What does it mean – to rejuvenate? The word itself means to ‘again become young’. To turn back the clock, to revitalize, regenerate, regain the vitality we once had. It means that we have lost something that we want to regain.
Generally we want to rejuvenate our health and well-being, whether it be physical or mental. This is almost an epidemic in today’s developed world, because these days many of us have succumbed to chronic 21st century lifestyle dis-eases. They include diabetes, coronary artery disease, adrenal burnout, irritable bowel syndrome, thyroid imbalances, autoimmune diseases like celiac disease and rheumatoid arthritis, etc. The equivalent mental conditions include various forms of depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress, chronic stress, anxiety and anger disorders.
In children, others labels are given, such as ADHD and autism, as well as many types of learning disabilities, because children’s imbalances are largely seen through the lens of how well they function at school.
These are different manifestations of energy blockages or imbalances in the human organism. If we are not in tune with natural cycles, then we will create imbalances in our utilization of energy, leading to dis-ease. Natural cycles occur on many scales – for example, the seasons, daily cycles, breathing cycles, and the cycles that happen within microseconds in our cells, just to name a few. In all of these, energy is moving in our bodies in a cyclical way, and our finely tuned and very sensitive hormones try to adjust our bodies to the rhythms of life.
In earlier times, rejuvenation was something that happened according to these cycles. For example, rejuvenation was done seasonally, often during the spring, after the heavy winter months had taken their toll on the body. The wise women of all cultures knew which spring herbs, vegetables and fruits would give a boost to the body’s immune system and be a tonic for the blood. They would cook and prepare tonics for their families accordingly. For example, still today Europeans make nettle soup in the spring to rejuvenate their systems. In India, Ayurveda uses Ashwaganda root as a common tonic, and asparagus root is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. All cultures have such rejuvenating tonics that revive and refresh the human physiology.
And what about the mind? How do we rejuvenate our mental well-being? And what is mental rejuvenation? Given the meaning of the word, it is the state we have when the mind has returned to its youthful, innocent, purified state – when the slate is wiped clean and there is lightness. It is when all the heaviness, the complexities and impurities are removed.
How do we rejuvenate the mind? The easiest way I know is to practice some form of mental cleaning every evening, after the day’s activities. The best one I have discovered is the yogic cleaning of Heartfulness, which is simple, practical, and removes the impressions that form in the heart and mind during the day, just like you take a bath to remove dirt from your body.
When you practice cleaning every evening, you remove the day’s impressions and sometimes more.
When you have a meditation session with a Heartfulness trainer, deeper layers from the past are also cleaned away.
When you attend large group meditation sessions, and also when you do all these three things regularly, over time the cleaning can be so effective that your whole system is purified.
Your mental body is then fully rejuvenated to its youthful, innocent state. You have a clean slate, an open mind and a pure heart. You are able to listen to your heart’s wisdom and feel clear about the decisions that you make. There is no room for guilt, anxiety or prejudices in such a state.
But an even better approach is to learn how to avoid forming impressions in the first place so that less and less cleaning is required. Then your system will be in a constant state of rejuvenation. For this, a much higher order of living is required, and this is another aspect of Heartfulness that is offered after you have mastered the initial practices.
The lightness you feel as a result of rejuvenative cleaning, the youthful happiness and joy, is something that is reminiscent of childhood – playing on a summer’s evening, flying kites or splashing in the ocean waves.