A fit mind and a fit body= excellent foundation for meditation
Monday, February 16, 2009
We are all getting our bodies together, that's why we're here on Spark People. It started for most of us with the wish to be in better shape, so our first spark was our aspiration. Then we decided, okay, enough of being over weight, I'm really going to do it this time. That was the intention we set, and then we've made goals, and since then we've been literally working our butts off with exercise; walking, running, lifting weights, tread mill, gym, swimming, etc. All this effort started with our minds, with the aspiration which was a thought that we put into motion.
Now, some of us meditate too (see previous blogs for intro. on meditation). One of the things that I hear from people who are staying with their intention to lose weight is that their mind feels clearer, that their sense of accomplishment at loosing some weight makes them feel better about themselves, their minds feel stronger because they have determination and every mini goal boosts that determination, people walk taller, have more confidence and like themselves better when loosing weight- it's proof we are doing something really positive for ourselves.
We can take that same determination and all those other positive qualities we're developing and use them in other areas of our lives. If you read some of the success stories like I do, you see this is what people are saying about themselves and we also see how all that we do is connected.
Our spiritual path is not separate from the rest of our daily, sometimes mundane living. It's not just the time we spend sitting on our cushion meditating or the hour or so in Church/Temple services. Each of us is our spiritual path, it is within us and the more we pay attention to it and nurture it, the more we develop and deepen our inner experience of it.
We can take our personal experiences that we're learning from our fitness and weight loss, and apply it to our meditation practice. We can bring that sense of determination to training our minds in meditation because we are actually already doing that, we can bring a sense of well being and perseverance to our daily practice and when we set a goal to sit for 20 min. or half an hour and we do that, we can feel a sense of accomplishment. If our mind wanders a 100 times in the 20 min. that's ok, because each time we manage to bring the mind back home to the focus of attention such as the breath, that is a mini accomplishment. This is mindfulness and tracking our food intake is another mindfulness, staying within our calorie limit uses our awareness. Sticking to the program takes diligence and not getting distracted- these are the main ingredients of Shamatha meditation, non-distraction, mindfulness and awareness. Another ingredient of meditation is spaciousness, that keeps our minds open and relaxed. We need that with our SP program as well, otherwise we get uptight and you know a result of uptightness is rebellion!
Having a fit body and all the mental qualities that we are developing through our program create a prime foundation for meditation. One thing is certain, and that is if we want to meditate we need to have the aspiration, the intention and the goal and we need to take our bodies to the cushion and enjoy the space we have created with our clear mind that is full of positive qualities and potentials.