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Ayurveda and your mind

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    Ayurveda and your mind

    Ayurveda and your mind

    David Frawley explores psychological aspects of the great healing system.

    The entire movement of spiritual growth consists of shifting from conditioned to unconditioned consciousness. Conditioned consciousness is the storehouse of all memories and attachments, from which psychological problems must ever arise. This conditioning of the mind distorts our perception and disturbs our emotions.

    The conditioned mind Ayurvedic psychology works to calm the conditioned mind, removing its negative patterns that lead to disease and sorrow. However, the conditioned mind is not merely personal, but connects to all conditioned consciousness, all thought that exists within the universe, and the minds of all beings.

    We cannot examine our own mind without looking at the whole of life. What is consciousness? Through what do we think, feel and perceive? How is it that we can be aware of anything? Consciousness is our inner world.

    Learning to observe the contents of our consciousness is the most important part of mental and spiritual development. Ayurveda provides specific disciplines and meditation techniques for this purpose. When consciousness is illumined, we transcend all external limitations. We no longer need to experience the external world, because we have learnt its lesson - that all is within.

    Centre of pure feeling Chitta refers to the greater mind or consciousness. It specifically refers to the internal core of the mind, our centre of pure feeling and direct knowing. Most of chitta is unconscious to the ordinary mind.

    What modern psychology calls the unconscious is but a corner of this greater consciousness or chitta. Modern psychology has penetrated into the personal unconscious, and, to some extent, the collective unconscious. Our potential field of consciousness extends to all consciousness in the universe, individual and collective, personal and impersonal, including God. It goes beyond all conditioned consciousness to pure consciousness, which is the absolute or supreme truth. This is the field of yogic psychology, which is the psychology of the higher Self.

    The physical body consists mainly of the heavy elements of water and earth and is a creation of gravity, which moves downward. Consciousness, on the other hand, is composed of the lighter elements of ether and air, and is a creation of our thoughts, which like a vapour move upward. While the heavy matters of our nature descend to the form of the physical body, the essence of our experience ascends to form our consciousness. We have a gross or gravity body (the physical) and a refined or essence body (consciousness).

    We are not usually aware of our internal organs and tissues of the physical body, which are beyond the field of the senses. Similarly, we are seldom aware of our greater internal consciousness, which is not revealed by the outer functions of the mind. Our internal bodily processes function automatically, apart from our ordinary awareness. In the same way, our deeper consciousness maintains this process on a level deeper than the outer mind. However, we can become aware of this deeper consciousness. Meditation awakens us to its higher potentials.

    The nature of our chitta or core consciousness is sensitivity of all types, and the capacity to feel in any manner. The ability to feel underlies all mental functions and develops into specific operations of thought, emotion and sensation. All that our minds do is a kind of feeling. Even reason is a kind of feeling, sensing or comparing. Such feeling is every response of our consciousness to stimuli, external or internal.

    Consciousness is the capacity to relate, without which no feeling is possible. It allows us to feel things in our selves and to feel ourselves in things. Our consciousness is a product of our deepest relationships, which determine how we feel about life. Association is a key factor determining the nature of our consciousness.

    Consciousness registers everything that comes into the mental field on a level deeper than the outer mind. Without first being able to note things, other mental operations are not possible. Our deeper consciousness holds the memories of all that we experience, not only from birth but also from previous lives. It carries the seeds that keep us involved in the cycle of rebirth, which are nothing but our deepest thoughts and impressions.

    Our deeper consciousness contains the higher levels of the mind in which we can contact God and our inner Self. In it, we retain knowledge of worlds more subtle than the physical. Consciousness extends beyond all realms of form into the realms of pure feeling and clear awareness.

    Cosmic consciousness Our individual consciousness links us to the collective consciousness, through which we can access the memories and tendencies of all human beings. This in turn links us with cosmic consciousness, through which we can access the experiences of all beings from minerals to gods. At the summit of the cosmic consciousness we contact God, the divine father/mother, the cosmic creator, preserver and destroyer.

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