Interview with Joyce Villaume-Le Don, ayurvedic practitioner in Paris
In order to embrace a spirit of transformation, growth and renewal, we must be willing to love and honour ourselves, willing to challenge the obstacles in our lives. Joyce Villaume-Le Don made this a full-time job.
Joyce is an Ayurvedic practitioner, teacher and director of “Ayurvéda & Consciences”, one of the most important Ayurvedic institutes in France. She’s part of this new generation of healers who blends tradition with modernity… and her passion inspired my own passion. Her approach: “Consciousness is medicine, and there is no healing without consciousness”, in order to transcend ourselves. Let me introduce her to you..
Dear Joyce, Ayurveda has so many effects on health and well-being. How would you describe these benefits in your own words?
Joyce Villaume-Le Don: Ayurveda is teaching you how to understand, feel and follow the life within you. Beside the fact, that your health is really improved by this science, it is also your general balance which is back. You feel more alive, more yourself, more connected with the nature inside and outside of you. Ayurveda is the science to harmonise human with its internal and external universe.
Why did you decide to become an Ayurvedic doctor? Was there a defining moment in your life that made you follow Ayurveda? And what is your background?
Joyce Villaume-Le Don: Well, I could say that it happened… like for example, when you fall in love, you just KNOW that you are in love, no need to give some logical explanations or to justify … it just happened! Same thing with Ayurveda, when I meant it, by reading a book, I just knew that it was my path. I couldn’t explain it. At that time, I was working in a successful advertising agency in Paris. Everybody was surprised that I left a good and interesting job for something unknown and unsecured… But it was my truth and I followed it.
What do you see as the future for Ayurvedic medicine in France?
Joyce Villaume-Le Don: Ayurveda will definitely spread to the point where it will be necessary to recognize it and give it a well defined place. At that time, I see two options, or only allopathic doctors will be allowed to practise it, or it will become a true complementary health science, with its specific training, diploma etc, independent from the practice of allopathic medicine. Let’s hope and work for the second option!
True health is defined as someone who is established in the higher Self, also called Atma. In Ayurveda, the term used here is ‘’swasthya’’. How to connect to the higher Self and to gain good health?
Joyce Villaume-Le Don: Your higher self is speaking to you, each and every day, mostly through intuitions, inner feelings, dreams but also instinct. It is not something mystical, that only gourou or spiritual masters know. IT IS JUST THERE, waiting to be listened to, when the mind is enough quiet.
To gain good health it is important to pay attention to your food, daily routine, physical activity… but if you don't listen to yourself, truly speaking it is of no use! Take at least few minutes every day to listen to your inner voice… saying « it is that way. This is good for you. This is bad for you. Listen to me, not the outside world that just don't know about you, your destiny and your needs. I am your guardian angel.» For this, just concentrate on your heart, and be quiet… let it speaks.
Could you give us some dos and dont's for urban people to lead a healthy life? And what’s your suggestion for those who are addicted to mobiles, internet and computers?
Joyce Villaume-Le Don: DO – give yourself love by taking care of yourself… on this way, you will find healthy food, physical activities, hobbies, calm down stress by spending time with your loved ones… Health is naturally coming when you truly respect yourself.
DONT – believe your mind, your stress and your negative emotions. Let them express and go. Don't be their slave however you are their master. Take back your power and just say « Now! Shut up! I will not feed you one minute more. You have no power on my inner truth.
Concerning addiction, whatever is the subject (tobacco, mobiles, alcohol, chocolate…), it shows an internal imbalance on a psycho-emotional level. It helps us to deal with something which is painful inside us. Trying to take off the symptom, without healing the difficulty or the suffering behind, would be useless. So the first step is to find, "What is deeply painful in my life right now?", then the second step would be "How to deal with it in a more healthy way for me?", and the last step "How to heal and forget about this pain?". At this time, it will be easy to leave the addiction, whatever it is.
What’s the meaning and main goals of “Ayurveda & Consciences”, your school?
Joyce Villaume-Le Don: Ayurveda can be practised in many different ways… sometimes even like allopathic medicine… symptoms = medication. However, a full Ayurvedic cure should balance the body and mind, and later on the dharma*, artha* and kama* of the patient in his life… If not, you just treat the consequences of the imbalance of dharma, artha and kama, that will definitely come back. So, to can cure someone to this extent you should work on your consciousness and not only learn medicine. This is very important. The main goal of my school is to train Ayurvedic practitioner with an open consciousness, that would be able to cure physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual imbalances. *dharma – destiny / artha – wealth / kama – satisfaction.
