There are three dimensions of feeling at ease: body, mind and heart, writes RAJIV PARTI.Three of the four dimensions of wellness are widely accepted today. The first dimension is ‘Body’. This includes all aspects of your physical health — your cardiovascular system, immune system, and so on. To have wellness of body, all these systems need to work together in an efficient, natural way.
The healthier your body, the better you are able to interact with the world and perform a thousand important functions each day.
The second dimension of wellness is ‘Mind’, your other fundamental instrument for living. Your mind consists of a cognitive (thinking) part and an affective (feeling) part. The cognitive part includes your beliefs, thoughts and imagination. Through this aspect of your mind, when it is whole and functioning well, you are able to make sense of your experiences, communicate with others, and plan for your future. The affective part includes your emotions, motivations, and attitudes toward life. This aspect of your mind, when it is healthy, enables you to enjoy a beautiful sunset, feel empathy for a friend, and get excited about a new project.
The third dimension of wellness is ‘Heart’. This dimension consists of your capacity to have good relationships with other people and to do so with generosity and understanding. I use the word heart because traditionally, we think of the heart as the source of our caring for others. It is heart that takes you out to lunch with a friend, cares for a child who is ill, and enjoys a barbecue with your neighbours. Wellness of heart includes spending quality time with family and friends. It also means showing kindness to others and concern for those in distress.
These three dimensions of wellness — body, mind and heart — are three pillars upon which we build our lives. But unlike most pillars, they do not stand totally separate from each other. They are interrelated.
Take the relationship of body and mind. We all know that having a bad cold can slow our thinking processes and create emotional boredom. And we know that a good cardiovascular workout can make us mentally sharper and give us an emotional boost. These are just two examples of the countless ways wellness of body can affect wellness of mind. Similarly, mind affects body; heart affects mind, and so on through all the combinations. When we create wellness in any of these three dimensions, we promote wellness in the others. The relationship is not perfect, of course.
We can be rich in mind and relatively poor in body, or rich in body and poor in the relationships that constitute heart. But, in general, an increase in wellness in any dimension helps increase wellness in the other dimensions.
This interrelation of body, mind, and heart makes it even clearer that to enjoy a rich and satisfying sojourn on Earth — a life full of meaningful relationships, activities and pleasures — we need maximum wellness in all three dimensions.
Most people today recognise the importance of these three dimensions of wellness. But there is one more dimension that many people barely recognise. Yet it is as important as the other three for living a happy and fulfilling life. In fact, it is so fundamental that it forms the core, the essence, the very soul of wellness.
The fourth dimension of wellness is ‘Spirit’. Spirit is about feeling connected to something much larger than ourselves, something precious, enduring, and of infinite value. For some, the spiritual connection consists of a felt relationship to a Creator or Higher Reality. Others feel a sacred connection to the natural world or to humanity. For still others, dedication to perennial values such as truth and compassion guide their lives. Embracing our spiritual dimension in any of these ways creates meaning and promotes wellness of spirit. This spiritual wellness:
- Helps us make sense of our lives
- Opens us to the goodness and beauty surrounding us
- Gives us a deep appreciation of the world, other people and ourselves
- Releases the Divinity that resides within us
Despite its importance, many today have lost sight of this fourth dimension of wellness. Even if they attend religious services or contemplate the wonder and mystery of existence, these experiences play little part in their daily activities. As a result, they lack the powerful sense of meaning and depth that comes from fully engaging their spiritual dimension. They also miss out on the synergistic power of Spirit to infuse and promote wellness in the other three dimensions of their lives. It may not be clear how wellness of Spirit can promote our well-being in the other dimensions. Yet, spiritual wellness can profoundly affect body, mind and heart. One way it does this is by clarifying what is truly important to us. ‘Feeling At Ease With Yourself’ — Konark Publishers
http://www.speakingtree.in/article/your-mantra, July 5, 2015, p.6
Chanting keeps your mind steady and calm, writes Eknath Easwaran
There is a simple spiritual practice that you can begin to use today, no matter what your situation, to tap your deeper resources in all the ups and downs of your daily life. It doesn’t require any special gifts, and you don’t need to follow any systematic programme. You can begin using and benefitting from this simple spiritual practice, called ‘mantra’. You can use it anytime, anywhere and it really works.
Over a long period of time, the mantram can bring about far-reaching changes in your state of mind, gradually elevating your consciousness. This appeals to many people, but most of us are looking for something we can use and benefit from right now.
A mantram — or mantra as it is often called — is a powerful spiritual formula, which, when repeated in the mind, has the capacity to transform consciousness. There is nothing magical about this. It is simply a matter of practise. The mantram is a short, powerful spiritual formula for the highest power that we can conceive of — whether we call it God, or the Ultimate Reality or the Self within. Whatever name we use, with the mantram, we are calling up what is best and deepest in ourselves. The mantram has appeared in every major spiritual tradition, because it fills a deep, universal need in everyone’s heart.
How To Use Mantram
Select a mantram that appeals to you. Every religious tradition has mantram, often more than one. But you needn’t subscribe to any religion to benefit from the mantram — you simply have to be willing to try it. For Christians, the name of Jesus itself is a powerful mantram; Catholics also use Hail Mary or Ave Maria. Jews may use Barukh attah Adonai; Muslims use the name of Allah or Bismillah-ir-Rahman ir-Rahim. Probably the oldest Buddhist mantram is Om mani padme hum. And in Hinduism, among many choices, I recommend Rama, Rama, which was M K Gandhi’s mantram.
Once you choose your mantram, do not change it. If you do, you will be like a person digging shallow holes in many places; therefore, you will never go deep enough to find water. The mantram is most effective when repeated silently in the mind. You don’t have to chant it aloud, and it doesn’t require any fixed time or place or special equipment.
Repeat your mantram silently whenever you get the chance; while walking, while waiting, while doing mechanical chores such as washing dishes, and especially when you are falling asleep. You will find that this is not mindless repetition; the mantram will help to keep you relaxed and alert during the day, and when you can fall asleep in it, it will go on working for you throughout the night as well.
Whenever you are angry or afraid, nervous or worried or resentful, repeat the mantram until the agitation subsides. The mantram works to steady the mind, and all these emotions are power running against you which the mantram can harness and put to work for you.
Finally, the mantram relates to a larger body of spiritual disciplines: proven techniques which we can all put into practice to make our lives richer, more purposeful and fulfilling. With these techniques, beginning with meditation, we can harness the immense resources within us to unify our personality and make a lasting contribution to life, knowing that everyday we are needed and cherished by those around us.
This is the real glory of the human being that we can choose to remake ourselves completely. The Mantram Handbook, Nilgiri Pressn