In the Twelve Step program of Co-dependants Anonymous, "Think is our drink." We are addicted to thinking like an alcoholic is to drinking, so are stuck in our heads trying to figure out what everybody else is thinking and feeling so we might please them and avoid conflict. We are stuck in memories of the past and fears or rehearsals of future. All of this mind energy gets stored up in our bodies so tension and ailments arise.
This is very much a western habit as we have suffered from an over emphasis and attachment to rationalism for centuries. We also tend to ignore our bodies signals and push through whatever we are doing day after day through-out our lives. For those of us from dysfunctional families it was even worse as we we led to believe our feelings were wrong or crazy.
This is why in meditation we focus on the breath, as it brings us down into the body. We start to feel what is going on a visceral level and realize we are more than just a thinking machine. Emotions are also a connection of mind to body, well worth looking into on a regular basis. In fact, if a thought and feeling are in conflict, the emotion is probably the truth.
Once we get back to our bodies we can reach out and experience the environment, other people, animals, any life, even earth, sky, sun, and so on. We can find our true home in that still, calm, peaceful place within us wherever we are. Once we regain calm and composure, a wonderful thing happens, wisdom arises of its on accord. What a blessing!
Personally I use meditation to calm myself before work, as stress arises through-out the day, at my lunch break, driving home, and before sleep. Also anytime something is bothering me or I feel I need answers. Calm abiding meditation is about surrender and acceptance, two of my greatest tools. In fact I call them "super powers." I realized I must surrender to and accept what is in order to take effective actions. Otherwise I am stuck in reaction, responding from fears and past conditioning rather than in the moment.
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