Birthing Ayurveda: Week 22—The Development of Consciousness
Welcome to Birthing Ayurveda, where we follow one woman's pregnancy experience week by week—from a positive home pregnancy test all the way to delivery.
During week 16, we explored the three doshas or energies of the mind, sattva, rajas, and tamas, as it applies to the emotions of our being and the passion we live life with. As I enter month five, I began to think about those concepts as it relates to consciousness and higher psychological centers (in contrast to the intellect, or Buddhi, which is to come during month six). This center is that place of deep insight and intuition, far beyond the reaches of the intellect. According to Ayurveda, this part of Charlie (what we call the baby) begins to take strong development during this month.
To access this place, we need the stability and harmony of sattva. The movement and divisiveness of rajas or the inertia and destructiveness of tamas take us away from sattva.
To that end, I cranked my meditation into full force. While I was in residency, for a couple of years I used every vacation of mine to go back and take a Vipassana course (a Buddhist-based form of meditation). It is my go-to and the main form of meditation that I know (if you do not have a meditative practice, you can always start with So-Hum meditation). But, as it has been several years since I have attended a course, it was like training a dog from the beginning. This mind of mine is so addicted to activity—to the point that I felt incredibly anxious and restless when it started to quiet down.
But it can be trained, and slowly the peace of silence and emptiness that I have experienced before returned. And by beginning and ending my days with this, I began to feel more centered, more whole within myself, and more aware of the larger truths of life. Really, that is what I want for Charlie—no matter what life may bring, I want Charlie to always remember that we are all complete and whole and to live with a certain contentment and joy in that understanding.
I don’t know about you all, but sometimes I need additional reminders. Sometimes, I am just so frustrated or so overwhelmed with joy, that I find it very difficult to regain my center. For that, I also made sure that I read content every night from spiritual leaders who spoke of the truths of life and of our Soul. The easing of the intellect that this content brings allows the consciousness to shine through. My favorites in this phase of my life are Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, the Dalai Lama, and words of my living spiritual teacher. Additionally, a good yoga and pranayama practice helps pull me out of my intellect as well.
What are you doing to first develop your consciousness and live a centered life? Do you find yourself more scattered, engrossed in the day-to-day motions and roller coasters? Or do you find yourself more at peace and content with sound faith no matter what life brings you? How happy are you? How dependent is your happiness on your environment? When answering these questions, what do you think your baby is experiencing? How can you enhance the baby’s experience within you?
Use this month as an opportunity for self-exploration and find your way back to your true Self. Allow yourself to feel this connection and be a vehicle for your baby to experience the same.