originally posted here
While pondering the meaning of a relationship with oneself a basic bad-relationship came to thought; that of the mind feeling isolated, disconnected and alone. A mind that feels that way becomes the ‘ego’, and strives to protect itself at any and all cost. Such an ego-mind will harm not only others, but also the body in which it is housed through physical or psychological means.
A mind which recognizes that it is not alone, and that it has a constant ally, becomes calm. It recognizes that no longer does it need to do everything, and that it has really never done anything in the first place.
The mind which recognizes that it is in a relationship with the body and its energetic currents, is able to let go of the fight and flight struggle which otherwise defines its existence.
Where does this relationship begin?
First, a distinction. There is a common belief that meditation is about silencing the mind. The mind does not become silent by the actions of the mind, a mind that attempts to be still remains in action. Consider first why the mind moves and why it would need to be silent.
The mind only moves for two reasons; natural movement of the mind that sustains the health and well-being of the body, and unnatural movement of the mind that sustains the health and well-being of the egoic-self image. Both movements of mind can occur in an infinite variety of ways, the important aspect is the cause for mental movement.
Why does a person seek silence of the mind? To be free from its draconian punishments and constant driving force that stems from fear, resistance, guilt, and the need to prove something or force reality to conform to its narrow perception.
A person can feel, although may not be aware, of the harmful impact of the unconsciously driven mind.
These feelings are often expressed as emotions, and the painful words and actions that can stem from emotions. These are methods of releasing the steam of feeling, which is non-verbal and resides as tension & stress within the body.
As the feeling of disconnection grows stronger through the mind’s service of the ego, it will struggle more and more, and this creates a progressively increasing amount of stress that is felt, both in the body and in all expressions of life.
Thus, a person who is aware of something being ‘disconnected’ and of needing ‘more’ will eventually, through the process of suffering and pain, be drawn to introspection and self-observation. The amount of time before a person wakes to such recognition differs, some never even bother to look.
Of those that begin to seek their solution, their method of approaching release from ego-bondage, will be the same exact same approach used in the rest of their life. Thus, a seeker who is forceful and egoic will approach their inner quest with force and ego. A person who acts from hesitation and fear in life, will approach their own self with hesitation, doubt and fear.
The disconnected actions of mind will remain disconnected until the mind is able to make an operational paradigm shift from thinking to being.
A new way of mental operation must be discovered, yet when a person only knows how they have acted in the past, and has often done so unconsciously, they will continue to act the same way. The cycle of mind and action must be addressed, the pattern of how one thinks and acts must be observed. Yet, observation is only part of the puzzle.
The best relationship the mind can have for diminishing it’s fear and surrendering it’s control of what occurs during life is the mind’s relationship with the body.
By observing the body and its natural actions, one is able to connect with their feeling center, and to also know as truth that the mind is not running the show, though it thinks it is. The mind does not make the subtle functions of the body happen, the heart beats itself, the blood pulses through pressure, food digests itself, neurons are firing without being asked. And within the universal body we do not make gravity hold us down, or the earth to spin, or the sun to shine and some how create a planet teeming with life.
The mind never makes anything happen, yet that is what it believes and struggles to do. In all the mechanisms of the universe that occur without the help of my mind, including the operation of the body itself, how can the mind ever be the doer? This one, tiny little thing is making EVERYTHING happen? It’s the biggest joke people play on themselves, and they commit slow suicide each moment in their belief.
Consider, how well do you know your body?
Most people will have a story about their body (I am young, I am old, I hurt here, I am ugly, I am sexy) … this is language about the body, and has nothing to do with the body itself. What can you say about the body that is not a label?
Many people misinterpret the signals their body put out, or are simply unaware of what the body communicates through sensation. As this occurs, the body builds stress and becomes sick. Try an experiment, next few times you think you are hungry or tired, especially mid-afternoon, drink water and see if that makes a difference.
Because of likes and dislikes, the ego-mind will operate the body on what it believes is appropriate, and through non-listening will harm the body by putting food and substances into the body which harm it. It will also drive the body beyond its limits through thoughtless action.
