A Spiritual “Map” of the T1D “Territory”

Yoga is a map of everything. Most think yoga is a physical exercise. Asana (The Pose) in yoga is but just one “limb” of the eightfold path and Hatha Yoga (The Poses put together in a typical yoga class) is but a sub group of the four paths of yoga: (Karma Yoga (Action), Jnana Yoga (Knowledge), Raja Yoga(Self Discipline) and Bhakti Yoga (Union with Source through Devotion)).

Yoga is a spiritual map because the destination is ‘union’ with source and the journey is revelation.

T1D is an interesting challenge looked at from a spiritual perspective. Each one of us is different and unique so, therefore, there is, practically, infinite perspective. This is but just one. And to do this I am going to draw from how yoga perceives the “I”; “The Self” in its totality.

According to yogic philosophy, we are composed of five ‘bodies’ called Koshas. The five Koshas are described as “sheaths.”

I should stop here and tell you why I am drawing from yoga as the metaphor. I started practicing yoga 22 years ago. In 2006 I wanted to deepen my practice. I went to a month long (200 hour) Yoga Teacher Training and Certification at The Kripalu Yoga School. I have completed an additional 150 hours towards my 500 hour certification.

When I was at teacher training one of the master teachers had an interesting response when I told her I have been living with Type 1 Diabetes since age 14.

She must have known more about the dis-ease than most.

She said……….

”Now, THAT is a YOGA POSE!”

in front of a class consisting of 65 women and 8 men.

There is another reason yoga is an appropriate and powerful metaphor…

Yoga defined means “Union.” I’ve heard yoga defined as “union of body and mind in pursuit of the soul.” I see it more as “Soul uniting with Source through body and mind.” Yoga is about energy; Prana ; Life Force. Think about T1D….The physical body is not capable of producing a critical component to the system of processing the food we eat (our external fuel source/carbohydrates/energy) into internal fuel/glucose molecules in the blood/energy.

To be a bit more accurate, we are missing the “key” that opens the cell door for the glucose molecule to enter.

This DIS-EASE is about Life Force itself. Without injectable insulin we would not be able to stay on this physical plane. So, the challenge becomes one of learning about the “Key.”

The journey can be very revealing.

The five Koshas are:

1. The Physical Body: The Anamaya Kosha

2. The Mental Body: The Manomaya Kosha

3. The Energetic Body: The Pranamaya Kosha

4. The Wisdom Body: The Vijnanamaya Kosha

5. The Bliss Body: The Anandamaya Kosha

Here is a short 5 minute youtube video introducing the Koshas:

The Koshas describe the “Self” in five aspects.

Confronting, Understanding, Integrating, Mastering and Aligning these 5 aspects of “The Self” is the journey and the destination is union with Source/Bliss so that it may permeate all of the sheaths.

I was diagnosed in November of 1976 at the age of 14. My physical body was “broken”. All I wanted to do was find a way to fix it. I am still searching.

How does one align a broken body to the mental, energetic, wisdom and bliss bodies? I mean this is horrible. Over time, I am understanding how the physical is the last manifestation. Source is Bliss and Bliss is Source. Start there. “But why would Bliss want to create a physical body that doesn’t work; That is broken?

There is Truth and then there is your perspective. A spiritual map like yoga is only that….a map. A map is a representation, a perspective.

Diabetes can be a catalyst for an amazing spiritual journey. The Adversary’s name is imbedded within the name of the condition itself and has many of his characteristics; insidiousness, thirst, deep falls, dangerous heights, victim consciousness, anger, resentments, shame, self-pity…..I could go on.

The Physical Body needs a lot of attention when living with T1D but once a safe “flying” altitude is established we can choose to explore the other aspects of our self.

It is true…..

”Now, that is a yoga pose.”

I hope this brief outline of ‘a’ spiritual map of diabetes has been of value to you. It is but just a small piece of the puzzle, I think.