A Physicist's Path to Ayurveda: A Brief Q&A with Kapila Castoldi

By Brandi Lyons

Brandi Lyons: I see you work in physics. Do you find yourself mentally integrating Vedanta and Ayurveda with a physics based view of the world?

Kapila Castoldi: My field is particle physics, the search for the ultimate building blocks of matter. Along with this, I have always had a deep love for astronomy, and eventually discovered a deep interconnection between the two, the microcosm and the macrocosm. Although I worked as an experimentalist, my interest in physics has always been more at the philosophical level. In time I realized that I would not be able to find the answers to my questions within physics, or at least, not yet. I had to look beyond and this eventually led me to metaphysics and spirituality. In time I discovered that my questions were already answered thousands of years ago at the intuitive level by the Vedic seers through their meditations. Now science is beginning to answer some of these questions experimentally, in very small steps.

I believe that Vedanta applies to the modern world, just like it applied to ancient times. Things have changed only on the surface, mostly due to the fast paced technological development, but the questions that each of us carry deep inside have not changed. They may simply go unheard, because of the loud noises that surround our modern life. It is through the meditative process that we can quiet our minds and tap on this wisdom that lies deep inside us.

Brandi Lyons: What led you to integrate meditation with Ayurveda?

Kapila Castoldi: After a few years of meditation under the guidance of my spiritual teacher, Sri Chinmoy, I realized that the true practice of deep meditation requires that we prepare the ground for it by working on our mind, emotions, and our body. In spirituality the body is seen as a ‘temple’ that hosts the inner being and allows it to be manifested here on earth. That’s when I became aware of Ayurveda. Eventually I met Kumudini Shoba, an Ayurveda practitioner from Seattle who is also a student of Sri Chinmoy. Over the past twenty years she has not only helped me maintain good health, but has also taught me quite a bit about the philosophy behind Ayurveda. She recently published a small book on Ayurveda, which offers simple guidance to beginners. You may check it out at her website, Service-Plants.com.

So, to summarize, Physics led me to Meditation, and Meditation to Ayurveda.

Dr. Kapila Castoldi is a student of spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy and has offered meditation classes throughout the Midwest for about 25 years. Her new class, “Ayurveda and Meditation: Ancient Wisdom for the Modern Life,” is a basic introduction to the principles of Ayurveda and emphasizes the need for inner awareness, which can be achieved through meditation, along with the need for outer balance in our life, which can be achieved through Ayurveda. Kapila teaches physics and astronomy at a local university. She can be contacted at castoldi@oakland.edu. 

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Posted on December 31, 2014 and filed under Food Section.