In the last three posts I’ve discussed the three main causes of disease from an Ayurvedic perspective – the misuse of the senses, failure of the intellect and motion/time. But there is one cause of disease that is the essential root of even these causes. Referred to as the “primordial” cause of disease, it is the root source of suffering in body and mind. That primordial cause of disease is: forgetting our true nature as spirit.
When we disconnect from the spirit, we live only as if we were body and mind. We become wrapped up in the dramas of the physical world. This results in disturbances in the mind. These fluctuations are called vrittis, which can be likened to turbulence in the mind. A turbulent mind causes the prana, or life force energy of the body, to become agitated. Prana, or qi as it is called in Chinese Medicine, is essentially the blueprint upon which the physical body is built. Mental and emotional agitation causes agitation in the flow of prana. Agitation in the prana subsequently causes the biological humors and tissues of the body to react as well, which creates imbalance in the physical body.
Forgetting our true nature as spirit means we live disproportionately through the ego – the part of us that sees the world in terms of “I” and separation, rather than in terms of unity and oneness. The ego lives through the senses, and as we become more attached to the ego we become more attached to the pleasures of the senses and overindulge, which causes a multitude of imbalances in the body, mind and emotions.
There are many ways in which we can cultivate this connection to spirit, but meditation is one of the most important tools. Through repeated practice, meditation allows us to gradually calm the vrittis of the mind. As the movement of the mind diminishes we become aware of something deeper that resides within that tells us about our true needs. Our true nature. Our Spirit.