What is health? What does it mean to be healthy? What makes an individual healthy? These questions can be a matter of concern to every individual. They are essentially related to our inner ecology – ecology of the mind.
We are obviously concerned about the outer ecology, the outer environment. But the fact is that the outer ecology is directly related to the environment, the cleanliness (or un-cleanliness) within us. The medical science has made it very clear how an unhealthy, stressed, agitated mind leads one into physical discomfort and disease. In essence, life is a continuum between movement and rest, action and let go, tension and relaxation, using and regaining energy. In view of this fact, we can see stress as an inevitable and necessary process with which the human organism adjusts itself to changing situations and prevailing conditions. One must not take the physical, mental, and emotional health for granted; one needs to work for it with a sense of commitment. It is a continuous process of rejuvenating oneself. Awareness at all the levels of our existence, therefore, is the cornerstone of meditation.
So, the basic challenge is, how to bring about a balanced, harmonious, coherent state of one’s being where both body and mind are healthy; where both mutually contribute to each other’s health and well being. In other words, the challenge before us is to make our IQ (Intelligence Quotient), our EQ (Emotional Quotient), and our SQ (Spiritual Quotient) in harmony to enjoy a life in its fullness and totality. Over centuries, the sages have proved how meditation can be a practical and effective means for our overall health.
What does meditation mean? It basically means how to rearrange mind from chaos to order, from confusion to clarity. It is in fact re-grouping, re-aligning, re-habilitating the life energy and thus stopping its leakage, its waste. The meditative process helps one in releasing the mental toxins – it serves as a detoxification process.
Meditation is both the means and the end. It is a preparation for becoming conscious of our unconsciousness. Meditation removes the blockages of energy, physical as well as psychological, and releases the energy to raise the quality of our wellbeing. Meditation has now become part of the mainstream.
Meditation is a state where the role and influence of mind ceases and where it comes to a point of rest. It is in this state of utter restfulness, relaxation, and silence that one sees the truth face to face.
Meditation is an ancient relaxation technique, the effects of which involve various psycho-physiological processes. The psychological processes include dealing with stress stimuli and “de-automatization.” The physiological processes include reduced metabolism and brain wave coherence.
A scientific study by Dr. Dean Ornish has been widely reported in the media. His work has convincingly shown that a mind-body program, which contains meditation, can be effective in not only preventing, but in cases even reversing, coronary-artery blockage.
The basic point we need to understand, however, is that meditation is essentially mind management. Mind has various layers. Psychologists try to find the meaning of each layer and interpret it. Meditation bypasses the superficial outer layers: stored fear, repressed anger, sexuality etc. It dives deep through these layers and attempts to reach the hidden inner layers of our conditionings and bring them out on the conscious level. That is how one can work for restoring our inner ecology — the process of inner cleansing.
— Swami Satya Vedant
(Dr. Vasant Joshi)
Ph. D. University of Michigan, USA
M.A., Ph. D., University of Baroda, India.