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Mindfulness of the Body

sovasova delocalized fractyllic harmonizing Veteran

Even as one who encompasses with his mind the mighty ocean includes thereby all the rivulets that run into the ocean; just so, O monks, whoever develops and cultivates mindfulness directed to the body includes thereby all the wholesome states that partake of supreme knowledge. [11]

One thing, O monks, if developed and cultivated, leads to a strong sense of urgency; to great benefit; to great security from bondage; to mindfulness and clear comprehension; to the attainment of vision and knowledge; to a pleasant dwelling in this very life; to the realisation of the fruit of knowledge and liberation. What is that one thing? It is mindfulness directed to the body….

If one thing, O monks, is developed and cultivated, the body is calmed, the mind is calmed, discursive thoughts are quietened, and all wholesome states that partake of supreme knowledge reach fullness of development. What is that one thing? It is mindfulness directed to the body….

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. [12] What is that one thing? It is mindfulness directed to the body.

Read more here http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh155-p.html#S8

What techniques do you personally find helpful in cultivating mindfulness directed at the body?

bookwormmisecmisc1StingRay

Comments

  • Just awareness of the breath in particular. However it extends to tension, today in the shoulders, lately in the kidneys, sometimes the liver, the chest area. On going and constantly changing.

    Mindfulness of the breath combined with body awarness is raja yoga. What a practice opportunity! =)

    karastiStingRay
  • All of these are useful.

    Mindfulness of

    1. Anapanasati - breathing
    2. Postures
    3. Daily activities
    4. Body sensations

    These are things that can only be observed in the present moment, not past or future. The minds remains anchored in the present rather than dwelling in past memories or future dreams.

    Then there are contemplations on the true nature of the body.

    1. 'In this body there are head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, gorge, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, skin-oil, saliva, mucus, fluid in the joints, urine.'
    2. 'In this body there is the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, & the wind property.'
    3. "Furthermore, as if he were to see a corpse cast away in a charnel ground — one day, two days, three days dead — bloated, livid, & festering, he applies it to this very body, 'This body, too: Such is its nature, such is its future, such its unavoidable fate'

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.119.than.html

    misecmisc1
  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    I've found two particular techniques to be most useful - I encountered them when reading up on energy healing, but it seems like they must exist in other disciplines as well. The root chakra breath, and the circular breath - instantly grounding, easy to invoke even under less than ideal circumstances.

    lobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    I guess the closest technique would be Shikantaza

    Moment to moment, things come and go freely.... thoughts, feelings, sensations, emotions, throughout the body, they are under no obligation to stay or go...

    My monkey mind use to have a field day, it was a meditation technique junkie and would jump from one meditation technique to another always looking for the next quick fix, but after a while it settled for just sitting "what will be will be" observation....

  • sovasova delocalized fractyllic harmonizing Veteran

    @Fosdick said:
    I've found two particular techniques to be most useful - I encountered them when reading up on energy healing, but it seems like they must exist in other disciplines as well. The root chakra breath, and the circular breath - instantly grounding, easy to invoke even under less than ideal circumstances.

    @Fosdick could you elaborate on "circular breath?" Thanks in advance

  • @sova said: What techniques do you personally find helpful in cultivating mindfulness directed at the body?

    The one I find most useful and immediate is what I call "feeling your weight", in other words noticing the sensation of pressure where-ever your body is in contact with surfaces.

    lobster
  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    Circular breath involves both a focus on the breath and a visualization. Sit, place hands on the hara or lower dan tien, inhale. Pull the breath and the awareness downward from the lower abdomen to the root chakra, between the legs, then see the breath move up the spine to the back of the skull and over the crown to the forehead. Exhaling, see the breath move back down the front of the body to the lower abdomen.

    This exercise is lifted right out of the book Energy Healing- The Essentials of Self-Care by Dr. Ann Marie Chiasson. An excellent reference, I would recommend it to anyone.

  • Thich Nhat Hanh has lots of useful stuff to say about mindfulness.
    http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/105847-the-miracle-of-mindfulness-a-manual-on-meditation

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran
    edited February 2016

    @pegembara quoted Gotama:

    3."Furthermore, as if he were to see a corpse cast away in a charnel ground — one day, two days, three days dead — bloated, livid, & festering, he applies it to this very body, 'This body, too: Such is its nature, such is its future, such its unavoidable fate'

    In this vein, I don't think anything beats having your dog die, giving him what amounts to a sky burial, and going back to visit him from time to time. It is excruciatingly painful - I weep to write this - but it is also a gateway to spiritual growth.

    pegembara
  • The circular breath, which I have done sounds like a Taoist breath. However there is similar in yoga and all kind of esoteric breathing in pranayama and no doubt esoteric 'breath whispered' dharma. I have done a similar technique briefly in Buddhism but I forget the context.

