Navarasas

Stiffness goes out of my stance,
and my spirit flows like water
and my mindspace is filled with music
and I smile.

A circle of safety
A field with no verbal minefields
A place to be myself
Faults and all
An unconditional acceptance
No dripping poisons of hostility, sarcasm, blame
Like a cat in the sun
Like a babe in my lap

Emotions and the way you deal with them can create a healthy heart. The Zero Heart Attack Path (ZHAP) helps you understand the impact of emotions in healing your heart. The Nava rasa of the healthy heart is your guide to understanding the nine emotions. The positive emotions create a positive field which fill your blood with the chemicals of happiness and well being, which are conducive to the building or rebuilding of the healthy heart. The negative emotions create a negative field which fill your blood with the chemicals of unrest and unhappiness.

The Mind is a space which is filled with positive and negative emotions. Nava rasas in a 2000 year old Indian concept of emotions. These emotions, 9 in number, have been built into a system of dance called Natya Shastra by Sage Bharata.) Rasa is a rapture or relish and 37 chapters of the Natya Shastra are devoted to eight of them, as Bharatha does not consider “Shantha” or peace a major Rasa. Bharata’s Natya Shastra even described each rasa with a different colour.

The rasas are: Love, humour, compassion, wrath, chivalry, fear, abhorrence and wonder. The eight rasas have within them 49 sentiments and or bhavas.

Obviously the positive emotions or states like love, humour, compassion, chivalry and wonder would put the mind in a happy and enthusiastic state of mind, which would nurture health. The negative ‘rasas’ like anger, fear and abhorrence, would create a state of mind which is described in Daniel Goleman’s book as ‘emotional hijack’. The Big Five Negative Emotions are Lust, Anger, Arrogance, Greed and Jealousy. They are listed both in Hinduism and Buddhism, as creating an atmosphere of unrest in the mind. In this state, the mist of negative emotions, slows and confuses the mind. During meditative practices, the chemicals of peace and tranquillity flow into the blood. Breathing, heart rate and pulse rate, stabilize. The mind is able to function calmly and freely. An alert and relaxed attitude is required for the teamwork involved in building ideas and analyzing them. Self-awareness of your state of mind can help you get the most out of life and lead to a healthy heart.

Each of the major Rasas have a few stable sentiments and many passing, transient emotions. The permanent sentiments are pleasure, laughter, grief, anger, zeal, awe, disgust and surprise. All the major rasas will have elements of these feelings. In love, there will be the pleasure of union and the grief of parting. Many scholars add the 9th rasa, Shantha rasa (or the rapture of peace). The mutable sentiments are not present in all the Rasas. A few are present in each of the rasas. They are like passing clouds and there are 33 of them. The Mutable Sentiments are: Detachment, Remorse, Apprehension, Envy, Intoxication, Fatigue, Indolence, Depression, Anxiety, Delusion, Recollection, Contentment, Bashfulness, Agility, Joy, Agitation, Stupor, Arrogance, Dejection, Eagerness, Slumber, Epilepsy, Dream, Awakening, Indignation, Dissimulation, Violence, Resolution, Disorder, Insanity, Death, Terror and Deliberation.

The WHO (World Health Organisation) says that 120 countries, with a total population of 5 billion, have a life expectancy of 60 now, compared with 48 in 1955. Seniors over 85 are the fastest growing segment of the population in western countries. Increased longevity without matching improvement in quality of life is a meaningless progress. Health expectancy is more important than life expectancy. You can be physiologically younger than your chronological age. What we need is a quality life.

Social epidemiology, health sociology, medical anthropology are the new medicine related subjects. Medicine is becoming increasingly interested in helping patients to know what to expect in surgery and recovery as they handle the process much better. Just listening to a tape of the doctor’s voice can make a difference. Many hospitals include an educative session on what to expect. Andrew Weil writes that the doctor – patient relationships is a cornerstone of healing. Never let a patient be with someone who does not think you will get better, he says.

Generalized anxiety disorder( GAD) is characterized by worry, insomnia, muscle tension, and inability to concentrate, edginess. It has become a modern epidemic.

Studies show that patients recover more quickly when their doctors are upbeat, kind, supportive and most importantantly express confidence in the patient’s potential for recovery.

