The Trilogy of Harmony

Graceful Harmony
by Sara Goodnough

Those interested in spirituality—what it is and how to become a spiritual person—sooner or later come across the notion of harmony between spirit, mind, and body . What exactly does it mean and how do you get there? To get there one has to cultivate each of its three aspects of being. Achievement of this Trilogy of Harmony leads to sustained peace, joy, and equanimity.

A healthy, physically fit body is one of the pillars of attaining harmony between spirit, mind, and body. As an example, if we don’t feel well, or we’re weak, frail, or sick it is difficult to think clearly. Likely we are concerned about our health which takes a further toll on our mind.

In turn our spirit is also affected. We may be unable to experience lasting joy and happiness. Our worries, guilt, and regret prevent us from finding peace and equanimity.

Mental products such as our attitudes, behaviors, thoughts, and actions can either feed and elevate the spirit or damage and debilitate it. This is governed by the Law of Cause and Effect. The health of our spirit is determined in large part by the way we treat other people. One should always strive to live a life characterized by honesty, integrity, compassion, and ethical behavior.

We can cultivate the mind by meditation, striving to be wholly present through mindfulness and working to stop the constant train of useless thoughts so many of us experience. It is also important to allow only wholesome thoughts, and to maintain a positive and virtuous outlook.

A cultivated mind and body naturally leads to a greater expression of our spirit in everyday life. Buddha’s Four Immeasurables well illustrate the essence of spiritual expression and the results of the Trilogy of Harmony. The Immeasurables are: love, compassion, equanimity, and empathetic joy. These four are also known as the four sublime or extraordinary states of mind, which to me, illustrate the affect the spirit can have on the mind.

I hope from this discussion you begin to see the importance of achieving the Trilogy of Harmony for a happy, healthy, rewarding, and productive life, and how the spirit, mind, and body support and interact with each other. If any one of these three pillars of harmony is not in a healthy, positive state, then the trilogy is broken. As we all know, each of the three components can function independently, but without the elevated state of being (especially of the spirit) that the Trilogy of Harmony brings. You cannot give yourself a gift greater than the fulfillment, happiness, joy, and peace that achieving this harmony will create.

You might like to see the following related articles:

A Path from Darkness
How Does One Sustain a Spiritual Outlook?

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Harmony Between Spirit, Mind, and Body

South Rose Window, Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France. Copyright 2000 by Blair Atherton

South Rose Window, Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France. Copyright 2000 by Blair Atherton

It seems to me that one of the goals as a spiritual person is to achieve harmony between the spirit, mind, and body. Here, I would define harmony as congruity between these three aspects of being. All three are integral parts of our existence, and as such interact with, and influence one another.

I think congruity is a key word here. In order for there to be harmony, the mind must be aware of the spirit and understand the nature, meaning, and purpose of a spiritual life. The mind must also be committed to a life of goodness and virtue. The body finds congruity by cultivating good health to fully support expression of the mind and spirit through outward action.

The state of the mind determines the extent to which the spirit is able to express itself. If the mind is at peace, open, and seeks spiritual awareness, it will come. When this happens, the mind is compelled to seek outlets for expression of the spirit-self. There is a transformation in one’s motives, intent, and desire.

When harmony is achieved, love and compassion for all things dominates the person’s world view. One’s thoughts are outwardly directed toward the needs of others. There is a strong desire to serve God and humanity, and material things become relatively unimportant. Expression of the spirit energizes mind and body bringing feelings of happiness and well being.

Prayer for Harmony

Dear God,

I strive to make myself whole, and by doing so come closer to you.
I wish to find the sacred harmony between spirit, mind, and body.
My only desire is to serve and honor you by expression of my spirit
through acts of love and compassion.

I pray that my spirit may one day become attuned with, and radiate your divine love for all things.

Amen