Tenth Post – Series ‘Reloading Mental Health’ – October 2020
Once upon a time there was a disciple and his guru. The disciple was very fond of his guru and visited him regularly. On every visit he had a lot of problems to tell his guru. He would say, “My family life is not going well. My kids don’t listen to me, and my wife keeps on arguing with me. In professional life, my boss never appreciates my hard work and I am not given my raise that is long overdue. My increasing tension and anxiety doesn’t allow me to sleep at night. I am stuck with life and do not know how will things move.”
Even though the guru tried to help him out many times, the disciple found it hard to take in the advice. So one day, the guru climbed up a thorny coral tree and cried out loudly, “Help! Someone help me! These thorns are pricking me!”
The disciple came running. Seeing the guru embracing the tree, he said, “What foolishness! You are the one hugging the tree. Just let go!”
The guru refused to listen. The disciple said, “The tree is not holding you. Let go and come down. Your pain will then go.”
Immediately, the guru let go and climbed down. He walked over to the disciple and said, “This is exactly what you are doing. You are the one who is holding on to the problems. I have told you several times that they will not be able to get you unless you give them permission. But you are unprepared to understand. Just as the tree lacks the capacity to bind us, so is the case with the problems in the world. We are the ones who have bound ourselves to them. If we work on solutions, we will be released of bondage instantly.”
How to release the bondage –
We find that intellectuals today are working on bringing ‘Science’ and ‘Spirituality’ together. Retrospect shows that the process of evolution has never separated the two, and Ayurveda is a living proof for this. It is a holistic system of health that binds science with spirituality and addresses the unity of mind, body, and spirit. Yoga and meditation have always been an integral part of Ayurveda – the latter being the physical counterpart of the former. While Ayurveda is for health and wellbeing, Yoga and meditation are for realizing the higher consciousness through inner silence and focused breathing. Yoga and meditation provides us with contentment that brings clarity to the mind, strengthens the spirit, and makes us self-reflective. Taking out minimum of 30 -60 minutes per day for focused breathing and meditation allows us to let go the thorny tree that we are consciously or unconsciously hugging and suffering.