Philosophy of balance

Originated in Western side of the planet, the teachings of Gautama Buddha, also known as Siddhartha Gautama, have widespread and fascinated many people. The philosophy of Buddhism is based on the control of body and mind to reach the most balanced state of existence: Nirvana. And, according to recent discovered, what was once believed to be just instructions to a proper behavior, is nowadays faced by scientists, physicists and psychologists as an incredible and unique therapy and self-knowing ability.

Although some of its mechanisms are still a bit understandable, it is undeniable the benefits Buddhist meditation process offers. Institutions such as Harvard Medical School (USA), Rigshospitalet (Danmark), Emory School of Medicine (USA), University of Fukui and University of Carnegie Mellon have already done researches about the influence of practices of yoga — which, by the way, is beyond the concept of gymnastics — and successfully confirmed the exceptional changes the body suffers from the continuous use of its techniques. Asanas (body positions which follow and are followed by meditation), pranayama (breathing exercises that change the way autonomic nervous system works, not only weakening anxiety and diminishing its occurrence, but also decreasing the chances of developing heart diseases), yoganidra (relaxing exercise, the “sleeping yoga”, a state still not defined by researchers) and many other techniques are admitted as long live practices which, somehow, were already known by the firsts Buddhists years and years ago. They influence positively muscle, cardiovascular, hormonal and immune system basically making them work in a more efficient and healthier way.

Furthermore, not only do these exercises improve body functions, but the hole Buddhist teachings lead its followers to an pure and satisfactory living, based on mind control to project good energy and kindness allied to thoughtful actions. In ‘The Art of Happiness’, written by Howard C. Cutler, an psychologist, and Dalai Lama, the major authority in Buddhism, the passages are quite clear: to be healthy, satisfied with yourself and your community and, the most important, happy it is crucial to be in charge of your thoughts, because they lead your actions and emotions. It is not only a matter of doing something or following someone, but truly believing in the power of your mind and truly living and sharing your goodwill.

Both body and mental exercises are meant to make us practice discipline and respect and so balance our lifestyle. It is all related to not being exaggerated neither too moderated, but balanced. And, what most appeals to me, it is nontheistic, so it does not matter whether you have a religion or not, if you want to live this experience all you need to do is to get started. Is there anything more proper to a century when everything seems to be so stressing?