Kamlesh Patel (Daaji), Heartfulness Guide – Heartfulness Institute and Luke Coutinho, Holistic Lifestyle Coach – Integrative & Lifestyle Medicine conversed on the topic of ‘Secrets of Wholesome Living’ today, on the occasion of World Meditation Day. Daaji and Luke shared their insights derived from their experience of working with people from different walks of life. They shared their philosophies, enlivened with many anecdotes from each of their lives. Daaji also spoke about the Heartfulness meditation system and the role it has played in his personal journey. Luke and Daaji answered some of the most pertinent questions that beginners have before they commence meditation. The conversation deepened into ways in which one can enable their mind to meditate, develop interest to meditate every day, achieve clarity of thought and reason, and above all tap into and learn to listen clearly to one’s inner guidance.
Their intent through the length of the conversation was aimed at guiding the viewers with deep insights and more importantly practical tips and tools on maintaining one’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being. This is especially important now due to the individual challenges posed by COVID-19. Lockdowns and many social restrictions, more keenly faced by India due to extended pandemic restrictions, have created a negative impact on people’s mental and emotional psyches. Through the reasonings of science and philosophy and various personal observations and life examples, Luke and Daaji, deliberated on the practical solutions on bringing hope, confidence and positivity in the current scenario of extreme mental fatigue.
Luke, Holistic Lifestyle Coach – Integrative & Lifestyle Medicine, set the conversation rolling by explaining his intent and hope that both these experts come together to help and guide people to take care of themselves in simple, powerful and effective ways. His opening remarks were, “The idea behind this initiative was to combine our life experiences and share the secrets we have learnt over the years. Integrating the philosophy of meditation with holistic practices, has helped me and countless people who I have worked with. Daaji’s wisdom has always been enlightening for me and I wanted to share our conversation with the world so that people can benefit from our personal and professional knowledge. We want people to understand and use this knowledge to overcome personal and societal challenges. We hope to reach more people, guide, and motivate them to take care of their mental and emotional wellbeing, counteracting the negative elements prevalent around them.”
While addressing a question on the benefit of meditation, Daaji, Global Guide of Heartfulness, said, “I find that people who meditate have a special aura around them. Only a meditative mind can perceive turbulence and ward it off even before turbulence starts brewing as it is proven to calm the mind and vanquish negative thoughts. Just a 20-minute Heartfulness meditation practice can help people achieve peace. As a result, they are better prepared to navigate stressful circumstances with relative ease. Integrating it into wholesome living practices can benefit the practitioner during these stressful times as they are equipped to handle issues related to pain, rejection, motivation, fear, anxiety, etc. in a much calmer and effective manner.”
Managing anxiety, stress, and dealing with uncertainty
“Uncertainty is giving rise to emotional and mental distress around us. I see a lot of people trying to deal with the uncertainty of what’s happening around them. Uncertainty gives rise to the fear of unknown. Integrating powerful meditative practices in their routine can help people manage their anxiety. It can also alleviate the negative feelings arising from uncertainty. Gone are the days when you can take one pill or do one workout and expect to be healthy. Today, to be truly healthy, people need wholesome living practices that combine the benefits of meditation, yoga, diet, exercise, and other wellness tools. Wholesome living is a combination of all of this.”, Luke shared during the conversation.
Adding to that, Daaji said, “Meditation is the core of most of the things. There is something grander behind our brain and mind; a level of consciousness. Consciousness involves thinking, and intelligence. Our decision making is better if it resonates with a better mental system, thinking faculty, intelligence faculty, and ego; which make decisions. When the mind is regulated, it will resonate with the inner self physiologically, and neurologically. When it resonates with a better mental system, it will have its positive impact at a physical level.” He further added, “When you are worried, what happens to your entire system is at a different level, or when you are angry your moods are different, and your body reacts differently. It is how we respond to various emotions, create various ailments in our physical body so we must address this, since, health improves with a simpler mind. These are lifestyle decisions that can help handle emotional or physical problems like Covid. Meditating helps us combat challenges like Covid in a better way, since you are better prepared. Firstly, the meditative mind will not be anxious and stressed. Secondly, as you are not stressed, the relaxed state-of-mind improves the hormonal state thereby boosting the immune system.”
Tips to handle the mental health and emotional issues
Luke spoke about the challenges which people are facing on mental and emotional fronts. “Transforming your mind to deal with emotional challenges requires a shift in energy. I believe, everyone knows what’s the right thing to do. Everyone knows they should eat well, exercise, meditate etc.; but most people struggle to do it. Eventually we all have to figure out our own ways to do the right things. Personally, analyzing and linking it to reasons for not doing those things worked well for me. It takes some introspection to figure out the reasons that are holding you back. We all need some inspiration and motivation to make those lifestyle changes.”
Daaji shared Luke’s observations, and suggested that heartfully listening or rejuvenating is the key. “Firstly, we should meditate so that the myriad thoughts that clutter our mind, akin to muddy waters, can settle down. When the mud settles at the bottom it allows the water to become clearer; similarly the mind with settled thoughts experiences clarity. Secondly, cleansing our thoughts and impressions can help significantly. We collect a lot of impressions during our day-to-day interactions that affect us, makes us form opinions, and in turn we condition ourselves based on such opinions. It is imperative that we learn to break this conditioning and clean it out of our systems. Such cleaning enables us to free ourselves from false opinions and significantly improves our relationships. Thirdly, we must feel grateful about the things we receive in our everyday life, for example food. Expressions of gratitude bring joy and happiness to our minds. Lastly, sleep is one of the most important elements in managing our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual selves.”