“Of all the medicines in the inner life,
A smile is by far the best medicine.”
To meditate on a regular basis also means to sharpen your senses, especially your intuitive ear. You become more aware of your body‘s state and needs. You realize much quicker when an outside condition is harmful to you. A very simple example: let’s say you are outside for a walk through the autumn nature talking about something interesting to a friend. Instead of being too caught up in the conversation you notice that your body is cooling down to a point where catching a cold becomes more likely. The same applies to our eating habits, social environment, and general lifestyle. Meditation teaches us to easily differentiate between good and bad for our system. Therefore we are getting better in making the healthiest choices for our body, mind, and heart.
But what if it is more serious?
Of course, if it is serious you have to see a doctor. A broken leg is a broken leg. But even then we can make our body’s healing process easier and much faster, too. Oftentimes when we suffer from some kind of illness or injury we do not truly accept that reality. We do not want that reality even though it already exists; we resist and resistance is a treasured form of tension. Resistance can have very secret, hidden forms against any sort of life situation and also physical problems. There is a German saying about this: acceptance is the first step of progress. If we whole-heartedly accept and embrace life with all its curves and try to identify with our higher self, the higher energy can basically just do its job without our interference. As a key-word, we can keep harmonization in mind. So, working on our inner tensions is a big health benefit of meditation.
The word “Ayurveda“ means the science/knowledge of life and is based on the sacred Indian scriptures, the Vedas, which were written by rishis, sages. Some sources say that its teachings are older than 6.000 years. The ayurvedic philosophy views each being as a composition of three different doshas; namely Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each of these types has its own characteristics and just by reading what they stand for we can get a good idea of how to classify ourselves in this oldest of all health systems. According to this classification, we obtain guidelines for our way of life which will make us healthy and strong to ultimately be inwardly and outwardly ready to manifest the higher reality. So, ayurvedic medicine is actually a way of life that always keeps in mind the perfect balance between body, mind, and soul. One of the most important features of Ayurveda is that it is a holistic approach. That means that it treats the whole being within context, not only individual symptoms.
Mira Alfassa, better known as The Mother, said that all physical disharmonies are consequences of inner disbalances and should actually be seen as helpful messengers. So, we do not just have a problem. There is a story behind it. And maybe we are meant to go through a tough experience which ultimately is for our best even if we are not able to see that far down the road. Furthermore, she revealed the hard truth that our attention-loving ego sometimes cherishes and dramatizes ailments. For the same reason, it even goes as far as secretly welcoming harm or at least conditions that can lead to it.
The spirituality behind physical suffering unavoidably leads us to the subject of karma. Even if we do all different kinds of meditation, breathing exercises, hatha yoga, raw diets, and whatnot sometimes we are catching ourselves an ailment for apparently no reason. Sri Chinmoy was once asked if the Law of Karma would apply to everybody. His answer: “The Law of Karma applies to everyone and at the same time one can transcend it by one’s meditation. The Law of Karma exists and yet can be transcended by realization, oneness with God and by the power of spirituality.“ And while sometimes are situation may seem dire, let us remember:
„The Night is the thickest just before dawn.“
~ ancient spiritual saying
The golden secret of inner struggles
Even sorrows can deepen one’s heart. Each experience consciously or unconsciously teaches us something and therefore could be called a unique grindstone to mold us into something more than we are now. Easily understood mentally but in today’s hectic city dynamics, it can be hard to keep up this spirit of observation and embracing. Right, but every single time we do consciously observe an incident and go inward even for a tiny bit, we might realize that there is a form of tension. Maybe it’s just a hint of it but the more we are able to go deeper inside the more we are able to see and feel things clearly and to let them go. Almost invisibly tiny becomes describable. Unknown nuances become distinguishable. I guess you can call it zooming in into oneself. And there we can let go of our resistances and breakthrough to higher, inner freedom.
In my spiritual life.“
~ Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 18
An obstacle is a gateway
Each unwise, disturbing deed or even thought reveals an imperfection that actually longs for its transcendence. Its very existence is a cry for an experience that makes us work through it and grow beyond it. Being confronted with our weaknesses might mean that a certain time has come, meaning that our divinity wants to manifest itself but we need to face our currently most hindering obstacle and work through it to play our sometimes painful part in the bigger story of personal evolution. Divinity is always ready to manifest itself but we need to set the conditions right that are within our power. So, let us be ready to change our view of problems in general. Obstacles can be gates. Let us not invite them but see them as an opportunity.
“Because of our wrong deeds, the negative, unaspiring, undivine forces have come into existence. When these forces enter into us, we suffer. (…) The world is progressing towards the Light, although this progress is very slow. Human suffering will come to an end, because God is all Delight. We came from Delight. On earth we are growing in Delight. At the end of our soul’s journey we shall return to Delight.“
To deepen the love for oneself is of paramount importance, because what you love you take care of and you protect it. A lack of self-love may be the most underrated issue of today‘s world. How many times have we seen dear friends doing harm to themselves by not only unhealthy but self-destructive choices? A healthy diet, a balanced lifestyle and a lovingly nourished spiritual heart is the best formula for a harmonious, balanced and happy life. And the effort that comes with it until we discover it to be natural is very much our own choice. Yes, inner and outer health is also a decision even to be made subconsciously.