    Breath has a very powerful effect on the body. Keep it soft and don't do any breath technique too long or if it makes you uncomfortable. Be mindful of what you are doing. Do not underestimate breath or mantra done audibly as a form of breath manipulation.

    The most useful feedback from/into the body is Yoga Nidra, also known as yogic sleep.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoga_nidra
    This can be done in the corpse posture, sitting and if mindful I regularly do it whilst walking.

    Body-mind they really are one unit of being. You will find that.
    http://www.kosei-shuppan.co.jp/english/text/mag/2009/09_456_11.html

  • @Fosdick said:
    @pegembara quoted Gotama:

    3."Furthermore, as if he were to see a corpse cast away in a charnel ground — one day, two days, three days dead — bloated, livid, & festering, he applies it to this very body, 'This body, too: Such is its nature, such is its future, such its unavoidable fate'

    In this vein, I don't think anything beats having your dog die, giving him what amounts to a sky burial, and going back to visit him from time to time. It is excruciatingly painful - I weep to write this - but it is also a gateway to spiritual growth.

    The Burmese have a saying that attending a single funeral is better than attending any number of dhamma talks. This is where reality hits.

    Bunksmisecmisc1silver
  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    Reaching a little farther afield, one can regard all life as having one body. Recognizing this, one can cast awareness into any living thing that comes into view, a tree, a bird, and insect, whatever. Mindfulness expands. An engaging technique while walking.

  • @pegembara said:
    The Burmese have a saying that attending a single funeral is better than attending any number of dhamma talks. This is where reality hits.

    I have attended some of those dharma talks and I can attest that the funeral is the more fun option. In fact some of us use the time profitably by praying we will die soon, on the spot even ... o:)

    Dukkha is not compulsory

    Bunks
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @lobster said:

    Dukkha is not compulsory

    ...But for the time being Samsara is :)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    No, not even Samsara is compulsory.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited March 2016

    @federica said:
    No, not even Samsara is compulsory.

    "For the time being" for many of us it is :)

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    In one of his teachings, Gil Fronsdale said he thought mindfulness should be called bodyfullness.

    lobster
  • When mind is full of body, there is little chance for it to create mischief.

    Shoshin
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited March 2016

    @person said:
    In one of his teachings, Gil Fronsdale said he thought mindfulness should be called bodyfullness.

    Returning to the moment and the sensation and immediacy of physical being is a powerful practice. Different focuses have a variety of uses. So for example:

    • being made aware of the ground, perhaps by walking bare foot
    • being aware of the rise and fall of the abdomen to overcome fearful arisings
    • being aware of the heat in the body after physical exertion to relax/cool the being

    A very powerful healing body practice awareness is prostrations

    http://buddhaweekly.com/the-psychology-of-buddhist-prostrations-the-humble-bow-a-meaningful-method-to-connect-with-buddha-nature/

    person
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Shoshin said:

    @federica said:
    No, not even Samsara is compulsory.

    "For the time being" for many of us it is :)

    No, even that is a choice.

  • @person said: In one of his teachings, Gil Fronsdale said he thought mindfulness should be called bodyfullness.

    Isn't bodyfullness caused by too many cakes and burgers? ;)

    Cinorjerpersonsilver
  • As I got older, the mindfulness of the body got easier every year. I'm mindful of the aches and twinges in my knees and back, and the interesting sounds and sensations my gut makes if I try to eat spicy foods. This morning I'm mindful of my breathing because my stepdaughter gave me her chest cold a few days ago and I make an interesting whistling when I breathe out. The way my body looks in the mirror this morning reminds me of the impermanence of all things. Mindfulness ain't necessarily pretty.

    BunksShoshin
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    Huh! You think you have it bad -- I am having a bad hair day! :heartbreak:

    Cinorjer
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited March 2016

    You have hair!? Sheer luxury!

    CinorjerShoshinsilver
  • techietechie India Veteran

    @federica said:

    @Shoshin said:

    @federica said:
    No, not even Samsara is compulsory.

    "For the time being" for many of us it is :)

    No, even that is a choice.

    In the last few months of suffering I've learnt that subconscious processes go on as if they have a mind of their own. So maybe samsara is similar (albeit on a higher level) and it just goes on of its own accord, regardless of our choice or will.

    CinorjerlobsterShoshin
  • @techie said:
    In the last few months of suffering I've learnt that subconscious processes go on as if they have a mind of their own. So maybe samsara is similar (albeit on a higher level) and it just goes on of its own accord, regardless of our choice or will.

    :)
    Choice and will is often impoverished, just as the subconscious, body and the organ of perception.

    Samsara and Nirvana are the same. We are in both.

    We can reprogram our subconcious
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_behavioral_therapy

    Improve our choices and will.
    Enter Nirvana and find it is the near/another shore thing.

    Have we plan yet?

    ... and now back to the transience of the physical vehicle ...

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