We're exploring the science of Ayurveda with Wayne Celeban on the show today. Wayne is a Naturopath and Ayurvedic practitioner with over 18 years clinical experience. Wayne is passionate about empowering individuals to be sovereign in managing their own health and wellbeing. Wayne uses Ayurvedic and nutritional medicines, yogic breathing techniques, and integrated evidence-based research to assist in the management of common conditions such as chronic stress, digestive disorders and hormonal imbalance. Today's chat takes us beyond the dosha's (Vata, Pitta and Kapha), into the realms of the mind and the psychology behind dis-ease and disharmony according to the Ayurvedic system.
Wayne and Mason unpack:
Who is Wayne Celeban?
Wayne Celeban is a Naturopath and Ayurvedic practitioner with over 18 years experience in clinical practice. Wayne received his qualification in Ayurvedic medicine from one of the leading colleges outside of India under the guidance of the renowned Dr Vijay Murthy (BAMS, MS, B.Nat, MPH, PhD).
Wayne has studied in numerous Ayurvedic clinics and hospitals in India including JSS Ayurvedic University, Mysore. In 2012 Wayne was accepted into the SDM Ayurvedic Hospital and College post-graduate internship program in Hassan, India where he continues his clinical training.
To achieve successful outcomes for his clients, Wayne combines the 5000-year-old traditions of Ayurveda and Yoga philosophy with western medical science and nutritional medicine.
Wayne's experience and knowledge is evident in his professional practice and dedication in developing practical and effective health care programs to support his patients in becoming the best version of themselves emotionally,mentally and physically.
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Check Out The Transcript Here:
Wayne, thanks so much for coming on, man.
Hi, Mason. Thanks for having me.
Yeah, absolute pleasure. Good to touch base. I think we said it's been about a year since we've oh, since we met that time and then got to hang out up on the beach there just south of Noosa, right, but yeah, but it's been about a year. That's flown.
It does. It goes quickly.
Do you want to just say a bit of an ooroo to everyone, let everyone know what you're up to up there in Noosaville and tell them a little bit more about your practice?
Yeah, sure. Hey, guys. My name is Wayne Celeban. I'm an Ayurvedic practitioner and naturopath and have a clinic up in Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. Basically, what we do is we specialize in Ayurvedic medicine. We run different Ayurvedic educational programs here. We have our own range of Ayurvedic medicines that we formulate for our patients. We also do a complete range of organic teas and tonics. What else do we do? We've got a traditional Ayurvedic therapy center, basically everything Ayurveda. We run classical panchakarma detoxification programs, traditional programs that been used in India for over 5000 years. Basically, we do all things Ayurveda and we modify it to suit our Western culture in terms of nutrition and all that sort of stuff. Yeah, we love [crosstalk 00:01:33]
Yeah, you've got a solid crew up there.
Yeah, we have. We've got a good team.
Yeah, you had a good team and then a good community around you. That's definitely what I noticed coming there and chatting with everyone in what's the name of that little marketplace that you're in there in Noosa, that little [crosstalk 00:01:51]
Belmondos Organic Market.
That's right. Belmondos just had a good thoroughfare through there, but talking to everyone, you guys are just like waving that flag of keeping everyone healthy, so you got this real grassroots, honoring the traditions of the Ayurvedic philosophy seated in the middle of Noosa, which is really nice. It's a real sweet offering you've got up there, good quality herbs, as well, which we love.
Yeah, man, no, it was good. I always remember I had such a great chat there, really kind of turned me into thinking about Ayurveda a little bit more, despite the fact that I taught a little bit of yoga like back in my early 20s and so started entering into that world and then just got diverted and swept away by the Taoist tradition and not even going down that Chinese medical route. I could see with Chinese medicine that likewise, the complete Ayurvedic system, which both such complete systems that really require dedication, not just taking a little bit off the surface here and there and saying that it's Ayurveda.
When I was talking to you, we were talking about doshas a little bit. It's always such a classic what I think even generally the conversations bandied around you must see that it's quite generalized. I think we had just such a good chat with you going through my constitutional elements and the fluctuating nature of it and where you could be like yeah, this is why everyone's saying you are just a classic Pitta constitution, yet here are the caveats and where different elements of your being having a bit of Kapha coming through, so on and so forth. I mean, just that alone, I think we should ... We're not going to go too deep into that today, but I think that might even be an interesting conversation for people that do like that archetypical and constitutional analysis. I mean, is there anything there you want to say about it just for people who may have just gone through maybe that basic Vata, Kapha, Pitta constitutional analysis? Can it be done online with a questionnaire or just by looking at someone?
Yeah. Look, I think it's always useful to get to know yourself on a more intimate and more like a deeper level. I think looking at Vata, Pitta, Kapha and looking at these different body constitutional types is important, definitely, but there's a lot of other fundamental principles that lay the foundation for those dosha types.
For example, we're all made of tissue systems and we have mental faculties and sense organs and there's a witnessing factor that we're all able to perceive life through. That acts at the basic foundation for life. Some of these things I feel are more important than understanding specifically what your body type is because once we understand what constitutes life, then we're able to be able to navigate our way through life more efficiently.
An example of that is if we understand the mechanisms of mind, for example, the thing is, these concepts are universal. They're not dependent on whether Vata, Pitta, or Kapha is dominant. They're just there, so these are the sort of things that are really important to get a good understanding of because the thing is, from an Ayurvedic perspective, mind is pretty much the main cause of disease. If we understand the causes and the origins of disease, then we can start tracking through and seeing how that affects us physiologically and biochemically. At that stage, that's when your Vata, Pitta, or Kapha dominance starts to come into play.
I think traditionally, with Ayurvedic physicians, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha wasn't something that was communicated with the patient so much. It was about finding that balance, but actually looking at what are the origins of disease? What are the causes and how do we eliminate those? , Pitta, and Kapha are like the effect of the imbalance of more subtle aspects or principles in Ayurveda that are more important to get your head around, so then you can find that harmony in general without having to get too complicated and caught up in all of this Vata, Pitta, Kapha questionnaire-type stuff that we're seeing online quite often.
