What's On Your Mind?
Published: Thu, 03/10/22
As I was getting ready to start writing this message, I was summoned outside by one of my favorite avian friends. He would not stop calling me. He made it sound as if it was really urgent for me to go see him. So I walked outside, told him it was wonderful seeing him and explained to him that I had to get stuff done. He said okay and that he understood. He then flew away. My dear avian friend is a gorgeous Bewick's Wren who loves to sing.
That whole encounter reminded me of the stories that my dad used to tell me, while reminiscing of his early years as a little boy on the mountains of northern Greece. I did not think much of them at the time. Sadly enough, up until a little while ago, had someone told me about their own "bird encounters", I would have still politely smiled and kindly changed the subject thinking that they were out of their mind.
Yet here I am today, marveling at my avian friends. As Tim always tried to point out to me - it is incredible how much nature wants to share with us. I say "tried", because often times I was too busy to listen.
Too busy to listen enough. Too busy to watch enough. Too busy to get out of my own head enough. Too busy to contemplate enough.
Fun Fact: The verb to contemplate comes from the prefix com (as in with or together) and the ancient Greek word temno (as in a place that is cut off). Hence temple, a place cut off for devotion or worship.
The original meaning of "contemplation" was "the act of holding an idea continuously before the mind", or "the act of looking attentively at anything".
Our ancestors understood how sacred our mind is and warned against anything that could pollute it.
In fact, Charaka, the original Ayurvedic physician said: Both body and mind are the locations of disorders as well as pleasures. Mind effects body and vice versa. Hence any partial view cannot lead to proper understanding and successful management of the problems.
Charaka defined life, "ayus" in Sanskrit, as the conjunction of body, sense organs, mind and self. The understanding of how all these operate is considered the ultimate knowledge or "veda". Hence "ayurveda", stemming from "ayus" and "veda"
What does this mean to you?
The way we treat our body is the exact same way we should treat our mind. Our mind and our body are no different, whatsoever.
- Our mind needs daily rest, just like our body does. That daily rest for the mind is called quiet time.
- Our mind needs nutrient dense and diverse nourishment, just like our body does. That nutrient dense and diverse nourishment for the mind is called studying time-tested disciplines and skills of all sorts (as opposed to consuming processed mental junk foods such as modern media's predigested narratives).
- Our mind needs daily movement, just like our body does. The daily movement for the mind is called thought experiments. A typical thought experiment is taking one of your preprogrammed thought patterns and construct a what-if thought experiment based on countering it, i.e. pretend that the counter of your preconceived beliefs is true, and just act as if it is.
- Quiet time, does not mean sitting still.
- Quiet time is not about physical stillness.
- Quiet time is about mental stillness.
- Quiet time means contemplating, holding an idea continuously before the mind, or looking attentively at anything.
- Quiet time is watching the birds, or the fish, or the trees, or the flowers, or the chickens, or a leaf, without any mental analysis or judgement. Just watching.
- Quiet time is listening to the rain, or the wind, or a melody, or the waves, without any mental analysis or judgement. Just listening.
- Quiet time is ayurvedic breathwork or the ayurvedic pulse meditation technique.
- Quiet time is prayer, connecting with the Divine.
Until next time... Much much love from both of us!
Na’maste Kala! (Which in Greek means, may we all be well!)
-Tim and Vie | Ayurveda Outlaws