Read all previous parts: Sustainable lifestyle series
Read a supporting article: What is Kundalini? What is Kundalini Yoga?
What is lifestyle? What does lifestyle mean?
When we speak of “lifestyle,” we are referring to the way we live our lives. It encompasses the continuous cooperation between our body-mind and the environment surrounding us. The quality of this cooperation determines whether our lifestyle is turbulent or smooth, similar to the difference between turbulent and laminar flow.
Lifestyle involves the various ways in which we organize our body-mind and the environment around us. A well-organized system operates with minimal energy and time required to accomplish any given task. If our lives allow us to fulfill our needs within our body-mind and surroundings, we can consider ourselves to be living a full-fledged life.
Now, what different things are there to organize within a body-mind? So when we say body-mind, it is actually a single body, made of different layers. So there is physical body, there is mental body, there is emotional body & there is energy body.
The Structure of Human body & Fundamentals to design Lifestyle
To delve further into this topic, let’s examine the layers that comprise the human body. First, there is the physical body, composed of the five elements: earth, water, fire, air, and ether. We also have a body made up of fundamental particles, which combine to form the five elements. These fundamental particles represent the subtle matter of the elements. By categorizing the bodies based on the subtlety of their matter, we move from a gross body made of gross matter to increasingly subtle bodies.
We can distinguish between the gross body and the subtle body, similar to the distinction between hardware and software. The difference lies in the nature of matter, with the gross body being more rigid and the subtler bodies becoming increasingly fluid. The curvature of space-time, resulting from the nothingness from which everything emerged, is more noticeable and measurable in the gross body. In the subtler bodies, this curvature is less perceptible. As matter becomes more condensed, the space-time curvature increases, and vice versa.
The Layers of the Human Body
To ensure a smooth flow of energy across the layers of the body, it is essential that they are organized in such a way that obstructions or pressure points are avoided. Imagine a large reservoir with water flowing through various pipes, both large and small. If the flow of water becomes constricted at any point, pressure builds up in the entire system, potentially leading to breakages or damage.
Now, let’s apply this analogy to the human body. Depending on how energy flows within the body, it will behave in a particular manner. The body has an electro-magnetic system known as the nervous system, which coordinates various bodily functions, such as respiration and circulation, based on internal feedback and the feedback received from the environment.
Within the nervous system, there are both voluntary and involuntary functions. Some processes occur automatically, while others can be consciously influenced. Morphogenetic fields govern most of the automatic bodily functions, acting as trigger mechanisms for different systems within the body. These fields have compartments that adjust to each other, and when the ball representing the system rolls, the compartments move accordingly. Although most bodily functions occur automatically, it is possible to gain awareness of them and influence them through attention.
Now the functions happen with auto program are results of morphogenetic fields. It manages all trigger mechanism for most of bodily systems. It is like there is a ball with some compartments structured inside. Compartments are flexible or foldable. So within the system compartments adjust to each other. But when ball roles it can move any compartments which is there inside. Similarly the functions of physical body are triggered by a bigger system above it.
Within this system, smaller vibrations are influenced by broader vibrations, and this hierarchy continues indefinitely. It all originates from nothingness, and attention, which remains within the system yet remains unaffected by it, can bring about changes in any movement, making it more curved or flattened.
So smaller vibrations take inputs from bigger vibrations further & bigger vibrations take inputs from further bigger vibrations. This system works till the nothingness back & forth perpetually. Because it is nothingness from which first movement started. Nothingness is the flat curve. It is the highest condensed state of existence without any attribute to it. Attention is that part of nothingness which remains within the systems or movements yet unaffected by any of it. Attention can make changes to any movement to make it more curved or make it flatten.
Pure attention is the deepest part of you from where your existence started & of the creation also. It is called a witness. It is also called a state of Turiya. The realization of it or the perception of it called enlightenment or Nirvana. Because that part of nothingness (attention) meets with the whole nothingness inside-out.
The Cycle of nature
The cycle of existence begins with nothingness and returns to nothingness, but this process takes billions of steps and countless years. Humans are unique in that they can perceive nothingness as the final stage in the cycle of nature. However, it often takes billions of lifetimes for humans to realize this truth. As conscious beings, humans have have the crucial role & last part of the cycle of nature to merge their individual potential with nothingness through conscious effort.
Therefore, our main responsibility is to ensure that we do not hinder the natural flow of existence. To achieve this, we must organize the layers of our body in a way that allows for an unobstructed flow of energy. By doing so, the energy will instinctively know where and how much to flow to fulfill the body’s functions. Attention plays a crucial role in ensuring that the channels of energy maintain a smooth laminar flow.
In order to make it happen there are many things we can do on the level of physical gross body, on the mental-emotional body & on energy body.
A Compass to know whether the layers of body is well organized in you
So to have some standard parameter, fundamentally there will be only two kinds of sensations possible in varied intensity in all the layers of body. It will be either unpleasantness or pleasantness. Unpleasant sensations indicate a disruption in the energy structure, resulting in a sense of effort and the perception that even small tasks require significant exertion. Conversely, pleasant sensations reflect an energy constructive and flowering state, where one feels enhanced and effortlessly in flow. Even when engaging in challenging work, it feels as if one’s actions are as graceful as a flower floating in the wind.
Common Sense Approaches to Manage Body-Mind-Energy
Physical Well being – Managing physical body
On the physical level, we have to ensure proper food to be taken & waste to thrown out of the body in timely manner. We have to ensure physical bodily movements to be in balanced manner. It should not become laxed at the same time it should not be overstressed. There are many ways & guides available as to what food to eat, how to exercise the body so that no knots of any kind forms within the body. If any knots forming in the body then you’ll easily know as it will manifest & affect your daily life directly.
