Ayurveda begins with “Sankhya“, a cosmology which speaks of the dynamics buried deep within reality… cosmic consciousness (Mahat),
- The three guna (Sattva, Rajas, Tamas),
- The five great elements (Akash, Vayu, Agni, Apas, Prithvi),
- The three dosha (Vata, Pitta, Kapha)… and more.
And Yoga is a path for a direct seeing to the depths of reality. Yoga enables deeper experiences of self and the world with a consequent shifting of worldview. The more subtle inter-relationships between things reveal themselves, are just there to be seen when viewpoint is shifted through meditative practices thus.
Ayurveda and the emerging scientific paradigm
- Theoretical requisites for (a realistic model of how things are) include better understanding of the dialogue between the conscious and unconscious aspects of mind, more pragmatic formulations of the relations between tangible and intangible physical processes; and most importantly, cogent representation of the merging of mental and material dimensions into indistinguishability at their deepest levels.
- The worldview out of which Ayurveda emerges as a medical science acknowledges that these dynamics are indeed part of how things are interconnected.
- Thus Ayurveda is not based upon an outdated, unscientific worldview, but on the solid bedrock of how things actually are the truth of which modern science is now beginning to discover for itself.
- Without understanding this worldview, one is neglecting the depth of Ayurveda, without which one might as well learn in a rote way which herbs are good for which ailments.
- But alas, merely substituting herbals for drugs does not holistic medicine make. Ayurveda goes much, much further than that.
- Ayurveda has an incredibly sophisticated understanding of things, of body, mind as well as spirit, such that many time tested approaches have been devised which positively and powerfully impact on body and mind, as well as doing that most difficult of things lucidly bringing spirit into the arena of life and healing.
Health and Wholeness through Ayurveda
- To truly know Ayurveda is to have re-visioned self and life to a very great breadth and depth.
- How we envision self and life is itself a very powerful factor which can take us towards illness or health. And what Ayurveda and Yoga have to say on this, before any clinical therapeutics are applied is already healing, already moves us towards wholeness.
- Beyond its scientific impact and its technological applications, clear evidence of an active role of consciousness in the establishment of reality holds sweeping implications for our view of us, our relationship to others, and to the cosmos in which we exist.
- These, in turn, must inevitably impact our values, our priorities, our sense of responsibility, and our style of life.
- Integration of these changes across the society can lead to a substantially superior cultural ethic, wherein the long-estranged siblings of science and spirit, of analysis and aesthetics, of intellect and intuition, and of many other subjective and objective aspects of human experience will be productively reunited.
- In other words, a bringing together of unnecessarily disparate things, a making whole, a healing of ourselves and each other.
- With this in mind, I invite you to a deep study, understanding and practice of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is holistic and nature-based
- How one is affected by a particular food, a medicinal herb, an emotion, a belief, by entities in the external world and events in one’s interior is easily seen when awareness is sharp.
- So Ayurveda is empirically based, is a first hand experience of the world through an awareness made remarkably keen with Yogic practices.
- In this way, the minute of the effects of a vast array of things are known to Ayurveda.
- Its notions of health, illness, self and the world have enormous depth, closely conforming to how things are in reality, in their wholeness.
Ayurveda contains a vast body of knowledge.
- Knowledge of health, pathogenesis, illness and therapeutics.
- It has sophisticated models of what a human being is, what constitutes health, how illness comes to be and how it can be remedied.
- That Ayurveda is holistic and nature-based ensures that the treatment of an illness is well considered and does not lead to unwanted consequences elsewhere.
- A therapist well grounded in Ayurveda, with the administration of dietary, herbal, physical and yogic therapies, not only rids disease but also fosters for her clients a re-connection with their deeper selves and with their natural environment.
Clinical Ayurveda encompasses body, mind and spirit
- Ayurveda is not a folk medicine, is not a rag-tag collection of “herbal cures”.
- Ayurveda is grounded in the worldview known as Sankhya-Yoga and is highly systematic in its approach to the problem of illness.
- It offers a depth of understanding as concerns Self-Care and Clinical-Care, and a vast array of therapeutic options including diet, nutritional supplementation, botanic and mineral medicines, many types of bodywork and physical therapies, Yoga and meditation.
- For the advanced practitioner there are even more diagnostic and therapeutic avenues which involve a deeper study and immersion.
- Ayurvedic diagnostics and therapeutics arise naturally out of the underlying worldview, not the other way around, so a proper study of Ayurveda goes beyond a rote learning of disease categories and how they might be affected by various medicinal substances.
- It is instead to be carried out such that one first begins to be grounded in the worldview of Ayurveda, so gradually learns to see through the eyes of Ayurveda.
- When it comes to offering clinical care, it is easily seen that who one is, is as important as what one knows.
- So the training of an Ayurvedic physician has traditionally been accompanied by a simultaneous engaging of the process of self-discovery.
- Medicine is an art as well as a science, and with Ayurveda we can say that it is also informed by Spirit.
- Ayurveda is decidedly non-materialist and non-reductionism in its outlook and takes easily to the deepest mystical understandings of who and what we are, and thus looks at health and illness as dynamics of body, mind and spirit.