SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What does using our senses to see the process of the senses mean to you? Can you share an experience where staying with your breath allowed you to be more aware of where you were being pulled, and to act with true freedom? How can we get immovable in 'mindfulness immersed in the body'?
This metaphor of different animals pulling against one another, with the strongest pull taking over the direction, made me think of emotions; primary and secondary. I thought of times when an insecure feeling or a feeling of inferiority becomes so loud and strong that it pulls me away from my spirit and other emotion and thought animals take the reigns. This idea of being tied to a center pole is such a strong metaphor for me - immersing into inner body mindfulness and observing the emotions and thoughts first, which then allows me to sense the process of sensing and I feel a place of calm and a looking out onto the experience nonjudgmentally. This is a wonderful exercise for me.
Buddhists take refuge vows. I took the vow long ago but it is recently that I began to see where I take refuge and feel the consequences. My mind is always pulling me to take refuge outside of myself- food, drink, television, sex, politics- the list is endless. Actually taking refuge in the breath as opposed to using the breath as an occasional breather from my real refuges is rather new to me.
Beautiful....and very alive for me.....the breath speaks, and it is a highly accurate indicator....so often I find myself trying to reconnect to breath (when I am experiencing anger or irritation) and then it quickly slipping away! But the moments I am with the breath, I feel the difference in rhythm, depth and ease that tell me where I am located....
As for the body, it's intelligence is immense too....the challenge for me lies in shifting from the intellectual experience of what is going on in my body to truly experiencing it
I have a hard time staying with my breath because it registers all of my stress, and then that awareness causes secondary anxiety about the effects of stress. It's not relaxing to tune in to my constricted breathing. I've found it easier to focus on my feet and/or focus on a mantra.
Yesterday I met with our landlord to discuss a 3 day eviction notice we had received a couple days before. Before arriving I went through the various scenarios that came to mind. I chose before hand the points I wanted to make starting with how grateful we are to have the pains and pleasures of living there. As the conversation began I noticed within me excitement and a raised tone of voice. I stopped for a brief moment and out loud suggested that I calm myself with a subtle breath and a "take it easy". The conversation continued and we both came to a resolution, I am grateful mostly for the daily practice of centering prayer that works in many ways. In Gratitude, Jim
Using our senses to see the process of the senses means to be mindful of our sensing and to be a witness of our sensing as we are sensing. I hardly ever do that kind of sensing. I apparently don't want to be that aware, though I wonder what it would be like. As far as I know, I am often fairly aware of my being and what I and others are doing and saying. My mantra has long been process, not outcome. I have long valued inner experience and not just outer things. I am very aware of and protective of my freedom and to a great extent have eliminated blaming and making excuses. I value and am somewhat grounded in 'mindfulness immersed in my body.' However, I have difficulty simply staying with my breath, and don't even put much time or effort into cultivating that, so I don't know of an experience I've had where staying with my breath allowed me to be more aware of where I was being pulled. When I am being pulled, I seem to be aware of it simply through my senses and by being aware of my senses. Maybe I'm saying some of what the article is about in my own language.[Hide Full Comment]