Experience the mind/body connection through meditation
Tags: stress, antiaging
Many of us tend to think about our mind and our body as being separate. Of course the brain is physical; therefore it’s part of the body. But the mind is not something measurable. It can be called the focusing faculty of intelligence; in other words, it is how our consciousness experiences the physical realm.
Meditation harmonizes the spirit (consciousness), mind and body. Through meditation, we clarify understanding of basic mind/body principles and unity such as:
Pain management: when you take the mind’s focus away from the pain, the pain goes away. This technique does take practice, but consider how amazingly easy it is to make a child stop crying when he/she falls and gets a nasty cut on the knee - children spontaneously literally stop feeling pain if their attention is refocused to a particular color of bandage, or engaging him/her in something that delights and stimulates. Then the moment someone draws attention to the “boo-boo” again, the pain automatically resumes.
Meditation teaches us to “close the gate” and interrupt the connection between the brain and the injury/afflicted area of the body - if the brain perceives that the injury is not important because you aren’t focused on it, the pain sensations dissipate and even disappear completely.
Dis-ease in the mind causes disease in the body; therefore, thoughts and emotions have an effect on the state of our physical health. Likewise, the state of our body influences the state of our mind: a person who is overweight may feel badly about him/herself, causing depression and possibly a downward spiral of self-destructive behavior.
Addictions are just as much physical as they are mental/emotional and treatment must involve finding the emotional cause, developing self-control and helping the body deal with lack of the addictive substance.
The deep relaxation that comes from meditating creates healing in both the mind and the body. Emotional issues are resolved, and the body is healed through rest, release of tension, the increased production of calming, healing substances and suppression of stress-related hormones.
At the slower brainwave levels of meditation, your mind is both relaxed and alert and very open to learning and suggestion; it is here that the brain can be “reprogrammed” to think positive, healthy, happy thoughts and release the negativity that causes stress and disease.
Something wonderful and fascinating also happens during meditation. As you focus your attention on your breath, you silence your thoughts. This allows you to experience your physical body fully - you feel the rhythm of your breath, you notice how perfectly your autonomic (involuntary) systems operate - and eventually, as you go deeper into a meditative state, you lose the sense of having a physical body. Your mind moves into a nonphysical state of being.
Meditators are often surprised to find they have not felt the need to take a breath for what seems like eternity!
Most of us live the majority of our lives somewhere between our most basic physical needs - our lowest nature - and our highest nature, that of the spirit.
Becoming aware of our body and our spirit, and the mind that joins the two, makes for a far richer, more harmonious life.