A stable attention, inquiry and food

 

A stable and relaxed attention is very helpful for inquiry. It supports doing inquiry as meditation.

I can support stable attention through stability practices (samata) such as bringing attention to the breath.

I can support a stable and relaxed attention through exercise (aerobic, strength), yoga, tai chi/chi gong, Breema or TRE.

And I can support a stable and relaxed attention through my diet. For myself, I notice that staying away from sugar supports a stable attention (my attention goes a little,  or sometimes a lot, haywire when I eat sugar). Dairy tends to bring a sense of sluggishness, and wheat makes me feel a bit “weird” so reducing or eliminating those is also a good support for inquiry, and for my life in general. When Byron Katie asks participants for The School to eliminate sugar for a week before The School, I suspect it’s partly for this reason, to support a more stable and relaxed attention, and partly so resistant thoughts will surface for inquiry.

Note: Some things I notice helps when the system is out of whack due to food. (a) Inquiry (can I be with what I am experiencing right now?) including The Work. (I should feel differently. I am tired. I can’t do what I want. My body feels off. My body feels off because…. My body feels off and that means that…) (b) Physical activity. (Walking, Breema, TRE, dance, strength etc.) (c) Food antidotes. (Ginger – fresh or in capsules – during or after each meal, drinking plenty of water, hot cocoa free from sugar, an apple, a good stew.)

 

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3 thoughts to “A stable attention, inquiry and food”

  1. Yes 🙂 Thank you 🙂

    For me walking and swimming in particular help to combine exercise and attention to the breath. During TRE breathing often feels very free and natural.
    Stable attention during inquiry helps me to do it for the love of truth more openly – with enthusiasm, humility and gratitude.

    Experience here is that to eat hardly any sugar, refined carbohydrates, dairy or wheat is a more natural state. Any resistant thoughts/feelings arising that would stop me from acting on this experience will be good to take to inquiry or ho’o 🙂

  2. Yes 🙂 The other side is that when I eat sugar/dairy/wheat, it tends to bring the system “out of balance” (I may feel spacy, sluggish, irritable, frustrated) which in turn helps me see my beliefs, so that’s a good thing.

    (a) It helps me see my beliefs about the state, for instance feeling tired, sluggish, spacy, or irritable. (I need it to change. It’s not OK. It will be this way forever. It means I am lazy. It means I won’t function.)

    (b) It helps me see the beliefs triggering tiredness, irritability and so on. (I need more sleep. I need to be more alert. I need more energy to do what I want. My neighbor is disrespectful. He should be more quiet.)

    (c) And the beliefs that take the forms of labels. (It’s tiredness, sluggishness, spaciness, irritability.)

  3. Yes 🙂 I was noticing this yesterday a little….and also aware of, and playing with, just observing the thoughts/feelings without identification or judgement.
    What came up often was humour or tenderness/compassion. I did a little ho’o at times, and now there’s a sense of slowly returning home to myself somehow….and that slowing down and allowing time will help.
    I was drawn to read ‘The Guest House’ by Rumi, again http://www.panhala.net/Archive/The_Guest_House.html

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