I can´t emphasize this enough-- that the main ingredient of a human life which gives true fulfillment (that includes: physical health, a calm mind, inner peace, fulfilling one´s purpose on the planet, and an overall stability regardless of external factors) is when we know who we Are. We realize and see clearly that we aren´t our physical body, or our emotions (desires, sensations), nor our mind (thoughts, intellect) that we have taken ourselves to be for so long. We come to know that we are just temporarily using these bodily clothes to give us the chance to experience human life on a physical level. Our perception of the world then becomes very light and spacious. And we feel good on a much deeper level than what our mind is used to!
However, unlike like the daily physical clothes that we wear and can simply remove at any moment, our bodily clothes are much more subtle and intimate. We can´t remove them so easily. We also wear them for a much longer duration, and so it´s easier to identify with them and think that is who we actually are. Consciousness seems to forget that it is formless and starts believing it is the mind, emotions, and physical body. The consequence of that belief is we experience strong duality (feeling happy, sad; sick, healthy; satisfied, disappointed; searching, finding; and so on…). We will inevitably always be searching for more knowledge, more healing, more of something, so that we can feel complete. But we will never actually find it.
Self-Inquiry was the most simple and direct spiritual tool that I found in helping my consciousness turn around on its Self and experience its own formless nature. But it wasn´t until my bodies became more balanced that I could actually have this experience. My health issues were so deep that my mind was constantly distracted with bodily pain and symptoms. This seemed to make it impossible for my consciousness to disengage with its clothes and turn in on Itself.
Therefore, natural medicine played an extremely important part in my life by helping to balance and restore my bodies to the point that my consciousness was freer to disidentify with incessant mental agitation and instead be Self aware. However, I also saw that even Nature´s greatest medicinal tools are still limited in their effects if one´s highest aspiration is confined only to the bodily realm. Our human self will always have a new problem. It can never be perfect. It will always become unbalanced and agitated at some point and on some level. And there are new holistic therapies being born into this world every day, so there will never be a shortage of new ones to try. But they cannnot give us true and permanent contentment, no matter how good they are or how healthy our body becomes—because these therapies will only affect our human self.
The nature of humanness is by default-- unbalanced, decaying and impermanent. This is actually a good thing because it will force us to keep looking for unwavering contentment-- That which is unaffected by the play of life and its forever changing gamut of impressions, sensations, situations, etc. The inner fire to realize our essential wholeness won´t be put to rest until we recognize who we actually Are. So in a sense, the more we feel the burn (via our own karmic conditions and bodily identity), the better.
I have discovered that the benefits from utilizing Nature´s medicines (tools) are at their highest when they are underpinned with a liberating spiritual practice. These two ingredients complement each other perfectly, and can quench that apparent insatiable thirst for peace and rest!