Posted in Healing

Healing with Ayurveda – Book Review

One of the greatest blessings in my life has been connecting with an Ayurvedic Medicine practitioner and learning how best to eat for my specific body type.  Learning that my dosha (body temperament) is Vata/Pitta and how to manage the typical imbalances of this combination has helped me to alleviate all kinds of unpleasant physical as well as emotional symptoms.  Ayurvedic Medicine has been a goddess-send for me!  I was therefore thrilled to discover the book, The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda by Michelle S. Fondin.  Here she describes in very simple terms the theory and practice of Ayurveda and provides guidance for you to begin your own journey with Ayurveda.  I highly recommend this book for beginners and experts alike. Here is an excerpt from her book:

WheelHealing_cvr_p.indd

Food as Medicine
An Excerpt from The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda

The adage “You are what you eat” is more than a cliché. More than ever, in today’s world, it’s a reality. And what we have available to eat is increasingly artificial, genetically modified, chemical laden, and simply unhealthy. Even though the choices may seem varied, in actuality they’re limited to a few ingredients, which show up in different products. So what should you eat to maintain optimal health?

First, I’d like you to consider a few facts and natural inclinations we have. This will put you in touch with your intuitive nature. Fact no. 1: We need to eat in order to stay alive. Fact no. 2: Our ancestors, who lived before the Industrial Revolution, had to rely on hunting, gathering, growing, and storing food to survive. Fact no. 3: Because the human body has been hardwired over time for survival, eating large amounts of food or yo-yo dieting will lead to weight gain.

In the postindustrial era, processed or chemically produced food has become the norm. Owing to shrewd and manipulative advertising, most people don’t even know the difference between something healthy and something processed. If one cereal carries the claim that it will lower cholesterol and is endorsed by the American Heart Association, why shouldn’t we believe it? If a yogurt company makes the claim that their yogurt has five grams of fiber, and your doctor says you must get more fiber, why not buy that yogurt? One thing we need to realize is that advertisers tell partial truths. Food manufacturers and distributors are multibillion-dollar corporations. If you don’t believe their claims, their advertising teams are doing a poor job. In 2010, Kraft Food’s net revenue was $49.2 billion.
In comparison, smaller, organic food companies, such as Horizon Organic Dairy, bring in around $50 to $100 million in net revenue. It’s not surprising that we believe the large food companies’ claims, given how loud and how present they are in our daily lives.

For millions of years, humans have eaten what was available from the earth; and for the past one hundred years or so, they’ve eaten what’s available. Do you understand the difference in that statement? In order to obtain optimal health, we need to go back to eating what’s available from the earth, because that is what we’re hardwired to process. Biological evolution takes a great number of generations, not one or two generations. By pouring chemically produced food and drink into our bodies, we are attempting to force biological evolution over the period of one lifetime. And our bodies are protesting. According to the World Health Organization, world cancer rates could increase by 50 percent, to 15 million new cases by 2020. And according to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity is the number two preventable cause of death in the United States.\

Poor diet costs us not only our lives but our resources as well. Type 2 diabetes, a completely preventable form of diabetes, drains $63.14 billion from our health care system yearly, and that figure doesn’t take into account the cost of lost days of work, physician office visits, and the detriment to families. Close runners-up in preventable disease are hypertension and heart disease, followed by osteoarthritis and gallbladder disease.

The good news is that you can do something about all this. With a shift in awareness and a change in habits, you get to take control of your health and life. Most people only dabble in a healthy lifestyle and then brace themselves for a cancer diagnosis or for some other disease that may creep up. But most diseases don’t “come out of nowhere.” Disease is developed over years and sometimes decades. According to Ayurvedic medicine, 95 percent of diseases are completely preventable with a consistent, proper lifestyle, one that includes a good diet, meditation, and an exercise regime. This is good news because you are in control. Being in control means you take responsibility for your own health. Leaving your health to doctors, medicines, other health care practitioners, or fate means leaving the door wide open to greater health problems in the future. When it comes to health, there is a place for allopathic medicine, herbal medicine, and, yes, prayer, but those are certainly not ways to prevent ill health. They are simply bandages applied to what’s already broken.

