The Healing of Consciousness
Course I - The Layers of Life
Life is multidimensional. According to Vedic philosophy, life is a multilayered spectrum—from the most abstract to the densest expression.
One of the most influential teachers of the philosophy of yoga and Vedanta was Adi Shankara, a scholar who lived in the eighth century CE. Known as the greatest revivalist of Vedic science, Shankara elegantly elaborated the layers of life that mask the essential spiritual self.
The essence of Shankara’s teaching is that one underlying field of intelligence manifests as the multiplicity of forms and phenomena that we call the physical universe. Shankara called the layers that mask our essential nature koshas, a Sanskrit word that means “coverings.” He categorized the koshas into three primary divisions:
The layers of life
Ayurveda: Ayus = life, Veda = science or knowledge
5,000-year-old consciousness-based system of healing.
The ancient wisdom is to help us return to our natural state of health, balance, and wholeness
The primacy of consciousness and offers powerful practices that can help us change the qualities of our experiences in consciousness to create health and balance in our mind-body system. Our essential and ground state is pure consciousness, pure potentiality, and the field of all possibilities. Consciousness is the source of all our experiences, including our sensations, images, feelings, thoughts, imagination, creativity, perceptions, insight, and intuition. The universe is non-material. an expression of an underlying field of consciousness.
The human body isn’t a frozen sculpture fixed in space and time. The human body is a dynamic river of energy, information, and intelligence that constantly is renewing itself and is in exchange with the larger field of energy, information, and intelligence that we call the universe. If you could understand your body as it really is, you’d see that the real you cannot step into the same flesh and bones twice because in every second of your existence you’re renewing your body, changing it more rapidly, more effortlessly, more spontaneously, and more easily than you can change your clothes.
This course is based on this concept of layers of life and offers tools and practices to address any area of imbalance in our lives. The learning is to completely integrate all the layers of our lives by removing obstacles and nourishing each one so we can experience our higher selves. True health is the integration of your many dimensions—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
Life is multidimensional. According to Vedic philosophy, life is multilayered. the layers of life that mask the essential spiritual self.
LAYER 1 - THE PHYSICAL BODY
Environment (The Extended Body)
Although our senses may tell us otherwise, there’s no distinct boundary between our personal and extended bodies, which are in constant and dynamic exchange. Each breath that we inhale and exhale is a reminder of the continuous conversation taking place between the physical body and the environment.
Recognizing that the food we eat means “the covering made of food.” This idea underscores the need to pay attention to the food we consume to maximize nourishment and minimize toxicity.
We’re made up of energy and matter. This vital energy breathes life into matter and our cells into vibrant living beings. This is our underlying life force.
LAYER 2 - THE SUBTLE BODY (THE MIND FIELD)
The mind is the repository of sensory impressions (thoughts, feelings, emotions, desires). As the mind cycles through different states of consciousness, the sensory experiences change.
This is the aspect of the mind that discriminates, makes decisions, and determines whether we perceive something as being good or bad.
The ego is that aspect of our being that identifies with our roles (mother, father, daughter, son, friend, business executive, etc.), possessions (including our achievements), and personality. It’s ultimately our self-image. In the yogic tradition, the ego is known as the “I-former.”
LAYER 3 - THE CAUSAL BODY: (FIELD OF PURE POTENTIALITY)
Every individual has a personal soul with unique memories and desires. These memories and desires guide the course of life to the fulfillment of our soul’s highest purpose. This is known as core soul consciousness.
The second sheath of the causal body is the collective Soul. This realm invites us to consider the archetypes with which we resonate. An archetype’s purpose is to express its creative power through us. This collective soul consists of concentrated psychic energy that we can tap into to help us
realize our highest potential.
The deepest aspect of our being is beyond space and time, and yet it gives rise to the manifest universe. This is the universal domain of spirit in which all merge into unity or oneness.
We could also say body, mind, and soul. Let’s explore each of these primary divisions and their secondary layers.
We could also say body, mind, and soul. Let’s explore each of these layers.