We all want to feel great and. quite simply, life is more difficult when we don’t feel at our best. How we can keep moving towards this goal is to constantly renew and replenish our health. This process is called rejuvenation’, known as ‘rasayana’ in Ayurveda, or the path of juice’. Following reju-venative practices hastens recovery from disease, improves your mind and intellect, promotes longevity and delays the symptoms of old age. That is why to rejuvenate’ literally means ‘to make young again’. Some gerontologists think that we should and easily could live to be over a hundred. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
There are many things you can do to rejuvenate. Along with the importance of cleansing and healthy digestion is the inner stillness of meditation and the wonders of herbs. Learn meditation from a good teacher who can help guide you along the path to inner peace. It’s the best practice to rejuvenate your whole system. As a herbalist I see the benefits of rejuvenation in my clinic. 1 regularly use herbs such as ashwagandha, ginger, amla, shata-vari, ginseng, tulsi and turmeric to help rebuild, restore and help people adapt to the challenges in their life. Many plants are subtle nutritious foods that can not only make your life longer, they can make it better.
The one thing that had brought our planet to the edge of disaster is that the vast majority of us are self-centred. This is not a judgement about us being bad people; it is the way we are wired. Without some form of serious spiritual practice most of us stay this way too. So the way to truly care for our world is to move from a self-centred mode of existence, to a life-centred mode of existence and this is what mindfulness is all about.
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Being self-centred we are caught up with our own desires, our own views and our own opinions. In this mode our first priority is to satisfy our own neurotic desires (not natural desires like food and friendship etc.) and to have our deeply held views proved right. We can easily tell if we are living from the self-centred mode, if somebody criticises you and you feel hurt or hateful you are living from the self-centred mode. In the self-centred mode we feel separate from life. It feels like I am here and life is out there happening to me. This feeling separate from life is really the essence of the self-centred mode of being.
When living from the life centred mode we don’t care whether people like us or not. We are certainly not cold to others but what they think of us is not really important. Our actions are motivated by what is best for all concerned in any given situation. This is not about being a martyr and sacrificing ourselves on the altar of doing good. Living in the life centred mode we don’t feel separate from life, we are life. We don’t need to obsessively think about life and how to make it work, we live in the moment and have a deep trust in the goodness of life, in our own deep goodness. In this mode we find uncaused happiness, love and a deep gratitude to our beautiful earth.
The vast majority of us live in this self-centred mode of being. We may like to think we don’t but if we take a good honest look at what is going on inside we will be in for a big surprise. The person living in the self-centred mode will have a head full of thoughts, because the self-centred person obsessively thinks about themselves and life even though they may not realise it. The first priority of living in the self-centred mode is – ourselves. We may find ourselves thinking about our problems most of the day. We might notice how anxious we are about what the future holds. Living in the self-centred mode is hard because we are resisting the flow of life. It is an unnatural life. It is a life of tension and dis-ease because we are constantly on the alert for anything that can hurt us, which includes our reputation and status amongst others. Our energy in living in the self-centred mode goes into having people like us and or not like us depending on what will make us feel most comfortable. We seek comfort above all else.
How do we move from being self-cen-tred to being life centred? This is what mindfulness meditation is all about. Through meditation we come to see all the attitudes, beliefs and opinions that separate us from each other and life itself. These views held strongly are what lead to conflict and war. We come to realise that trying to fulfil our insatiable appetites are contributing to the problems in our world. One of our greatest wrong views we hold is that we are separate from life, separate from our world. This is the view that is doing damage to our planet. Through mindfulness we come to see that this view is simply that, a view that we have inherited through life and is simply untrue. As we practice mindfulness we dissolve this feeling of separation and open ourselves to the wonder of life and our innate inter-connectedness to all things and all beings. We see deeply that whenXwe hurt another or our world we are hurting ourselves.
To live from a life-centred mode of being is very different though it can look the same from the outside. Our motiva In this life-centred mode there is more energy available to us for following our calling.
When we live from the self-centred mode we are living a natural life. What I mean is that we flow with the natural way of things. We know deeply that life is uncertain, impermanent and unpredictable. We have come face to face with these facts in our meditation and are at ease with them. In this life-centred mode there is more energy available to us for following our calling. This is because we are not battling against the natural flow of life, we have surrendered our desires to the greater good.
Mindfulness is what our planet needs, not more idealism, but moment to moment mindfulness and a trust in the goodness that lies within us all.
Are you a stressed-out office worker, hunched over your computer all day? Do you feel that there’s not enough time in the day for your yoga practice? Incorporating this quick and easy routine into your lunch break will help you relax and de-stress and keep your body supple and strong until you finally make it to class.
Start this quick workout with a simple pranayama exercise. Sit down on the floor cross-legged or in Lotus (Padmasana). Inhale and exhale deeply for 10 counts.
o Kneel down onto the floor with the buttocks resting on your heels. Keep your spine straight, your head up and stretch your arms out. Rest the palms of your hands onto your knees.
Excellent for strengthening the knees, legs, thighs and ankles.
Helps stimulate inner energy to cleanse the first chkra, muladhara.