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These are concepts that we consider to be foundational to the practice and methodology of Ayurveda. We believe that one must understand and respect the source of these teachings in order to engage with this work and with this healing. These teachings (Vedas, Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali etc) are some of the world’s oldest medicinal, spiritual, and philosophical texts. Sanskrit concepts, passed through written and oral traditions, inform our practices as part of the philosophical discourse that is foundational to our work. We will actively continue to add to our glossary in an effort to share the wisdom and build our community.
Avidya: (अविद्या) | [əweɪʔzà] - often translated as ignorance or “unwisdom.” An ignorance or misunderstanding the state of reality or the metaphysical reality (as it pertains to non-self doctrines/anātman - this is a Buddhist school of thought) and impermanence. IE: “mistaking illusion to be reality, suffering and bliss, permanence and impermanence”
Citta: (चित्त) | [/t͡ʃɪt̪] - Consciousness or perception with recognition versus Prana which is “pure awareness, pure perception without recognition” ( Dr. V Lad). Citta means consciousness, a nature that is aware of its object.
Jnana or Gyan: ( ज्ञान) | [ɡjɑ́ː.n̪ɐ]- “world transcending wisdom.” It is a moment that is recognized when experienced, a cognitive event that is integral and in total communion with reality, but also the divine reality. It is pure awareness, and during meditation “knowledges” are revealed in order. It is also a yoga practice with a specific pathway to moksha.
Mantra: (मन्त्र) | [/ˈmʌntrə-/] a sound that resonates within the body and causes vibration that is powerful, transformative. ॐ (Aum, Om) is believed to be the very first sound that originated on earth. It is a simple and powerful mantra that voiced at a particular “frequency” can be transformational. Mantra were thought to have magical and spiritual powers.
Asatao ma sadgamaya / Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya / Mrtyorma amrtam gamaya / Om shanti shanti shanti
A mantra from the Upanishads, one of the ancient philosophical yogic texts from India for Ganesha Ji. The translation is “Lead me from the untruth to truth, lead me from darkness to light, lead me from death to immortality, Om peace, peace, peace.”
(Aum Gum Shreem Maha Lakshmiyei Namaha --- GANESHA JI MANTRA).
Maṇḍala: मण्डल - 'circle' a ritualistic and spiritual symbol of the universe in Buddhism and Hinduism. The forms can vary with representations usually of gates within a circle that has a universal center point.
Nadi: नाडी | [n̪ə.d̪iː] - A term that is used a lot in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Nadis are a system of conduits, or channels within the subtle body that circulate prana or life force (energy). When they get disrupted, clogged, and/or imbalanced the body and mind are no longer clear. They connect from the base of the spine to the head.
Prajna: प्रज्ञ | [pɹʌd͡ʒnə] - this is the purest form of wisdom. It is superior to knowledge “obtained by reasoning and inference.” A more apt definition of this complicated concept is “insight” or “non-discriminating knowledge” it is an understanding of the truest nature of the world and it’s phenomena.
Prakriti: प्रकृति | [prʌkɾit̪i] - The sanskrit word means “original creation” or “nature.” In Ayurveda one of the pathways of focus is on a patient’s prakriti. This is their constitution, the natural combination (balance or imbalance) of the 3 doshas at the time of their creation. These are unchanging and unchangeable.
Vikruti: विकृति | [vikɾʌt̪i] Meaning, “after creation.” This is the state of being you are in at the present time and how your doshas are expressing themselves in the mind and body, this is the shaping that takes place by the interaction of your doshas with life events. The variation that can be imbalance, and the source to which healing must be focused. In the most favorable environments, the vikruti and prakriti are the same.
At vedaHEALTH, we not only ask how, but we ask why. Our focus is not simply on preventative care, or disease interventions, but on the collective wellness of the individual within the context of culture. We incorporate both conventional medicine and Ayurveda into our healthcare, education and coaching to create a plan of care for each individual. The integration of conventional medicine and Ayurveda, which is based on 5000 years of careful observation and analysis, and is rooted in nutrition and the health of the digestive system, provides a framework for sustainable wellness. Nutrition, balance, and self-love are the pillars of sustainable wellness. Dr. Geary would be honored to participate in the care of your family.