Yeah, which is really because it's fun. It's about me and my constitution and then you get to like, yeah, which is great and all good, but having that conversation just really tweaked it for me. I feel like of course it wasn't Ayurveda or even Chinese medicine that got me offside with all that surface talk of doshas, yada, yada, yada. It was just the fact that I was kind of, I guess, not willing to go deeper to learn the nuances.
I think just going on your site, you're talking about the psychology and the mind. Just looking at those eight limbs, it's something that always, when I look down the barrel of just how extensive the psychological aspect of Ayurveda was, that branch, which.. How do you pronounce it...? Buddha Vidya, is that the-
Buddha Vidya, yeah. That's psychology, yeah, psychology.
Which was always interesting, I think. I don't know whether we talked about it or whether I was speaking to Tahnee, my partner, about it, but looking at so much asana, with such an asana, physiological and diet-based approach to Ayurveda that have been taken and then, basically, disregarding the fact that you are going to have a lot of mental shit and a lot of patterns come up when you start practicing and breathing and meditating. That's something that seemingly a limb. This has really brought it up when I was going through your site and remember having that sense of just awe and remembrance of how incredible this whole system is, but especially how important that looking at the mind and acknowledging it when you're going into this system.
Kind of gone a little bit off course, so thanks for going with me on that one, man. This is always a good reminder that we can just go back to the mind and the fundamentals of life. One thing I'm really keen to jump in with you is the four goals of life, especially from this Ayurvedic system. I always love, especially from yourself that you've been so rooted in this tradition, I'm really interested to hear your perspective of what those foundations and what that benchmark place is to feel, go like as you're moving along in life, you ideally ... You're a practitioner, yet you wanting to start here. Obviously, you're there championing people to embody all these principles into their own life, tend to their own health, embody certain things into their family culture so that they don't end up in the practitioner office with anything super acute. From your perspective, what are these four goals? What are these four somewhat pillars we can use to gauge where we're at?
Yeah, well, I mean, the four goals, coming back to the influence of mind in terms of general health and wellbeing, we're always looking at how we can find that harmony and that balance at the most subtle aspect of our experience. Coming back to what the Ayurvedic definition of life is is that it's the combination of the body, the sense organs, which act as the main communication pathways from the internal and the external environment. Without sense organs, we have no ability to experience our surroundings through visual, through hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, tasting.
The third component is mind, so that is a combination of memory recall, perception. The ego falls into that category, as well. Then we have what's called budhi, which is like a higher intelligence. It corresponds to that part of you that has that sort of discernment or that ability to make good choices. Generally, when we get caught up in memory recall and reasoning, we generally make choices that don't necessarily support our wellbeing.
The fourth component of life is the witness. There's something inside you. There's something inside me that is just aware. It's a non-local phenomenon. We can't measure it. We can't isolate it physiologically. We can't find the part of the brain where it resides. It's just something that's witnessing. What that does is it witnesses through the filter of the mind, so depending on the quality of the mind, it's going to determine that witness' experience, which then communicates and experiences through the sense organs. Then that determines the whole feedback mechanism and the relationship with life and our communities, our environments.
These four goals of life, they're kind of like signposts that enable us to track how we're moving in life and to be able to enable us to organize our lives in a way that we're fulfilled in all different directions. The first one is known as dharma. Dharma is translated as like life path or virtue. This relates to what it is that you're here to do. What's your particular unique gift or experience that is part of your process.
Traditionally, in Ayurvedic culture, there were different aspects of society that created a functional civilization. We had warriors. We had brahmins, which were like the priests and people that kept knowledge. Then there was people that were involved in trade and economics. Then there were people that were like the public servants. Basically, within those four caste systems, which originally, it seems as though people chose where they wanted to contribute to their society or their communities. That wasn't something that they were born into. It's something that they moved into based on what their dharma was, what their life purpose was. These days, we're having more opportunities to be able to find out what it is that we're interested in, what we want to do in life, and then we pursue that.
Yeah. That's such an important piece. I mean, adapting that to the modern life and having an appreciation, an intense amount of gratitude for the fact that we've actually got the space to consistently move around the earth and tune into what's passionate, what we're passionate about, and then the mobility to move into different careers or different callings is just far out. It's the most incredible thing absolutely possible.
Yeah, it's fantastic. The thing is, if you think about it, on average, we spend eight to 10 hours within our work careers, so this is a long period of time. It's really important that whatever you're doing within that eight-to-10-hour period, you enjoy it. Thing is, if you don't enjoy it, you're going to be miserable. You might be earning well, but how does that relate to quality of life? How does that-
In practice, how do you coach people, like advise people on that because it's like obviously, there's going to be a huge ... I don't know whether there's going to be a lot of psychology involved and patterns involved. There's a lot of people doing a lot of rah-rah motivation to quit your job and come and work for yourself and go entrepreneurial or just simply follow your passion. I'm sure you're sitting there holding this solid intention for people's health. I'd assume that that isn't this pendulum swing, so how would you go about that if you see that there's a bit of the flames diminishing in that dharma sector of these goals?
Well, it's something that we have to consider and look at because basically, I mean, it comes down to the individual. It comes down to what their goals and what their complaints are, what their objectives are, what they're personally wanting to get out of an Ayurvedic consultation. If we look at it from a neurochemical perspective or a hormonal perspective, thing is, if somebody's not aligned with what they really feel in their hearts or what they feel that they should be doing, that's going to be influencing their serotonin levels, their dopamine and norepinephrine. It's going to be determining whether somebody's in like a sympathetic response in general, which can then create excessive cortisol secretions in their system that then starts disrupting their digestive system, which then starts to, at that point, determine whether Vata, Pitta, or Kapha becomes imbalanced, whether there's overactivity, whether there's more heat and more inflammation or whether there's stagnation that's presenting as a result.
I think it's important. I mean, from a clinical perspective and from my own experience and also from an Ayurvedic perspective, it doesn't ever seem to be a good idea to just take somebody from one extreme to the other and create a stressful situation. If somebody's not aligned with what they should be doing or what they feel that they should be doing, well, it's finding ways to carefully transition into more conducive environments that support their health and wellbeing, so supporting their mental faculties, supporting their relationships, their environments. Then that will eventually equate to better health in general, better physiological health, better mental health.
