Wellbeing and Beyond
The western world is in the midst of a physical health revolution. We are now able to live a more robust life emancipated form of many of the diseases that our forebears suffered with. Many people have access to an abundance of food, not all of the highest quality, but supply does outstrip demand. New levels of hygiene and sanitation has eradicated diseases that had run rampant just a moment ago.
Our understanding of the physical body has reached a highpoint in human history. The study of anatomy and physiology is detailed, its leading us headlong into complete grasp of the machine carrying the soul. Diagnostic tools are high tech and can spot the microscopic beginnings of ill health. Remedies for our maladies are available from pharmacists, herbalists, nutritionists, aroma therapists etc.
We have access to health food shops, fitness centres, personal trainers, online health courses. Our food is clearly labelled keeping us informed about its protein level, fat content, energy requirements, sodium rating, cholesterol evaluation. Diet’s abound, designed to our specific requirements, delivered to our home or being fed to us by loving and supportive instructors and guides.
All the attention on what is going into our mouths is simultaneously helping and hindering. Many beings have become so focused on the physical body that the mind and spiritual heart place a distant second, or don’t even register on the radar screen of our lives. Physical health is one segment of our wellbeing. Mental health plays a part, spiritual health plays a part, the health of our relationships play a part.
Recently I have been working on, studying and practicing the Sanskrit word Ahara. Ahara translates as “what is taken in”. The ancient Indian texts/scriptures are unambiguous regarding its context. The scriptures are clear that what we take in through the mouth, eyes and ears affects our wellbeing. They are equally unequivocal about the effect of what we “take in” via the nose, and sense of touch.
My exploration of Ahara – “What is taken in” has led me to putting my mind on a diet. Day by day I am limiting what I take in with the eyes and ears. I am refining the quality of the mental and spiritual material I (take in) or consume. These changes are purging the mind of the mental junk food I previously “took in”. Also understanding that junk mental food must have an impact has been revelatory. Junk food makes the body heavy, lethargic, diseased it would be delusion to think that continual consumption of junk mental food would not have comparable effect.
A good physical diet is an individual thing. Some of us require more or less of certain things for the body to thrive. So to our mental and spiritual diet will require something customized, things for where we are at mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Refining “what we take in ” need not be a complex undertaking. The food guidelines and regulations are excellent in helping us discern the useful from the useless, but intuitively we are know what is healthy and what is unhealthy. So until a mental food and drug administration is birthed listen intuitively as well.
If we have taken something into the mind or spiritual heart and it feels good for an extended period of time than, ok. If we take something in mentally that repeats on us, gives a bout of mental constipation, or causes hiccups by repeatedly bursting out of our mouth unfiltered, or it simply feels yuk, then maybe not so much of this. Mental junk food can present itself in dreams, in advertently in behaviours that we usually do not exhibit, but inevitably a mental diet consisting of junk food will cause mental dis-ease.
Although mental unwellness is not confined to modern times, it appears to be at levels that our forebears did not suffer. I guess that when food was scarce and physical disease was more prevalent mental unwellness was not as discussed or measured, nor where there as many treatment options as today. Purifying our mental and spiritual diets and purging the remaining unhelpful ingestion of “what we take in “can only strengthen a mind that can lead us to liberty.
Eat well physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Love & Strength