Self Care Series #3

Via | Sid Jordan | April 8th 2020

Many of us may not have yet fully embraced a program of self-care.  Our busy culture and current demands of the crisis may not support taking care of ourselves and we may view self care as selfishly motivated.  Where is the balance between care of self and care of others? The analogies of balancing care of self and others need a more expansive metaphor.   Perhaps first “know thy self”. 

The golden rule,  “treat others as we would have them treat us”, presumes we know what we and others need.  Henry David Thoreau once said that, “If people are coming to help me, let me know in advance so that I can hide behind my wood shed.”  Thoreau’s caution is particularly true now with our mandate for social distancing. If we are first clearer about our own needs, then we might be better able to discern what others need.  

As with the principles of Yama the Niyamas of self care also reflects serving others.  The principal of “tapah”, that involves making some personal sacrifice to serve others, reflects that self-integration requires taking care of others physically, mentally and spiritually. 

The principle of “shaoca” stands for the cultivation of cleanliness, both physically and mentally.  Our physical cleaning rituals during the coronavirus pandemic require great care to protect everyone.  The mental practice of shaoca involves combating tendencies towards selfish and greedy thoughts.  

“Santosa” or contentment is achieved by developing “a state of mental ease”.   To develop this state of mind we can remind ourselves when feeling overwhelmed and stressed that behind our anxieties and tensions we have a vast reservoir of creativity to solve problems individually and collectively.   Meditation and other contemplative practices can help us access this contentment and creativity. With a calmer and focused mind the obstacles we face can be seen as opportunities for positive personal and collective transformation. 

The next principle, “Svadhyaya” calls upon us to integrate our intuitive and rational minds through a deeper study of spiritual literature and keeping good company.   We become like the news, literature and company we imbibe.  

The last principle of niyama, “Iishvara Pranidhana”, means meditation, the key to the integration of all the yamas and niyamas.  The focus on the mantra in meditation unites us with our universal benevolent Spirit.  Meditation is a “science of intuition” that guides our discriminating choices that serve the general welfare.

The principles shared in this article can help inoculate us against the internal and external stresses we face and result in a balanced care of self and others.

Sid Jordan 

Prama Institute Staff

 

About The Author

Dr. Sid Jordan (Acarya Vishvamitra) has combined a career as a licensed clinical psychologist and meditation teacher since 1971.  As a clinical psychologist, he taught individual, group and family psychotherapy, meditation, yoga and community psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the Medical University of S. C. from 1969-93.  During this period he also served for five years as director of the Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Services at the Franklin C. Fetter  Neighborhood Health Care Center in Charleston S. C.

In 1994 he moved to Asheville NC to develop an eco-village to support the service community of Ananda Girisuta (Blissful Daughter of the Mountain) on the French Broad River near Marshall, NC.  In 1997 he trained to be an Ananda Marga Family Acarya (Yoga Teacher) in India committed to giving personal instructions in meditation and yoga.  He currently serves as president of the Ananda Marga Gurukula Inc. Board in the US, supporting Neohumanist Education k-colleges worldwide. He is Director of the Prama Institute on the Ananda Girisuta property where he helps direct programing and teaches yoga psychology and spiritual practices.  At the Prama Wellness Center he teaches yoga therapy and stress management to individuals and groups.   He continues to offer his 40 years of experience and teaching of yoga psychology, philosophy and practices to audiences worldwide.

Additional Blogs!

Creamy & Crunchy Vegan Cole Slaw

Creamy & Crunchy Vegan Cole Slaw

This is an excellent side-dish for most any meal or use as a condiment on a sandwich or wrap. It only takes a few minutes to make!   Ingredients:  (use organic when possible) • 1/2 head green cabbage• 1/2 head red cabbage• 2 large carrots• 3 Tbl raw agave or honey• 2...

Nurturing a Meditation Practice: A Birthright

Nurturing a Meditation Practice: A Birthright

We have been nurturing a meditation or contemplative practice for our entire life span.  As babies we started with repeating sounds in a singsong fashion.  In a recent NPR interview on Krista Tippet’s On Being program Alice Parker, a renowned chorale leader, commented on singing- “It’s one of the things that we’re born with.

Meditation and the Awakening of Consciousness

Meditation and the Awakening of Consciousness

The awakening of consciousness is a precious experience that expands our minds and enriches our lives. As these realizations are rare and unpredictable, people have, since time immemorial, tried to develop more systematic ways to achieve them. One of the practices for opening us up to consciousness is meditation.  

Other Blogs Posts

A Vision for the New Year

A Vision for the New Year

Traditionally, juice cleanses are not recommended during this time, especially not for people who also have a thin, agile and energetic vata constitution. During the cold season, our digestive system tend to weaken and raw juices may make us bloated and tired. Does that mean it is not good to juice in the winter time? You can still juice, but it is best to follow some important insights from Ayurveda.

Juicing Tips for the Winter Season

Juicing Tips for the Winter Season

Traditionally, juice cleanses are not recommended during this time, especially not for people who also have a thin, agile and energetic vata constitution. During the cold season, our digestive system tend to weaken and raw juices may make us bloated and tired. Does that mean it is not good to juice in the winter time? You can still juice, but it is best to follow some important insights from Ayurveda.

Top Seven Reasons Why Fresh Water is Essential To Good Health

Top Seven Reasons Why Fresh Water is Essential To Good Health

I never realized how important fresh and clean water was to my life before I, as a young man, spent time in poor and dry parts of India, where fresh water was not always easy to come by. Especially not clean water. One day, in the sweltering heat of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, I sank to my knees of exhaustion due to dehydration. Water is indeed essential for keeping us energized and alive.

STAY IN TOUCH!

Get our latest updates, blogs, and promotions.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This
Join Waitlist We will inform you when there is an opening for this retreat. Please leave your valid email address below.

Take advantage of our 15% February Wellness Sale!