If everybody's moving in that direction, everybody wins. If everybody's doing what they feel that they should be doing, the quality of that product is going to be fantastic. I remember in New Zealand, I used to catch a bus to college. I see it on the bus. There was this Polynesian bus driver. He used to sing for the whole time on the bus. He'd be drumming. He'd be playing music. He just loved doing what he did. Then the next day, he might get on the bus and the guy's just miserable and hates his job. Everybody feels it and everybody starts the day getting onto a bus with somebody that's really unhappy doing what they're doing, so it's really important.
Absolutely, man. Yeah, it's an interesting thing. I see more practitioners just like ... Well, I guess practitioners, yourself being a key example, especially like a leader, you've been studying this for so long and you've been studying the depths of it and then we realize that a true system tracking back 5000 years isn't just going to cherry pick what's nice and fits into a Western system of treating disease. I mean, as a practitioner, as someone teaching a philosophy and this is where you were saying you're needing to make it appropriately come over into the Western world and I guess that would involve as you've just brought up, having these conversations gently.
How many times can you just keep on giving digestive health protocols without addressing this and so you see lots of practitioners moving in this direction and, obviously, yourself especially. I'm always curious how you bring that up in a clinical setting. I'm sure it has to be appropriate. You need to be able to play in both realms, but wear that dharma heart on your sleeve as just is a core educational piece.
You're right it's like it's just the amount of cortisol running around. Even in my own life, it's like you don't want to be going and chasing this idealistic lifestyle revolving around freedom because I think dharma and when I've learned that simplified version of dharma, it's like just had a real flowery, butterflies and rainbows, kind of easy way of living. I mean, what's the reality of it from studying the vedic system in terms of putting yourself through the pressure cooker and almost in states of slight stress. However, you're putting yourself there within alignment for your heart so it aligns with growth. Does that fall into that immediate benchmark for how you're tracking somehow?
Yeah, well, the beautiful thing about these ancient sciences is that they all correspond to each other, so they all, in a way, support each other in different angles. If you look at Ayurvedic medicine or the whole system of Ayurveda, it's actually built upon six philosophies that are adopted. Three of those philosophies are associated with being able to establish the right knowledge or to come to an understanding of truth and develop good reasoning principles. Basically, from a research point of view, you want to go into a research with a completely unbiased perspective and you want to have a methodology that enables you to get to a conclusion that you can feel confident based on all of the steps that you've taken to get to that point.
We adopt those three philosophies, but we also adopt another three philosophies that enable us to navigate our way through life in a way that's harmonious and balanced. Then this is where we might bring yoga philosophy into managing that discord or that transition into finding more of a meaningful existence because the thing is, from my experience, I've been doing this for nearly 20 years. I mean, it's not something that I would say has been an easy journey, but the thing is, I feel like I'm following my heart. I'm doing what I feel that I should be doing. What comes with that is a lot of discomfort, also a lot of good experiences, a lot fulfillment, a lot of satisfaction. It's been a fantastic journey.
The idea of dharma being a fluffy, flowery, butterfly, Walt Disney, happily ever after reality is part of the illusion. We might adopt things like raga and dvesha from yogic principles into that and go well, if you're looking for a life path that is going to be really comfortable for you, well maybe there's an attachment to things that make you feel more comfortable. Or maybe it's because you're having an aversion to discomfort. Dharma isn't necessarily a solution for feeling good. It can take a lot of courage and it can be uncomfortable, but it's meaningful, it's satisfying, and it's something that I think it touches those parts of your experience where there's satisfaction where you feel at a deep level you're doing what you should be doing and you're contributing to your external environment in a positive way.
When you're saying dharma's a way, is it that correlation or that tuning into that observer self, which is one of the four goals of life to ensure that that's coming through?
Well, that's at the very essence of all vedic practices. For yoga, for example, yoga is that practice that connects your physiology with breath, with mind, so they all come into a beautiful harmony so that witness can actually experience life without any distortion. This is another thing with yoga. When I say that we modify Ayurvedic practices to suit a Western setting, it's not to suit the Western mind in the sense that we might find with yoga. Basically, people are becoming attracted to the gymnastic side of yoga and that gets a lot of attention.
The real practice of yoga is to establish a clear relationship with the deepest part of your experience, which is that witnessing factor. That's why there's such a strong component of mind in there because it's usually the mind that gets in the way. It's usually the mind that is causing the disturbance and creating all of this internal dialogue that might be equating to not feeling good enough, not feeling adequate enough, feeling shame, feeling guilt, feeling all these different things or just distracting that witness from having a present moment experience in life.
Yeah, I think dharma, if you're actually really living in that purposeful state, you're not going to be spending as much time in the past and you're not going to be spending as much time in the future. You're going to be here. You're going to be engaged in what you're doing in present time. Dharma is also, from my perspective, it's also it's part of yoga. It's part of that union and that ability to sit in that present state right now.
Yeah. You were saying if we start looking at the origins of disease and the doshas coming off center, so we start at those four goals. Physiologically, I think we're going to be able to save the body, the requirement through herbs and through movement and through diet and just keeping the body rolling right through the center [inaudible 00:25:24] talking about the way we're obviously, that's literally the way we're perceiving the world and ourselves around us. Is that correlating to our feeling states and our emotional states, as well?
Yeah, well, our feeling states and our emotional states, our feeling states can correspond to what's called chitta in yoga and Ayurveda, which is it's the perceptive faculties. It's the mind that are associated with memory recall and reasoning. A lot of our experience and a lot of our feeling, actually, comes from our capacity or our ability to be able to recall impressions and recall memories and then formulate and organize that through what's happening through our sensory perception.
Emotions are a little bit more physiological. You might have a feeling or a thought and that that process is actually going to create a neuroendocrine or neurohormonal profile. It's going to determine what sort of hormones the brain is secreting into the system and then you're going to feel the effect of whatever that is. If you have a thought or if you're perceiving your present moment through a memory that you're associating with fear or anxiety, then that process is actually going to create an anxious response physiologically. We can experience that through that gut-brain axis pathway, so a lot of the time, if we do feel anxious, we're going to feel it in the belly around the navel. That's our body's hormonal response and neurological response, which then starts to disrupt digestive functions and peristaltic functions and enzymatic production, all that kind of stuff.
