The Counseling Renaissance
Today we are discovering many new dynamic tools for understanding ourselves and for bringing greater meaning into our lives, not simply at a physical level, but at deeper levels of consciousness. Our model of the human being is shifting from that of a separate individual fixed in one location in time and space to a global presence through the internet and information technology, to a cosmic being through the universe as a whole. This means that we must radically adjust our educational system and view of life accordingly, and look at different strategies to allow these new potentials to blossom in the optimal manner.
In this new expanded modern setting of the human being as information, energy and awareness, not simply a mere physical body, we are learning how to organize our lives in a broader and transformational manner beyond the domain of physical necessity. We are now in communication with individuals and cultures from throughout the world that were regarded as foreign and alien but a generation ago. Yet nature is also appearing to us in a new light as we discern the intricate web of life through ecology that links all human beings to all processes on the planet from beneath the ground to the atmosphere above as a single organic being.
We are looking for a greater connection with the entire planet and with the universe as a whole that we are now coming to recognize as pervaded by a unitary life and awareness. We are no longer content with older cultural models caught up in merely local cultural, regional and nationalistic concerns that do not address all humanity, our full potentials, or the whole of life. We aspire to a higher awareness and a greater Self-realization as our ultimate goal in life, not merely material or intellectual achievements except as a support for such a broader inner growth.
To fill this new crucial need for conscious living, there is arising a whole new generation of counselors, therapists, coaches, doctors, gurus, and pandits from various backgrounds, trainings and traditions new and old. Many helpful and innovative approaches to right living are becoming available, including new forms of physical healing and psychological healing, and a growing resurgence of traditional and native systems of medicine from all over the world. Older spiritual methods from natural healing to Yoga, mantra and meditation, as well as astrology, are coming back and becoming reformulated in the planetary age, carrying not just the insight of the past but secrets keys for the future of the planet.
Among these diverse and profound teachings and traditions, the ancient Vedic model from India, perhaps the oldest and most extensive of these, is emerging again and demonstrating its ongoing relevance and enduring power of creative renewal. This Vedic approach to life as an organic unfoldment of a unitary consciousness is returning through related Vedic disciplines of Yoga, Ayurveda, Vedic astrology, Vedanta, and Tantra that have made their mark all over the world in recent decades. Many people have come into contact with one or more of these Vedic teachings, though few understand the complete Vedic system behind them. Yet that background Vedic system may hold greater depth, power and adaptability than any of its important branches.
The Vedic way of higher knowledge naturally leads us to a new view of life-counseling, from levels of physical and psychological well-being to unleashing our highest creativity and deepest awareness. The Vedic model of counseling reflects a dynamic and transformative system of Self-realization, with special teachings and practices for all levels of our nature as body, senses, mind, prana, and consciousness. It is based upon the experience of thousands of years of great Yogis, rishis and sages from India, including the many who have brought their profound teachings to the West in recent decades. As such, the Vedic approach is both unique and universal and presents us with extraordinary and powerful tools to enable us to shape our lives according to the highest Self-awareness. All those who are willing study and apply this Vedic system with dedication and consistency are bound to discover the greater reality and energy of the whole of life accessible to them in their every breath and behind every thought.
Vedic counseling rests upon a Vedic understanding of the nature of the human being and the nature of the greater universe. It requires recognizing an inner consciousness that guides all life from within, the inner guru or Divine presence, or Divine voice within us. It is not limited to ordinary knowledge through education, information, or outer systems and institutions, however helpful these may be.
Vedic Science of Consciousness
Vedic counseling is not just another form of counseling among so many others, though it does have connections with the most dynamic and transformative counseling approaches available today. Vedic counseling rests upon a special view of the human being, life, nature and consciousness that can be very different than what we find in modern medicine. It reflects a profound yogic philosophy, psychology and cosmology interwoven together at the core of our being. This knowledge is not simply theoretical in nature but reflects a deep understanding of how the universe operates both externally and in our own psyche. Vedic counseling is rooted in the enduring wisdom of the cosmic mind, from which all recorded human knowledge is but a reflection or a shadow.
Vedic counseling is based upon the “Vedic laws of right living,” which are also the “laws of Dharma,” – how to live in harmony with the greater consciousness universe and with respect for the sacred nature of all life. These principles of dharma are lasting and enduring, as well as capable of being adapted to the unique needs and demands of every place, culture and individual.
Vedic counseling helps us establish what we could call a “Vedic life,” which is a life in harmony with the universal dharma, not simply an unquestioned following of some ancient or traditional code of conduct. A Vedic life links us to the universal life and asks us to honor all living beings, great and small. Vedic counseling is both a means of empowering our greater human potential and facilitating the unfoldment of the universal consciousness within us, which are intimately linked together. This greater potential that we have does not consist merely of new science and technology but of being able to create a “new human being” rooted in a higher consciousness that is one with all.
