2021-06-21 Mindfulness of Body (1 of 5) Posture
7:49PM Jun 21, 2021
So, for this week, what I like to do is to talk about mindfulness of the body, the makeup, the theme. And maybe as a theme, it can be your theme as you go through the week that you can. So mindfulness of the body that is one of the foundational, basic practices for mindfulness. It is the first exercise in the discourse on the four foundations of mindfulness, the most basic teachings from the Buddha on mindfulness practice. And in that there are six, there are seven exercises, and other six exercises associated with mindfulness of the body. And here on this 7am sittings, we've done the first one, which is the first tetrad of anapanasati. So we did that in January. And so I won't do it now, this week. And, and we'll do the remaining five. And I like to think that these remaining five are built on the foundation of the first exercise that those four tetrads of mindfulness of breathing, and we cannot have been focused on much mindfulness of breathing for, in the 7am sittings, that, we'll take that just because already kind of established. And then we'll go on to the other exercises. And now mindfulness of the body is such a wonderful practice. It's a provides so much, one of the things that were the things it does, which I'll emphasize today, it's a protection, it's a way of being protected as you go through your life. And because when you're grounded in your body, you're much more able to pick up a wider range of what's happening around you. The body is a kind of like an antenna that picks up through are all the different forms of perception that the body's capable of, including the perception, inward perception of perception to the emotional reactions, responses we have, were able to pick up what's going on, and how we're responding. And when we feel there's danger when we feel that there's something to be concerned about. Not only externally, but also internally. When, when we're in danger of losing our ethics, when we're in danger of losing our peace, when we're in danger of acting on something which we later regret, regret, acting on greed or hatred or delusion. And the body is a repository of so much evidence for what's shifting and changing in us that sometimes it's the early warning sign. And then sometimes it's the body that gives us indication of what's going on, before the mind knows, because the body is more attuned to our subconscious. And, in the mind, sometimes it's not so tuned to it, maybe because we're preoccupied and other things, rushing ahead, and so many times in my life. So because I have a habit of checking in with my body, do I notice that I'm rushing, or notice that I'm tense, and or pulling back and holding, holding myself back from a situation. And I don't notice that in the mind, because I'm thinking about things, or I want things to be a certain way or, you know, I'm reacting and living in the reactivity. But because of the habit of connecting to more about my body, I feel and sense what's going on better. And in their subconscious, so the early kind of beginnings of things. And so it keeps me safe, it keeps me from getting lost into that world of things. So the body is a great protector for us. mindfulness of the body is if we stay connected. And so the second exercise of mindfulness of the body, and the four foundations of mindfulness is mindfulness of posture. And that doesn't take
a lot of refined attention to the body to be aware of posture. It's so in terms of people who there are many people who are not so connected to their body, and there's a lot of reasons for that and maybe we'll talk more about that as we go along here. But But maybe at least we can kind of recognize the posture that we're in. And the bar for this posture, mindfulness is pretty low. And so I'll read you. So you can really know believe me that how low the bar is. The Buddha says, again, when walking, a practitioner knows, I am walking, when standing, when knows, I am standing, when sitting, when one knows, I am sitting, when lying down, when knows, I am lying down. So, that seems like a pretty low bar, that, you know, that's pretty, you know, pretty obvious, I hope that we're standing, walking, sitting lying down, that you know that you're doing that. But you have to Don't underestimate the tremendous value of knowing this really knowing it. So not just knowing it casually, and passing. But to really kind of recognize it have a clear recognition, I'm standing now, I'm sitting now I'm walking, it begins to or laying down, it begins to create space in the mind. For more present moment awareness. It interrupts the mind stream, that we're sometimes on automatic pilot thinking and wanting, we're in interrupts that kind of preoccupation, sometimes with emotions, rumination around him that's emotionally based, that we get lost in. It's kind of like taking a sacred pause, oh, this is what I'm doing. And then maybe take time to feel this. I'm standing here I am, is a chance for the body to regroup to reorganize, to get connected to get grounded. Here, I'm sitting, before I start speaking right away. Let me get grounded in my seat. If you're about to speak at a meeting or someplace, maybe take a moment to feel yourself here sitting and in preparation, so you're not so completely caught in what has to be said. So you're more receptive to the environment as well. Because the more we are grounded here in the body, the more the body awareness is more available for what's going around as well around us. And but the certainly that mindfulness of the posture can be more refined. When we're standing, are we leaning forward? Or are we pulled back? Are we collapse in some way? When we're sitting the same thing? Are we sagging into the back of the couch, removing ourselves from the conversation we have with someone else? Or are we sitting upright, so we're available in presence, so there's more of us able to meet the person we're talking to or be present for the act of speaking or whatever we're doing. Sometimes, if we're to collapse in a chair, it might feel relaxing, but there is sometimes a loss of attentiveness and presence and involvement with what we're doing. So you know, and if we can sit in a pause, or sit or stand in a posture that's balanced and upright, then there's, we're available to more information, what's happening to us. Like there's a greater range, we notice if we lean forward, we notice if we're pulling back, we're noticing for collapsing. But if we're always collapsed, through maybe less, less variation, that's possible. It's kind of like if we're in the midpoint, this like, is like, we feel the pendulum moving this way, in that way. But if we're stuck on one end of the pitch pendulum, we don't have that refined sensitivity, what's going on? When we're walking? How are we walking? What does it say about our mood, our emotional state? So all these different places? What's happening? And when we're sitting when we're walking, standing all these as well? Are we doing so in a way that's physically healthy for us? Is it the one that is most puts the body most at ease, the least amount of tension being held to hold the posture?
So it's a fascinating world. They emphasis on posture. And so the Buddha emphasized that you can keep it at a very low bar, just to know your posture to go through the day. Or you can be more refined about it and notice the details of posture and how maybe you've lost a balanced posture and what does that tell you about yourself and, and how is it that coming back into balance posture protects you And keeps you more balanced. So you can do what you need to do in a better way. And the virtue of this for this exercise is how incredibly simple it is. When walking, no, you're walking, when standing, no, you're standing. When sitting, no, you're sitting. And when you're lying down, no, you're lying down. But this knowing is really know it. And see if when if, what what space is created with clarity arises, what information then becomes available to you. If you don't just know it in passing, but you really, in a sense, stop and really know it over and over again through the day. So if you're inclined for these next 24 hours, why don't you try to make a practice of mindfulness of posture, study of it. Study yourself through your posture, study mindfulness, that arises with posture and how different postures support, greater presence and greater mindfulness or less or have it, just make a study. And if you have the occasion, you might talk to other people about what their experience of posture and mindfulness awareness of posture is in their lives. And you might get some fast any conversations there are certain professions where postures, you know, a key to what they how they manage well, and, and may the day be a wonderful day of discovery and appreciation of this body of ours. So thank you