AND THE MIND
Ayurveda, so much more than the food labels or teas you see in the supermarkets. So much more than the dosha’s you might’ve heard of. Ayurveda is the knowledge of life, or at least that’s what Ayurveda is about. Getting to know yourself, your mind, your consciousness and your body. Through Ayurveda you can heal your consciousness by observing yourself, the things that you do, that you say and that you eat. In the infamous covid lockdown I thought I’d make myself useful and do a interesting course, I chose Ayurveda and DAMN did it blow my mind! So many powerful truths just right there in front of me and I’d like to start sharing some of them here!
In Ayurveda they say that we have 3 states of the mind known as the 3 gunas; Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Each state of mind represents a certain mood, a certain state of mental being and I’m sure that as soon as you learn more about these states of mind you’ll be surprised how much you’ll recognize yourself in them. They also talk about the 3 phases of the mind the subconscious mind, the conscious mind and the superconscious mind. All which represent how strong our mind actually is. The difference between the 3 phases of the mind is easiest explained as; do you use your mind as an instrument? Or does your mind rules you and your emotions?
The Koshas are another very interesting part of Ayurveda, they explain the several illusions that block us from knowing ourselves. To understand the 5 Koshas, the 5 envelopes of illusion, you have to understand that according to Ayurveda we are made not just out of our physical body but also out of an astral body, this is where the mind lives and the causal body, this is where the soul resides.
So the physical body is the body that we see, you know the one that you dress up everyday, that you feed and the one that could break a bone. Now the astral body is one step further in, that’s the mind, the mind that tells you what you should or shouldn’t do, that tells you you’re scared or anxious or happy or in love. For some the mind is the ruler, the mind dictates and without consciously knowing people take whatever the mind says for truth. Now if we go one step further we enter the causal body this is where our soul resides this is what you could call your inner voice. We all know that inner voice that lingering feeling that we could be doing more than what we’re doing right now, it could be a calling to do something extraordinary. Most of the times we don’t follow this lingering feeling, society tells us it’s ludacris and that we should get a steady job, a house and a family so we’re safe. But even if we have all of these things we’re not satisfied, how come? We want more, a better car, a bigger house, more stuff, we buy ourselves happy, why is that? I believe because we’re not following our inner compass, our true meaning of why we’re here. We work for other people, letting our negative minds rule our life and without even realizing it we’re not living to our full potential.
In order to take control of your situation you need to heal all 3 bodies. Make sure you have a healthy physical body, control your astral body so your mind doesn’t control you and lastly find your causal body. Find your inner compass.
Now if this is a far stretch from your usual comfort zone and it sounds like I’ve been on some hallucinating shrooms for some time please read along and see if you recognize yourself in any of the states and phases of the mind.Try to read with curiosity rather than judgement and don’t hesitate when you see these foreign words and names, I neither know how to pronounce them.
anna=food maya= illusion
Part of our physical body, the illusion that we think we’re just this body.
prana=vital energy maya=illusion
Part of our astral body it governs the sense of heat and cold, hunger and thirst. These things we can control with our mind.
3. MANAMAYA KOSHA
Part of your astral body, emotions and senses that connect your to the outer world. You mind is your personality
4. VIGNANAMAYA KOSHA
Part of our astral body, the area of decision making. The Ego, a sense of who I am or who I think resides here
5. ANANDAMAYA KOSHA
Part of our casualbody, you have a specific reason to be here, you were given the perfect body to be able to do what you need to do yet we get stuck in bad habits.
- 3 STATES OF THE MIND
Tamas is the lowest of the 3 qualities of Gunas. Tamas represents feeling lost, lazy, fearful, dullness, unwillingness. This mentality that lots of people get: ‘ah just fuck it, I don’t care anymore’ giving up sitting at home playing video games or drinking a bottle of wine because you don’t see a better way to cope with the things happening around you. Tamas represents the state of mind that you’re in when you want to quit, give up and unwilling to change anything about your situation but still complain about your situation. Not wanting to get off the couch and do what you need to do, keep putting shit off that you should’ve done yesterday. You know that you should’ve done them, you know that you’ll feel better once you do them but instead you stay where you are. When you want change in your life, YOU need to change. Clear your mind and wake up Tamas.
Rajas is the middle quality of the Gunas and whereas Tamas is quite dark and Sattva is light Rajas is in-between, Tamas pulls you away from your true self, Sattva turns one in to their true self, Rajas creates the movement. Rajas represents taking action, activity, unsteadiness, restlessness, pushiness and ambition. When you’re in a rajas/tamas state of mind you’ll be drawn towards ignorance and material attachments taking action but always wanting more and better, restless and never content. When you’re in a rajas/sattva state of mind it pushes you towards doing the right activity, selflessness, happiness and contentment.
