Ruminating On Rumi

As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.

~ M. Rumi

Friday, February 15, 2013

What is this body/mind/spirit connection thang all about anyway?

Your Body

Like it or not this body, either temple or prison, is, for our life time, our home.

Sometimes not being “in” the body may be caused by trauma, a dislike of this vessel as a physical home or belief that the body is not important or “perfect” enough. Mind you, when a physical injury or struggle affects the body we quickly learn how vital a healthy body is.  

For years, I barely acknowledged I had a body, what I favoured and cultivated was the mind and the spirit.  I began to see how detrimental this was by the many times I would “accidentally” get injured. I seemed to have little idea of where my body physically began and ended and where other physical things were in relation to it. Painful yet it still did not sink in. I did not honour my body, I ignored, sometimes cursed it for not being the right size or shape and sometimes abused it by not nurturing it with quality food and drink. 

It seems ludicrous now that I think about it. I now “know” that this physical temple is where we do our spiritual/awakening work on earth. It is where we play and explore and experience the sensual delights of an earthly existence. It is where we make mistakes, learn lessons and move on. Inevitably, with each age and stage, it changes and eventually ceases to be. Savour the body because after all, this is the only one you’re getting this time round. 

Befriend your Body
~ stretch it in a yoga class
~ take it for a walk 
~ enjoy a hot bath
~ treat it to a massage
~ feed it nutritious food
~ keep it hydrated
~ cultivate a positive attitude toward your body
~ be grateful for health and kind with illness
~ do whatever makes your body feel loved and valued

Your Mind

A curious thing, how we both honour and ignore the power of the mind. We stuff it full of knowledge and sometimes nonsense yet at the same time we say “seeing is believing.”  We dismiss feelings and experiences and only validate such that can be scientifically measured. 

To simplify it’s existence the mind will discriminate with the almost arbitrary concept of good and bad, black and white. Through our intention, perceptions and thoughts we create our reality. Yet at the same time, when we forget that the mind is a tool, another sense organ, we think the functioning of the mind is the absolute truth.  

The paradox is that we can’t think our way out of the mind to understand the mind. What happens in the mind is always relative, in relationship with all that exists. The mind is only part of the equation, body + mind + spirit = whole in one.

Befriend Your Mind
~ be curious
~ just say “know” but be just as okay with not knowing
~ keep it active with puzzles & games, reading, asking questions
~ listen open minded to the thoughts of others
~ remember there are absolutely no absolutes
~ rest the mind
~ encourage the mind to wonder, dream and imagine
~ listen to the truths of a child

Your Spirit
Call it life force, prana, chi, breath, energy, God, or a combination, it is that which animates the body and without the body is a corpse. How do we connect to spirit? Being still. listening with open heart. Feeling the energy in the body. Trusting feelings and sensation. Having faith that this is where we are meant to be right now. (Why? Because we are.) Being present with what is.  Using the gifts of past and dreams of future as tools for transformation from the present moment. Cultivate curiosity and investigate how the universal truths such as “joy,” “truth,” “peace” and “love” resonate with you. 

Befriend your Spirit
~ meditate
~ pray
~ practice yoga or tai chi or qi gong
~ breath work
~ create community where spirit is honoured and nurtured
~ practice gratitude
~ be here now
~ see/feel spirit every where

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing all the inseparable elements, mind, body and spirit to a place of conscious oneness. 
Mindfulness is not a full mind but a mind that is aware of this complete package. Awake knowing this full meal deal is our home. 

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