5 Ayurvedic tips to take care of your digestive fire and avoid toxins

1- Never eat before your previous meal has been digested, that is, before you feel hungry again
2- Avoid mixing dairy and nuts, yeasted breads or animal protein, cheese and beans, or two proteins in the same meal
3- Only take sips of water during meals. Avoid juices and too much liquid 
4- Do not eat sweets after a meal, except for a small treat 
5- Don’t eat hot and spicy food after cold food

5 things you mom probably didn’t teach you about your food

1- Never cook or heat honey, it becomes toxic. You may add it to your tea when it is slightly warm
2- Never drink cold milk. Warm it to room temperature and add spices such as cardamom and cinnamon
3- Never mix fruits with any other food item. Melons and bananas should be eaten by themselves
4- Do not eat salads or drink cold beverages if you suffer from constipation
5- Do not eat raw foods, heavy foods, or dairy at night

Thoughts? I don’t think so

Since we cannot stop our flow of thoughts, ignore them as much as possible. Our thoughts on others, ourselves and what we perceive as reality are pretty much similar to a shrimp’s thoughts on NASA’s space program.

Be a Nobody

We have traditionally been told that we have to be somebody in life and we unquestionably strive for that. But have you ever thought about being a Nobody, not just being, but striving to be a Nobody? Think about it: the more you achieve, the more you will be attached to matter and the more you will inflate your ego; the less you desire, the closer you will get to your essence. 

The catch? The less you become outside, the greater you become inside.

Loneliness

Hard as it is to take, LONELINESS is no more than a hint or rather a call to the realization of our real essence. For, once we get a glimpse of our real essence and a full integration of what it is, the concept of loneliness can only be perceived as absurd. 

One more trick of the mind, one more reason to go beyond its zillion voices and characters…

The Untamed Intellect

Could it be possible that many of the most feared diseases
nowadays were in fact a product of our wild intellect? Is our mind so unaware
of its own power of destruction that it can lead us to a life of pain and suffering
in order to achieve some hefty goal? This is not about some weird disease we
are referring to, this is common maladies that can wreak havoc on your life or
simply terminate it. Think high blood pressure, high cholesterol, anxiety,
depression, and the so-called auto-immune diseases (diabetes, arthritis,
psoriasis, lupus, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, and the like).

But, how can this happen? Ayurveda teaches us that our
intellect is powered by the sub-energy of fire that resides mainly in the
brain. This energy frequently endows fire types (Pitta) with a stupendous
software, making them smart, intelligent, capable of leading, detail-oriented,
sharp in memory, and highly articulate. However, what appears as a privileged
gift may turn into a complete nightmare if this energy begins to control and
impregnate all facets of our life.
Think of a person who is always occupied, who hates to “waste”
time, who conceives life as the attainment of goals, objectives, achievements,
and with no time to celebrate jumps from challenge to challenge. Think of a
person with barely any hobbies, little time to listen to others, no empathy for
what is happening around. Think of a person whose chest is always trembling inside
because every little thing is done in a state of constant tension, even the pouring
of a glass of water. If there are no deadlines, they create them; if there is
no rush, they set a time to arrive; if there is nothing to do, they force their
mind to think of something.
The continuous activity of this fire ends up burning our
most precious essence, the essence of vitality and vigor that is connected to
our immune system. This essence known as Ojas will literally burn out after
years of continuous attack, bringing grave consequences to the immune system
and overall body and mind structure. Add repressed emotions to the concoction
and you will come up with one of the multiple auto-immune diseases that are
plaguing our world.
Identified with the character already? So, what do we do to
stop this vicious patterns of behavior? Ayurveda provides us with a wide range
of options and therapies, from herbs to oils, to proper diet, to treatments, to
detoxification programs.

However, all these will prove futile if they are not
accompanied by a change of attitude towards life. We need to understand that
life doesn’t revolve around a job, a bank account, a beautiful body, or even a
loving family. Life is an unrelenting flow of surprises, unimaginable turn of
events, and impossible twists. You may swim against this flow for a while (and
pay the consequences) but you can never stop its course. This flow is all
powerful, all pervading, all knowing for it is a reflection of the Absolute.
You cannot control it, you cannot negotiate with it, you cannot escape from it,
and you will make yourself miserable if you try to argue with it. The only way
out is to follow the current, to flow with it towards the final destination of
all rivers. 
Throw away agendas, projects and plans to change the world. The
world is perfect as it is. Flow with it instead of arguing with it and you will
see its magnificence and perfection. And your body will thank you for it!

Won’t you pick the Pearl over the Shell?

From the windows at the House of Dharma, I see shells scattered along the beach. They are beautiful shells despite their obvious irregularities, strange shapes, ashy tones, and rough textures. They are not about becoming the most beautiful shell in the ocean but about protecting and sheltering their passenger inside. So, they may not be gorgeous to look at but they surely are hard, strong and totally capable of performing their role in nature.

