Today we’d like to introduce you to David McConaghay.
David, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
In college, I took a class on Buddhism and dabbled in metaphysics and meditation until a soccer injury led me to yoga. Yoga practice was a major revelation for my physical wellness, and the philosophy drew me in. After graduation, I found my way to an ashram and spent six months immersed in classical yoga life, discovering my devotional nature, working in the garden and kitchen with an Āyurvedic chef, and studying Vedic Astrology.
This was early 2009, around my 23rd birthday, and I was finally finding answers to my cosmic questions, or, perhaps even more important than any particular answer, I started learning to ask better questions. Not only did the original yogis gain access to a complete system of self-realization and record it for posterity, they insisted that it not be taken on faith and shared the specific practices that would allow others to realize it for themselves. Their ancient example remains endlessly inspiring.
Fast forward to 2013 and I am in Boulder, working in the natural foods industry handing out turmeric elixir samples at Natural Grocers but struggling through a private crisis involving the dissolution of a precious relationship and profound despair about not living my life’s purpose. Enter Alandi Āyurveda Gurukula and my life is upturned in the best way. I spend the next five years studying and practicing with Alakananda Ma, graduating as an Āyurvedic Practitioner in 2016 and as a Doctor in 2018. In that time, I also earned an Associate’s degree in Vedic Astrology and started my ongoing work towards a Doctorate in Divinity.
So now I live in Denver — although I am “sheltering in place” on a remote island of the coast of Scotland due to our collective Corona moment (check out Erraid.com) — and enjoy a life full of consultations with people seeking the various sorts of support I am able to offer, serving on the board of the Colorado Āyurvedic Medical Association, helping to establish The Sanctuary of the Inner Compass at Everland and bringing Bill Plotkin’s model of nature-based human development to the Front Range. More or less, that’s me!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Looking back, it is simple to tell a linear story about how one life event led inevitably to the next to move me in the “right” direction, but the transitions and transformations never feel inevitable as they are happening, do they? I am finding this important to remember right now as we all navigate the perilous adventure into the unknown that is COVID-19.
My primary obstacles are internal and interpersonal. Āyurveda, astrology and the application of eco-centric models of holistic healing come quite naturally to me and I often experience an effortless quality when engaged in my professional work. However, I have a long and ongoing history dealing with bipolar bouts of anxiety and depression. This has made for tumultuous personal relationships and internal instability that has been the cause of external disappointments based on my inability to show up for life in the way I would have hoped.
I am grateful to the therapists, guides (both seen and unseen), mentors, family, friends and medicines that have supported my journey thus far, and I am pleased to report that my psycho-emotional stability and self-reliance is stronger than ever. This has been facilitated and validated recently in my capacity for joyful solitude, my evermore intimate connection with the natural world and the quality and content of my experiences in the dream world. It is a beautiful and, I suppose, a somewhat predictable paradox that working with these wounds gives rise to my greatest gifts, as my own lived experience allows me to connect with others suffering through similar struggles.
Please tell us about Multi Dimensional Medicine.
I call my private practice Multi Dimensional Medicine because every human exists on a wide spectrum of levels — including physical, emotional, mental and subtle, to name just the basic few — and I have spent my life seeking out and cultivating remedies and enhancements for every one of these dimensions. Right now, I offer two options on my website — a free introductory conversation and an all-purpose appointment in which we can discuss anything that is relevant to your well-being, applying the therapeutic tools of Āyurveda, Vedic Astrology and the eco-centric archetypes, as appropriate to your unique circumstances. In addition, I am right now readying to release a month-long training called Multi Dimensional Meditation, about which more information is available at “multidimensional.training”.
About Āyurveda. Āyurveda is a nature-based system of self-healing that is indigenous to India and theoretically applicable across all space and time. Using herbs and oils, diet and daily habits, Āyurveda encourages gentle adjustments based on subtle self-awareness that can resolve an acute condition, prevent avoidable future suffering and support the pursuit of perfect health. Common health concerns that I encounter and can help with include digestive distress, anxiety and insomnia, lethargy, fatigue and brain-fog, skin conditions, chronic pain and/or inflammation, libido, fertility and women’s health, and the prevention and management of insulin-sensitivity issues.
