What happens when we are not fully rooted in our bodies, but free floating in our thinking minds? It can be an uncomfortable scenario that I’ll illustrate with metaphors to share what I mean.
Imagine your thinking mind is just like a balloon – then, imagine the balloon being blown around in a sky full of thunderstorms – not that great of a picture! Imagine the thinking mind as a balloon getting caught in a hurricane, or frozen in a snowstorm either way, it’s not easy to stay afloat, or not be damaged, nor is it easy to have any kind of ground to land on. It’s completely unsafe and harrowing to be a like a (thinking mind) balloon in these situations, imagine the stress and fatigue!
When the thinking mind isn’t grounded, or embodied, it is thrown and tossed, frozen or stuck, shrunk and deflated, or inflated too much and about to pop just like the balloon in weather patterns of the sky. How we keep the balloon safe and secured so as not to drift off and become vulnerable to any weather patterns – the metaphors for thoughts or emotions – is a large part of what the Buddha’s First Foundation of Mindfulness – Mindfulness of the Body is about.
Knowing sensations as just sensations and breath as just breath and not getting caught or tossed around by our stories, by what hasn’t even happened yet – are among the skillful ways to be embodied, grounded, safe and not victimized by the often overly thinking minds habits and whims.
The body becomes our ally, even when the actual physical body isn’t well, or is in pain – now imagine that. The body can even be a refuge for the mind when the body isn’t all we want it to be, or when it is ill or showing signs of wearing out. This is the beauty of the path and practice, the refuge we can have in the path, refuge in the actual practice of seeing things as they are, not what we want or hope or even fear them to be. And, the community of practitioners matters. A lot. This is where we all matter to each other. I’m glad to have you.