Pearls don’t develop their prized flawlessness because of their strong casing. Furthermore, nobody really cares about the casing once the pearl arrives at the market. The making of a good pearl normally involves years of careful attention and immaculate patience; it is a daily task of tireless self-awareness, ever watching which faults need
mending, ever looking for an aspect that needs to be improved. It is an inside job, inside the shell that is, away from the multitudes at the beach, never thinking of the prize that will eventually be paid at the market once the job
is completed.
This is how nature works…
From the windows at the House of Dharma, I see bodies scattered along the beach. They are beautiful bodies, ripped through years of devotional work-ups, lean through years of devotional diets.  As the oyster, there is a divine jewel that shines inside every one of those bodies, its effulgence a million times more striking than the best defined six-pack on the beach.
Then, why so much infatuation on steel biceps and ultra-flexible backs, on gymnastic cabrioles and open chests, on upside down stances and physical feats? Why so much chiseling, so much pampering, so much beautification? Surely a healthy, strong body is paramount. We don’t want our bodies to crash same as the pearl doesn’t want its shell to
crack. But what good is it really doing to us to be so focused on this body that, as the shell, will eventually be reduced to dust?

 

How are we to truly understand this mysterious trip called life if we never care for the needs of the passenger inside? How are we going to find full satisfaction in trying to keep young and alive something that is bound to be reduced to dust? How can methods, techniques and programs no matter whether they are physical, therapeutic, energetic or spiritual, help our inner passenger see through the veils of ignorance? Why do we devote so much time to the dry, temporary crust and so little to the juicy, everlasting filling?
This is how the ego works…

Purusartha: What’s your Goal in Life?

My goal in life? The meaning of life, you mean? Who cares?
Is there anything we can do about it anyway? So, why bother? Is my life going to change if I give it more attention or any attention at all? Pursuing happiness, I guess?

All these and many other similar responses quite explain why we barely ever touch this topic throughout our life. It seems we have been able to reduce this colossal question to a vague guess or a shoulder shrug. It also feels as if there is some underlying fear to formulating the question, let alone delving into it. So, what is this fear? Fear of change perhaps? Fear of the Truth? Or are we totally convinced we will never get close to knowing it and therefore we have decided this is just a big waste of our valuable time? What most of us ignore is that identifying our goal in life and living according to it may save us a good deal of emotional upheavals and many unwanted health problems.
In the Hindu tradition, there are four different facets or aims of human life: Kama, Artha, Dharma, and Moksha. These four aims are neither independent nor non-exclusive and happen together in various degrees of intensity, one normally shining over the others. Each one of them is also seen as a step along the way in our pursuit for the ultimate goal and therefore they are all essential in our development as human beings.
 
Kama relates to emotional fulfillment, sex, pleasure, love, and desire for material things while Artha is more about career, wealth, prosperity, recognition, success, and fame. These two, without proper understanding of their role in the broader meaning of human life, are the cause of numerous imbalances such as stress, anxiety, cardio vascular conditions, traumas, obesity, sleep problems and a long list of physical ailments. Why is that? Because a selfish approach here involves continuous action which fuels the flames of karma bringing unwanted effects back on us. In The House of Dharma, these imbalances are treated through proper diet and lifestyle, use of herbs and oils, detoxification programs, relaxation techniques, and a strong sadhana practice in the case of spiritual seekers.
 
Dharma, which has multiple meanings depending on the context, is used here as vocation, that is, living according to your destiny in a lawful, virtuous, harmonious and compassionate way. When we live according to these principles, our imbalances reduce in number and intensity as we succeed at controlling our senses and desires thus stopping the creation of new karma, at least to a certain extent.
Living your dharma means you have agreed to your role in the universe and as you feed the divine mechanism so you are properly fed. Not knowing what to do with your life is one of the main imbalances at this level along with low
self-esteem, negating who we are, and inability to express our real nature. This often translates into digestive problems, auto-immune diseases, depression, and sadness that can be treated through counseling techniques such as the Integration of the Self, which includes proper living, identification of your mission in life, development of
discrimination and detachment, and removal of programs that contaminate the mind and our vision of life. Introduction to a specific meditation depending on the individual is also an important tool not to be omitted.
The fourth and higher aim of life is no other than Moksha, popularly known as liberation. Few individuals gamble with this goal as it involves putting a stop to the life-rebirth cycle. Basically, it means absolute detachment from life itself or, in other words, a pure and strong desire of not becoming an earthling again. The path to Moksha meanders through the understanding of the real nature of the Self, integration of discrimination and ultimate detachment on a daily basis, identification and removal of mental and emotional programs, and embracing the silence of meditation. Depression, addictions, despair, and mental problems may happen if moksha is not properly understood.

 

Understanding the aims of life and living them according to their higher purpose invariably leads to a more profound and richer experience as well as a calmer and more balanced attitude towards the challenges of this mysterious game. Identify your goal, learn how to properly work towards it, and see how it can help you in your development as a human being. And don’t be afraid to pop the question: “What’s the meaning of life?” to yourself or in public, somebody will respond.