An Āyurvedic consultation consists of a conversation about your current condition and concerns, an inquiry into your health history and habitual patterns, consideration of psycho-emotional, socio-economic and other circumstantial influences, and analysis of biological indicators such as the tongue, eyes, nails and pulse. The outcome is a detailed set of recommendations for you to apply in your daily life with my ongoing guidance and encouragement. Āyurveda is participatory medicine. For its full benefit to unfold, one must be willing to engage in sincere self-inquiry and be open to lifestyle changes that may range from the minuscule (drinking a certain herbal tea, for example) to the most dramatic shifts imaginable (for this example, use your imagination).
Ultimately, to engage with this beautiful system of living wisdom is an invitation to experience oneself as an integral part of an intelligent and infinitely creative whole, the full power of which moves through every cell in every moment. Āyurveda offers a map by which we humans can more skillfully navigate the varying territory of our lives.
About Vedic Astrology. If Āyurveda is the map, then Vedic Astrology is the compass and clock. Known in Sanskrit as Jyotish, meaning roughly “the study or knowledge of light,” astrology is the first science. Every human society in the history of existence has studied the movement of stars and planets. In return for this consistent attention, we as a species have received vital illumination and guidance, be that in the form of inspiring mythological lessons, nautical navigation or simply the universal sense of awe that saturates the heart and mind of any human who looks long enough into a clear night’s sky.
Consultations begin with an exploration of your individual birth chart as we establish your astrological anatomy. Like a micro- or telescope reveals otherwise unseeable structures, so your horoscope shows the subtle energetic structures that act as the bumpers on the bowling lane that is your path through this life. We can use the tools of astrology to examine any area of life on Earth. Most people seek me out in association with major or minor life transitions. Common concerns include career choices, romantic relationship dynamics, family issues and spiritual emergence/emergencies.
I have found that the most powerful impact of astrology is to provide validation for your innate way of being, which is so easily distorted by the demands and deranging influences of daily life. The chart rarely shows anything you don’t already know, but it gives cosmic permission for you to be precisely who and where you are in your process as an ever-evolving Earthling. You are not random, but known and loved as an irreplaceable contributor to the community of beings that inhabit this living universe. To connect with your unique constitution of stars and planets is to be reminded of this expansive identity and thereby enjoy enhanced access to the full complement of natural skills needed to successfully engage with your karmic workload in this particular incarnation.
In any consultation, I apply everything I’ve ever learned about human nature, herbal medicine, yoga, archetypal mythology and modern society to support your journey towards wholeness. As an ordained minister in the Wisdom of the Heart Church and Sanctuary of the Inner Compass, I actively cultivate my capacity for accurate intuition and well-attuned empathy so as to better serve my purpose. If you are struggling with acute or chronic illness, feeling lost or stuck, or are seeking to accelerate your spiritual evolution, it is likely that I can help to clarify all the factors at play and guide the creation of a detailed plan for how you can move forward in a good way.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
There are, of course, way too many people to name who have helped to shape the person that I am, which is inseparable from the services that I offer, but I am more than happy to share some essential influences.
— Swami Sitaramananda, my first major teacher of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm in Grass Valley, California.
— Alakananda Ma, Sadananda-Ji and the entire lineage of teachers that flow through them, as well as all my classmates and the whole community at Alandi Ashram and Āyurveda Gurukula in Boulder, Colorado.
— Sam Geppi of the American Academy of Vedic Art & Science, and Freedom Cole for vast astrological wisdom and inspiration.
— Jim Self of Mastering Alchemy for providing access to precise metaphysical tools that have exponentially accelerated my capacity for personal energy management and soul-level evolution.
— Charles Eisenstein, for the narrative medicine he offers as we move through the space between stories towards the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.
— Bill Plotkin and Brian Stafford of the Animas Valley Institute, for weaving cocoons in which the caterpillar of my adolescence can safely dissolve, and for providing a map that makes journeying through the terrifying underworld soul-territory borderline enjoyable.
— My primary influences are Ed and Margaret McConaghay, the beautiful geniuses whose genetic signature I am honored to carry, and John, my infinitely intelligent, stupefyingly funny, badass bicycle boss and Brooklyn-based COVID-survivor of an older brother.
— And I can’t not shout out the worldwide LOVEtriBE, the wild wizards and supreme sorceresses of Everland, and of course my old school Minneapolis crew, all of whom make me who I am and love me along the way. Love you, hi!
- 20-minute introductory consultations are always available at no cost.
- For All-Purpose Appointments, I request $123.45 per hour
- Website: VedaDave.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ayurvedadave/
- Other: MultiDimensional.training
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