The thing is, in Ayurveda, we kind of like separate mind, sense organs, and physiology into three different components, but they're all operating as one functional component. There's no separation between any of these different processes. We've just got one. We've got the subtlest form of our experience, which is that witnessing on local experience that we can't measure. We can't form. We can't burn it. We can't squash it. It's just something that is there and then there's a little bit more of a disturbance or a little bit more of a vibrational frequency that comes into manifesting as mind. Then it starts to manifest its physiological components.
We explain that through the elements, as well, so where you have more of the grosser manifestations of life, so we have vibrational frequencies that are related with sound. We equate that to where the space element starts to manifest or these high vibrational atomic particles and then they start to move. Then we get the air element and that air element starts to create a little bit of friction, so we get this fire element producing. Then we get condensation, which the water starts to manifest. Then once that solidifies, we get the earth.
We've got Ayurvedic philosophy tracks the whole manifestation of the Universe from the very subtlest aspects of consciousness and intelligence through the very gross, which is the earth element. We're just operating within that frequency, so we have our physiological components that are made up of the atomic particles that we find on the periodic table and how they're organized will determine whether Vata, Pitta, or Kapha have become more dominant. We've got these subtle aspects that are actually influencing and animating these elements, so it's all just one vibrational format that we're operating within.
And so that's where that daily practice comes in, eh? In Buddhism, there's that chop wood, carry water. What you were just talking about is just making sure that you're not operating consistently from that place of fear, I mean, I remember and still find myself going all right, how am I getting onto my path? Who am I? What am I doing? Am I on my path? It's that constant analysis and goes so far into the mental analysis that you're not digging yourself a hole. Then remembering that it is that somewhat of a mundane, yet strong, yet meek, daily practice where you just go in and at least clear house. It might not have to be every single day. I think I'm still, as most people probably are, still working on this really hard, so I'm not operating from any of these fear-based patterns, especially shame-based patterns, so on and so forth.
That's, I think, whether it was when I was practicing yoga or when I'm practicing martial arts or whatever it is, that's quite often what it can get my Western mind forlorn in terms of just how much work I've done on all these things and all these patterns. Yet, here I am like a decade later and, in a state of weakness, maybe I was a bit tired, maybe I was a bit stressed with things going on in life and that same, bloody pattern comes up, the one that I thought that I dealt with.
It seems what you're talking about these four goals of life being such a pillar, it's what we're looking at. Then you can branch into that yogic philosophy, whether it's the stages of meditation, stages and somewhat humble intentions of physical practice, along with pranayama and the pranayama's many branches and progressions, as well. It's all coming back to just that very simple, kind of you can't really make it too goal oriented. You just need to work on those pillars and then allow whatever needs to come forth to come forth, eh?
Yeah. Well, I think it's sometimes we need to remain in a relaxed state of confusion because our life paths aren't always clear to us and what our purpose is and what we should be doing. Life's very complicated. We don't have any prior training when we come in. We land and we've got to figure it out as we go and somehow do the best that we can. Yeah, just following these four goals, they just enable us to at least have somewhere where we can go right, how am I doing in this department? How am I doing in this department? Then we can gauge well, maybe I need to focus more attention in another area. Let's just cover the four so we at least we've got something to reference.
The second one is kama. Now, that's not kama as in like cause and effect. It translates as wealth. It's really important to have an understanding or pursue your unique purpose in life. It was always regarded as important to make sure that somebody will pay you for it, so like we-
You're saying kama as in the translating to wealth?
Yeah, K-A-M-A. It's not K-A-R-M-A like karma as in cause and effect. It's a different meaning and a different word. It relates to wealth, so you've got responsibilities. You need to provide food. You've got to provide a roof over your head. You may have children. You may have certain responsibilities, so it's maintaining and supporting all of the things that create comfort in life. If you don't have money, it's difficult. There's Tim Robbins. One of his quotes is, "Money in the bank creates a Buddhistic calm." There's a lot of truth to it. I mean, there's different parts of creating a full experience.
Can you say that one again so we can just land it?
Yeah, so having money in the bank creates a Buddhistic calm, so it's a sense of peace. Knowing that you're financially stable is a very calm effect. I know when I've been in difficult financial situations, it's very difficult to go and meditate or to do yoga or to not be in a cortisol-dominant state because the thing is, I mean, bills keep coming in. Your overhead's whatever it is that you have to be responsible for. They don't change. It is important to do what you love, but do it in a way that people will pay you for it. That's going to create a really important pillar for your existence.
Well, you just brought up taking the responsibility on your shoulders, as well, and that's such an important piece there because I feel and I kind of make some broad statements and broad observations of the health scene and the yoga scene. Really, it's been nice to see that self-worth and really honoring your value and that's good.
I think sometimes it comes from a place of have you earned it yet? Do you deserve that? That's that my I like coming through with that little bit of that critique. I like doing it to myself primarily, but let that trickle down into that responsibility of man, if you're going to be wealthy, acknowledge the fact that you're going to have these overheads. It's something I'm still working on. Don't make it about other people needing to pay you what you're worth. How about you get your own worth in the worth of like the responsibility of that little bit of money that's coming into your world and manage that correctly and learn how to actually ensure that that's going to keep the food and keep the roof over your head.
I feel like this kama needs to like this is one of those ones I feel like I very quickly brushed on it when I was going into the Ayurvedic and yogic philosophy. I feel like it's something very easy for young tuckers and seekers and a lot of us have been, I definitely was, to just go right to the cool, shiny things that is, say, dharma, and not look this down the barrel completely beyond the get paid what you're worth.
Yeah. Yeah. It's important. I mean, we need to have a foundation to support our dharma and also our other interests in life and things that we're into. Yeah, money's been sort of tainted, I think. It's sort of there can be shame or there can be issues around having money. A lot of that comes from the way that money's been used in the past, creating these social structures and these institutions that control people and keep people operating a certain way that supports maybe a few people, but it doesn't support the collective, so it can be a grey area depending on how you're looking at it. I mean, it's important to develop a good, healthy relationship with that so then you can create that nice flow and that nice foundation.
