Alternative Approach to a
Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit
By: Lama Karl Eikrem
In today's society, there is no shortage of approaches to improve the health of one's mind, body and spirit. Regularly, we are presented with techniques and programs to reach our full potential; special diets, health programs, psychological tools, motivational exercises, the list goes on. Many of these tools have great benefit, but looking at the present condition of our society, the question remains: do they address the core issue of human dis-ease?
Authentic spiritual practice aims not so much at improving our relative condition, but takes a step back and invites us to study ourselves as we truly are. This is because the root problem of our discontentment is not that we are unhealthy or stressed, that we don't work out enough, or eat a healthy diet, it is not that are unhappy or dissatisfied with our lives. Rather, the reason is that we do not know the nature of ourselves, the nature of being. How can we possibly find true contentment if we do not know ourselves?
At the centre of this existential confusion lies the belief in a separate sense of self, in an entity cut off from the external world. If you ask somebody where their sense of self is located, they will probably point to their body, more specifically their head. But is there anything solid in there? Is there some unchanging entity within ourselves, to which we can attach the label "me"?
This question is the starting point on the path to a truly healthy body, mind and spirit.
If we start looking closely into this matter, we'll soon come to the realisation that there is no such thing as an "I" to be experienced anywhere. Nevertheless, if left uninvestigated, this basic sense of “me” will continue to attach itself to thoughts and emotions, reinforcing itself through a network of self-based beliefs and opinions; political views, occupation, status, wealth, achievements and so on, all labelled as "mine".
Because the illusory nature of "I" is dependent on more and more things to identify with, merely trying to improve ourselves, without getting to know ourselves, will not lead to lasting contentment.
Pemako Buddhism offers high-precision meditative tools to investigate both the notion of "me", leading to what is labelled "awakening"; the permanent dropping off of the notion of self, as well for purifying the reaction patterns, emotional traumas and mental filters that hinder us in experiencing the world directly, as it really is.
By deconstructing the conceptual beliefs about ourselves, others and the world in general, certain qualities start revealing themselves to us. Equanimity, joy, love and compassion start becoming a part of our everyday lives. Indeed, as we progress on the path of releasing mental and physical tensions, we come to realise that these qualities were never separate from us in the first place. Instead of confining ourselves to "I", "me" and "mine", we realise that we are in fact the brilliant clarity of selfless awareness itself. Thus knowing ourselves is indeed the true meaning of a healthy mind, body and spirit.
May all beings be free!
Pemako Buddhism Website: www.pemakobuddhism.com