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 The day opened to eagerness as I was  to have lunch with one of my favorite peeps – KGB – following which I would have the cool isolation of the house to myself to continue processing the experiences of the recent retreat I’d just returned from.  At lunch KGB asked me to comment on the differences between the two teachers and at that moment my tongue tied-up and my brain froze.  A few hours later as I lay under a blanket shivering with chills it dawned on me that the abrupt change in diet had induced water loss that I had not been aware of and with drumming on the hottest day of the year first day back, my body was on the verge of collapse.  I also realized this body is a year older and what I could do a year ago I could not do now.  Closing my eyes I paid attention to this body, I focused on the act of breathing, an wrapping my arms around my body I held myself in loving kindness and drifted into sleep.

(I am noticing a pattern that when I  hold myself and this body with compassion
that often unexpected gifts arrive and/or new doors open and this day and this act too I believe created the conditions of the beginning of another unfolding).

I remained in bed sleeping and shivering for several hours and when I woke the fever had gone, my energy was returning, the light was soft and pastel, and I felt called to visit the gardens.    Upon arriving at Blue Lake I found myself pulled into a nearly dead patch of old Peonies and there I found the angel of death / the angel of mercy – depending.  Heading back to the truck I ran into Dawa and we began to talk. I asked him to tell me about the nature of mind.

“The mind does not move,” he said. “The mind is like Nature. The mind does not move. The body moves and the body covers the mind… the body is always moving….he held up a hand and made a fist and with his other hand he covered the fist creating for me the image of socket and bone.  “Nature of mind is” opening his arms wide as if to include everything…..”The mind is still” waving his arms and pointing at flowers and Bee’s…”the flowers move – the body moves.”

When I move who am I. When still, who am I? When meditating who meditates?

Death takes anotherI returned home and felt my body continue to relax and cool down as Tomo and I watched the light change and fade, just as the light in a flower and the light in our eyes eventually fades.  Not thinking much of anything just sitting and being at ease and as the skies darkened the moon and Venus began to twinkle and glow.  The answer to KGB’s question came in a flash and with it a gentle voice suggesting I learn more about the nature of mind and body….

I dialed up Phillip Moffit’s web site and I began to wonder around.  Turns out this guy is a very prolific teacher – virtually all of it Wizard of Oz like – does his stuff without much fanfare and likes to be behind the scenes, which I like too and there are pages and pages of writings and pages and pages of recordings and I quickly became overwhelmed.  I let chance be my guide and up popped:

 “The Satipatthana Sutta presents the most concise teaching of mindfulness practice in the form of the four foundations. The Buddha lays out the spectrum of awareness-es in this teaching, and the first awareness is “awareness of the body in the body.” This becomes the foundation from which the other awareness-es of your experience are understood. We come to understand how our awareness of the pleasant and the unpleasant in the body controls the mind. Then we move to awareness of the mind states themselves, but these utilize the body as well. How do you know anything other than through the body?”

And “Many meditation students view body awareness as just a starting point for their practice. They tend to skip over it in order to focus on their mind states and emotions, believing that’s where they will experience the deepest insights. But the truth is, your body is the ideal mirror for discovering the Buddha’s great truths of suf­fering (dukkha), change (anicca), and “not self” (anatta).  In the Anguttara Nikaya (sutta 1, 21) the Buddha states, “There is one thing, monks, that, cultivated and regularly practiced leads to a deep sense of urgency … to the supreme peace … to mindfulness and clear comprehension … to the attainment of right vision and knowledge … to happiness here and now … to realizing deliverance by wisdom and the fruition of Holiness: It is mindfulness of the body.” – See more at: http://dharmawisdom.org/teachings/articles/awakening-body#sthash.9tsFCuQm.dpuf

My first thought was:  “WOW, this is bigger than I thought,”  My second thought was: “Damn, I am one lucky guy……my third thought was:”  I’m glad I became a Buddhist instead of just another hypochondriac……………..