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Posts Tagged ‘mindfulness’

One of my tasks at the end of 2008 was to choose a word that encapsulated my intent for the coming year.  The way I “chose” a word was simply to watch what arose.  Then I sat with the word for a while to see if it fit, or if something else arose.

The word that came up for me was “honesty.”

What does “honesty” mean?  For me, it includes mindfulness; perhaps the best summary is “clear seeing.”    To me, being honest means seeing what is actually true, and to be clear about the difference between what is true and what I want to be true.

I was asked whether I was talking about deception.  My answer was “no, deception was not an issue for me.”

Inevitably, if I see what is actually true, and sees how that differs from what I wish, I will sometimes discover self-deception.  However, the focus is on seeing clearly, and if that seeing includes seeing self-deception, well, so what?  That’s just another thing to see.

Seeing clearly can bring pain, as it highlights how reality differs from how I want things to be.  And that difference leads to the need to make decisions.

I’ll be revisiting this issue in future posts.

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I used to get massages regularly, but have been dissuaded partly by my current insurance not covering it and partly by my focus on recovering from cardiac bypass surgery in April. I finally feel completely healed from the surgery and scheduled a massage last week.

When I get a massage, I focus my attention on sensation while keeping my breathing deep and regular. I view the sensation as a way to bring my attention to exactly what is happening in my body—in essence a mindfulness exercise. I follow the the moving hands, noticing which muscles are tight, which are relaxed, and how everything feels. It’s as if the moving fingers were continually saying: “Notice this. Notice this. Notice this.”

I track and notice sensation for about half of the massage. About half way through, I seem to tire of noticing and fall half asleep. But then it’s time to turn over and do the other side, so that wakes me back up—for a while anyway.

After a massage, I am much more aware of body sensations and posture. I find that I sit differently and hold myself differently. These changes last for several days, until habitual patterns reassert themselves.

I’ll get another massage in two weeks or so to refresh my body awareness.  I’ve found that as I get beyond the second massage, the benefits seem to be less.  It’s as if I were getting used to the massage and no longer receiving the same benefits.  I think that the massage penetrates the defenses until the defenses learn how to keep themselves intact.

The bottom line is that I’ll get a couple of massages then wait for perhaps six months before getting another one.  Changing masseuses “restarts the clock” as each masseuse has her own style and that reaches through defenses in different ways.

Anyway, I feel physically more relaxed.  That’s good, because tomorrow will be my next laser eye treatment!

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