Our bodies are living, breathing, ever changing creatures. And we're living inside of them.
We ought to inquire, who are we, and what is our relationship to our bodies?
The body can be a great place to inhabit, or it can be a nightmare. Similar to our minds, if we don't cultivate a wise relationship to our body, we experience a great deal of suffering.
While physical pain will come and go, do we layer on the conditions for suffering within?
It's so easy for the mind to take over, especially when the body expresses pain. Over the past month, I've experienced an abnormal amount of strange, somewhat alarming pains in particular areas of my body.
Of course, my mind goes to the worst case scenario each time. While I've had medical tests to rule things out, I've learned that the physical pain hasn't been the problem. Rather, my mind's reaction to the pain is what's causing suffering.
I've found it very fascinating to watch how my mind creates stories about every little pain that arises. It's as if each pain carried with it one hundred years of stories, each one begging for my attention more than the next.
It's one thing to hear the stories. It's another thing to buy into them.
The more we listen, the more we allow the stories to expand. Pathways upon pathways are created, like a tree expanding underground, each root a new anxiety, another reason to panic.
Sometimes it's hard to know which story to listen to, and which to dismiss. Which thoughts are the crazy ones, and which ones should we be heeding? This can be quite difficult.
I wish I had an answer for you, as it's something I struggle with on a daily basis. But I also watch this struggle from a deeper place within. I remember that I'm still in here, in this body, watching the stories, and watching the urge to believe the stories.
Behind all pain, all suffering, all urges, all doubts, is the quality of you which is aware of everything happening. I often try to turn my attention back on that quality - that is, back on itself - an act which tends to ease the suffering.
When you catch your mind creating stories about anything - other people, other events, or even your body - try turning your attention away from the story, and back onto itself.
Live with substance!