Hello everyone, it’s your host, Sevina. As the war between Russia and Ukraine is unfolding, I have found it necessary to pray for world peace. We have this beautiful vessel – the planet Earth and if we destroy it with nuclear conflict, there is no escape plan. We need to be wise and not let the love of power sacrifice the only home we have. Whatever your spiritual practice is, I encourage you to send love to the people who suffer on both sides in this conflict. Also, we must encourage peaceful communication between people in any form within our own country.
Please enjoy he articles below.
Abundance and the Vision of Yoga
By: Deepak Chopra, M. D.
Success and abundance are desirable things, yet the path to achieving them, the path that has entered popular mythology, involves struggle, arduous work, competitive drive, stress, and if you want real riches—a ruthless streak. This path runs contrary to leading a happy life, and most people therefore feel discouraged by the struggle before they have gone very far on such a path.
The Inner Path to Abundance
Butthere is an alternative, an inner path to abundance that rests upon a simple belief: “I am enough.” If you truly feel complete, your life is already abundant. How much money you earn doesn’t have to be enormous, because money isn’t where “I am enough” comes from. It comes from your own consciousness. If your underlying belief, on the other hand, is “I am not enough,” you will operate from a sense of lack that no amount of money can change.
The path of ‘I am enough” is totally consistent with Yoga, not simply the positions taught in yoga class but the larger, all-embracing system of Yoga. Yoga illuminates an entirely new reality. In this reality the things we normally keep separate are united (in Sanskrit the word Yoga means to join or unite). The two biggest things we keep separate are the two worlds each of us inhabits. One world is “out there,” the physical world of things and other people. The other is the world “in here,” where the mind is constantly active, producing thoughts and sensations. The purpose of Yoga is to bring these two worlds together. If you can do that, you will be whole, and “I am enough” will be your baseline attitude towards life.
Yoga and the View of Success
That’s why the vision of Yoga is so magnificent. It measures success by the only measure that matters: Your experience of joy and fulfillment. If you want to follow your bliss, Yoga can achieve this much more simply, quickly, and painlessly than you probably imagine. By following the principles of Yoga, you will lead the life you were meant to live, one of sustainability, abundance, and joy.
Along the way the money to support this life will come to you. Given the hard realities, particularly in these troubled times, most people would be skeptical about “the money will come” part. Money is the chief worry that pollsters find in people’s lives. Money implies hard work and struggle. To survive you must have money; to thrive you need even more. Yet even in the wealthiest Western economies, according to data gathered by the Gallup Organization, only around one-third of respondents say that they are thriving.
“The money will come” implies a very different approach to the whole subject of money. A shift in awareness is required, and no bigger shift can be imagined, because the two worlds—in here and out there—must come together. When this happens, life flows along a hidden path. You are no longer ruled by the outward path of work, finances, family, relationships, duties, and demands. All those things constitute only half of life. On the other hand, you are not ruled by inner beliefs, old conditioning, worry, whims, confusion, conflict, and the other discordant elements of the psyche. That world is also only half of life.
Connection with the Generosity of Spirit
The whole point of Yoga, when it unites the two worlds of “in here” and “out there,” is to harmonize them. The real purpose of life is the same for everyone. It is this: Connect with the generosity of spirit, and let it provide everything you need. Is need the same as desire? Will Yoga make all your wishes come true, showering you with wealth? Those are the wrong questions. Yoga brings inner joy, which is the only true measure of success. The connection with bliss also connects us to the things we most value—love, compassion, beauty, truth, creativity, and personal growth—all are available in consciousness.
In the Indian tradition one word, Dharma, harmonizes inner bliss with the life you are meant to live. Dharma is about meaning and purpose. The life you are meant to live is meaningful to you personally. Second, dharma is about working at something you love and are good at, which is what comes most effortlessly. Work that feels like a struggle isn’t your Dharma. Third, Dharma is real when you can say “I am enough.”
Become Your Own Guide
I’ve given you the vision that Is unfolded in detail in my new book, Abundance. It outlines the inner path so that anyone can find their Dharma. This isn’t an arduous or complicated path. If you can tell the difference between a positive experience and a negative experience, you will be able to become your own guide. Your true self is always present, and it knows exactly what you need and how to achieve it.
