What’s On The Surface: Reflections on Foundations in Ayurveda Part One at the Kripalu School of Ayurveda

Love. Well, that’s it really.

For the past 10 days along with 60 plus other individuals seeking knowledge in the healing power of Ayurveda, I moved through crisp autumn mornings in a joint-lubricating sadhana (yoga practice) called Dasha Chalana. Believe it or not I felt less the need to crack my neck and back…and if you know me, you will know that is impressive! It works!

Watching the fog lift from the Berkshire Mountains and the lake across the road, moving through a silent breakfast, again with a view, and into soul-captivating lectures and discussions of stories of the sages, yogis, and vayjas of old, as well as of practitioners of today, this was an all-encompassing journey of life.  When I silently ate my breakfast, the density lifted from the lake below, and my mind wondered to the many aspects of my life– my marriage, my faith, my family, neighborhood, yoga practice, career, etc.  Amazingly, everything that crossed my mind drew me back to this awesome scientific wisdom of Ayurveda (life knowledge).

While the breaks passed quickly and dorm life had its own challenges, what’s sticking here, to my heart, is an overwhelming gratitude — for being a part of the Kripalu School of Ayurveda, the beauty and serenity around, the encouragement of those who are supporting me on this path of discovery and unveiling of my own true self — but most of all, to be in a place where God is truly at the center. Yes, God. At the root of Ayurveda are the ancient scriptures, Vedas, and the alignment of individual eternal soul with the eternity of God. It’s truly magnificent watching seeking hands raise inquiring about who God is in this ancient Vedic tradition. He is a mighty one.  Prior to this post I have not written about my personal faith, but it is my connection to a God I have known since my early teen years, that always grounds me again in this true individual self, or purusha (as it is called in Sanskrit), and reminds me whom I really am.

This frequent (and other times not so frequent) rediscovery of true self, is the root of Ayurveda’s definition of health (swastha). The word swastha translates to “being situated in one-self.” Swastha describes “One who is established in Self, who has balanced doshas (primary life forces), balanced agni (fire of digestion), properly formed dhatus (tissues), proper elimination of malas (waste products), well-functioning bodily processes, and whose mind, soul and senses are full of bliss is called a healthy person.”

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This all-encompassing perspective of what it means to be healthy is so affirming of the multi-faceted humans we are, and the value in every aspect of the lives we live. In an age of health care reform and insurance bills, to know there is an ancient, intuitive, wisdom that continues to prevent illness, heal many, and of which I am now a learner, is a true honor.

I could not be more excited about this journey, and if we have not seen each other since I have returned, just say the word, and I will tell you all about it!

Here’s to the quiet before the full rising of the sun! I encourage you to sit silently in it, letting that grounding love present in the silence before your day wash over you in the peaceful aspiration that you are perfectly made. Don’t you just love that?!

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