Author Topic: Why "whole body" awareness?  (Read 1578 times)

boe

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Why "whole body" awareness?
« on: September 06, 2010, 06:51:18 PM »
Why is it necessary to bring awareness to the whole body?

Is it because stress (craving, aversion) is located everywhere in the body...

so when you miss a part of the body, you miss a part of your mind... ?

Morning Dew

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Re: Why "whole body" awareness?
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2010, 09:41:51 PM »
Yap :)
It is not about concentrating but about not missing a thing.

kidnovice

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Re: Why "whole body" awareness?
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2010, 11:12:23 PM »
Morning Dew is right that it is important to include in your awareness as much as possible, and full body awareness helps with that. However, I'd be very cautious of dismissing the importance of concentration. Without it, you will miss ALOT. In fact, for the Buddha, becoming aware of the body was HOW you achieved right concentration.

From the perspective of the Buddha's teachings in the Pali Suttas, I've noticed two particular "reasons" for cultivating a deep and thorough awareness of the body: (1) to cultivate a sense of dispassion (when you see the body as not worth clinging to), and significantly, (2) to allow rapture to fill the body. In my view, this rapture is very important to a practitioner's progress on the path, and it begins with developing one's awareness of the body.

With metta,
KN

P.S. If you're interested in the actual Sutta I'm thinking of, and its very worth reading, here is the link: Fruits of the contemplative life
May we cultivate the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the compassion to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Matthew

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Re: Why "whole body" awareness?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2010, 04:27:07 AM »
boe - yes, the body remembers what the mind forgets. Calming the body is also a trick to calm the mind. Out of this calm naturally emerges the concentration Kidnovice talks of. You have to concentrate on or be mindful of your body as you breathe and relax your body for the meditation to work. The Buddha taught about the Skhandas or personality factors and body was always listed as the first. Through calming and being aware of body one quiets mind and develops the concentration requires for bliss/rapture/Jhana and eventually full insight to emerge.

Matthew
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mik1e

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Re: Why "whole body" awareness?
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2010, 05:44:11 AM »
Why is it necessary to bring awareness to the whole body?

Because it is the first step to entering the energy body (bodies).

Any energy body acts and is perceived as an integral unit (like a drop of water). We are born with this kind of perception, but forget it very quickly and begin to perceive ourselves as a set of different parts (e.g., the head and "the rest", sore places, etc.) So, we have specially to develop integral perception of the body. Mind calming is the natural lateral effect of this process.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 05:46:36 AM by mik1e »