New Ayurveda Lifestyle Program!

New Ayurveda Lifestyle Program!

In the ancient Indian medical science of Āyurveda, the basis of all positive and sustainable action is rooted in dharma, a Sanskrit term that refers to the natural way of things. This ‘natural way’ applies to all facets of our lives, including diet, lifestyle, and medicine. Literally meaning to ‘follow the day’, dinacaryā is a series of ancient practices based on the principle of dharma, designed to optimize different aspects of health, including metabolism, digestion, and memory. Considered the ‘missing link’ absent in many different systems of medicine, both ancient and modern, the practice of dinacaryā in Āyurveda forms the basic structure of a happy and balanced life, and hence is also known as ‘the regimen of the wise’. The daily regimen in Āyurveda is described in the very earliest of its teachings, including the Suśruta samhitā and Caraka saṃhitā, which originally date back to before 1000 BCE. Dinacaryā is extolled through the history of Āyurveda, as the single most important … [Read more...]

What can I do for my anxiety?

What can I do for my anxiety?

When I encounter an anxious patient, the first thing I do is see if there are any clear causes for the anxiety. Although undesirable, anxiety is a normal response to any kind of stressor that makes us feel insecure, such as losing a job, ending a relationship, or making difficult decisions. If the cause of anxiety can be ascertained, measures should be taken to address them, although life circumstances don't always make this directly possible. The important thing is to make sure that your current environment is safe and secure, and that you are practicing a way of living and being that creates stability and support. Often this means slowing down, learning how to breathe properly, and developing a capacity to simply watch our feelings without necessarily becoming engaged with them. For this I have found mindfulness meditation, called 'vipassanā' in the ancient language of the Buddha, to be an excellent way to develop the 'witness' consciousness that allows us to passively observe and nam … [Read more...]

On the subject of education

On the subject of education

The concept and practice of education is as old as civilization itself, with clear evidence of schools and institutions of higher learning found in many cultures, including ancient India, China, Egypt and Greece. The similarity between all these cultures was a belief in the immutable ‘soul’ of the student, which required proper education in order to manifest its highest potential. This type of ‘classical’ education typically involved many facets in both the sciences and arts, to develop a well-rounded person that could uphold the principles of goodness (e.g. dharma), as well as fulfill their role in society. The educational experience was typically more informal, often performed outside or while traveling, carried out over a period of several years, ending only when the teacher felt the student had completed their studies. In contrast, the modern education system that most of us grew up with owes its origin and structure to a model developed in Germany during the 18th century, called … [Read more...]

Spring semester begins March 4th!

Spring semester begins March 4th!

January is supposedly the most depressing month of the year, but I have always liked this month. Contrary to its usual association with the god Janus, the farmers' almanacs of ancient Rome tell us that January is named after the goddess Juno, consort of Jupiter. In the Indo-European tradition, Juno is equated with Lakshmi, the Vedic goddess of love and prosperity. Given that we have the fullness of the year before us, it seems right to me that January represents fruitfulness and abundance. In this spirit, please let me extend to you my wishes for a happy and prosperous 2015! Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been as active in social media, or sending out much in the way of newsletters as of late. First off, let me apologize for not keeping in touch more frequently. The latter part of 2014 was an extremely challenging year for me and my family, when the health of my parents, both of whom are suffering from life-threatening illnesses (cancer and Parkinson’s), suddenly took a … [Read more...]

Basic fermentation skills

Here is a video we developed for the Food As Medicine Online Learning Program on the subject of fermentation. We are currently developing a library of practical, how-to videos for students enrolled in Food As Medicine, covering all the elements needed to properly use both food and herbs to prevent and treat disease. … [Read more...]