What I’m emphasizing here is taking real responsibility on a daily basis, starting now, today. There’s a reason why you picked up this book, and this is it. By taking responsibility, you cannot blame anyone or anything for your sickness or disease.

# # #

Michelle FondinMichelle S. Fondin is the author of The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda. She holds a Vedic Master Certificate from the Chopra Center and is a member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association and Yoga Alliance. She treats clients at her Ayurvedic Path center, speaks and offers workshops, and lives in Herndon, Virginia. Visit her online at http://michellefondin.com.
Excerpted from the book The Wheel of Healing with Ayruveda ©2015 by Michelle S. Fondin. Printed with permission of New World Library. www.newworldlibrary.com

Posted in Agape Project, Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Body/Mind/Spirit connection, Spiritual Practices, Virtual Church

Spiritual Beings in Human Form – Virtual Church Meditation Supplement

Please find below, the Agape’ meditation supplement for the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church for this coming Sunday, July 6, 2014.  The theme this week is FLESH – we are spiritual beings here to have a human experience.  How are we making the connection between our spiritual and our human self?  How can we more fully honor the human experience while allowing our spiritual natures to more fully inform and guide us?

 

 

Scripture Reading:

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives lifebecause of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because ofhis Spirit who lives in you.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

Romans 8: 9 -13

 

Additional Readings:

 

Zec 9: 9-10

Ps 145: 1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13-14

MT 11: 25-30

 

Having a Human Experience

This week’s reading from Paul’s letter to the Romans reminds me of a popular saying:

We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Paul’s words are kind of a twist on this saying. In saying that we are not “in the realm of flesh,” Paul is acknowledging that when we allow the Spirit to be the center of and guide our lives, we are able to remember our true nature and transcend the perceived separation of the human condition. We no longer live in the fear that is the opposite of our true nature which is love.

What Paul does not say, but is implied by this reading (and informed by many of his other writings), is that the flesh, in and of itself, is not evil. In fact, God made us to be human so that we could have a human experience. As such, the human experience and the flesh suits we are wearing are not to be rejected, but instead, are to be infused and informed by our life in the Spirit – which is love. When we do this, we understand the words of the Psalmist, “Darkness and Light are but one.”

How are you tempted to reject the human experience?

 

How are you invited to remember your original nature as the Spirit of Love and how does this inform your human experience?

 

Spiritual Practices – Feed My Sheep

For this exercise, you will need two sheets of paper and a box of crayons.

1)      Slowly and meditatively read the scripture above.

2)      Draw two outlines of the human form.

3)      On the first one, draw human features – hair, eyes, nose, skin, clothes, etc. While completing the drawing, reflect on the human experience. What do you appreciate about it? What challenges you? What are you tempted to reject. Then reflect on yourself as an individual human. What do you appreciate about yourself? What are you tempted to reject?

4)      On the second outline, draw your spiritual self. What does your Divine Spiritual Nature look like? What and who are you REALLY? Remember that your original nature is love, light, peace, joy, fulfillment, contentment, harmony, wholeness, health and wellbeing. Draw that.

5)      Look at the two pictures side by side and reflect on what you are seeing.

6)      Write your thoughts and reflections in a journal or notebook.

 

Authentic Freedom

In Authentic Freedom, become aware of the intimate connection between our physical form and our Divine Spiritual Nature. It is often through our physical form and experiences that our true nature tries to communicate to us. The chakras, which come to us from yoga and ayurvedic medicine provide the map that helps us to draw the connection between our physical symptoms and our deeper emotional and spiritual terrain. Following is a chart which shows the chakras and their corresponding connections.

EnergyAnatomy