Mind Body Spirit
For thousands of years we have been taught that the mind, body and spirit are ultimately interconnected and whole. This teaching is universal across many cultures and traditions of healing, medicine and wisdom.
The human mind and body (the body-mind) contain the underlying principles and processes that operate throughout nature and the living world. We are all fundamentally the same and yet we each express a unique outer form and journey.
The central nervous system, major organs and systems of the body offer us all a map of life, a pathway into the deepest experiences of connection and self awareness.
As we work to acquire understanding of ourselves and the world around us we can identify and release unhelpful, limiting patterns and potentially gain greater health and vitality. Positive changes are achieved through many years of work as we learn to recognise, understand and balance the different cycles, rhythms and abilities that operate within us and around us. This requires careful attention to fundamental life processes that include our thoughts, beliefs, feelings, relationships, diet, lifestyle, posture, movement, breathing, heart rate (and variability), exercise, work, relaxation and sleep,
All our experiences are interconnected. For example, emotional and psychological processes arise within and travel through the nervous and hormonal systems to be expressed in the body. Therefore, profound or long held beliefs and feelings may cause a significant change in our physical state. It is equally the case that deep or sustained changes in our physical health can cause a real change in our emotional and psychological state.
We always have choices that can influence our health, although sometimes an illness or dysfunction cannot be altered easily and we may have to accept the condition while doing everything possible to relieve pain and discomfort. We can benefit from both traditional and modern understanding by exploring the integration of this combined pool of knowledge.
If we establish strong foundations for health with a balanced approach in the everyday world we may also choose to develop our self awareness through traditional practices such as meditation, visualisation and contemplation. Increased self awareness requires an integration of expanded information that is not simply an intellectual process.
Human development is a complex matter and is achieved through work and attention over time. We all have to face multiple developmental processes and they do not all evolve in a linear fashion at the same speed. Each stage of development brings new challenges and we must embrace new insights and wisdom while being careful to heal or resolve any ongoing tensions from the past.
Modern psychology and neuroscience increasingly tend to support the ancient idea that we can influence the nervous system through skillful methods such as meditation, conscious breathing and positive visualisation. Many of the ancient systems discuss a subtle human energy body that can be accessed and developed through such practices. I think it is likely that the future we will bring a greater convergence of knowledge that will help to explain ideas such as meridians, chakras and auras/energy fields more clearly.
Ultimately - as all the wisdom traditions teach - when we recognise ourselves, others and all life as expressions of the very same consciousness, we transform our health. Through this recognition we experience compassion and create a different world around us. This is the spiritual process that reveals a deeper life purpose - to express a unified, yet individuated state of being.