The path does involve removing mental obstacles that maintain the belief, “I am not enough.” In Yoga these obstacles are known as Vrittis. You get past them the same way you sense how to move forward. You sense that something doesn’t feel right, and that you are blocked and frustrated. You know that feeling instinctively. There is nothing complicated to do. The simplest way to counter a Vritti is simply to be aware and centered. then the healing power of awareness takes over.
I urge you to align yourself with Yoga’s vision, because it has proven itself for thousands of years. Bliss shouldn’t be an occasional glimpse of elation and joy. It should be the baseline of how you feel, think, and act. Nothing more is needed to achieve abundance along the inner path.
6 Ayurvedic Tips to Take Care of Your Mental Health
By: Dr.Manas S. Kshirsagar
Let’s dive deep into the importance of taking care of your mental health and shed light on the ways in which you can create a community around yourself in the digital age. In the stone age, sitting by the fire at the end of the day with your loved ones was a way to reconnect and regroup.
Physiologically speaking, it is the time when the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system is at an all-time low which allows the heart rate to slow, conserves energy, and enables blood flow to return to the thoracic cavity and increase peristaltic movement.
The Ayurvedic View of the Mind
According to Ayurveda, an individual has to have an aligned mind, body, and spirit in order to be considered healthy. Mental health and spiritual health go hand-in-hand as per the Shashtras. Sattavajaya which can be loosely translated to mean the western concept of psychotherapy has been mentioned in the ancient Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita. Satwavajaya Chikitsa is a unique non-pharmacological approach for treating mental disorders. It is the first of its kind and if developed can really prove much useful. The effectiveness of “traditional mental health promoting practices” was identified as health regimens (Swarthvrtt), correct behavior (sadvrtt), and yoga.
Sattvavajaya as psychotherapy is what Charaka Samhita referred to as mental restraint or mind control, which is achieved through concentration, improving memory, learning about philosophy, understanding fortitude, and expanding one’s spiritual knowledge.
Ayurvedic psychotherapy combines the ancient knowledge of primordial sounds, and the discovery of the authentic self on a deeper level. Becoming aware of the nature’s laws and integrating the self with the larger universe is a crucial step in the journey towards ensuring that your mind is calm and resilient.
Ayurveda teaches us to rediscover critical knowledge and awareness about the nature forces and rhythms in nature that bolster our human experience in this lifetime. It is important to understand the psyche and tune in to our inner experiences by being mindful every day. This can only be possible if you are able to be present in your environment and in your relationships on a daily basis.
The Attributes of the Mind
A pleasant state of mind is instrumental for your holistic health. It is the very basis of balance of all energy principles, including the doshas. An Ayurvedic practitioner asks for information related to different aspects of your life: current stressors, past stressors, lifestyle, diet, schedule, routine etc.
Since Ayurveda is such an ancient science that accounted for mental imbalances (Manovikara) thousands of years ago, mental diseases or depression, anxiety etcetera are not stigmatized, but rather are categorized by their attributes to provide distinct treatment options.
- Vata imbalance causes anxiety and fear which can lead to phobias in cases where vata imbalance remains unmanaged.
- Pitta imbalance can lead to anger and obsessions.
- Kapha imbalance makes a person prone to depression.
Different attributes of the mind, Gunas, are also important to understand when trying to better grasp your own mental health.
- Sattva is described as the natural state of mind which is the best mindspace to be in to achieve optimal mental health. It is the characteristic of the mind that lets you feel light, productive, and balanced.
- Rajas is the ambitious quality of our mind which makes us restless.
- Tamas is the attribute that makes us feel lethargic and dull.
All three attributes are important in their own right. However, an imbalance of any one of the three gunas can lead to anger or depression or anxiety.
Now that we’ve taken a look at the attributes of the mind and the doshas and elements that make up not only our physical being but also our mental state, let’s look at ways in which you can take care of your mental wellbeing in a holistic manner.