Mental Well being – Managing the mind (Mental body)
When it comes to the mind, which is a more fluid body than the physical body, we must ensure that we do not form knots in our thoughts and emotions; the way we think & feel. If the knots form in mental scape then it is much difficult to notice even. Just like if something happens in the body, there will be certain kind of response from the body & an effect of it which is very much easily sensible.
Sensations of mind are very much subtler & need more sensitivity to know the activity of the mind. There are many categorizations available as to what type of feeling is possible in the mind.
At the level of mind, the content is all information. In order to organize the mind & further layers of body, we need to look at something called identity. Because the information will always work according to the identity. Let’s look what is identity.
Identity is like center of movement. It is fulcrum around which all movements happen. It is like nothingness but with lesser condensed state. It is like pure potential. The identity decides according to its potential level & situation around it as to whether some movements will flow in or out. Identity is a kind of knot in itself. But to move through different situations many knots will form & deform by itself as per need.
For the human mind, identity is like a conscious choice. It is like a control button to manage the flow of energy. Identity is like a place from where you relate your place to the flow of energy. You can identify with yourself as physical body, on the level of mind you can identify with a particular idea or any particular role of yours to function. Or you can identify with the energy which is common to everyone. Or you can identify with nothing.
So normally any identification a human decides for the self is always with the intent to produce pleasant sensations in the system according to situations. As per the sensations one has experienced it will choose identity for the most pleasant sensations to retain in the system.
Now, why we always choose to have pleasantness is because pleasantness is something a process of energy moving back to its original nature of movement, i.e. nothingness or attributeless movement. It is like nothingness spurts into the movements or acquires attributes but that again wants to come out of movement to the original attributeless state as it was before any kind of movement. It is a longing all human being has by default to experience more & more pleasantness.
So if you are successful in moving through many identities & don’t get stuck to any particular; the mind will be like effortless process.
Spiritual Well being – Managing the Energy Body
The mind has the power to influence both the physical body and energy body. Sometimes, knots can form in the energy body, and if left unaddressed, they can influence the mental body and physical body negatively. To organize the energy body, practices such as pranayama (breathing exercises) are recommended. Prana, also known as energy, can be influenced and directed through pranayama, effectively breaking any energy knots and allowing the energy to organize itself.
Once we have achieved a harmonious flow of energy within the body and mind, we naturally develop a state of profound questioning about the nature of existence. At this stage, all that is required is to observe, understand, and assimilate the ongoing process of existence. Existence is continually reorganizing itself, and our role as conscious beings is to refrain from becoming an impediment to this process. That’s what our main role is & that is what the essense and purpose of Sustainable lifestyle is.
What is Yoga?
When all knots in the body and mind are flowing smoothly, the distinction between attributeless movement and movement with attributes disappears. The limited identity, which is the source of longing, merges with nothingness. Energy then flows effortlessly from the reservoir of energy (nothingness) through the layers of the body, back and forth. This state is known as “Yoga.”
That’s what Maharshi Patanjali the author of the Yoga Sutras told “Yoga is Chitta Vritti Nirodha”. Once all vrittis (movements) cease to exist in solid state, the attributes of movement dissolve and merge with the supreme stream of movement in existence.
A complete cycle of nature and responsibility of human beings
That’s what the journey of the energy is, from Nothingness (Attributeless Highest condensed state of energy) to Somethingness (lesser condensed state with attributes) to Nothingness back again. For the energy to fulfill this, it traverses countless stages. From Nothingness to somethingness, it made the whole universe & from somethingness to jump to nothingness, the human being represents the final stage in this cycle. Through this journey the part of highest potential always remained in human being containing major part of movements within the system. Human being is that (something) which has the potential to carry the highest condensed state of existence within itself (layers of body). No other part of existence has this capacity to withhold this level of potential with the movements. Therefore, humans are supported by all movements while simultaneously being able to transcend them and sustain an attributeless state. The final state before the merging of potential withheld by individual to the just dissolve all movements & become supportless & attributeless (Merge with God).
This is what spirituality is—the movement on the level of spirit, the core of life. It is an acknowledgment that the cycle of nature begins with nothingness and ultimately returns to nothingness. The final step in this cycle, the merging of individual potential with the supportless and attributeless state, lies within the hands of every human being.
At last, lifestyle refers to the way we live our life, encompassing the cooperation between our body-mind and the environment. By organizing and harmonizing the various layers of our body, managing our thoughts and emotions, and maintaining a smooth flow of energy, we can align ourselves with the natural cycle of existence. This process leads to a state of Yoga, where the boundaries between attributeless movement and movement with attributes dissolve, and we merge with the supreme stream (i.e God) of movement in existence. As conscious beings, it is our responsibility to navigate this cycle and realize our potential to merge with nothingness, the source of all movements
At last, lifestyle refers to the way we live our life, encompassing the cooperation between our body-mind and the environment. By organizing and harmonizing the various layers of our body, managing our thoughts and emotions, and maintaining a smooth flow of energy, we can align ourselves with the natural cycle of existence. This process leads to a state of Yoga, where the boundaries between attributeless movement and movement with attributes dissolve, and we merge with the supreme stream (i.e God) of movement in existence. As conscious beings, it is our responsibility to navigate this cycle and realize our potential to merge with nothingness, the source of all movements.
At last, lifestyle refers to the way we live our life, encompassing the cooperation between our body-mind and the environment. By organizing and harmonizing the various layers of our body, managing our thoughts and emotions, and maintaining a smooth flow of energy, we can align ourselves with the natural cycle of existence. This process leads to a state of Yoga, where the boundaries between attributeless movement and movement with attributes dissolve, and we merge with the supreme stream (i.e God) of movement in existence. As conscious beings, it is our responsibility to navigate this cycle and realize our potential to merge with nothingness, the source of all movements (i.e God).