Vedic knowledge is part of an entire set of “Vedic sciences,” and does not stand by itself. Vedic counseling helps us appreciate and access all these Vedic approaches as well as their parallels in spiritual teachings and healing disciplines worldwide. Vedic sciences are yogic sciences of consciousness that rest upon a higher perception and deeper wisdom. Vedic sciences are not simply sciences of the external world rooted in ideas and information but ways of understanding and harnessing the forces of the inner world of awareness, which can take us beyond the limitations of time, space and person.
Vedic sciences encompass all the ordinary sciences including physics, astronomy, geology, biology, medicine, and psychology. Vedic sciences do not exclude the knowledge and discoveries made by modern science, but seek to integrate these in a higher science of consciousness, in which they can be best understood and utilized. The Vedic view is that whatever knowledge we have externally of name, form or number is incomplete if we do not know our own inner essence, being and consciousness that is beyond all quantification. Vedic counseling teaches us how to access and live in our higher Self and being.
Vedic science is a “qualitative science” that reveals and unfolds the sacred and immeasurable, the essence of life. It is not another quantitative approach that examines things from the outside. As such, Vedic knowledge leads us to a quantum leap in awareness, a revolution in higher consciousness and a greater integration with the universe as a whole. Vedic counseling is one of its primary tools and expressions, its very foundation.
Vedic Technology of Accessing Higher Awareness
Vedic sciences have their own corresponding “Vedic technologies.” These consist of the tools and practices discovered by the Vedic sciences for accessing the inner world of consciousness, for working with the universal life and learning to use its powers that impact all levels of existence. These Vedic techniques include the full range of natural healing practices for body and mind, including diet, herbs, bodywork and lifestyle recommendations, along with special Yogic methods for unfolding higher capacities of prana, senses and awareness, including asana, pranayama, ritual, mantra and meditation. The range of potential recommendations in Vedic counseling is vast, comprehensive and covers all that we do.
This Vedic technology does not rest upon mere outer equipment, media devices or computers, though it can teach us how to use these in a more beneficial way. Vedic technology is a technology of awareness that helps us work upon ourselves with the tools of our own mind and heart when they are open to the cosmic mind. We can access inner energies of body and mind through techniques like pranayama and mantra. We can develop inner senses, the inner eye and ear, which can reveal much more about the nature of reality than our most sophisticated cameras and screens. There are group practices involving special gatherings, chanting, rituals or group meditation – a Vedic technology of higher social interaction or satsanga, allowing us to bring these higher energies into society as a whole.
The purpose of Vedic technology is to provide us with tools that are rooted in our own awareness and in the world of nature, an accessing of cosmic energy, so that we do not need to be dependent upon outer technologies for understanding who we are. This inner technology includes how to access solar energy into the mind, pranic energy into the body, and the energy of peace into society, so that we do not have to be ruled by fossil fuels or atomic energy and their great risks and long term dangers.
Vedic Counselors and Vedic Sciences
A Vedic counselor is one who is trained in one or more of the Vedic sciences or Vedic ways of knowledge and their corresponding practices and technologies of higher awareness. A Vedic counselor brings to these Vedic teachings special counseling tools to communicate and share this knowledge with society as a whole, and to introduce it on an individual level for improving our lives overall. Such Vedic counseling skills are helpful if not necessary for all Vedic and Yoga teachers and therapists.
Many existing Vedic practitioners may already have a deep knowledge born of their studies and practices, but they may lack the counseling skills necessary to allow them to communicate it properly and make it useful for others. Learning the art of Vedic counseling is an important aid in this regard for any Vedic practitioner. Vedic counseling is a vehicle for teaching the Vedic sciences and integrating them into life and nature. A Vedic counselor is one who both has a background in the Vedic knowledge but knows how to share it in a meaningful and professional way with others.
This counseling dimension has often been lacking in many Vedic teachers, whether in the field of Ayurveda, Vedic astrology, Yoga or meditation. Our purpose here is to show its relevance, importance, and practical means of application.
Integral Nature of Vedic Counseling
The Vedic view is of an integral knowledge of Self and universe, each reflected in the other, each having the potentials, faculties and sensitivities of the other. Vedic counseling provides the ultimate integrative model of counseling that can serve all counseling and teaching approaches for every type of person and circumstance.
Vedic counseling addresses the total human being as a reflection of the greater universe of matter, life, mind, and consciousness. It recognizes our entire individual nature as body, mind and consciousness, including the workings of prana and the senses, and how these interconnect with universe forces. Vedic counseling addresses all aspects of life from physical and psychological well-being, to career, prosperity, education, and one’s spiritual path. Its concern is not only individual well-being but also that of the family, community, society and the world of nature as a whole.
Vedic counseling is perhaps the optimal system of total life-style counseling, helping us understand the fabric and network of energy and intelligence that makes up the whole of existence. As such, Vedic counseling is not a specialization but an integrative discipline. It helps us adapt and synthesize all that can be helpful to our greater urge towards wholeness on whatever level or in whatever way. Vedic counseling does not exclude any helpful approach to greater harmony and well-being but synthesizes these in a broader view based upon consciousness as the primary force in the universe.