A better health for a better world
Food as medicine? An old concept too often linked with the foods we ingest to maintain the body and not enough how to nourish and heal our emotional, mental and spiritual realms. According to Ayurvedic philosophy, we are all created of spirit and light rather than mere flesh and bones; anything that affects our consciousness, is considered food.1 “We are not humans living a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings living a human experience” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) philosophe.
Of course we live embodied in physical matter so eating 2-3 times/day brings the energy, comfort and satiation to our bodies. Originally this feeding was based on natural foods grown in fields. However, industrialisation, with genetically engineered (modified ) foods, food from a Petri dish or isolated proteins are replacing rapidly naturally grown foods with consequences on our digestive system. Eating local, fresh homemade meals, practicing a food program based on the 5 elements and the 6 tastes is a good way to feel regenerated, and to contribute to the well being of mind and body. Please refer to earlier blogs for more information.
The emotional realm? We all have experienced negative emotions, unhappy with ourselves or the surrounding, feeling trapped, then in an attempt to rebalance ourselves, we indulge in junk foods to bring satisfaction… Extra sweet or extra salty or extra fat do not really satisfy and often create cravings… without providing nourishment… and without really dealing with the emotions. The emotional dimension is regulated by our heart. The heart is about love, love for selves and others to create a healthy surrounding & lifestyle. Our emotions are deeply connected with the wisdom of Nature. How do we nurture our emotional dimension? Nourishing it with positive qualities, gentleness, kindness, compassion, empathy, love, lifestyle connected to a natural wisdom away from superficial distractions… and gratitude! Nature calms, nourishes, cares & heals.
The mental dimension? Personnally I think the mental dimension is overworked, overstimulated, pushed to get always faster, enslaving human qualities into an external automate system. Yoga and Ayurveda talk about the vritti, the waves, ripples of the ocean continuously moving / reacting and being stimulated by external stimuli (electronic, sounds, movement). Our senses are always perceiving the interior and exterior worlds; impression is what feeds the mind (mental). Signs of proper intake of impressions include control of imagination, deep sleep, clear perception, mental lightness, capacity for creative expression, tranquility and luminosity. The main source of positive impressions is Mother Nature, with the sky, mountains, forests, gardens, rivers, ocean. By contrast, the main source of negative impressions today is throught the mass media, artificial environments and personal conflicts.2 Meditation remains one of the best food /nourishment to quiet the mind, and heal mental agitation.
The spiritual dimension had historically been expressed through philosophy extending toward religious rules, rituals and strict believes. Love is at the core of religions. According to Samkhya philosophy, the basis for Ayurveda, we are made of Purusha the Soul, (the subject, potential energy – immortal), and Prakruti the Body, (the object, kinetic energy, mortal). We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Over millenia, the body has been nourished and nurtured in many ways while the Soul /Consciousness was linked to religions. For many of us, the growth of laiic societies has created a vacuum around our Spirituality. Are we also suffering from “Nature deficit disorder”? The good news is an increased awareness is growing up; from isolation we attempt to reconnect to our true Nature. Spirituality is our capacity to love, the intimate link between the heart, the consciousness and the environment. Loving Ourselves means accepting / recognizing who we are and maintaining a reciprocal relationship with Nature. It is nourished from within. 3
The body is nourished by our 5 senses; the Mind is nurtured by sensory impressions, then in turn, the mind nourishes both the physical body and ultimately the spirit or soul. We are all on a healing path; however, choosing love over war, light over shadow/darkness is the intuitive wisdom that humanity needs to preserve. Let’s experience serenity, peace and freedom! “Be the change you want to see in the world” Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948).
And finally a routine to nourish our 5 senses – “Everyday we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see an exquisite picture, and if possible, speak a few sensible words” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
- Yarema, T., D. Rhoda & Chef J. Brannigan. 2006. Eat- Taste-Heal. An Ayurvedic Guidebook and Cookbook for Modern Living. Five Element Press, Hawai. 352p.
- Frawley, D. 2007. Ayurveda and the Mind. The Healing of Consciousness. Lotus press. 346p.
- Rockwell, I., 202. The Five Wisdom Energies. A Buddhist Way of Understanding personalities, Emotions, and relationships.Shambala Press. 217p.
“If we want to improve the world, we cannot do it with scientific knowledge but with ideals.
Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, Gandhi have done more for humanity than science has done”
– Albert Einstein