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By Michael Doko Hatchett
The principal basis for establishing wholeness of our energy and intelligence is to relax the mind and body. Unless we work within the sphere of true relaxation all that we do and decide will be compromised by the clumsy mental and emotional qualities of a heart and mind that don’t feel at home in their own skin.
True relaxation is what reveals our hidden views, feelings and physical habits of self-alienating, self-limiting behaviour. Not seeing the subtle beliefs that keep this all turning is to not see that we carry unexamined ideas and views that sabotage and prevent our relating to our minds, bodies, and emotions with wisdom and kindness. Rather than measuring, judging, comparing, and trying to improve these fragmented beliefs (a task that never really ends) invite in the mental qualities that allow us to release them whole - as they are. Invite in space and simplicity to surround them. This is the ‘key of mindfulness’ that unlocks a whole new world.
Alienation from our deepest sense of relaxation is the constant subtle agitation that causes our stress, wasted energy and poor immunity. Until the qualities of mind that arise from relaxation – those that release the agitation - are met with, felt into and deeply cared for no healing will ever take root. There will always be different teams with different tasks and no one really orchestrating the show. We won’t be able to see things straight and see the simple steps we need to take. We will be making decisions based upon the messages received from a disorganised bodily intelligence - unsure of which way it is being called and why; to the body, to the mind, to the spirit, to emotion?
These divisions needs to be made whole and the thinking mind will never be able to do this as it is only ever a part of the whole; a reflection in the mirror of Awareness, not the mirror itself. Therefore this silent, vibrant, energetic wholeness can only be felt with relaxation, never located or known with the mind of thought. This is why we need to enter into the world of uncontrived meditation; the world of feeling into wholeness.
In establishing this meditative insight, our work is to bring the right quality of attention, unagitated by unnecessary beliefs, as closely as we can to the felt ‘source’ of mind/body awareness. Setting aside hurried thinking and measuring we are able to see more and more what is present and what it feels like to inhabit a relaxed body/mind. We talk about mind all the time, but do we ever really just feel it? Do we ever just feel Awareness? This is the ‘meditative’ approach to bringing peace to the mind and emotions – feeling into what is ‘before’ the chattering of the mind and emotions. To cognize the basis of mind with as little fuss, pomp, and ceremony as possible.
This sensitizes the experience of Awareness, allowing the energy of it to gather and rest undivided and whole. This is something we rarely, if ever experience, and yet it is the most important message of all the ancient traditions of mind/body medicine. For thousands of years the great men and women who have mastered these paths of health, healing, and enlightenment have pointed this out. That this un-divided, un-agitated, fresh energy, is what it takes to truly transform the mind. It is what it takes to transform blindness, compulsiveness, and confusion into a capacity for greater and greater love. From this powerful undivided place we can then, and only then, discern just what it means to, and how to, look deeply into the subtleties of our ‘inner world’ – the contents of our mind and habits. Relaxing in this way – in our core undividedness - reveals what is needed to conserve and economise daily bodily energy for the digestion of Life. It is learning about ourselves from the inside out.
We start this journey simply by attending to our present state - the present state of our attention and intention. To see – as simply as we can - if they are presently suffused with calmness or agitation, with wisdom or with blindness, with kindness or aggression, with forgiveness or resentment, with patience or impatience. This is the basis of our learning.
We slow down and begin just being with the feeling of ourselves in the simplest way we can. We don’t try to change anything.
Then once that is stable, we must go past where we normally stop feeling into the current experience. This is how we trace back our steps through the thoughts, then the thinking mind’s ‘source point’ and then into an exhaled wholeness. We do nothing, go nowhere, feel into, and feel past where we are currently contracted upon a mind/body belief or sensation.
It is important to leave this contraction as-it-is as this is what will serve to push the tiny sprout of self-awareness back down into the earth, where it deepens its roots and grows into a stronger tree.
Give this time. If you let this new sprout speak and commentate too soon it will be a spindly plant with no great strength or endurance. It will be speaking about what we have seen in the shallows, not what is in the deep. Save your breath.
This isn’t an irresponsible, sentimental, or vague path. It is a path that is based upon precision, honesty, and the resolve to establish an environment that is conducive for positive change at the right time. Its mindful light lessens the making of new ‘unnecessary’ beliefs, lessens the strengthening of old ones, and lessens the habit of responding to them in general.
To establish true depth and see the one great matter of our hearts and minds that is going to allow the wholeness of energy to guide and inform our everyday lives, we need to first come into the present and establish a warm sense of Awareness.
To take this path seriously is a mature, skillful, and straightforward way to live. It is the deeper meaning of what in Ayurveda is called Swasthavritta – often merely translated as a “healthy lifestyle” but is really the regime of settling into ones deepest nature; of feeling at home in our own skin.......