How do we feel when we are at home, at work, in the shopping mall or visiting friends and family: relaxed, energized, distracted or tired? More importantly, how would we really like to feel in all these places? Recently, I had someone telling me how he feels when he visits his hometown. The feeling is completely in contrast to how he feels in the city where he currently lives and works. How is that possible?
There is a ‘Spaces and Happiness’ connection in play here. Let us continue and understand why the house and every space we occupy is a man’s third body and what is the ‘spaces and happiness’ connection.
Each one of us has THREE bodies. Our ancestors knew them as the soul, physical body and the home. We cannot swap the physical body we have but we do change houses, jobs and cities! Ever wondered and noticed how the body feels in different spaces? We all spend more than 90% of our lives in spaces – houses, offices or schools. Do the spaces talk to us? How we feel in these spaces is probably our body’s way of talking to us or giving us hidden signals.
Different cities have different energies and characteristics associated with them. The amount of space in the universe, in a city or around our plot of land is always definite. We cannot create spaces. They can only be defined. Ancient architects and doctors took clues from nature and its five manifestations – the FIVE elements to help energize and define happy spaces. These five elements (“panch-mahabhoot”) – air, water, fire, earth and ether/space, when balanced in a human body result in a healthy mind, body and ‘soul’. The five senses of the human body are also linked to these elements; earth to smell, air to touch, water to taste, fire to sight, and ether to hearing. These five elements also make our house and they need balancing for the peace, success and prosperity of the dwellers.
Meditation, positivity and yoga work on our inner space while the rules of bio-physics work on our outer built-spaces. Only working on the physical body and forgetting the subtle spaces around us cannot bring amazing results. If the outer space is not fine tuned, it will not enhance our inner space. All of us have to come to realise the fact that ‘Health is Happiness’. So it does not come as surprise when we get to observe that a heart patient or someone with liver problems has made good progress and improves much faster when moved from the fiery ‘fire’ quadrant of a house to the cooler environs in the same house. In our modern fast-paced lives our health and well-being is key to our happiness. Once perfect health is achieved all other factors act externally to ensure complete well-being. Even David Cameron after taking over as Prime Minister launched a well-being inquiry to find out what makes the nation content. (“David Cameron aims to make happiness the new GDP” Guardian article 14 Nov 2010)
Can we recreate that feeling of tranquility in any space we occupy? The good news is yes. We too can learn and ease our journey to discover our own “happy space”, from a ‘house’ to a ‘home’!
What is the secret?
Ancient experts knew this integral architectural concept as ‘Vaastu’. It is actually an ancient building science based on bio-physics to bring health and abundance when structures are in harmony with nature and the universe. Vaastu works hand in hand with Ayurveda, the Indian system of natural healing and hence also described as the Yoga of Architecture. All spaces are planned with a living consciousness of an organism and this ‘someone special’ is the basis of all design. He is portrayed as a person called ‘Vaastu-purush’ lying flat on his belly – symmetric along a mirror axis and all fitting together nicely in a square grid.
Where does Vaastu come from?
Vaastu originated in India and has a 5000 year old Vedic connection to Sthapatya Veda which is a branch of Atharva Veda, the oldest Indian writings of science, culture and philosophy. It travelled with Buddhism to China around 3000BC, was customized and became the modern version ‘Feng Shui’. Most of us know Feng Shui as a Chinese science but its Indian ancestry is hardly known.
How can Vaastu help you?
Vaastu is the science of many forces and its main aim is to help you to find your own harmonious space within a space. Harmonious spaces in Vaastu refer to spaces where two types of universal energies, Prana and Jiva, are in balance. Prana is the dynamic energy of the Sun and the cosmos from the east. Jiva approaches us from the north and is the organic energy favorable for life processes. These energies are contained and altered when they are restricted in a building resulting in an increase in intensity, or a disturbance which nullifies their positivity. The union of both the universal energies produces a vector of energy flow from the northeast to the southwest. It is this diagonal or the ‘life axis’ which forms the basis of evaluation for a ‘Vaastu’ consultant.
As an example, the North-east is the seat of all energy and can be effectively used to recharge the built-environment. It helps to heal faster. It is the source of all positive energy and increases the productivity of inhabitants. Simply playing right music/vibrations or using sandalwood oil in a fragrance lamp can energize the whole house if placed in a “defective” (unbalanced energies) corner. Sometimes simple design changes are what spaces require as opposed to expensive re-fits and home-makeovers. A few steps of balancing the qualities of the five elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether/space and their integration with time, light and sound can change our perception of any space.
There are many such guidelines which can also support the working process in any office or industry by affecting the energy field of money and the future of any organisation. There have been proven benefits which have touched the daily lives of all. Schools have seen enthusiastic and eager learners, kids with behaviour problems heal better and can learn better in Vedic spaces. A few changes and even an entire workforce of an organisation had the desire to go to work every morning and productivity increased two-fold. Now, neurologists have found that those who studied while FACING EAST showed more coherence & cognitive activity!
Scientific research and references from a doctor’s take on ‘Spaces and Well-Being’ are also available.. Esther M. Sternberg talks about them in her book “HEALING SPACES: The Science of Place and Well-Being”. ‘There are many things that can influence the release of these chemical signals from the brain, and our surroundings play a very important part. How we perceive the world around us, its features of light and dark, sound and smell, temperature and touch, feed into the brain through all our senses and trigger the brain’s emotional centers, which make us react. These emotional centers release nerve chemicals and hormones that can change how immune cells fight disease. In turn, through this communication, our awareness of space and place changes when we are ill, and changes yet again when we begin to heal.’
In summary, Vaastu alters the perception of space, enhances health, alters the dynamics of money energy and can be customised to suit a person’s energy field. And the most enduring fact is that the simple rules of Bio-energetics combined with careful planning, designing and decorating help achieve balance in one’s personal and professional life.
Happiness and abundance is all for you – in your space and your mind… just give it a chance!