I think, man, this is really great and, as you said, allowing that relationship to develop. I feel like it's something that can't be really learned quickly. We were so heavily programmed by a very marketing and sales-driven culture, basically, which is fine. We've all learned a lot through that experience. However, not just going and just jumping over into a motivational, entrepreneurial speaker to give you the download of how you should approach and relate to money now. I think that's something I see a lot, as well. What's coming up for me is just how much respect in terms of a nice, slow emerging process for you to reevaluate your relationship to money, to wealth, and what relevance it actually has in your personal life, not the relevance based on ego or social standing.
Well, it's a practical tool that creates opportunities and that's important. We need that. I mean, everybody wants to have more opportunities and more freedom to be able to experience their self and their environment. Yeah, I think it's always been regarded as an important factor in terms of pursuing happiness and contentment and all these spiritual practices that people have been engaging in for thousands of years.
Coming to the third one, this is another interesting goal of life that we especially if people are more inclined to very intense and focused spiritual paths they tend to overlook, as well. Actually, you know what? I just have to correct myself from 15 minutes ago. Artha is the translation for wealth. Kama is the translation for desires or passions. Sorry I got that mixed up.
Actually, let me just ... I'll give you the sutra and then we can work from there. The sutra goes [Sanskrit 00:39:55], which translates as wealth, sorry, life path, , desire, and liberation are the four goals of life and health is the foundation for achieving those four goals. That's one of the basic original sutras in vedic culture and also in Ayurvedic culture.
nYeah, the third one is desire, so that's where there are things that you're interested in in life that may not necessarily directly equate to you becoming wealthy or supporting yourself or following your life path, so it's really important that ... I use the example of watching David Attenborough. Now, I used to watch David Attenborough when I was kid, six o'clock on Saturday afternoon, and I loved it. And I still do. I mean, the insight into our natural world is just phenomenal. It's a great experience for me personally.
That's not something that's engaged in my occupation or what I do for a living, but I'm interested. What it outlines is that we have to follow those interests. We have to develop that ability, that healthy ability to be curious with our environment. That can be anything. That can be music, could be the arts. It can be anything that is unique to you that you need to explore that's personal. It's a wonderful thing.
I mean, if we work all the time, then life can become a little bit dry, even though we're doing our purpose. If we're earning all the time, that can become dry if we're not actually enjoying and having quality of life and just being in this beautiful place. We're on a rock that grows humans flying through space. It's an incredible experience and it's bloody unusual thing that we're actually doing that we don't really think about. It's important that we stop and reflect and find out well, what am I curious about in this process for this time that I'm alive. Do things that you love. Do things that you enjoy.
Kama also relates to procreation, so it's about being attracted and finding your mate in life and all of that kind of stuff. Yeah, it's like the juice of life. It's the essence. There's a term in Sanskrit called rasa, which translates as juice or melody or also it's taste. It's kind of like just nice, nice, things. Rasa is also the name for the plasma fraction in the blood and rasina is the translation of rejuvenative therapy. If you look at the relationship between all of those different definitions, kama could also be translated as finding that rasa, your own rasa in life, your own melody, your own pleasure, things that you enjoy. That's really important.
Then the fourth one is moksha. Do you want to discuss that one before we move?
I just thought it was cool to make that distinction between dharma and kama there, that like they're on their own track and we don't need to overly spiritually glorify every single one of our actions and try and justify it under the banner of our dharma that there is that for those of us that put a little bit more pressure on ourselves, it either has to be working towards now whether our work purpose, hopefully that's also in alignment with our life purpose, but just allowing that desire to sit there and be that healthy aspect of exploration without that needing to be like how does this align with my path or monetization.
Yeah. Yeah, if we can find a balance between those three, we're 80% of the way. We're 75% of the way. The fourth one is moksha, which translates as liberation or freedom, so that's where a lot of these spiritual paths come in because the objective is to get to know who you are. At the essence of most spiritual paths that I'm aware of is that it's all about a relationship with self and undoing all of the gunk and all of the fear and all of the different things that get stuck to you throughout your life. I mean, as soon as we come into existence, we're conditioned. We're conditioned through our societies, through our cultures, through people that we interact with. We're conditioned through our traumas during school and all of these sort of processes that put us into different boxes and coming from the side.
Moksha is about undoing and unraveling all of that stuff. If you take away the trauma, you take away the fears, the anxieties, the grief, the anger, the irritability, the depression, all that kind of stuff, you peel all that back and you're left with you. It's just that witnessing factor that is there but it's not being filtered or distorted through mental faculties that create an illusion. I think that's the essence of yoga practice, as well. It's where you just become you're suspended in that state of pure awareness. That's always been regarded as a really important factor during vedic times, in vedic civilizations and I think it filters into Buddhism and Hinduism and all those Eastern philosophies, as well. It's coming back to the origin and existence.
That's like the ultimate goal as a spiritual person is to become enlightened, but if we look at that also from the practical level, we can address that on a day-to-day basis. For example, if I have anxiety around getting on a plane and traveling because I've got a fear of heights or something like that, then that fear is always going to be limiting my experience and my capacity to really explore my reality, explore, explore, explore the world.
By looking at moksha at smaller increments along that path to enlightenment, well, then we can start addressing and looking at all things. Where do we have self-imposed limitations? Where are we holding ourselves back in terms of preventing ourselves from having beautiful experiences because we're scared of something?
If you look at most behavioral conditions and mental health conditions, there's always a fear at the very core of that, which is a contracted state, so moving beyond that a day-to-day basis, so if I jump on a plane and I go and travel to a different country and I meet all of these beautiful people and experiencing different geographical locations, well, then I'm in an expansive state. My reality is increasing. That can be anything from day-to-day basis, so wherever there's some sort of resistance, that's an opportunity for a form of liberation, which then will contribute to more increments of fear or self-imposed limitations and beliefs coming apart and then all of a sudden, you just find yourself feeling happy for no reason.
Yeah, well spontaneous happiness, that's something that I did back when I was looking at bringing ashwagandha back into the range and looking at the general intentions behind the tonics and the Ayurvedic system that spontaneous laughter and spontaneous joy was one of the key in some of the texts I was looking at and looking at Michael Tierra, who's an Ayurvedic practitioner, as well. Just looking at his, that was one of the things that kept on popping up in a couple of other texts, as well. I was like oh, how fantastic just as an intention and to have that possibility and those four goals and then the foundations in the sutra. You're saying that the foundation is health and then very obviously seeing that you're not going to be able to actually separate health from the expression of these goals to begin with, that we're all talking about the same thing and they're going to be feeding into that health.
