The limitation of teaching the ideas of living, of embodying and spiritual practices, is that most often we need to use words. Our mind likes to grasp on something concrete. A word, a definition, a meaning. It distracts us from the essence of experience – Experience without the interruption of the mind.
When we eat an apple, satisfaction can be derived in two ways –
- From direct sensorial experience
- From conceptual cognitive thinking
You may wonder how do we eat with our thinking? You may be surprised, because the default mode for most people in modern city life is to experience almost all aspects of our life through conceptual cognitive thinking. And we have lost touch with sensorial experience.
We can easily and automatically put an apple to our mouth, bite, chew, swallow without any recollection of actually placing attention on the taste, texture, smell, or sounds of the crunch etc. We instead let attention proliferate as head energy – thinking or unintentionally completing the action as some task, or idealised expectation or identification of who we are.
‘I feel good that I am taking such good care of myself by eating this apple.’ (need for identification)
‘I feel good because I am taking care of myself.’ (objective driven)
‘After I get this apple done, this is my fruit of the day.’ (checklist)
‘This taste sweeter than the other apples.’ (expectation and comparison)
There are plenty of chances for the mind to take charge in any moment, in any aspect of life. It can give satisfaction. However, if it becomes a habitual autopilot mode for all aspects of our life, then we might become stuck, because there are many things in life that thinking cannot make sense of. Things that require a different form of living, a different form of experiencing. Hence, it’s not that one is better or worse than the other; each serves in life if we cultivate conscious intentionality.
Embodied experiencing, emphasized in mindfulness practice, is committing fully to sensing with our body. Life inevitably will feel a little empty if we habitually push this away or fail to include our body sensations as part of our living experience. Playing with our child. Walking in the park. Laying by the beach. Hiking in the mountains.
What does it take to let go of what it means, and dropping into a full embodied experience of any moment? Can we experience meaning without words? Meaning in full bloom, in full expression, in full ecstasy through the intimate sensing of the body.
When it doesn’t matter what life means..
but just breathe.
Breathe some space into your awareness.