Woman meditating
Woman meditating Image Credit: Shutterstock

The body and mind are not separate. The body feels every aspect of what the mind feels; by way of emotions, feelings (conveyed by thoughts, beliefs). If the thoughts are not serving you, and the feelings are alienated from your true nature which is of love and compassion, the body feels it and projects them as pains, aches, illnesses. These are messages from the body, of the mind. Be mindful of the mental formations/ modifications of the mind that impacts the body.

Mind works with the body and the body with the mind, “the two are manifestations of the same thing”. (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Breathing Mindfully

There are simple breath meditation techniques that the late monk Thich Nhat Hanh gave, to bring the body and mind together in alignment.

“Breathing in, I am aware of my whole body.

Breathing out, I am aware of my whole body.”

“Breathing in, I calm my body.

Breathing out, I bring peace into my body”. (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Mindfulness is the key. Most of us are so caught up in our daily routines that the mind forgets to attach attention to the breath, that which sustains life. Breath is a living, conscious entity. If you come to recognise that and make breath your friend, you can develop a deeper bond with your whole self.

Mindful breathing will keep in check, the mind oscillations/ modifications and help maintain physical wellness.

“Breathing in, I calm my body.

Breathing out, I calm my body.” (Thich Nhat Hanh)

With rhythmic expression of this chant, vocally or mentally but with mindful awareness (that is, being present), breath will calm your body.

Most of us breathe un-mindfully. Do you note how the breath pattern changes when the body is experiencing the emotions of anger or stress, anxiousness or fear or when one is ill? Note the quality of the breath during these times and then compare the breathing rhythm when you are relaxed. Mindfulness is the key, as said before.

Throughout your day, how many times can you pause for a few moments, to connect with your friend, breath? Take a few slow, relaxed breaths, and consolidate your being. When you do so note the quality of your output in work, in relationships, health and overall well-being.

Release of Tension from Mind -Body

“Breathing in, I calm my body,

Breathing out, I release tension from my body.” (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Our bodies hold a lot of tension. Just as a fruit is a formation of different elements such as earth, water, air, sunshine held by a tree, our bodies are also a formation of different energies, of our father, mother, people, earth, water, fire, air. When any emotion and/or element is out of alignment, the body records the impact .

Breathing releases the trapped tensions from the body, this helps to reduce mental and physical suffering. It allows mental clarity to dawn. Clarity helps to remove unhelpful perceptions that mind and body holds, the cause/s of suffering. The mental formations of the mind get a pause when cells breathe and the mind calms.

In the moments of clarity, one can ‘see’ their own erroneous perceptions causing the suffering inside. Suffering inside is suffering outside, in the body, in the environment. In clarity, there’s a deeper understanding of our own lives, of our own emotions that one lives with, the choices one makes, the ego walls one creates and the point of perspectives one holds and from which the personality-self acts.

When perceptions/ mental formations of the mind becomes calm, the feelings of being lost, alienated, un-groundedness, sadness, anger is dissolved. There’s homecoming. Homecoming to the body and self. There’s restfulness.

“Breathing in, I calm my mind.

Breathing out, I calm my feelings, my emotions.” (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Disclaimer: Urmila Rao is an emotional healer and a forgiveness teacher. All the ideas expressed herein are her own, and not professional advice or medical prescription. Her website is: www.karmicwellness.in. Email: hellokarmicwellness@gmail.com