These 8 dimensions, also known as the 8 Pillars of Wellness offer an invaluable, forward thinking model and map to becoming a flourishing, productive and well person. Too many people assume that whenever they’re not ill, they’re healthy. We do yoga or meditation, eat well, and all seems just fine, but we feel that there are still some unfulfilled gaps and blind-spots. This giant carbon footprint, me-generation, speed based, competitive capitalism is hardly sustainable, and if we are honest, many will say that our modern life didn’t really make us happy. It is indeed a challenge now to “self actualize” while many of us are home-bound, but it’s a great time to reflect on our lives and goals, what has been working, and what hasn’t. I believe this holistic, whole person approach to well-being and wellness must be considered and implemented. Even with the inconsolable loss of life with our current pandemic, will get a chance to wake up, reset and restart our lives, with the hope of a much better way forward.
I have spent much of my life as as spiritual seeker, devoting my life to Tibetan Buddhist Dharma and a guru or two, but regretfully, haven’t seen that much really transformational, positive results in our community as a whole. What are we doing wrong? Were we using our meditation and mantra practice for credential, excess intellectualism and spiritual pride? Did we use our religion and practice as an existential escape to bear nothing more much than becoming self-righteous “slactivists?” I don’t mean to be so harsh, but I must ask, does it serve our best interest to retreat, repeat mantras and perform complex rituals all day, borrowed from Tibetan or Indian culture?
I thought that if I was a devoted student and trusted my guru, signed up for a tried and true ancient training, I’d have some spiritual insurance of success in this life, and indeed any possible “future lives.” No such luck… why? If it hasn’t been working, should I just do more and expect a different result? The older, feudal religious social structure of giving one’s power to an authoritarian guru in both the Buddhist and Yogic traditions is now being reconsidered by no less than the Dalai Lama himself.
There were many, many essential components missing in my training, that I believe are the cause of our collective…