I am tired, but I cannot sleep. I have these ideas rolling around in my mind and body and they are distracting me. I have been wanting to blog more, but am afraid to come to the page with emotions as I tend to intellectualize my personal feelings. I can be overly-critical and turn people off though I don’t mean to. I also believe what I believe with a passion and purpose because of the experience these beliefs afford me, the actual difference they make in my life.
You can literally believe anything we want. We do it all the time. We assume what things mean and make up a story, a dialogue to make sense of things. We write a world into existence with the words we tell ourselves in our minds. We tell ourselves and others a story to make believe whatever we want. Most people don’t consciously manipulate their stories to get what they want. This, coupled, with the inability to feel others leads to sociopathic tendencies.
The point I wanted to make was that our minds and our bodies are connected. The great philosophic minds of our time and ancient times debated the mind-body dualism, or separation. let’s take a look at what is really going on here. It is important because it helps explain the mind in a way that is more expansive and capable of more.
Our bodies are transducers. They convert one form of energy to another, bio-chemical electromagnetics. Our brains are thought to be the alpha and omega of our minds, but this is just not true. Our brains are part of a vast neurological system conducting energy throughout our bodies, communicating back and forth throughout. Our brain is just one part of the whole neurological system. Many of the same basic functions thought to give the brain it’s central role in the central nervous system are actually found throughout the entire body and neurological system. Basically, our mind are not just our brains, they are an entire system which interacts with the world through our bodies. There is another “brain” in the body tied to our digestion, immunity, overall health, mood, and energy, the gut. More information travels from the gut to the brain than the brain to the gut. Why do we call intuition “gut” reaction? It is simple, because the gut is functioning much like our brains but maybe even to much higher capacities. The brain may actually be found to be secondary to the rest of the nervous system like an important node in circuitry.
Where am I going with all of this? What is mindfulness, presence, and embodiment. Buddhists have been practicing the art of mindfulness for many years. It is mainly a focus of the mind into the immediate sensations and experience of the moment at hand and nothing more. It’s a quieting of the mind as connected to the brain and a descent into the entire neurological body to become aware of the whole body experience, or mentality. Mindfulness is so healthy a mental practice it is key to treating anxiety and other mental disorders. It is also key to a healthy mind.
What is presence? The act of arriving. We allow ourselves to come out of our brain centered thoughts in our heads and relax into our bodies, as if we were energetically breathing into ourselves a little more from breath to breath until we feel connected with the earth and the cosmos. This is the beginning of embodiment, to be present in a particular state or experience. Embodiment is a tool for becoming one thing or another as completely as you can so to experience its fullness and ultimate meaning.