Compassion or Karuna:

How to create a goldlike richness in your life? With a little effort or focus you can add wealth to your world and life. Attitude decides your altitude.

Compassion is a great source of creating a positive mental state and getting the feel good chemicals to circulate. Living compassionately boosts the immune system. It is this feeling that promotes altruism and the many service clubs in the world. While you give compassionately, the gift you receive is happiness. The Buddhists talk of ‘metta bhavana ‘ which is feeling the joy of other living creatures in your Being. That is why in pranic healing or reiki or even in organised religions, one prays for the peace and happiness of all beings in the Universe. Like colour dropped into a glass of clear water, metta bhavana colours and permeates the whole of your life with the joy of other creatures. This can be an unending source of joy.

Sharing and helping each other. Strong social relationships, rev up the immune system, keep us healthy and contribute to a peaceful life. Pets in cancer wards have been found to improve healing and reduce the negative response to chemotherapy. Studies have shown that those with 4 to 6 close relationships were healthier than those with less than 4.

We need social relationships to truly thrive.

Social networks can help us change our health activities – laughter club, Alcoholics Anonymous (12 step programme), Weight Watchers International, regular dance and exercise groups are examples.

We need social relationships to be methodically developed to promote compassion and mutual empathy.

Action Plan for welcoming Karuna into your life:

Take up a sport

Take up a hobby

Become a volunteer

Join your local community association

Get involved in your spiritual community

Reach out for someone today

The Healing web of relationships

Establish a family assembly

Develop family traditions

Eat together

Give your child a pat

Join or establish self help groups on: www.selfhelpweb.org

Love or Sringara:

Sringara is love. Love is very healing. There are many types of love ranging from “vatsalya” or mother’s love, to ‘meithri’ the love of friends. According to the Greeks, the highest love is ‘platonic’ love, the pure love between friends. There is love of the nation. The universal love and reverence that one feels for all living creatures. Giving and receiving love are both healing and energising. Plant the seeds of love in your mindspace. Love and reverence for the Universe shall keep you healthy.

All positive emotions have to be welcomed into your life, given a space to grow and finally celebrated.

Action Plan to bring Sringara into your life.

    Let love come in

You need to invite those who love you and those whom you love to enter your life. You may have friends whom you have no time to meet, children who know you only through orders you issue to study well keep their rooms neat or cut their hair.

Give Love space and time: Love needs both quality time and a quantity of time. One cannot replace the other. Leisurely spaces allow Love to take roots and grow. Love is not like an itinerary, totally programmed according to your convenience. It flourishes in idleness, in long companiable silences, in tears and in stumbling. Sharing is its life breath. If you should programme these spaces into your life.

    Celebrate Love

Celebrate anniversaries. Be generous with affirmations ….. “What I really like about you is ….. create occasions to show verbally tonally and non-verbally that you care.

Family get together affirm the bonds of blood and celebrate them. Launching a family

e-bulletin is a celebration of together news. Everyone needs “Oh”! moments; They heal the heart with good chemicals and peace.

Haasya or Laughter:

The greatest of all miracles is health. Everyday our bodies are attacked by millions of microbes, viruses and bacteria. The body is able to repulse these invaders and protect itself. This precharism is called the immune response. The body’s immune response is enhanced by laughter.

It is like internal jogging. It fills your mindspace with positive emotions. Emotionally it is relaxing, reducing harmful muscle tension. Endorphins and seretonium flow into the blood, resulting in a peaceful happy state of mind. A good bout of laughter also reduces the levels of stress hormones epineprine and cortisol.

    Laughter strengthens the Immune system:

Our immune systems plays a very important role in keeping good health and keeping away infections, allergies and cancers. It has been proved by psychoneuroimmunologists that all negative emotions like anxiety, depression or anger weaken the immune system of the body, thereby reducing its fighting capacity against infections. According to Dr. Lee S. Berk from Loma Linda University, California, USA, laughter helps to increase the count of natural killer cells (NK cells – a type of white cell) and also raises the antibody levels. Researchers have found that after laughter therapy there is an increase in antibodies (Immunoglobulin) in asthmatics. Laughter does the same job, more easily and almost free of cost.