Focus on Building Up Your Sattva
Bolstering up the mind’s ability to be calm and in a state of rest is tough work. There are numerous stimuli vying for our attention in the course of the day which puts a strain on our capacity to process emotions and daily stressors. Building up the sattvic quality of the mind can enable you to become resilient towards life’s stressors and hence enhance your mental stability.
How do you help your body and mind build up sattva? Here are six simple changes that you can make to your daily routine.
Diligently practicing pranayama (breathwork techniques) that focus on clearing out the thoracic cavity at dawn and dusk through several deep cleansing belly breaths can work wonders. Incorporate it as a part of your dinacharya, or daily routine, in order to let your body know that there is a choice–you don’t always have to feel out-of-breath or anxious! Once your body experiences calm, it will crave more calm and attract a similar type of energy.
Meditation is the age-old cure for mental instability. It rewires your brain into becoming more present and mindful. Studies on meditation practices have shown that meditators are more likely to be able to breathe through anxiety and deal with depression in a positive manner and also build better relationships and deep connections with fellow human beings.
3. A Balanced, Sattvic Diet
A balanced and sattvic diet is not only important in order to build up the immune system of the body but also to make the mind more resilient. Sattvic food items include those that are easy to digest, plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lentils, no processed or junk food, and avoiding white sugar, white flour, etc.
4. Selfless Service (Seva)
Seva or volunteering helps in increasing the feel-good aspect of your being and thus helps in building up your self-esteem. It not only helps reduce stress but also gives you a sense of community and a feeling of belonging which is essential for the human brain to feel safe and secure.
5. Positive Practices (Sadvritta)
Ayurveda emphasizes practice and regularity in all of its prescriptions. The key is making small changes on a daily basis so that the body gets used to those new patterns. Just like our body is accustomed to old patterns, it needs time to adjust to new patterns. It is precisely why sadvritta or positive practices are so crucial for establishing optimal mental well-being.
Self-inquiry, patience with oneself, establishing a healthy routine, regular body movement in the form of exercise and regular mental stress in the form of meditation teaches the body and mind that you are able to handle systemic stress–thus nurturing resilience.
Other positive practices include cultivating hobbies, exploring your creativity in different forms, practicing gratefulness and journaling can go a long way in helping you with introspection which in turn can bring you closer to the higher self.
6. Engaging the Senses (Aahaar)
Aahaar is not just the food that you consume. It refers to anything that you feed your senses: smell, touch, sight, sound, taste, and your dhriti, the ability to discern between the right and wrong. The news that you peruse on the internet or the shows you watch on TV or the books that you read have an impact on you and your mental health. The food that you consume needs to be digested completely, similarly, the thoughts that you “feed” your mind need to be processed in a healthy manner. If the food and the thoughts are sattvic to begin with, it is easier on your gut and mind, respectively.
The concept of the mind in Ayurveda proves a very intricate way of looking at certain imbalances within the physical as well and causal body. There is a template on how to move from a tamasic mind to a more sattvic mind, even how to reverse some of the causes for mental disorders without the use of traditional pharmacological drug interventions. When we harness the positive qualities of the mind we are able to create a state of being that is conducive to healing!
Quinoa lentil baked empanadas with jalapeño lime sauce
Servings: 8 (makes sixteen 4-inch empanadas)
Prep time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 3 cups spelt or white whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons butter (I used cashew-based vegan butter)
- 1/4 cup water (or more as needed)
- 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1/4 cup lentils
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon minced dried onion
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups fresh cilantro
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 large jalapeño pepper
To make the dough:
- Place the flour in a large bowl. Whisk in 1 teaspoon salt.
- Add the yogurt and the melted butter to the flour and stir with a wooden spoon.
- Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix until the dough starts to come together.
Knead mixture very gently and briefly with your hands until you obtain a relatively smooth dough. Don’t overwork the dough. It’s fine if the dough appears a bit shaggy and unevenly mixed (like pie crust), but it should have enough moisture to come together to form a cohesive ball. If the dough is too dry, add a bit more water. If it’s too sticky, add a bit more flour, and knead lightly.