Sattva is the highest quality of the Gunas, all of our existence are made up out of the 3 gunas in life and we will experience all of them. But the one that we like to be predominant, the one that we want to cultivate is Sattva. This is the state of mind where we’re calm, have clarity, can solve problems, have balance, tranquility and serenity. Sattva is an uplifting energy. This state where you know what you need to do and you’re doing it, you’re content and trusting the process. We’ve figured shit out. All 3 gunas will stay within you, this is part of us but we can focus on one more than the other. The other Gunas aren’t necessarily a bad thing, when we cultivate our Sattva, Tamas can bring stability and Rajas can be used wisely for the action to undertake something.
- 3 PHASES OF THE MIND
The conscious mind consists of what we are aware of at a given moment. It includes the things that we are thinking about right now, whether it’s in the front of our minds or the back. If we’re aware of it, then it is in the conscious mind.
This is the mind of your 5 senses enabling you to consciously experience the physical world. The conscious mind is what we operate with during our daily activities and waking hours. It represents only a small portion of our consciousness and awareness.
So this is our workforce, everything we do or ever did files here. The subconscious holds information that is just below the surface of awareness. Every experience you’ve ever had, every thought, every impression lives in the subconscious mind and influences our patterns of thought and behaviour far more than we realize.
It records everything we do: every activity we engage in, our thoughts about those activities, our likes and dislikes about what we encounter each day. Although nothing is forgotten by the subconscious mind, most of the time this part of our consciousness remains hidden from our everyday awareness.
SUPER CONSCIOUS MIND
The superconscious mind has a level of awareness that sees beyond material reality and taps into the energy of the things we see, feel and hear. When you walk into a room and you just notice that there’s something off not because anything looks off or feels off but just because you notice an energy. This is the super conscious mind. You could call it a cosmic consciousness, being able to feel an energy, to handle on intuition. In the super conscious mind you’re in tune with what your true self is telling you. When you listen and you’re in this state it’s also where great creativity is found.
How can you describe your mind?
THE DRUNKEN MONKEY
Disorganized, one day you feel like this and the other you feel like that. Your mind changes it is by nature restless. No concentration, always living in the past or in the future.
A WILD HORSE
The mind wants to be free and untamed but this is a false freedom. When mind wants to run wild, you’ll need to train it with patience and consistency.
The mind doesn’t know what it needs. It’s almost like a shy person, not sure which direction to head. It takes time to truly see what you want. Nurture it.
A BROKEN RECORD
You could see your habits as the grooves on a record. Your (bad) habits are stuck on replay. Create new habits, the more you repeat them, the deeper the grooves.
The 5 steps to concentration
In order to be more productive, effective and live a fulfilled live you need a concentrated mind. How often don’t we say I’m so busy I don’t have time for this or that. While the more effective you are the more time you have. Most people in our society associate activity with being productive or effective, while this is false. You could work for 50 hrs a week and still not get done what you need to get done.
Often people suffering from mental issues such as depression or anxiety is mostly because the mind wanders around. From thought to thought which leads to a spinning of thoughts and the person not getting done what they need to get done.
You want to avoid or work your way through being dull and scattered (wake up tamas and calm down rajas). Once you arrive at gathering you want to stay here and move higher. Find your purpose and focus all your thoughts on that until you succeed and you enter bliss. You won’t then always stay in bliss, life is life and you’ll move through different states of your mind and concentration but as long as you’re aware, you’re in control.
Unhappiest state of mind, this is a dark place. Here you’re searching for happiness outside of yourself, the mind is clouded. A Tamastic state where you don’t know what to do or where to start.
You could see this as a Rajastic state, over stimulated, over active, restless. Can think of a thousand things to do. Can plan but never finishes.
In this state you let go of everything else and focus on what you need to be doing. You can gather your thoughts and prioritize what is important. The mind is peaceful and gains energy.
4. ONE POINTED
A very powerful state of mind where you’re happy and focused. You have one pointed thoughts towards your happiness, your goal. This is where for example athletes are.
The highest state of mind, Bliss. There are no more worries, you are completely content with your state.
More Ayurvedic shit? Did it spike you interest?
Happy that it did dude cause it’s interesting AF. So many things that we don’t get taught in school are crucial in order to understand ourselves, understand our minds, our bodies and how we navigate through life. BUT thank you internet cause we can educate ourselves, as long as we put in the time and effort we can truly teach ourselves so many valuables that’ll help throughout the course of our life.
There’s so much more interesting topics surrounding Ayurveda that I want to write about, stuff like breath control, the wheel of karma, the 8 limbs of yoga and the doshas. So much more to discover, learn, read and write about! For now this is it but I’ll be getting back to this post to write more about Ayurvedic wisdoms so we all be little smart beans and excel in life!