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Saturday, May 14, 2011

If the body is still, the mind is also still? Not necessarily...

Some people who practice yoga and meditation believe that if the physical body is moving or is in action, then this indicates that the mind is also moving, is agitated or is not calm... That's why they believe that by controlling the physical body, by not moving the body or by slowing down the physical movements of the body will render the mind calm.

Well, definitely there is an intimate relationship between the mind and the body that they both are very much influencing each other, affecting each other in many ways.

That's why we have yoga practice to use the physical body as a tool to influence the state of the mind. In yoga practice, we have sitting meditation practice to restrict the bodily movements, we have pranayama to control the breath (related directly to the states of the mind), and in yoga asana practice, we are holding still in the asana poses for as long as possible comfortably to help to influence the mind to render it calm and quiet.

But, for those who know what is yoga and meditation, they know that it is not necessarily that if the body is still and not moving, that the mind will definitely be still and not moving as well. Like wise, it is also not necessarily that if the physical body is moving or in action, that the mind must be restless or agitated.

It means that, even though the physical body is in motion, is moving, is in action, the mind can still remain calm and quiet as well. For those who have mastered the mind or have gone beyond the mind, and being undisturbed or undetermined by the impermanent conditions of the physical body, then there is no difference whether the physical body is performing some actions, or not, the mind is always calm and quiet, being free from restlessness, agitation or stimulation.

It doesn't matter when we are lying, sitting, standing, walking, resting, playing, driving, talking, eating, the mind remains calm, not wavering here and there, being aware of the very present moment now, being free from the past and the future, free from duality, free from attachment, free from craving and aversion, free from impurities, then we are meditating.

That is what real meditation is about.

This life existence having this impermanent physical body, it cannot avoid physical activities or movements or actions. But for those who know what is meditation, then there is not a single moment that we are not meditating, even though the physical body is full of actions most of the time. If there are moments when the mind doesn't stand as an observer of the activities in the mind, but it generates attachment towards all the names and forms, and be determined and disturbed by the perception of names and forms, then the mind is not in meditation anymore.

Even though our physical body might not be moving, it is sitting or lying still, or the bodily actions is being restricted, the mind can still be busy and restless, having ceaseless thought waves arising and passing away, and be over-powered by impurities.

By sitting for meditation and observing the mind, we'll find out that even when our body is not moving, not doing any physical activities, but the mind can still be very busy with thoughts and imaginations, is agitated and restless all the time.

And so, it is not about not moving the body, or moving in slow motion, that will determine that the mind will also be calm and quiet.

And hence, when we see someone who is very active in life, always in motion and speedy action, but his or her mind might be very calm and at peace.

And when we see somebody who moves slowly or not moving at all (being lazy, or low energy, or asleep), but his or her mind might be full of actions all the time, thinking about this and that, reacting towards all the names and forms that it likes and dislikes.

It is possible that some people are performing some 'good' actions from the appearance, but there might be impurities and selfish intentions in the mind.

That's why, there is no judgment or expectation towards anyone from their appearance, about what they do and don't do.

Om shanti.

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About Yoga

Know thyself. Everything is impermanent and selfless. There is no 'I'. There is no 'I am selfless'/'I am not selfless'. There is no 'I am hurt'/'I need to be healed from hurt'. Non-blind believing, non-blind following, non-blind practicing and non-blind propagating, but be open-minded to inquire the truth of everything. Be free. Be peaceful. Be happy.

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