365 Challenge Day 17 – Body

3 Jun

I did yoga tonight for the first time since I’ve been home, more than a week.  It felt so good to stretch my muscles, which were (are) very tight and sore.  It also felt good to take a break from thinking, and get grounded in my body.

It definitely wasn’t the most focused session I’ve had!  I procrastinated until 10:30pm, so I was tired and it was short.  Short and sweet.

We spend so much of our day lost in our heads.  All of our fears, worries, stresses, fantasies, planning, to-do lists, etc, they all take us away from what is actually happening.  Ninety five percent of the time if we could ground back into the present moment we would find that there was actually nothing threatening or worrisome happening to us at that moment. In fact, worry is always about something that hasn’t actually happened.  Kind of crazy when you put it that way!

Silent meditation can be extremely useful for showing us all this craziness that is happening in our minds.  But I have found that the kind of Insight meditation I learned can perpetuate more thinking through the practice of investigation, through mindfulness of the thoughts, or many of the other Buddhist practices.  At some point I realized most of my practice was happening from the neck up.  This felt very imbalanced.

The mind cannot always be trusted.  Thoughts are all over the place.  We live in a world of concepts and abstractions rather than being in touch with the reality those concepts are abstracted from!  The body is always in the present moment.  The body connects us to what is real.

That’s one of the reasons I decided to put more focus on yoga, as a spiritual practice.  There are also silent sitting practices that focus more on the body, such as the body scan practice S.N. Goenka is famous for, or simply focusing the sensations of the breath.  For the last several years I’ve been very drawn to these practices.

I want my practice to be less thinking, and more doing, feeling, experiencing, sensing, breathing, connecting, being, and living.

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