Then you go on and we start looking at disease and injury occurring in the body sometimes can be a catalyst for growth, I'm sure, in some of those four areas. However, I think this is something fair to say, as well. We don't want to have to rely on trauma or anything with our health being a catalyst for us getting onto our path or needing to make wealth and so on and so forth. If we can, just bring awareness and stay in a place of health and digestive balance and then just go on a little bit smoothly. It doesn't do good for a memoirs or a biography or anything like that, but it's probably a little bit smoother along the line. From there, we start looking at origins of disease and Ayurveda. It's probably a huge conversation. We're pretty ambitious about what we were going to cover today, so we might have to have another.
We didn't get far, did we?
Well, I mean, but I'm still interested to touch base and then to be honest, I think I want to touch base on cleansing procedures, but I think we're almost going to have to have an entire panchakarma conversation. Let's just start looking at this origin of disease in a very ground level from your approach.
Yeah. Okay. Just in response to what we've just discussed, looking at what constitutes health and spontaneous joy, it's really important to have a benchmark or an understanding or reference point to what the definition of health actually looks like. This has been clearly explained in classical Ayurvedic texts. Basically, the translation is one with balanced doshas, so the balance of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, so in a really simplified sense, we can say if we have good communication between the body and good, healthy, unrestricted movement that's not excessive or deficient, if we have good regulating processes that determine our homeostatic thermostat and temperature and if we have good stability within those tissue systems, that could be defined as Vata, Pitta, or Kapha.
Balanced doshas, balanced digestion, so being able to properly disassemble and absorb nutrients and separate them into waste products, balanced tissues, so plasma, blood, muscle, fat, bone, and marrow reproductive tissue and balanced waste products, so a good balance of sweat, urine, and feces, and one whose senses, mind, and body are full of bliss is defined as a healthy person.
I mean, they've set the benchmark pretty high, but I think it's really important to know where we're heading, so what are we capable of? What is the potential of human health and wellbeing because if we're only basing it based on how we feel today and how we feel tomorrow, we're only going to be able to work within a certain parameter or certain frameworks. We can then gauge that maybe we feel better than we did last week, but if we don't understand well, how could we feel, like what is the sum total of good, well-balanced health, well, then how do we move towards that? How do we move towards a state of balance? I love the fact that they acknowledge that the mind, body, and senses are full of bliss. We can use that as a gauge. Sometimes we just feel good for no reason.
Mm-hmm (affirmative), and that's okay. Yeah. That's not a weird thing. You're not a weirdo.
Yeah. Yeah. Well, it shouldn't be regarded as an unusual thing.
Well, you were talking about confusion before and the fact that you can be in a relaxed state of confusion. I thought that's really good. It's a real like you turned up to work with a smile on your face. "Hey, how you going?" "Yeah, I'm confused. Yeah, thanks for asking."
Well, the thing is, I think it's just important not to take life too seriously. It's important to honor it and make the most of it, but not to get too caught up in it and feel as though you have to be something that you're not in this moment. As long as you're tracking towards, moving towards that definition of health and you're consciously aware of your life path and earning and creating good, solid foundation there, exploring the things that you're interested in, looking to move through your fears and move towards getting to know yourself better, that's great. Just do that, but if you're not there, it's okay.
Yeah. Having that intention to move towards that place I think is nice without that pressure coming at it from that place of joy and even allowing yourself to be confused in a nice, relaxed way in terms of what health is and what you're moving towards because it can get a little bit daunting when you just go oh, there it is. It's that simple laid out in front of me and this is what I need to get to that elevated state of health. Of course, in practice, in life, it's never going to be that simple. It's in the texts. I haven't studied Ayurvedic texts and vedic texts much, but I know in the Taoist texts or in many traditions around the world, it's acknowledged that here it is. It's very basic, but we understand the complexity of life, as well, so just know that it is going to be a unique journey, as well.
I mean, in terms of the origins of disease, we see very quickly there if we're looking for harmony and we're looking for aspects of our health to be in alignment with each other, if they're not, we're going to see, say, we're going to see imbalance emerge. We're going to see disease emerge. I think what's nice, I think everyone sees a lot of what I've seen Ayurveda in the past heavily revolving around treating illness and not seeing yoga being practiced in a way that was holistic enough to really bring forth a well, and this is just the yoga that I went and sought, bringing about this well-rounded, robust health that we're talking about and is somewhat why I moved in the direction towards Taoist practices just because I wasn't looking in the right places.
The Taoists took it in a different direction, but of course it's somewhat the child of Ayurveda. That is definitely the ancestor in here, so no doubt there might've been some elaborations and different focuses based on the different terrains and mindsets. Of course, Ayurveda is going to have it covered completely as a system. In terms of disease, are you feeling to touch base on anything relevant there and how it has its origins?
Yeah, so in terms of disease and its origins, Ayurveda defines three causes of disease to be at the core of all physiological and mental imbalances. The first one is known as parinam, which relates to environmental factors and time, so there's certain within this experience and these elements in this physical universe, there is a process of growth and degeneration. It's a basic mechanism that's at the origins of all cellular biochemical function.
Basically, we have, at a cellular level, we have things like DNA that create, store the blueprint of the production of amino acids and proteins and tissue-building components. Then we have, say for example, the metabolic processes that generate the energy so that can come from a potential into a process of potential, so we've got the stored intelligence that then organizes itself into tissue-building components. There's a process of that and then eventually, we get what is the product of that creative potential, which is considered as the known or the form or what is expressed from that nonphysical creative intelligence.
Then after that, we get that degenerative process, so eventually, that cell will go back into a state of degeneration. Those elements and those atomic particles will then be transferred into generating new creative potential, the expression of that creative potential and what's expressed from that. Time is a process that is going to be influencing our physiology. I mean, nobody's getting out of here alive. There is a lifespan that we have and we're just part of that. That is a cause of disease.
Right, and the speeding up of these processes... In some of the instances.
