As I work during this month of October to attain great personal holistic health, I have been staying active, eating healthy food, drinking lots of water and resting when necessary. I feel more energized than I did just 3 weeks ago, and I feel blessed to be in good physical shape. But what about the rest of my holistic health – my mental, spiritual and emotional health?
Our mental health (attitude, thoughts, feelings and emotions) controls our experience of every day in every way. How we feel emotionally greatly influences how we eat, how we exercise, how we sleep and our entire physical condition! And of course vice versa. Exercise, diet, sleep and water are core to influencing how and what we think and feel. When we “feel tired” that could be because we did not eat enough food, drink enough water, sleep enough or are just feeling grumpy, uninspired or sad. It is all part of the same holistic experience.
For this reason, there is one most fundamental practice of holistic health for me: meditation. Beginning in college and continuing through my travels around the world, meditation has ultimately been the most important and influential practice in my holistic health. Sitting in one place for hours without moving seems at first like a silly way to feel strong, vibrant, inspired and healthy, but meditation brings me deep peace in my life and success in my work. Meditation, I owe it all to you. 🙂
Over the years, my interests and practices in meditation have varied. I began with a class at UC Berkeley in 2007, and since then have spent small amounts of time at Zen centers, meditation retreats and local meditation groups. Mostly, I have meditated on my own in whatever space I can create in my home.
This past summer, I did my first 10-day Vipassana course in Oregon. In all of my explorations, I believe Vipassana meditation to be the absolute best practice for understanding our own mind and self, and ultimately going beyond the mind to find peace. I believe that if there is one practice that can expand (and already is expanding!) global consciousness and therefore happiness on this planet, it is Vipassana meditation, under the teaching of S.N. Goenka. The simple, clear, secular and universal meditation technique draws me in. Plus, it’s free! (or by donation) Still, there are many meditation and spiritual practices available in the world, and “all paths lead to the same Light.” Vipassana meditation has become my personal choice, but any practice that teaches you to know yourself, your Truth and your Being, beyond the mind, will lead you towards peace and ultimate happiness. May you continue to find the strength to practice.
For those of you interested in jumpstarting a meditation practice, there are many resources online specific to your area. If you have any questions, please contact me directly, and I am happy to point you in the right direction. I know you will not regret it.