All great spiritual instructions teach about how we can lessen our suffering and increase our happiness. Exploring how in my physical activity I can be relaxed while alert heightens my well-being. Whether I am riding a horse, driving my car, cleaning my gutters or operating a chain-saw, a vigilant state of concentration is vital. Maintaining a calm focus I function in a more secure and safe way. Any stressful situation offers me an opportunity to be present, centered and grounded with each new moment.
Just the simple act of breathing offers amazing opportunity to awaken to my most basic living function. Observing how the air goes in and out of my nose, lungs and/or body gives me myriad of body sensory possibilities. Also this simple exercise allows me to explore my senses; taste, touch, smell, sound, feeling, and mental state. Such investigation opens new worlds of experience, and insight and adventure.
Attracting what makes me happy or calm versus what makes me unhappy and agitated is my aim. Expanding my consciousness on how I best deal with distress and fear is invaluable for my growth. How I best take care of myself requires me to practice self-care.
Self-care prompts me to care for myself and the more expansive or higher self of all interconnected things. Mindful awareness is all about discerning what this care is. If I wish to exercise more wholesome emotional well-being then cultivating habits that reinforce increased wellness become vital. Also as I awaken to my interconnectedness I see the root cause and effect relationships of my actions. As I treat all things with greater care, and respect this same merit and virtue expands within me. As I cultivate more care-filled relationships I attract greater kindness and love to my higher being and all beings. Also I illuminate my heart and this light expands out in all directions. The challenge is the when I separate or disconnect I further my discomfort and disunity.
When I forget and judge instead of observe I full back into my mindless mind. While judging is a valuable skill when I exaggerated my discernment to point of feeling superior then I am exercising an inferior prejudice resulting in more disconnected thinking. What happens when I become too judgmental with myself is that I spiral downward. What is your experience?
I increase my present awareness when I see what is happening in the next moment. Also I give greater attention to my body sensations with the “newness” they bring. Mindful remembering results in a wealth of results attributes including greater calm, freedom and well-being. Training to exercise on this path comes when I observe all my body’s senses. Clearly concentrating on whatever sense arises in my body I can see them just as they are. This examination also includes mental states since these are apart not separate from my body.
Just as the Buddha instructed to see “the body as the body,” I explore the collections of parts of my body. Not judging my body as myself, however, as another of the many interconnected physical forms. For example my body is similar to the Earth. My lungs process the air, my heart represents the sun or energy that pumps my greatest substance, water, around, and my bones, tissue, skin and teeth act as the land or Earth elements. In the Buddhist teachings there are 32 parts- 20 Earth Elements and 12 Water Elements.