Mind and Body Connected

Meditation and other mindfulness practices that connect us with our bodies has been shown to be effective in calming the mind and helping us relax our defense mechanisms.  The more relaxed the better we are at becoming less invested in our thoughts.  Perceptions are an inaccurate portrayal of reality because we experience and interpret reality.  An objective perception does not exist because we are subjects, not objects.  A radical acceptance of reality as it is reduces anxiety and tames our wild minds.  When we become less defensive, we stand a better chance of taking responsibility for our own happiness leading to less internal stress, better relationships, and feeling more relaxed more of the time.

When we are totally involved in working on a project or completing a task, when we are completely present and engaged with the details of anything from washing a dish to working out an intricate mathematical formula, we are meditating on that object.  Praying, eating, walking, hiking, standing in line, cooking, running, and driving are all forms of meditation when our mind is fully engaged in the present moment of what we are doing.  But the mind wanders, it doesn't stay put.  Learning to bring the mind back to the object of meditation and regular practice teaches the mind to relax and calms internal struggle.  Just like a jar full of muddy water will settle if left in stillness, we can discover the natural clarity of our mind.  We learn that we can experience emotional pain but we don't have to dwell there or try to escape.  The mind's natural tendency when facing emotional dis-ease is to attempt to avoid it, but that only magnifies the feelings of displeasure and dissatisfaction with reality, creating more emotional suffering.  This cycle can become like quicksand, pulling us deeper into depression over past events or anxiety about the future.      

As we begin to relax with all parts of ourselves, we gradually connect with an inner strength and trust in our inherent wisdom.  Having this intimacy with ourselves allows us to move past our beliefs and distorted thoughts that create emotional pain for others and more suffering for ourselves.  Relaxing with emotional turmoil, becoming more comfortable with fearful thoughts, and letting fear be transformed into compassion rather than more ego armor, we begin to dissolve the illusion of a fixed self and barrier between you and me.