For the past two posts I’ve been discussing the three causes of disease from an Ayurvedic perspective. Those three causes are:
- The misuse of the 5 senses
- The failure of the intellect
In this post I’ll discuss the concept of time – both linear and biological – and its impact on our health and wellness.
We’re all familiar with the passage of linear time, the ticking of the clock. The forward movement of time innately leads to aging, to which we are all subject. In the cycle of birth, life and death, no one is exempt. But from an Ayurvedic perspective, this isn’t the only form of time that has an effect on our bodies. Yes, we will all age as the clock ticks, but the rate at which we age is also largely determined by biological time, which has to do with motion of both the body and of the mind. Linear time – the forward movement of time – is static. Biological time – the deterioration resulting from the motion of mind and body – is dynamic.
To put the concept of biological time more simply, the faster we move, the more quickly our body deteriorates. This pertains not only to the movement of our physical body, but it also pertains largely to the movement of our minds. When the mind is still, we perceive the subtle nuances of our existence and each moment passes slowly. When our mind is active, our external world appears to be moving at warp speed, and our body usually follows suit. In other words, the faster thoughts pass through our minds, the faster biological time moves. This transformation or decay due to time and motion is referred to as Parinama in Ayurveda.
The practice of Ayurveda recognizes the deep impact the state of the mind has on the health and wellness of the body. Ayurveda utilizes both yoga and meditation as means to calm and control the movements of the mind. When the mind calms, the body does as well. We become more deliberate and conscious of our thought, speech and action. We expend less energy because we are connected to our deepest purpose and as a result, our movements are an extension of that deep awareness. Meditation and yoga allow the mind to cultivate a single-pointed focus, or drishthi – a point of concentrated attention. This focus allows the mind to stay in the present moment without drifting to the past or future. Time slows, stress reduces, and the body and mind are at peace.