Ayurveda is an ancient life-science of healing. Ayurveda, the 5000 year old east Indian healing tradition, is based on prevention of imbalance. It is described in the texts as “The Science of Life” because its fundamental starting point is not on prevention of illness nor treatment of disease but sustaining wellness. The teachings delineate a system of daily practices that support and restore balance, harmony, healing, and longevity in the individual. We are, each of us, a unique constitution (dosha) with inherent tendencies (prakriti). Life then presents us with events, emotions, situations that impact on our being to create a state of imbalance (vikruti). The fundamental tenet of Ayurveda is that the nourishment we give our body, in food and behavior, and the self care we give our mind and soul, in yoga and meditation for example, determines our health. Nutrition (food, herbs, and oils) and lifestyle are the starting points of healing. The teachings support the idea that all life must be supported by energy in balance, primarily through diet, meditation, and bodywork. Our philosophy is that optimal health is attained by incorporating what both conventional and ayurvedic medicine offer, in a partnership for sustainable wellness. Shared Access to healing is also foundational to the ethos of Ayurveda - shared access to the teachings as well as the healings are open to all. Ayurveda refutes the idea that it is a privilege to be healthy and well. Access to the places of healing, the temples and ashrams, as well as the clinics, are not limited to the privileged: Instead they must be open to all.
The fundamental tenet of Ayurveda is that the nourishment we give our body is the starting point of healing. Western medicine focuses primarily on intervention, based on reproducible sets of data that are generalized within a population to which it applies. Our goal is to use that nutritional data to develop personalized assessments, and so create an individual healing plan to achieve your unique balance and place of wellness. With Dr. Geary, create a health plan based on medical evaluation and diagnostics combined with Ayurvedic–based nutrition for wellness. Achieve balance and well-being through a personalized program for attainable change: eliminate inflammation, yeast, and unwanted toxins, and create a diet for sustainable wellness and healthy weight.
Wellness & Telehealth appointments. During the covid-19 epidemic it was important to us that our patients and community have access to the healthcare they need. Both for pediatrics appointments and for Ayurvedic and wellness consultations. During this time it is important that we all focus on our health, sustaining wellness in our everyday lives. At vedaHEALTH, we offer healthcare solutions that allow the patient to benefit from a vast body of both conventional and Ayurvedic theory and experience. Personal, responsive. An expansive form of healthcare, inclusive not exclusive.
Community Clinic & Accessible Care
The vedaHEALTH team currently awaits a safe plan to responsibly launch our community no-fee clinic. Until then, please ask our office about the existing sliding scale for both Telehealth and Housecall appointments, if you have concerns about fees. We are here.
We are in the process of recreating our workshops to accommodate the restrictions of social distancing. Please check back. We appreciate any requests for topics that you feel would benefit the community discussions.
Our social media is important to us, it is an integral part of our community and way to engage with the social movements and efforts that are taking place in our country. It’s also a place for us to share what we are thinking about, writing about, and learning about. We want to encourage engagement and develop a safe place for voices to come together.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” - Audre Lorde in A Burst of Light and Other Essays
This is a place that we think of as a library for vedaHEALTH. Shared Wisdom is about uplifting other voices, our teachers, global thinkers, healers we are inspired by, and documents/texts from the source (etc). Our source begins with the ancestry of the Ayurvedic Tradition: Texts, oral histories and traditions, Indian philosophical discourse; but also honors the modern discourse of our global community of thinkers, philosophers, activists, and spiritual guides. We also honor the experience of health practitioners and healers of all disciplines. We intend to create a shared space, with shared knowledge to cultivate our commitment to our community (both global and local).
Dr. Geary reflects on and highlights mindful businesses and available options for conscious choices in patronage. Offering suggestions on ways to be intentional with how you spend your money. This is a dialogue about who you are supporting, what you are purchasing and what the impact of your choice can mean.
This is an archive of our blogs, written by Dr. Geary and her team.
Our blogs are an integral part of the practice, and a fundamental way we can share what we are thinking about, learning, meditating on, and engaging with in terms of topical discourse of the moment. Dr. Geary is committed to adapting her practice to make it more accessible, and maintains the vedaHEALTH weekly blog posts full of guidance and relevant resources to ensure access and to keep open conversations with our community.