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zen & the art of health Part 2 By Julian J. Varela


n our last article on Zen & the Art of Health, I proposed that optimal health is much more than a lean physique and great blood profile. While exercising regularly and eating a balanced and healthful diet may improve

your chances of avoiding disease and living a longer vibrant life, factors such as dissatisfaction with your career, relationship, living situation, stress level and your purpose in life should not be ignored. Life is much more than getting up, going to

work, going home, watching TV and going to bed. Asking yourself a few important questions and honestly answering them can do wonders for your health beyond that of exercise and nutrition. So the next time you’re on a run, ask yourself, why am I here? What’s the purpose of my life? Shouldn’t there be more? I mentioned this in the last article, and I’m going to say it again. This article is in no way an attempt to tout any certain religious belief. Don’t be scared, religion is simply a general set of beliefs explaining the existence of and giving meaning to the universe, usually involving devotional and ritual observance, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. You can take it or leave it, but you can’t argue that there are some fundamental truths that religion teaches which make philosophical sense and helps us understand how our connection with others, our mind and the world affect our personal health. The good news is that with a little bit of contemplation and reflection, we can improve our health without even leaving the couch. How great is that? Most of us are taught to get good grades, go to college and land a high paying job. It’s

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Journal PLUS

August 2010 Journal Plus