Mindfulness is a way of experiencing life. The good, the bad, the frustrating and ugly. How to integrate wellness and mindfulness into our lives, and how to accept our « dark side » without fear?
Joyce Villaume-Le Don: HAPPINESS and LOVE. To feel well and mindful, you should feel happiness, and for no other reason then just be and enjoy your own self. For this, you need to love yourself. Dark sides, unwellness, mind disturbances is happening when we refuse something in us that cant be loved. This not loveable part will be cut and leave aside… but this part of yourself, just want to become one again with you and will not let you feel well till the time you accept to reintegrate it… there the dark, bad and ugly will be transformed into the whole.
Fear is the mind killer, the eradicator of potential, the eraser of personal progress. Fears are the stories that our ego makes. And that’s all they are – stories. How to conquer fear in order to attain freedom?
Joyce Villaume-Le Don: Most of the time, when there is a fear, there is a potential behind. Our fear prevents us from using this potential. One of the strongest fear is about our power. We are so much powerful, that we prefer to forget about it. Because the day were you will accept to use all the power, your mind will not be able to control you anymore… So better to prevent and tell you some strange story to leave you under control ! No need to conquer fear and to fight with it. Just listen to your inner voice with your two ears, like that there is no one left for fear.
Could you explain the Hindu concept of « Maya », or the illusion or delusion of the mind, and how it influences our lives, senses, knowledge, desires, gunas and actions?
Joyce Villaume-Le Don: The outside world is the mirror of the projection of your mind. Wherever you look you will only see you and your mind. This projection change when you change your mind. For example, now you decide to be optimistic, and your whole life change, you see everything differently… just because you changed your mind. We all see life through filters created by our mind… You will see real life and ultimate truth, only when these filters will disappear.
Once upon a time, a seeker of truth found himself a highly respected spiritual teacher, and asked to be initiated into the state of self-realisation. “Oh Guru, please tell me the secret of life". This was before ! Nowadays (and maybe because of the world crisis), people are consumed by fears, and a lot of dangerous spiritual gurus act as predators taking advantage of it. My question is, as a spiritual mentor, how do you explain this period of Humanity? And is our world in crisis because of the absence of consciousness?
Joyce Villaume-Le Don: Absolutely not, the growth of consciousness has never be that much spread, quick and possible. This growth is fighting with old values that can not match with… and this creates a worldwide huge stress… we have now the consciousness that money will not make us happy, that our rythm of life is imbalanced and stress creating, that materialistic purpose make us empty, that our planet is polluted, that changes are necessary. So many persons know about these truths and want peace, balanced lifestyle and valuable time with their loved ones. But everyday, society is asking in a different way… this create a fight between our deep and worldwide spread aspiration and the outside world. We just have to BELIEVE that can happen, that can be true and our world will change. Please just deeply believe what you want for yourself and the world… dont fight. We should be total. If not, then false guru can take advantage of it. When we will truly believe, what we claim to want and to be, there will be no place for this predators. No fear, no predator.
How to “Be our own Guru”? And is there a danger in devotion?
Joyce Villaume-Le Don: Only you, know the truth of your world… nobody else. All gurus claim the truth of their own world. They have strength because they find it. Be inspired by them… but don't forget that you have to work and that your inner truth is waiting for you to be discovered. Spiritual growth is not a ready made solution.
Is “Light the New Black”? In other words, as modern-day light workers, how to light us up, and light up the world at this time in History?
Joyce Villaume-Le Don: I think that it is dangerous to consider ourself as light workers… ok, it looks nice but is that not the voice of ego ? When you put consciousness on something, then light appears…What is creating your experience today is not only what it is in light (I mean the conscious mind) but also what is in the darkness (your unconscious mind). So as long as this will last, we are only workers… with humility.
What’s your vision of Humanity’s spiritual destiny?
Joyce Villaume-Le Don: Humanity will definitely awake little by little. Crisis after crisis. Illusion after illusion. There is no hurry, it is not a race. It will not happened in two, three years or decades… It needs centuries. But what is important to understand is that an awakened humanity is not « better » than a sleeping humanity… Are you better as a person when you are awake in the day time, than when you are sleeping in the night? No. It is just a different state of consciousness with different kind of abilities. Before wanting to become, it will bring us peace to accept humanity as it is… Imperfect.
- Interview by Armanda Dos Santos