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Renewal Through Meditation

REnewal through meditationThe idea that the mind can go deep enough to change the very patterns of the body, and therefore wipe away any mistakes, such as disease, has not yet been fully embraced by western medicine. Yet for more than 5000 years, Ayurveda – an ancient natural healing system originating in Ancient India – has approached the mind and body together. Literally translated as “the science of life,” Ayurveda is meant to be medicine in the broadest sense. It comes from the two Sanskrit words – Ayus or life, and Veda, meaning knowledge or science. Its roots are grounded over thousands of years and are gathered in wisdom, not technology.

our own inner intelligence

Ayurveda teaches that this knowledge or intelligence is present everywhere in our bodies. In fact, a foundational principle is that our own inner intelligence is far superior to any we can try to seek from the outside. Our inner intelligence is more important than the actual matter of the body, since without it, matter would be undirected, formless, and chaotic. Intelligence makes the difference between a house designed by an architect and a pile of bricks.

Let’s keep our definition of the word intelligence as simple and practical as possible. I define it as “know-how.” Whatever you may think about intelligence in the abstract, the body must be credited with an immense amount of know-how.

The body’s inner intelligence is so powerful that when it goes awry, the physician is faced with a dilemma. Every cell in the body is programmed by its DNA. A cell divides in response to its own internal need, combined with signals generated from the brain that are “talking” to it via chemical messages. Cell division is a carefully considered and well-thought-out decision – except in the case of cancer.

The ancient seers known as rishis said that life is built by your participation in it. Nothing is good or bad, hard or soft, painful or pleasant, except as you live it. The same is true of disease. A disease is not the molecular contact of some outside organism with the molecules of your body. It is not even the flow of toxins in your blood or the action of runaway cells. In the rishis’ view, a disease is a sequence of moments that you live through, during which you appraise every bit of the vast information that comes pouring in from the outside.

Your body is a world, too. When I first came to Ayurveda, I was deeply impressed by the following verse in the ancient texts:

As is the human body, so is the cosmic body.
As is the human mind, so is the cosmic mind.
As is the microcosm, so is the macrocosm.

These words are subject to many interpretations. What they signify to me is that when I go about my everyday existence, I am in charge of two worlds, the little one in me and the big one around me. My appraisal of every minute detail “out there” – the sun, the sky, the chances of rain, the words other people say – is matched by an event “in here.” Infinite choice is open at every second for me to alter the shape of the world, for it has no shape other than what I give it. The most important step in healing is getting people to not be convinced by their disease. As long as the patient is convinced by his symptoms, he is caught in a reality where “being sick” is the dominant input.

This approach is not solely reserved for those coping with dis-ease. The benefits of Ayurveda have a profound positive impact on those coping with stressful jobs, unfulfilling relationships, and life changes such as divorce, menopause, and retirement. One of the healing cornerstones of the mind-body connection is meditation.

The reason why meditation is so important in Ayurveda is that it leads the mind to a “free zone” that is not touched by disease. Until you know such a place exists, your dis-ease will seem to be taking over completely, which is why when you are experiencing stress from a relationship or career, you can feel totally overwhelmed.

It is undeniable that we all create scenarios and then become convinced by them, down to our very cells. This is the principal delusion that needs to be shattered. By learning to meditate and then bringing this practice into your daily routine, you can slowly – layer-by-layer – peel away the stress, anxiety, and pain of uncertainty that plagues your mind as well as your physiology.

Our physical bodies, our mind, intellect, and ego, our souls, and our environment are all the same essence wearing different disguises.

“it is undeniable that we all create scenarios and then become convinced by them, down to our very cells. this is the principal delusion that needs to be shattered.”

Meditation is the tool that allows us to find that space – which is pure consciousness – and which then naturally weaves through our physical body, our subtle body, our causal body, and our environment connecting them all. When we meditate and slip into the silence and stillness which is that “free zone” of pure, unconditioned consciousness, we re-invigorate, rejuvenate, and renew our self, our soul, and our ability to transform dis-ease into ease. We also re-connect with our most natural state which is one of balance.

written by deepak chopra

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