Mind your Body!

The “body-mind-split” (also known as “mind-body problem”) has been investigated by philosophers for millennia. I am not so familiar with their distinct views, but I believe that the separation between body and mind only exists at a conceptual level. Postulating the separation, however, results in exactly that experience – along with some strange side effects like cursing your stomach just because it sends you signals which you perceive as “pain”. (I am talking from experience! :-))

How can the split be healed?

In the wonderful Ambalatthika-rahulovada Sutta, Gotama Siddhattha delivers an inspiring teaching to his seven-year-old son Rahula. Indeed the suggested reflection already points towards a possible remedy. In some other suttas Rahula is instructed on mindfulness techniques. Apart from these ancient words, I believe that (among others) the following developments are highly beneficial:

(1) communication on the non-verbal level. Listening to the body is a non-verbal experience. For “talking” (not in the classical sense) a small set of commands seems to exist.

(2) synaesthesia – the establishment of “structural matches” between different senses.

The body is a very intelligent entity, equipped with its own memory and loads of abilities. It keeps supporting and healing itself almost regardless of what your mind thinks about it! A patient and enduring entity indeed. However, in the long run it suffers from a “negative” or malevolent mental attitude.

Baz Luhrmann suggests in “Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen” that your body is “… the best instrument that you have”. I think he’s got a point! Benevolence towards your own body is essential. If only I had always been benevolent towards mine… healthy nutrition, regular sports, refreshing sleep, upright posture: you never believe your parents on those. My suggestion: let’s all start today. :-)

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