What are you looking at in terms if you look at your lifestyle, what are ... Some of these might seem obvious, but I'm keen to hear especially in these aspects of lifestyle, I imagine we're looking at diet and movement and so on and so forth, but one of the things, if we're looking at the origin of disease, especially disease coming up down especially when we start aging and we get into that death cycle a little bit more. How do you approach some of the key areas to stay in harmony and not allow disease to come up in a body and how have you approached them in a way that allows you to stay consistent and not get swept off into anything new, necessarily get swept off and go into something that's like a fad or what's the next best thing. How do you approach that?
Well, the way that I approach that personally is that I apply these principles and I'll measure whatever fads or whatever health trends or exercise trends that are coming through and I'll look at how that translates into these basic mechanics of life. As an Ayurvedic practitioner, I can appreciate the fact that Ayurveda is not a manmade system of healthcare. It's an observable system of nature. What we're looking at, we're looking at the principles of how nature evolves and fluctuates and what are the laws around that that bring about happiness and joy and sustainable physiology and what destroys it. I'll use those principles and look at how that ties into whatever the latest herb is or whatever the latest berry is or exercise or cleanse or whatever because, I mean, the thing is, it's a multibillion dollar industry. There's always going to be something new. The industry needs to continuously recreate itself to keep people engaged and interested in that.
That's why I really appreciate Ayurvedic systems is because we're not trying to create anything. We're looking at how we sustain life, how we sustain the basic mechanisms of life that support cellular health, that support mental, physiological health, support our sense organs so we can maintain good, clear, direct perception with our external environment.
In relation to the other two causes of disease, excuse me, I use these as a basic indicator of how I'm tracking and what my relationship is with the external environment, so the second one is known as asatmya indriyartha samyoga, which means improper utilization of the organs of perception and their objects.
For example, if I'm continuously staring at a computer screen for six hours, writing or doing whatever I do, I know that that's going to start affecting my retina. I know that it's going to start influencing things like melatonin release or I'm lucky if I'm watching, I'm on my computer at night and I'm going to bed now it's time, I know that that may affect my melatonin. If I affect my melatonin, then I'm going to have difficulty getting to sleep. If I have difficulty getting to sleep, I'm not going to possibly get into good REM three or four sleep state, which means I'm not going to efficiently break down beta amyloid plaque, which means I'm not going to organize the information very well in my brain. It is then going to result in me waking up tired in the morning and that will potentially have further impact on digestive functions and homeostasis and that sort of thing. It's important that we have correct relationship with the objects that we're perceiving through our sense organs.
That's a big one. That's a big one culturally for us because we have these devices constantly where they're attached to us. We're constantly looking at them. We're looking at them at night. They're influencing our mood state. They can be generating anxiety. They can be generating depression, dependence, addictions, all that kind of stuff. That's a big one from an Ayurvedic perspective.
the third one is known as pragnyaparadha, which translates as the misuse of intelligence. This is considered as the main cause of disease. Basically, this is not exercising our physiology and our mental faculties in an intelligent way. I know that Coke is going to affect my glucose levels. I know it's probably going to lead to inflammation. I know that it's got caffeine. I know that it's highly processed, but sooner or later, I'm probably going to succumb to drinking a can of Coke on a hot day at some point. This is where we misuse our intelligence and we start generating things that start causing imbalance physiologically.
If we look at what that mechanism, how that might look physiologically, if I'm staying up watching Netflix until 2:00 in the morning, I start affecting my sleep patterns. I start creating ... I'm not feeling as clear and as awake the following day. Then I start becoming stressed out because I'm falling behind or I'm not reaching my targets terms of or whatever it is that I have to do or I'm just not relating to the people around me very well because I'm tired. That starts to disrupt my hormonal system. That'll put me into a sympathetic state. I'll start producing more adrenaline and then all of a sudden, my digestive system starts to just not function as efficiently.
This is the basic kind of process of disease from an Ayurvedic perspective. This is pretty much how most chronic health issues start to manifest. Once we start disrupting our neurohormonal systems, then our digestive systems start to be disrupted, so all of those neural pathways that service digestive function influence enzymatic production. They influence peristalsis, transit time, digestion, so if I'm eating food or I'm eating food at the wrong times, I might not be efficiently separating food substances or absorbable nutrients and waste products.
That's pretty much the whole function of the gut is to take food and turn it into healthy tissue and to separate the waste product and move it on and effectively eliminate it from the system. If I'm not digesting that efficiently, I end up with a byproduct of that digestive process and we call this ama in Ayurveda. I think the best translation of ama is gunk. It's not toxin. It's just gunk. It's just like digestive residue that starts to coat the lining of the stomach, whether it's in the stomach, small intestines, or the large intestine. Then that starts to further hinder the quality of digestion absorption and eventually, that gunk starts to move into the bloodstream, so it starts to influence the quality of plasma and blood. Then that's where we get symptoms of fatigue, lethargy, foggy mind, all of those initial symptoms of not feeling well, not feeling hundred percent.
The problem is, is if that gunk isn't efficiently removed from the system, it might find its way into the joints, so it might start accumulating in my knees, for example. If I've got a genetic predisposition let's say rheumatoid arthritis or autoimmune conditions in the family, it might mean that that is the most compromised tissue system in the body so that starts to build up there because the immune system is a little bit more compromised. Eventually, I might start having symptoms of heat, redness, inflammation, swelling, and eventually, I might use some Voltaren or some-
That's good stuff.
... chemist antiinflammatories. I use that so I'm not feeling the pain. I'm not feeling the discomfort. Over a period of time, my immune system is going to develop a non-local response. We call this an autoimmune response, so then we activate this autoimmune condition and then all of a sudden, we have this degenerative-type process happening in the knees. Then further along that line, we end up with a lot of tissue damage. Then we end up with possible fusion or deformity of the joints. That's usually the time that we'll diagnose that as rheumatoid arthritis.
Right, so a little bit too late.
Yeah, so if we track that all the way back, all the way through from the joint to the channels of circulation back through the intestinal wall into the stomach through the neural pathways and the hormonal pathways back into the endocrine system, back into the brain, back into the mind, back into the choices, we can see that everything stems from misuse of intelligence or just directing our physiology or mind or functioning in a way that's conducive to health and wellbeing.
