In Pursuit of the Vital Spirit

The serious study of traditional Jyotish & Ayurveda over the last decade has lead me to an expanded & more refined understanding of the relationship between the self, time and space. It is said in the Vedic teachings that “time is manifested from action and that time impels all action”.

The Movement of Time
Time is a very real thing. The perceived rising and setting of the sun creates the hours of the day. The movement of the sun along its northern course toward summer and its southern course toward winter creates the seasons. It is the heat & energy of the sun that warms one part of the earth as another part cools, creating the high & low pressure systems that cause wind and weather. It is during the time of the longer sun that photosynthesis peaks. Earth's vegetation draws in a deep inhale of carbon dioxide which gives rise to the oxygen we breathe & the food we all eat. It is during the time of the shorter sun that earth's vegetation exhales causing plant & animals alike to go dormant. Life rises to meet the energy of the sun.

The Measurement of Time is Change
Each hour of the morning is distinctly different from each hour of the evening. That which ripens and grows in the warmth of summer dies in the cold of winter. A day full of wind and rain compels actions that are completely different from a warm cloudless one. A time of growth & prosperity in life gives rise to a landscape of opportunity completely different from a time of poverty & danger.

It is these distinctions upon which everything in life is measured, the distinctions created by time. Each layer of distinction that we can perceive originates from a quality of time that produced it. All distinctions exist within a field of ongoing change and time is the measurement of that change. The origin of time is the initial change from nothing to something, from everything to each thing. There are many creation stories throughout human history but the point remains the same that the primordial distinction of is-ness itself gives rise to change. That is-ness itself is the primordial action. This action produces change and through this change, layers of distinction begin to propagate reality. Woven throughout all of this reality are all the variegated distinctions that point back to change itself as its origin. We say change is the measurement of time, but fundamentally change actually is time.

It is these distinctions that give rise to the knowledge that our life is different from another life and therefore the awareness of what action we will take next in our own sequence of time. At the origin of all distinctions, and therefore of all measurements, is time itself. Time is the impetus of the entire creation. Creation here is defined as the entire plane of distinctions, actions or of that which can be measured.

The Origin of Time & Life
The origin of life on our planet is the energy from the sun. It is the rhythmic pulsation of the cycles of day & night, summer & winter, light & dark, hot & cold, dry & wet from which life emerges. The light & energy from the sun is the basis upon which all our senses exist. Our senses exist to receive the elements of distinction and our sensorial mind exists to perceive those distinctions. There are many stories & systems throughout human history that detail & define a set of primordial distinctions that are received by the senses & the sensorial mind, however whats important is that these basic distinctions give rise to both the sensory landscape that receives the impressions and the field of possible action that seems to follow.

The primary distinction, or cycle of change, within an individual life is the process of respiration created by the ongoing inhale & exhale. By bringing your attention to this process, the breathing cycle naturally elongates. Through this your perception of the distinction between inhale, exhale and all the spaces in-between elongates as well. As the cycle of respiration elongates, so too does your perception of time. The longer the rate of the inhale & exhale, the slower time will pass. The faster the rate of the inhale & exhale the faster time will pass.

At the origin of all change is time itself, impelling the creation onward.
At the origin of the breath is time itself, impelling the cycle of respiration that sustains life. Time is the cause of change and the cycles of change produce time. It is by the impetus of time itself that inspiration & expiration takes place. This truth is placed for all to perceive at the end of every exhale, if only you elongate it long enough to see.

It is this ongoing impelling of time that causes the movement of spirit in and out of the body. Spirit is not something wholly mystical or unobservable. To inspire or breathe in is to draw in spirit. It is the physical process of respiration that delivers oxygen to the tissues and it is that same breathing cycle to which we can unite our attention, connecting us to the origin of change itself.

The sun is the origin of all time cycles that we perceive with our senses. The energy of the sun causes the movement of air on the planet, the high & low pressure systems that breathe the earth. Time is a solar principal and as such causes the movement of breath in & out of the body, and in & out of the cells & tissues. It is by this distinction of breathing in as opposed to breathing out that we perceive the very aliveness that permeates our sense of being, our sense of becoming and our sense of self.

It is this aliveness or lack thereof that defines our overall vitality and of what we call vital. It is this sense of vitality that is one and the same with the inspiration of breath, impelled by time. It is the movement of spirit within and without, carrying the seeds of vitality wherever it goes.

By bringing our attention to this movement of spirit, we elongate our vitality and thus our very aliveness. By keeping our attention on the origin of spirit, which is time, we begin to identify with that which does not change and is without distinction.

Imbued with aliveness, the knowledge of that which is with vital spirit & that which is without vital spirit is perceived. At the root of this knowledge you may find a spontaneous sense of awe for the spirit that breathes us, for the time we are given and for the timeless immortality from which this spirit first emerged and will finally withdraw into.

The above is not written as a rigid definition of truth nor as an impenetrable fortress of scientific inquiry nor as a whimsical, imaginative exercise. I present to you the soft underbelly of my own ongoing process of discovering what it means to be alive. If you decide to work with me we will begin within the confines of a detailed & structured intake process, followed by suggestions, herbs, foods and remedies that have their basis in a Traditional Ayurvedic and Jyotish context. Much of what we discuss can hold its own under the scrutiny of modern science as well, should you decide to engage that language. However my sincere wish for you is that you may discover your own soft underbelly, your own deep inner wisdom and your own stable platform from which to fully engage the living process, to fully express your own heart's language and to fully reap the fruits of your own capacity for deep living.

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