The ancient science of Ayurveda originated in India more than 5000 years ago and is the oldest known form of health care in the world.
Stemming from the Vedas, it is a holistic system that works on prevention and treatment of disease by maintaining or restoring balance to ones physical, mental, spiritual and social state of being. More simply, it is unified form of body, mind and spirit.
The goals of Ayurveda are:
We should make money (Artha) in order to live, and we should fulfill our desires (Karma), but ALWAYS through carrying out our purpose or duty (Dharma) with virtue. Then enlightenment (Moksha) is our reward.
So how do we find the answer to the question: “What is my purpose in life?” For when we know it with complete certainty, then it becomes our duty/Dharma which we should perform without question and with equanimity in emotion.
For me it began with the realisation that I was in a dead end corporate job where going to work everyday meant leaving my own values and ethics at the front door. So I quit! Now I’m not suggesting that this is the solution for everyone looking to find their true path in life, or that the majority of people are in a position to make such a drastic decision. But it was my choice and the option available to me.
I also realise however that it was this dead end job that allowed me to secure myself financially so that I could come and study in India for three months, and for that I am very grateful.
If you have been following this blog you will know that I completed a yoga teacher training and am now two weeks into my Ayurvedic course at Ayuskama Centre in Dharamsala. My days are long. I get up at 05:30 to meditate, practice yoga and pranayama for three hours. I then teach yoga with Aryan at his centre for two hours. Thereafter, I have three precious hours to shower, eat and catch up on course material before walking over to the other side of the mountain where, from 13:30 – 19:00, I have theoretical and practical lessons in Ayurvedic healing. This leaves me with a few hours in the evening to read and blog. This is my life Monday to Saturday.
Sunday is a rest day – no practicing yoga, no teaching yoga, no Ayurveda lectures. But this also means I can spend more time practicing the Ayurvedic therapies I’m learning. It is also a day to walk in the mountains, have a massage myself, eat pizza (amazing Tibetan pizza!) and just relax.
It’s intense and by Saturday I’m tired. But I’m happy and content because I know that this is what I want to do with my life. When I return to South Africa my focus will be on moving more and more into teaching yoga and Ayurvedic healing. It will become my work from which I hope to earn modest Artha, though I don’t want to call it work because for me it’s not. It’s my purpose. My Dharma. And I found my path by taking a leap of faith. By focusing my intention and energy on what drove me to get up in the morning (yoga) and away from the negative (an unhappy job).
My Karmas are becoming less of a material nature and more of spiritual well being for ALL beings.
And Moksha? Well maybe in the next life.