There's so many things to unpack there. I definitely feel like from the cleansing perspective, I think we're going to have to do another podcast just covering that. Otherwise, we're going to end up with a super, mega three hour fest on our hands here. I then like if you track back to the wealth goal or [inaudible 01:09:38] in one where you take responsibility and I can see that can become so overbearing at times, especially if you don't have dharma in your life and so then your kama desire somewhat gets a little bit suppressed there and you need to sneak it in.
Therefore, some of the mental choices you're making through your mental patterns and your intellect are going to be towards those to I'm thinking something which isn't being acknowledge and take you down that track where you're going to consistently have a practice that is not going to be revolving around acknowledging what you are actually perceiving around what you know and feel is going to be right for your own path. You have sustained your own destiny and, therefore, you might stay up consistently late consistently.
This is something I can really empathize with that these patterns can seem like they can and addicts will definitely know that you can even slight stealth addictions, they can be overbearing. You really got to get in there early or now. No matter what it is, whether it's food or just that little bit more booze at night or even social media or TV and just of knock it on the head because doesn't matter how much you make distinctions around not watching that screen and getting that blue light at night, so you're setting up the sleep environment so that your digestive health can be rocking so down. There's only so much you can do in terms of looking at the health practices. Hopefully, they can crack it, but a lot of the time, they can't crack those mental patterns, so you got to get in there.
Yeah. This is where your life purpose becomes really important because if there are addictions, if there are attachments to alcohol, drugs, sex, whatever it is for the individual, there needs to be something that's greater than the sum total of those attachments. It's unrealistic to think that somebody's just going to give those up because what are they replacing it with? Nothing, which means that they're even more miserable.
At least there is pleasure. At least there's something that they can have for a moment where they go all right, this is nice. This is an escape from the discomfort that I experience through my own thought patterns or my repetitive behaviors or the situation that I've created for myself or the situation that I found myself in. I think this is why things like yoga practice and things that bring us back to finding the simplicity and the aspects of our existence that encourage us to make better choices and to just generally feel better.
I love it, man. Guys, I do apologize we went rambling on, but I feel like it's been the best and talked, rambling about the four goals. We'll do another pod around cleansing procedures and medicated fats, as well. I think it's a good idea. This has got a little fire around having done so much work and seeing the fabric and the intent that goes into a lifestyle. I just like to hear a couple of real core pillar lifestyle things, superficial things that you're doing to maintain your health. Are you still on the mat practicing Brazilian jujitsu? Is that one of your core things still?
Yeah, it's definitely a core thing. I've got a knee injury at the moment, so I haven't trained for about six weeks, which is very difficult because that's part of my mental health practice. That's what helps to keep my mind balanced and physiologically well. I mean, yeah. Things that I'm finding that are really working for me at the moment is maintaining a regular yoga practice in the morning, because I start my day well if I do that, and pranayama breathing techniques. I've been doing the Wim Hof breathing for probably the last nine months or so.
I find it's quite an aggressive form of pranayama, but it really helps to reset your hormonal profiles. It's like it floods your system with adrenaline and then your body kind of resets and reprograms. It's a really good way for people to start getting back into or introducing them into the benefits of breathing. Yeah, good water, good air, and regular exercise. I think that's even more important than food. If there is stress, if there is cortisol, if you're under pressure, just using these traditional herbs and Ayurvedic medicines and-
Yeah, so let's [crosstalk 01:14:24] you want to. The most important question in the Superfeast podcast, what herbs are you on at the moment? What do you love and what are some of your cherished herbal friends on your journey through life?
All right. Well, I usually sort of oscillate. If I'm doing more physical activity, if I'm doing more jujitsu, if I'm training more, if I'm competing, then I'll steer towards more antiinflammatory herbs and things like ashwagandha is very good. Things like tribulus terrestris. Gokshura is the Sanskrit word for that. Yeah, and just using some basic supplements like zinc. I'm taking brahmi ghrita, which is a formula that it's a medicated fat, so it has Bacopa monnieri and a few other nootropic herbs.
Yeah. I sort of go depending on what my body's needing at the time, but it's usually in terms of work, I'm looking at nootropics things that are helping with cognitive function, things like that. Bacopa monnieri is good. Withania somnifera is good.
Yeah, ashwagandha incredible nootropic herb, doesn't get its time in the sun in that category as much as it should.
Yeah. I've been experimenting with a few mushrooms lately, so introducing lion's mane just to support that REM three and four sleep state, which there's been some good research, positive research on that. Yeah, I mean, I've got a whole shopful of herbs and tinctures and things.
Yeah. Your shop is a wonderland.
I pretty much use whatever I feel I need to use at that time, so yeah.
Love it bro. Thanks for coming in and going through this just so comprehensively with me. As I said, let's definitely do this again. Maybe I can organize coming up to Noosa because I like it up that way.
We can do it in the shop. Got to come in. You've got some incredible treatments up there. Man, I have to be a little bit more organized next time and get in and get some Ayurvedic cleansing and pampering and all goes beyond pampering though, doesn't it? We'll just put it under the guise of that.
Yeah, we can book you in for panchakarma for the full traditional Ayurvedic treatment.
Well, let's do that. That's a good excuse for me to come up and I'll have to do the podcast having gone through your ... It's been a while since I've gone down that route, so I'll be experientially able to interview you for that one.
Excellent. I look forward to it.
Just last one, the Yukti website and any other social media platforms or anywhere you want people to come in because you're educating quite a lot. You're running courses up there. Just the best places for people to go and get these resources. I'm going to look up your Instagram.
Yeah, so if you go to yukti.com.au, Y-U-K-T-I.com.au, yukti_healthcare for our Instagram page and Yukti for our Facebook. Most of the information that we put out comes through our website or we post it on either Instagram or Facebook. If anybody wants to contact me directly, it's just firstname.lastname@example.org. Yeah, if anyone wants to pop into the shop, we have great coffee just a few meters away, so it's always a good reason to come and visit.
And then some good herbs to ensure that that coffee isn't taxing your nervous system [crosstalk 01:18:01] consistency.
Yeah, we've got-
You have to stay on point with your dharma.
Plenty of SuperFeast mushrooms on the shelf, so that's [crosstalk 01:18:09]
All right, man. I really appreciate it. Catch you next time.
Thanks, Mason. Good to see you again.
Thanks for having me.
We get asked heaps at HQ "...but which herbs do *you* take?" Today the crew share their favourite tonic herbs :)