Mind the Body, Mind the Mind

Feel your body right now and notice any tension that is present. Now try to become conscious of how your mind creates that tension in the body. This is the practice of the Mind teaching of Zen because without the mind, the body won't be alive; without the mind, the body will not have tension nor comfort. If reality is our creation, then this body is certainly a Mind-made reality. If we cannot realize the inseparable nature of the Mind and body, how can we realize that the trees, the sky, the air we breathe, the mountains, the rivers, and friends and enemies are all our own creation and therefore become free? The Buddha has often stressed how important mindfulness of the body is:

If one thing, O monks, is developed and cultivated, ignorance is abandoned, supreme knowledge arises, delusion of self is given up, the underlying tendencies are eliminated, and the fetters are discarded. What is that one thing? It is mindfulness directed to the body. ¶ Anguttara Nikaya

Have you had any physical condition that you cured by recognizing and changing your state of mind? Please share your story.

Comments (2)

  1. Jennifer:
    May 31, 2011 at 01:55 PM

    I fought a battle with myself for years. Although it wasn't a physical condition, it took a lot of time and hard work to overcome it. I recognized that only I can change my thinking and my mind. By changing my state of mind, I was able to overcome my challenging obstacle. I would love to hear others stories!

    1. emptikloud:
      Jun 01, 2011 at 04:15 PM

      Thank you for sharing! It sure can take a long time. It is not easy to make that connection between the body and the mind especially when we are taught to understand the body purely as a physical reality. Of course, it is still very important to see his or her doctor first whenever there is concern of one's physical health. I had also been working with a physical discomfort for several years - until I finally see what kind of shift in my thinking and emotion come with the physical symptom and that helped me connect the dots. Even though I am now better at managing the symptom by changing my state of mind - by paying attention to my own thoughts and physical being - it seems that a deeper layer is emerging as well. It is an on-going work but I think self-healing starts with self-awareness, and one path to self-awareness is mindfulness toward the body.

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