

Awareness - The Mirror Of Life
The mind can either be a beautiful servant or a dangerous master [Osho]. It’s fascinating that in a world of change, one of life’s greatest challenges is simply to sit still and to do absolutely nothing. Ayurveda - 'The Science Of Life', talks a great deal about meditation and cultivating a sense of moment-to-moment awareness.

mind [noun]
a beautiful servant,
a dangerous master.

 

"The Troubled Mind"
According to the wisdom of Ayurveda, the mind is present throughout the body permeating every cell and that every cell of the body is the center of awareness. Likewise, "Prana" - 'the vital life force', governs all communication of the body and mental confusion arises due to repressed thoughts, feelings, and emotions - reflecting a disturbance of prana. Furthermore, confusion implies a conditioned response arising as a result of many thousands of yesterdays with the past projecting itself onto the future bypassing the present moment. In reality, all there is - is now.

Conditioning
"The important thing is to be aware from moment to moment without accumulating the experience which awareness brings, because the moment you accumulate, you are aware only according to that accumulation, according to that pattern, according to that experience. That is, your awareness is conditioned by your accumulation, and therefore there is no longer observation, but merely translation. Where there is translation, there is choice, and choice creates conflict; and in conflict there can be no understanding." - Jiddu Krishnamurti, The Collected Works, Vol. VI, 206, Choiceless Awareness

Great Video: Transformation Of Human Consciousness - Alan Watts

The Journey Within ...
As we begin to observe our thoughts, feelings, and emotions as they naturally arise, we begin to settle into a subtle state of awareness. Awareness then becomes the mirror of life and soon begins to mirror all of our relationships - with nature, with others, and ultimately ourselves.

“No meditation, no life.
Know meditation, know life.” - Osho

Meditation - Being The Mirror

The Sanskrit word “Samadhi” is derived from two words “sama” which means ‘to be in harmony with’ and the word “adhi” meaning ‘God’. Therefore, Samadhi implies a state of awareness beyond the limits of the conscious thinking mind [both conscious and unconscious]. Although Samadhi has a much deeper and profound meaning, we can take from it the practical perspective of being in a state of balance - equilibrium. To be passively aware of all the workings of the mind with complete balance reflects a mind which is in harmony and such a mind mirrors one's true state of being; bliss. Meditation no longer becomes an act apart from daily living. Rather, your entire life becomes meditation.

“Meditation is mind without agitation.”
– Narasimhan

Just Some Benefits Of Meditation:
– greater clarity and inner calmness
– increased creativity and happiness
– improved sense of emotional stability
– reduced level of anxiety and depression
– improved brain function and memory
– reduced level of stress
… the list can go on and on …

Disclaimer:
Meditation Is Known To Cause Enlightenment. 


How To Stay Healthy With Ayurveda - Awareness Is The Key

Staying Healthy With Ayurveda
Prevention is strongly emphasized in Ayurveda and the main goal of Ayurveda is to maintain the health of a healthy person and heal the illness of a sick person. According to this ancient science, much of being healthy is simply being [more] aware.

“The master key to remaining healthy is awareness.”
- Dr. Vasant Lad, Ayurvedic Physician

 

Awareness - The Master Key
By being aware of your [doshic] constitution and remaining aware of how your body, mind and emotions respond to the ever changing world - this itself, allows us to make the informed choices required to maintain good health and well-being. In fact, the lack of this very awareness or “Prajnaparadha” [Crime Against Wisdom] is considered the root cause of all diseases according to the science of Ayurveda. Therefore, by becoming more aware of the root cause of disease and understanding two basic Ayurvedic concepts that “like increases like” and “opposites balance” are enough, and considered suffice information needed, to maintain a state of good health.

"Pure Awareness Being Aware Of Itself." - Professor Rudolph Tanzi

Professor Rudolph Tanzi discusses the function of the cognitive self. This interview is featured
in the upcoming "Science and Nonduality Anthology Vol.5.".

Modify The Cause Through Awareness
The potential causes of disease are constantly arising both within us and around us at all times. Our surroundings are always changing and there is an ever-changing nature of our thoughts and feelings while stressful conditions come and go throughout life. Despite not being able to control all these facets of life - what we can control are our actions bred from thoughtful awareness. Therefore, the first step in staying healthy is developing awareness to the potential causes of disease. For example, we cannot control the weather, but we can dress accordingly so that the cold winds of fall, the rain of winter and the summer’s heat do not create imbalances within us which can later manifest into disease.

Restoring Balance - With Opposites 
Despite being simple and commonly overlooked, restoring balance often involves introducing the opposite quality to which seemingly becomes imbalanced. For example, if you’re cold - consider something warm or hot. Nothing better than a warm soup or hot drink on a cold winter night. Likewise, nothing more soothing than the cooling shade on a hot scorching summer day. In the same manner, to manage any imbalance of the body it’s important to determine which dosha [or combination of doshas] which may be out of balance and then takes steps to normalize it, according to one’s unique tendencies. This process helps to seek out the root cause of any imbalance rather than treating mere symptoms.

 

Developing Awareness
During ancient times, meditation was often considered a way of life. The act of meditation was not something outside of daily life. Instead, meditation was considered a way to bring about harmony to the body, mind and consciousness during everyday challenges. The essence of any meditation is a state of being aware, awareness. In a way, the mere act of being aware is balancing. Observing, listening and being aware of anything without judgment, without criticism, and without liking - nor disliking, you become the center to which all things dissolve into. In the same manner, to be aware of the imbalances within the body and mind without the sense of judgment also allows for the restoration of balance. Truly therefore, awareness is the master key to remaining balanced, healthy and happy.

Just Some Of The Potential Benefits Of Meditation:
– greater clarity and inner calmness
– increased creativity and happiness
– improved sense of emotional stability
– reduced level of anxiety and depression
– improved brain function and memory
– reduced level of stress
… the list can go on and on …

 

Be Happy. Be Balanced. Be Aware.