Yes, supplements can help your meditation practice! Ok I know, you might ask: what have supplements to do with consciousness? How can a multivitamin make you more peaceful, calm, silent, loving? Of course there is no “consciousness pill”. All the beautiful meditative qualities have to be earned via a daily conscious effort. They are like a plant that needs to be cultivated. Unfortunately, peace, love and compassion cannot be purchased or ingested in a tablet format.
So, why am I saying that supplements can help your meditation? Well, unless you are an advanced yogi with mind superpowers over your body, you have most probably experienced the power of the body over your mind. The body/mind is a whole indivisible system where everything is deeply interrelated. Your mind can certainly control the body. And vice-versa, if your body is unhappy, your mind is likely to follow suit. What I am saying is that if your body is not looked after, your mind will be negatively affected and your meditation is not going to progress. Particularly Osho Active Meditations involves vigorous body movements and work on awakening our dormant life energy. In my experience, a healthy body helps to optimise this process.
I am always looking for ways to improve my overall health, raise my energy level and go deeper into my meditation. I personally found out that one of the most powerful tools to achieve that, is nutrition. So what is the role of supplements within this context? Please do not get me wrong. I am perfectly aware that dietary supplementation is a massive business and despite several attempts to regulate the market, there are lots of controversy around its legitimacy. It is clear to me that many supplement companies push their agenda and create needs in the general public to consume their products.
However, the sad reality is that we live in a very polluted environment and we are exposed to fake, processed food, with little nutritional value in it. If you lived in a completely uncontaminated world, spending lots of time outdoor, being active and eating natural locally produced food, you would probably NOT need any supplement.
My advice is to fix your diet first. Before even considering any multivitamin, consider eliminating all processed food and shop at your local farmer market. Do not be fooled by food labelled as “natural”, “fresh” and even “organic”. What really matters, is that your food has to be alive and nutrient dense. Eating canned or plastic packed food, is unnatural and detrimental to your health.
Once you have addressed food quality, you may want to consider dietary supplements. Dietary supplement are substances which provide nutrients to the body that would not normally be consumed in the recommended amount. Do not rely on supplements to compensate a poor diet: nutrients from food are much more bioavailable than consuming the same nutrients from a pill. However, for optimal health and performance, you can add specific supplements based on your lifestyle and objectives.
I personally take 2 supplements (described below) on a daily basis. And I take with me a multivitamin (including B 12, EPA/DHA for optimal brain function) whilst travelling and when unable to eat real food.
Vitamin D – it is considered to be the most important supplement. It is a vitamin but behaves more like a hormone. Very little Vitamin D is found in food and the the body needs sun exposure to produces it. So if you live in the UK and have an office job (meaning being indoor most of the time), then Vitamin D is a no brainer.
Magnesium – due to soil depletion it is almost impossible to get enough magnesium from food and it is estimated that the vast majority of people are deficient in magnesium.
So to conclude, my recommendation to you is: aim to get as much nutrients from food as possible and depending on your lifestyle, consider supplements. Once your body is happy, healthy and vibrant, it will be much easier to meditate. And if you practise Osho Active Meditations, you will notice a dramatic improvement in your energy level, meaning a better chance to deepen your silence. Treat your body as your best friend. Your body serves you every day and deserves the best possible treatment. And once your body is happy, your consciousness is free to expand till it reaches Enlightenment.