As a young college student studying the doctor-patient relationship in Ayurvedic medicine, I would quietly sit beside my father’s uncle, Sri Raghavan Thirumulpad, as he saw patients in the humble covered quarters of his home office. An esteemed scholar and practitioner of Ayurveda, India’s traditional science of health, people would come in buses, cueing up starting at 7am, waiting for his close counsel. They would seek his help to heal a number of different chronic ailments from arthritis to digestive disorders to skin diseases, heart problems, and more. Patient after patient my granduncle would hear their stories, and regardless of their concerns, the first questions out of his mouth would be, “Tell me, how is your digestion? What foods do you regularly eat in a day?”
The word mindfulness is everywhere these days. From Mindful Minerals bath soaps to Good Earth’s Mindful Mints and Epic Burger’s “more mindful burger”, the commoditized cues to explore being mindful are all over the place. Though some critics fear this could be contributing to a kind of “McMindfulness” effect, the seemingly recent phenomenon of mindfulness may be much more than a simple fad.
As a college student exploring complementary and alternative medicine, Eastern meditation carried with it the allure of realigning esoteric energies and optimizing true potential. I was intrigued by the mysticism surrounding the practices, steeped in my own cultural heritage. My heart was quick to embrace meditation with curiosity, trusting into a tradition that had been followed for centuries to bring peace. My scientifically trained mind remained cautiously skeptical… until I found myself consistently turning to my practice as a soothing respite from the uncertainties of my twenties.
Rashmi S. Bismark
I'm a preventive medicine physician specialized in mindfulness, lifestyle, and community health. I'm a yoga teacher, an educator, a researcher, a devoted mom and expatriate wife, living a blessed global nomad life.