Mucus in the nose and respiratory passages, is believed to have protective capacity against some viruses, bacteria and other micro organisms. There are many members of Laughter Clubs who have noticed that the frequency of common colds, sore throats and chest infections has decreased. The effect of laughter on our immune system is considered to be very significant in regard to deadly disease like AIDS and Cancer.

    Laughter controls high blood pressure and heart disease:

There are a number of causes for high blood pressure and heart disease like heredity, obesity, smoking and excessive intake to saturated fats. But stress is one the major factors. Laughter definitely helps to control blood pressure by reducing the release of stress related hormones and bringing relaxation.

In experiments it has been proved that there is a drop of 10 – 20 mm. pressure after participating for 10 minutes in a laughter session. It does not mean that those who are taking 2-3 tablets for blood pressure everyday will be completely cured. Maybe, you will require 2 tablets if you are taking 3, or borderline high blood pressure patients may not require any medication after some time. It takes years to develop high blood pressure. It cannot be reversed in a few days or a month. But definitely laughter will exercise some control and arrest further progress of the disease.

If you are at high risk of developing heart disease, laughter could be the best preventive medicine. Those who are suffering from heart disease and have stabilized on medication will find that laughter improves the blood circulation and oxygen supply to the heart muscles. Due to improvement of blood circulation there are less chances of forming a clot. Those who have had heart attacks or have undergone bypass surgery can also participate in laughter therapy.

    Laughter is a natural pain killer:

Laughter increases the levels of endorphins in our bodies, which are natural pain killers. Norman Cousins, an American journalist who wrote ‘Anatomy of an Illness’ was suffering from incurable disease of the spine. Laughter therapy helped him when no painkiller could help him. Endorphins released as a result of laughter may help in reducing the intensity of pain in those suffering from arthritis, spondylitis and muscular spasms of the body. Many women have reported a reduced frequency of migraine and tension headaches.

He who has frequent laughter attacks is less likely to suffer from heart attacks. “A light answer turneth away wrath” says the proverb. An anger hi-jack can be stopped by a joke.

Hasya and Laughter is certainly the best medicine.

Action plan to bring Hasya into your life:

Watch films and television features that make you laugh. Be with cheerful people. Avoid the Cassandras and the Agony Uncles. Avoid toxic people.

Read and share jokes on the internet

Smile. Do not smother laugh

Play with babies, make them giggle

Buy balloons for toddlers.

Listen to laughter in a school playground

LAUGH AND LIVE LONGER

Bible: “A merry heart hath a cheerful countenance’” and “doeth good like a medicine”.

Aristotle: “Laughter is the bodily exercise precious to health”

Now doctors and psychologists in U.S.A. and U.K. are studying the medical benefits of laughter on the human body and have confirmed that laughter is really the best medicine.

    Laughter helps a person to live longer and feel younger:

Psychiatrist William Fry writes in his book Humour and Ageing: “It is estimated that the impact on the heart of 20 seconds of hearty laughter is comparable to three minutes of rowing, which is supposed to be the best aerobic exercise for reconditioning the entire body and promote longevity. Laughter stimulates heart, supplies oxygen to lungs and energizes the brain cells, which promotes positive outlook in life.”

    Laughter tones up the heart and nervous system:

Dr. Andrew Weil in his study, published in British Journal of General Practitioners, writes: “laughing has effect on all organs of the body. When we laugh we secrete hormones, that stimulates and strengthens the heart. Stress is reduced, calories are burnt, and digestion improves, entire bodily systems get rejuvenated.”

    Laughter is internal Jogging:

According to Norman Cousins “Laughter not only massages all the organs of the body but also defuses tension in every part of the body. Laughter acts as anesthetic and alleviates depression which is the cause of major diseases. Muscles of abdomen get worked out, as do the thorax, diaphragm and the circulatory and endocrine system. Hearty laughter enjoys most of the benefits attributed to physical exercise.”

    Laughter oxygenates all the cells of the body:

According to Dr.Robert Provine :”a hearty laugh raises the pulse rate and amplifies respiration, thus leading to increase in oxygen intake in all the cells of the body. We inhale larger quantity of oxygen which circulates more freely through the blood to every part of the body.”

