Attuning the Body-Mind

Buddha-simple-drawing

Attuning the Body-Mind Instrument

I experience a deep satisfaction in being present with the forms that surround me. This morning there was a kind of story-line in my mind from the last dream sequence before I awoke that is a kind of mental space. In that state it is a welcome relief to bring my focus of attention to my body, which is the form that my awareness is closest to. My body is an instrument for experience, and thus, my experience can be fuzzy and disjointed or focused and coherent.

Attuning myself to my body and, in turn, attuning my body to its function as a delicate instrument of perception and experience, is essential for me to have a coherent experience of the physical world of phenomena. It is like having a good pair of binoculars or a telescope that I can bring into focus when I want to see something more closely. I do this by focusing on one single form in my field of vision and holding the instrument immobile as much as possible. In the same way, I can bring my attention to one part of my body, my belly perhaps, and then with a still mind and focused attention I am able to notice the movement of my breath there.

Automatically, my breath becomes more active, because wherever I place the focus of my attention the flow of my vital energy is activated. When my breath is more active it is easier to be more fully present with that sensation of the movement of my breath, for example, at my navel. And so it goes step by step until my entire body is felt actively together with the presence of my breath. I continue to follow the promptings of my body as to which part of itself it desires to bring into focus and/or move in any particular way. Over many years my body has become accustomed to certain sequences of movement with the breath from my practices of qi gong, tai chi and yoga routines. Generally, these sequences come up as promptings of my body. I do, however, remain open to the spontaneous cues I receive from my body on any given day, refraining from any mechanical, purely habitual routine.

Often I will sense the need for a break, a pause in the in the movement, when I notice a desire on the part of my body-mind for stillness and silence. I welcome these beneficial episodes of spontaneous subsiding of all movement. I have found that stillness and spontaneous subsiding of all effort is an access point to my deeper awareness and direct perception of the Reality underlying all forms. By keeping my body-mind instrument finely-tuned and freed of all obsession and compulsion, I am able to allow the grace of absolute stillness and peace to become my state of Being.

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