Body, then mind

 

Sometimes, it’s difficult to do inquiry, or various forms of meditation, or even shift into natural rest. The mind is too busy, too agitated, perhaps in too much reactivity.

At these times, it can be especially helpful to do something physical. Go for a walk. Run. Lift weights. Seek out nurturing touch. Do yoga. Tai chi. Chi gong. Breema. Even tapping. Or just take a break.

After this, it can be easier to do inquiry, meditation, or shift into natural rest.

Most, or all (?), spiritual traditions have known this, and often recommend doing a body-centered activity before (or during) inquiry, meditation, natural rest, or prayer.

It helps channel the restlessness or agitation in a way that’s more supportive of these practices.

It can also be helpful to inquire into ideas about this such as: “I have to be in the right state of mind to inquiry/meditate/pray”, “I need to inquire/meditate/pray now”, “it’s better if I inquire now”, “this agitation/distress is preventing me from …..” and so on. (The Work.) Also, can I find agitation, distress, reactivity, or even inquiry, meditation, or prayer? Or someone unable to do inquiry now, or someone who should? (Living Inquiries.)

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– yoga then mediation
– physical activity then meditation/inquiry
– exercise, yoga, tai chi, breema, tapping etc.
– helps calm/focus the mind, more stable attention (easier)
– if strong turmoil, especially helpful

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In some (many, all?) eastern traditions they recommend physical activity before mental activity.

For instance, doing yoga before a meditation session.

I have found the same. On most days, it helps with body activity (exercise, yoga, tai chi, Breema, TRE) before mind activity (inquiry, training stable focus).

Natural rest which seems available in most situations, so that may be one exception.

Although even with natural rest, prior physical activity can be helpful.

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