Who are you?
On the relative level, my name is Dylan Smith. I’m an Ayurvedic practitioner and holistic health educator based in Sydney, Australia. I love to work with patients and my community to trigger their innate state of health so their diseases dissipate and they can radiate life for all to enjoy.
As part of my healing service and life, I love nature, especially the ocean but any body of water, the sun and sunbathing with as much skin exposure as possible. I enjoy live music, particularly blues and transcendental guitar solos, and exchanging love with a variety of sentient beings.
Why Ayurvedic practices?
Since Ayurveda is part of the Veda—knowledge governing the unity of the laws of nature and human consciousness from which yoga, meditation, Vedic astrology, Sthapatya Veda (Vedic architecture), Gandharva Veda (celestial music) and Ayurveda are derived.
The Veda is natural law. I resonate with it because it is so fundamental to the core being of every human on earth, irrespective of their culture, habitat or state of consciousness.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that translates to the “science of life,” Ayur meaning “life” and Veda meaning “knowledge” or “science.” Ayurveda is a system of holistic medicine that encompasses the entire universe—nature, the body, mind and spirit and anything in “life.”
This ancient science with a focus on medicine guides us on how to live in harmony with nature and thus with our own specific human nature—where perfect health resides. We all have the memory of perfect health. When we were born, most of us were perfectly healthy, and even for those who were not, you still have the memory on a cellular level. Ayurveda reminds the body of that innate health. It focuses on establishing health, rather than focusing on the disease. When we enliven and establish health, disease dissipates at a root level.
How is Ayurveda connected and influenced by the natural world?
In order to attune to your human nature (where perfect health lies), you need to live in harmony with nature’s rhythms and cycles. This includes circadian rhythms related to the sun, moon and each season. We can even be more advanced and subtle and attune to the cosmic weather (astrology), but that is not required and takes a while to develop. When you live in harmony with nature’s cycles, you become more aware of yourself. You increase your knowledge of your own physiology and are comfortable with all its dynamism. Ayurveda provides a manual on the mechanics of the natural world.
How can individuals incorporate Ayurvedic practices into their everyday rituals?
Individuals can learn about the Ayurvedic practices related to diet, lifestyle and herbal regimens (for herbs, I recommend working with a quality practitioner), and then experiment with integrating them into your unique life and schedule. A little diligence at first and then enjoy practicing them.
Get up at sunrise or earlier and be asleep before 10 p.m. It’s not about how long you sleep, but when you sleep. Being asleep between 10 p.m.–2 a.m. is the crucial time for hormonal balance, liver detoxification, micronutrient absorption (are you deficient in vitamins or minerals? Maybe your sleep time is playing a role in this) and overall physical rejuvenation and cellular repair. Getting up with or before sunrise imbues you with the creative energy and lightness of being available at the time before sunrise. You can feel it—the more you sleep in, the more sluggish and fatigued you feel throughout the day.
Give yourself an oil massage (Abhyanga) with coconut, sesame or a medicated Ayurvedic oil before your shower. This enhances the lymphatic system, improves blood circulations, feeds the microbiome living on your skin (who do all the hard work for your biological functions) and most notably, pacifies the nervous system and strengthens its adaptation power.
Sip plain, hot water frequently throughout the day. This melts toxins in the gastrointestinal tract and flushes them out, just like it does the same to grease on dirty dishes, and dilates the channels of the body, especially the lymphatic system. It’s not about how much water you drink, it’s about how frequently you sip quality, hot water.
How do you care for yourself? Do you practice any daily rituals?
I wake up before sunrise, practice Vedic meditation twice a day, give myself an Abhyanga every morning before bathing, which 99% of the time is in the ocean. I get plenty of sun exposure and work outside as much as possible. I eat organic food and forage as much as possible to reduce chemicals in my food and maximise prana (life force) in my nutrition. I drink spring water and have installed a filter and water restricting unit on my shower so I don’t absorb toxins and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) through the large surface area of my skin. I enjoy leisurely singing, jamming, dancing, walking my dog, bushwalking, spending time with friends and family and studying Veda.
How important is it to you to be connected with the natural world on a daily basis?
It’s very important if you want to prevent disease and radiate vitality. If you live disconnected from nature regularly or for a certain amount of time, for example not touching your bare feet to the earth for 5 days, it makes you more susceptible to succumbing to chronic disease, which is way too common nowadays.
Is your own state of wellbeing inextricably tied to your connection with nature?
That is certainly a part of it and significantly promotes overall wellbeing.
There are some tools you can do if you are living in a concrete jungle or are locked up without access to the sun or a park to ground your feet. Practices like Abhyanga, meditation, yoga and herbs can help in times like these.
When and how do you feel most fulfilled?
Usually all the time. Especially when I am at the feet of my guru, resonating on a harmonious level with him, and when I feel the pulse of a patient, experience great love with my partner or a friend, engage in an ecstatic music jam, or have the freedom and plenty of time to lie in the sun and read a book.
What wisdom does the natural world provide you with? Is there anything that is clarified for you? Or perhaps even challenges you?
I continue to be amazed at how much the environment and climate can influence human biology, even though we continue to try to shield ourselves from it and build artificial structures to create our own environmental conditions. I notice this most when seasons change or we get a day of unusual weather.
At the moment, I am learning to pay attention to the cosmic weather and I still have so much to learn about nature’s subtle influences. The wisdom that the natural world provides me with is endless—this can be aspects of consciousness expressing itself as various shapes and materials in trees, rocks, mountains, the sun’s reflections and within other parts of nature.
A challenge with the natural environment is the dryness that a lot of my patients acquire partly because of their environment, and how much that affects their health in the form of degeneration, digestive issues, anxiety, sleep issues and neurological conditions.
When feeling disenchanted, how do you return to yourself?
When I fall into the habit of narrowing my consciousness—thinking about myself in a small context—I simply remind myself that Cosmic Intelligence is in control and governs everything. I then return to my Self. Note this works because I have had and continue to have the direct experience that I am the Universe. It is not just knowing this on an intellectual level. I regularly experience expanded and higher states of consciousness. By the way, it is very easy and effortless to establish yourself in this state of consciousness. I recommend Vedic meditation to establish yourself in Absolute Cosmic Intelligence and Pure Consciousness.
It is subhuman to suffer. It is useless and irresponsible to think you should suffer.