Reaching 'that quiet place'
Dr Lucia John has a sedate disposition.
Perhaps this is because she always takes the time to reach 'that quiet place' within herself.
A doctor of Vedic Science, Dr John who operates Perfect Health Institute, is an advocate of Yoga for overall wellness of the mind, body and spirit.
She says a troubled mind opens the body to diseases and believes Yoga is the most potent promoter of mental, physical and spiritual well-being.
A longtime Yoga enthusiast, Dr John has made meditation a part of her lifestyle since 1976 and believes it's essential to self development.
Yoga is an ideal system for self development, she says, because it uses Meditation as a sure way to find inner peace and quiet. She explains that we go astray when we can't control our reactions to our sensory perceptions, but Meditation helps us discipline and settle our senses.
She says, "Self-development is not development of body alone, but the development of who you are . . . who is made in the image and likeness of God."
Meditation, she said, balances the emotions. "When someone is troubled mentally, if you teach the person to settle down, let go, that's it.
"It's like a reset button," she explains, adding that reaching a place of inner calm releases stress, so Meditation helps to manage and prevent illnesses.
She notes that people suffer stress and anxiety from the moment they are diagnosed with a serious disease and this can affect the body's ability to cope.
Stress is a precursor to many chronic diseases, Dr John contends. She notes, "Cancer is basically a stress ailment. When the body is too stressed. . ."
"When the emotions are too imbalanced, the blood becomes toxic. . . When the blood is too toxic, anything can happen in that body, anywhere.
"And it will choose to happen in an area where there is a weakness…because the body will choose its weak spot to dump its toxins," Dr John affirms.
"The blood takes back oxygen-rich blood to every nook and cranny of the body. This is what keeps us healthy.
"When it comes back it takes the waste with it… What goes wrong is when the blood cannot do its work. . .
"Fatigue, stress and anxiety can prevent the blood from functioning optimally. So the blood cannot be oxygenated as it should.
"And if we do not take in enough oxygen, the blood cells cannot bring back the debris as they should…" Dr John explains.
In her view, Meditation provides powerful protection against diseases of the mind and body because it trains the senses, which are controlled by the mind.
Dr. John contends that the person who is perpetually active is only using the surface of the mind.
But meditating in the morning and evening gets the mind in the habit of functioning in a settled way with more control of the senses.
"It's a process of letting go…" she said.
"Some people say 'I pray every day.' But when do we listen for the answer?" she asks.
She lists different categories of meditation: concentration, contemplation and deep meditation.
Meditation, she said, means experiencing that deep stillness that everyone has within.
"It's like the ocean and the wave. The wave is the ocean…the only difference is the ocean is infinite and the wave is finite.
"If that wave would just settle down, the wave actually experiences the ocean and the wave can say 'I am'.
"That's how the wave can know itself because the wave is the ocean . . . this is like God in us . . . God is everything, everywhere. We are like little waves on the surface of the ocean."
Coupled with meditation, Dr. John advocates a diet based on the Ayurvedic principles of the body types.
According to these principles, there are 'earth', 'fire' and 'air' body types and sometimes there are combinations.
Each type has different needs and requires different foods and treatment, she says.
She advises against the use of ice-cold water, saying it affects the blood and can lead to obesity and diseases.
Sufficient sleep is also essential and she suggests a vegetarian diet for good health. She also strongly advises against allowing stress to accumulate.