Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mental Health in Sowa Rigpa

The World health Organization defines mental health as "a state of well being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community." It also announced that half the population of this world is mentally ill. 

According to Sowa Rigpa, As long as we are subject to human condition of ignorance, we are subject to illness. There is but once cause for all illness, and this is the ignorance due not understanding the meaning of no-self.

Though there are numerous causes for mental illness, i have categorized in to five causes viz. karma, psychological stress, poison, humoral imbalance and demon.

Karma is the negative actions done by body and mind in the past lives and reap their reward in present life as a disturbed mental state that has no explainable cause. Since the cause of the disease is spiritual, the medicine should be spiritual. 

Psychological stress is cause by the loss of loved ones, loss of a job, loss of status, overwork, strain, worry, isolation, breaking of promises, going against religious and cultural taboos, inability to integrate, etc. For such type of mental disorder, the Treatment include environmental and life adjustment, dharma practice to promote relaxation and self-understanding, and a whole range of medicines. 

When the toxic substance is taken into the body, it causes extreme state of psychopathology. Nutritional imbalance and wrong combination of food may also become the cause. correction in diet is need for such type. 

when three humours: wind, bile and phlegm function in a balanced way in our body, they promotes health but when imbalanced, promote diseases. out of three, wind is the most important humour associated with mind. it mediates mind and body. Mind affects the wind and wind affects the body. Conversely, body can affect mind and mind can affect the wind.Treatment include moxibustion, massage, dietary and environmental adjustments. Since the wind is associated with desire, sexual relations are sometimes advised.Patient should be kept in warm and soothing surroundings, needs supportive friends and pleasant words. 

Demon is a complicated subject because there is no obvious parallel for this in the West. Demon is any unseen force that obstructs a psychological and spiritual development. Of course, the interpretation of demons vary widely. sometimes, lust, laziness, attachment to wealth, hyper-sensitivity, bad companions, dualistic thinking, spiritual pride are  sectarianism considered demon by great preachers. 

Meditation is the primary means used to transform the mind into healthy state, to lift the veil of inborn ignorance