How To Take An Holistic Path to Wellbeing
Meditation is often perceived as taking care of the spiritual or psychological element of our wellbeing primarily. However, to focus purely on one faculty of our being could be detrimental to the development of other faculties and for this reason it is important to consider meditation as a means to a holistic view of our health, rather than a purely spiritual exercises.
The Four FacultiesIt is possible to break individual human experience down into four faculties:
Physical: Relating to the direct tangible sensations associated with our five senses.
Intellectual: Concerning logical and creative mental activity.
Emotional: Relating to how we ‘feel’ in ourselves often spontaneously and without prior intellectual examination.
Spiritual: That aspect that governs our inner being which is often considered to be the essence of who we really are and the part of us that can, perhaps, transcend our physical boundaries.
It is entirely common for individuals to develop one of the above faculties to a greater degree than the others. This is natural enough and results from our desire to find a place amongst others in a community. As we develop as individuals we work to our strengths in order to appeal to those around us. Whilst this is a fundamental part of being human, it is imperative that no one faculty should be allowed to predominate over others to such an extent as to hamper enjoyment and healthy exercising of the other faculties. For example, it would be unhealthy for someone to develop their intellectual capacity to such an extent that they were incapable of communicating or appreciating emotions. Similarly, spiritual development is unhealthy if it does not reside along with physical, intellectual and emotional development.
An holistic path to wellbeing encompasses all the faculties as a ‘whole’ and meditation can be a useful component of an holistic approach to health. When you meditate it is important to adopt the right frame of mind and to appreciate the links between your four faculties, which although being perceived as separate entities, are actually mutually dependent. It is now commonly accepted that intellectual or mental wellbeing is central to physical wellbeing: mental stress often leads to physical illness. It is important to realise that it is also the case that physical and emotional health can be similarly linked just as spiritual and intellectual wellbeing can be, and so on.
When meditating it is worth taking a while to feel the effects of meditation as they relate to all four of your faculties, and to take note of the way in which the distinctions between these faculties tend to blur and disappear as you fully clear your mind and relax your body. In noting this you will have realised how truly interdependent your faculties are and from there it should become easier to encourage each faculty to develop alongside the others.
You will also become aware of the importance of good diet, physical and mental exercise, respect for your physicality, emotional balance to spiritual growth. Any attempt to attain a better spiritual understanding aside from a consideration of your other faculties could well be blighted, leading to deep introspection, physical deterioration, emotional instability and intellectual unintelligibility. The true attainment of spiritual knowledge need be a considered and moderate path.
Meditation itself if considered in its full scope is an ideal way of developing your faculties’ equally.