What is the real purpose of pain? How can pain be wrong when the body uses it to communicate to the mind that it is thirsty, or hungry, or that it has a need to go to the bathroom. If a person had appendicitis without pain, they would die because they would not know what happened.
What is purpose of pleasure? Most people just become addicted to pleasure, and the ego-mind uses the body as a carnival of sensual gratification. This over-stresses the body, and squanders its energetic resources.
Pain and pleasure are the two key words to contemplate when observing the body. Between these two polarities is a vast amount of sensation, yet the mind will often just label the variety of sensations as pleasurable ‘I like it’ or as painful ‘I do not like it.’ This begins the whole cycle of avoiding pain and choosing pleasure. It also shuts out a huge area of life, all of the ‘grey’ areas between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, and greatly limits ones experience of life.
Pain and pleasure are not to be chosen for or against. The pain and pleasure of the body are indications of what needs to be addressed for survival and health, they simply exist.
The pain and pleasure that the ego-mind experiences is illusionary, and does not exist.
A bruised self-image will not kill a person, yet the illusionary pain will create a literal impact in the body due to identification. This is the cause of stress, where what seems to be painful in life due to relationship or circumstances becomes identified and digested energetically, and then the body must react to defend or protect itself.
Disentangle the personal ego-identification which turns what simply is in life into a stressful and personal encounter which requires action to fight or fix, manipulate, control or remove.
The ego-mind which comes to recognize how its own actions impact it’s embodied residence becomes to wake up to the most important of relationships, the one that occurs internally and silently. A very personal relationship, the kind of intimacy and honesty a person must have to be in a good relationship with ones own self, can only occur in the presence of love.
The ego-mind which is driven by fear can be likened to a blockage in a river stream, its presence clogs the free movement of water. Except, within the body, this blockage dams the very movement of life energies which sustain, nurture and heal the body.
As a person is able to enter their body, which can only occur through direct engagement of sensation, fear loses its motivating grip. The blockages of energy then dissolve, and the freedom of life and well-being that the mind craves becomes realized, effortlessly in every moment.
This happens in two ways, as a gradual process with little shifts each day, and at times a massive release will occur, creating a paradigm shift and refreshed consciousness. During the process of purification, awareness expands according to ones depth of self-honesty and the ability to release that which harms the internal relationship.
The mind that is able to enter the body becomes yoked, and enters into a homeostatic balance.
It is not necessary to still and remove the mind, it has an important purpose in day to day life, the key is to bring it into balance with the body.
Balancing the mind never occurs from learning something new, it only occurs by unlearning that which you think you are.
As the unlearning process unfolds, one sees the truth of who they are, and the natural and healthy relationship that mind and body were meant to have, becomes real.
Yet, the key is to start, today, a little by little.
YOU HAVE TO DO IT, NOT THINK ABOUT IT. A RELATIONSHIP CAN ONLY DEVELOP WITH CONSCIOUS ATTENTION AND ACTION.
How do you build a relationship between the body and mind?
Through it’s sensations. The body has no language of words, it only speaks through sensation. A person must be willing to be intimate inside their own body, to feel their body inside and out, constantly.
Breath is a traditional way of maintaining this connection, breathing is something which can be consciously embraced all day long, and even during sleep.
Along with the breath, I find that feeling the heart-pulse is ideal. When my mind is disconnected, I am unable to feel the heart. As I am more and more integrated, I feel the heart-beat and its pulses and heat through the entire body.
Yoga, tai-chi, dancing and other meditative practices of the body are beneficial aids if a person understands how to use them. The vibration of chanting, music and song as felt within the body are another way to connect to physical sensation.
As one maintains a constant awareness of the body sensation, the mind _must_ get quieter. And as the mind stills, one is able to be aware of who they are.
Consider, if you are able to observe it, then it is not you.
So, as one observes the sensations of the body, and then observes the action of the mind, and is able to observe so many things, what is it that remains unobservable?
Only yourself, quiet in the midst of the moving mind and flood of vibrations and bodily sensations, the relationship of you with yourself discovered through the relationship of the body and the mind.