Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Subtle Mind

Give me a moment as I return to reality....  I just completed the Subtle Mind practice and I found it far more challenging than the loving-kindness practice.  For the loving-kindness practice we were given things on which to focus our minds, but for the Subtle mind practice we had to let our minds flow and learn to tame them.  Such a different beast, no pun intended.  I thought the concepts brought up in the audio though were very interesting and gave me a lot of food for thought, such as witnessing the thoughts but not getting attached to them.  I had never heard it put quite this way before and it is clarifying for me on applying such broad concepts as "go with the flow" and the like.  What I am finding is that I am much more aware of my mental state throughout the day, even if not yet at a position of yet being capable of changing it.  I know, though, that awareness is the first hurtle, so I am happy to be experiencing even this.

Another thing that got my attention in this practice was how different it is to flow in loving-kindness as opposed to intentionally remaining in that mentality.  In the loving-kindness practice, we had to intentionally move into that mindset and stay there, but in the subtle mind practice we are left to begin battling the waves of the mind with its ups and downs in emotions and reason.  It is far more difficult for me to get to a place of loving-kindness when I am not intentionally in a stance to do it, because my mind becomes attached to the thoughts or feelings brought up in the instant.  I think these practices, though, will help me to become better as having a stance of peace and "being still", which is talked about in Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God."  The stillness intended here is not just a physical stillness but one of internal anxiety and disruption.  I am looking forward to experiencing this profound scripture and its implications in my life through the practicing of exercises like these.

Spiritual wellness plays such a large part in the physical wellness we experience or miss in this life.  I have met so many people who are burdened by stress, anxiety, a victim-mentality, etc and their lives reflect this lack of confidence and position of peace, especially their physical bodies.  Many are overweight significantly, battling with a cancer or heart disease, or just frazzled internally, which manifests in their attitudes toward life.  Who wants to live that way?  Spiritual wellness helps to set the foundation for all other things.  Before I dove into better understanding and securing my spiritual health, the rest of my life was all over the place, but when my spiritual health became my top priority, all other aspects of health flowed evenly from it.  What comes to mind for me are scriptures like 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body," and 1 Corinthians 9:27, "I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified."  Both of these scriptures remind me that I am to take care of my physical form in light of my spiritual position in Christ.  If I did not matter in the big scheme of things, than it would not matter what I ate or did with my physical body, but because I matter and because this is the only body I will receive, it is my responsibility to take care of it to the best of my ability and treat it lovingly.  It is out of my spiritual fitness that my body is physically trained because my mentality is in a position to respect and honor the importance of that activity.

1 comment:

  1. Julie, Happy Easter! You have a very awesome way of stating things. You are not alone, when you found the subtle mind exercise to be more challenging. The scriptures you quote are fantastic food for thought and really put life and its priorities into a different perspective. I can understand better how spiritual and physical fitness are so closely related as well as essential to overall health.

    I am one of those individuals that seem to be "frazzled internally," however I have a seemingly positive outlook on life. I say seemingly because is my outward positivity really a way to ignore my internal feelings and well being? I have questioned that too many times, but am not sure how to change my thinking. I am learning that these exercises are a way to help change, though. Enjoy your Easter! ~Strcuk