18 October 2008

Seasons and Rhythms

The rainy season has started and everything is now cold and damp. This evening by the time I generally take my dogs for a walk, it was already dark and gloomy because of a heavily overcast sky; with rain clouds both going out and coming in. Taking opportunity of the lull in the rain, I immediately started to prepare my six doggies for their regular walk. Three of whom absolutely refused to leave their protected seated area on the verandah, but the other three were willing and eager to wade through muddy fields and risk the possibility of getting caught in a thunderstorm. So off we went.

This climatic and seasonal change reminded me of an interesting narrative I had read about the affects cycles and rhythm have on the body’s physiology. On returning home I dug out the narrative and post it below.

Dancing with the Universe

"Our body, our mind, our emotions; everything in our physiology is changing moment to moment, depending on the time of the day, the cycles of the moon, the seasons and even the tides. Our body is part of the Universe, and everything that happens in the Universe ultimately affects the physiology of our body. Biological rhythms are an expression of the rhythms of the Earth in relationship to the entire cosmos, and just four rhythms: daily rhythms, tidal rhythms, monthly or lunar rhythms and annual or seasonal rhythms; are the basis of all of the other rhythms in our body.

As the Earth spins on its axis, we experience a 24 hour cycle of night and day that we call the circadian rhythm. This rhythm is based on the spinning of the Earth, and everything in our body, being part of the Earth, is also spinning and following the rhythm of the Earth. Tidal rhythms also have an effect on our physiology. These rhythms are the result of the gravitational effect of the sun, the moon and the stars in the distant galaxies on the oceans of planet Earth. We have an ocean within us that is similar to the oceans of our planet. More than 60% of our body is water, and more than 60% of our planet is water. So we experience a low tide and a high tide, and the tides ebb and flow in our own physiology. When we feel out of sorts, our body is out of synch with the body of the universe. Spending time near the ocean, or anywhere in nature, can help us to synchronize our rhythms with nature's rhythms.

The lunar rhythm is a 28 day cycle that occurs as a result of the movement of the Earth, the sun and the moon in relationship to one another. This rhythm is evident in the waxing and waning of the moon. As the Earth moves around the sun, we experience seasonal rhythms as distinct biochemical changes in the body-mind. Seasonal changes affect not only the biochemistry of the human body; they affect the biochemistry of trees, flowers, butterflies, bacteria and everything throughout nature.

To separate the body-mind from the rest of the cosmos is to misperceive things as they really are. The body-mind is part of a larger mind; it's part of the cosmos, and cosmic rhythms result in profound changes in our physiology. The universe is truly a symphony of the stars. And when our body-mind is in synch with this symphony, everything is spontaneous and effortless, and the exuberance of the universe flows through us in joyful ecstasy.

When the rhythms of our body-mind are in synch with nature's rhythms, when we are living in harmony with life, we are living in the state of grace. To live in grace is to experience that state of consciousness where things flow effortlessly and our desires are easily fulfilled. Grace is magical, synchronistic, coincidental, joyful. It's that good-luck factor. But to live in grace we have to allow nature's intelligence to flow through us without interfering.

Once we start to synchronize our rhythms with the cosmic rhythms, the body feels quite different. It feels vital; it doesn't get fatigued. We feel more energy subjectively. We begin to experience that state of consciousness where everything in our life is flowing with ease. Vibrant health is not just the absence of disease; it's a joyfulness that should be inside us all the time. It's a state of positive wellbeing, which is not only physical but emotional, psychological and ultimately even spiritual. What will make us healthy is to be aligned with the forces of the universe, to feel that our body is part of the body of nature, to commune with nature, to commune with our soul by spending time in silence and solitude. "

[Abridged – By Deepak Chopra]

Shiva as Nataraja

Shiva is often referred to as the Destroyer but since he is often associated with creation that comes out of destruction, he is also a God of Transformation. In addition he has different aspects that appear at different times. One aspect is that of Shiva Nataraja, The term 'Nataraj' means 'King of Dancers' (Sanskrit nata = dance; raja = king). It is believed that the energy from this dance of bliss (Ananda Tandavam) sustains the cosmos, and when Shiva is finished with this dance, the Universe will end and a new one will begin. The dance is said to symbolize the five divine acts (pancha krityas) of creation, sustenance, dissolution, concealment and bestowment of grace.

To read a full and earlier posting of Shiva as Nataraj, go this link here

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