    Laughter is a natural tranquilizer:

Psychologist Sigmund Freud in his book “Wit and its Relation to Unconscious Mind” observed: humour and laughter helped individuals defend against subconscious fears, worries, anger and other disturbing emotions, which are the cause of all types of psychosomatic disorders. Several psychologists are now using humour and laughter as a weapon to combat insomnia, neurosis, nervous breakdown etc.”

That day is the most wasted in which one has not laughed – Atharva Veda

Make a New Year resolution to laugh ….
And the world will laugh with you.

(Quoted from the Laughter Club sessions)

Chivalry or Vira rasa:

You can sit like a King or a Queen if you want nothing and are content. The tradition of human bravery is fearlessness, heroic and kind. Among the Nava rasas, chivalry is valid to the life of being a warrior: a corporate warrior is no different and needs real courage.

Wonder is developed from chivalry. The colour of chivalry is pink and wonder yellow. The rapture of chivalry is produced by means of energy, perservance, optimism, absence of surprise, presence of mind and kindness.

Chivalry or bravery is definitely a feel good situation. Chivalry is represented on the stage by firmness, patience, heroism, pride, zeal, valour and wit. Bravery fills you with enthusiasm, energy and spontaneity. It is this brave and gentle man who is a true hero and he reaps the benefits of other’s happiness. Bravery is not just bravery in war. It is the small everyday courage that each of us is called to manifest everyday, in the face of obstacles. The ability to sacrifice, which is the core of emotional intelligence, is a part of the vira rasa. The ability to persist in the face of difficulties is a part of this. To meet the jealousy and pettiness of the world with gentleness, humour and fearlessness is part of it. Brilliance and elegance belong to the true warrior, who aligns himself with the powerful forces of goodness.

‘Josh’, wakefulness, energy and boundless enthusiasm are an expression of this energy.

Action to bring courage and Vira Rasa into your life:

1. Enjoy the thrill of over coming obstacles.

2. Do not be cast down by failure, instead enjoy the thrill of overcoming the problem.

3. Be involved in solving community problems.

4. Get involved in Speaking up against injustice and resisting evil.

5. Remember that beyond the stormy mountain is the calm green valley.

Adbutha or Wonder:

This is a very useful, ‘feel good’ emotion. Welcome wonder into you life. Celebrate the beauty of the stars, enjoy the beauty of the mountains. Greet the dawn and say bye to sunset. The moonlight has been created to heal your wounds. Sleep on the lap of Mother

Nature and become a child again.

Action to bring Adbuta into your life:

1. Be alone in silence with Nature at the beginning and end of every day

2. Enjoy a walk among tall trees and green gardens

3. Plant seeds and trees, distribute them

4. Set apart time for prayer to praise God for his Glorious creation.

5. Set apart time to enjoy beauty.

Fear or Bhayanaka:

Fear is a negative energy. It saps your ability to act. Unless you confront it, it follows you like a shadow. Fear and the consequent anxiety ( or its product anxiety) cause your courage to leak out of the system like a leaking gas pipeline. It is characterized by the inability to act. The body is full of stress chemicals and time is wasted on depressed and negative self-talk. It pollutes the most powerful mind field.

Abhorrence or Bheebatsa:

Repugnance, disgust and hatred of anything characterize this emotion. This fills you with negativity and an obsession with the object or person. If such a feeling attacks you, like jealousy, acknowledge it and retreat from it as rapidly as possible. To cultivate dispassion towards the event or person requires practice. For the time being avoid such toxic people or situations.

Anger and hostility or Raudra:

People with hostile personalities have 5 times the death rate before the age of fifty than people who are less prone to these negative emotions. Cardiologist Cleyer Freidman suggests that time, pressure is at the core of the hostility, as is a sense of insecurity which fuels this feeling.

Life destroying Experiences:

Fear of losing your job

Anxiety about not being able to keep up with your peers.

Working everyday so long and so hard that you are barely able to think.

Working in a hostile atmosphere where there is competition

Receiving discounts from those you love.

Betrayal

Feeling trapped

Feeling abandoned

Life enhancing experiences

Receiving affirmations from significant others

Going on a holiday with loved ones.

Enjoying nature.

Completing a task to your satisfaction.

Overcoming obstacles

Being loved

Doing something anonymously for others

Acting Courageously

Sitting enveloped in silence.

For more information check: www.zeroheartattachpath.com

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