Friday, August 20, 2004

Minding a Body

The more I experience, the less it seems that I can attest to the distinctions between body and mind, or mind and spirit.

Sampson was diminished when even his hair was cut.

When I'm told Elder Haight has passed away, tears spring from my eyes, unbidden.

When an acupuncture needle is placed between my eyebrows, I shortly find myself deep in meditation.

When I lean on the shoulder of the man beside me in a yoga class, I have the sudden, completely physical, feeling that we together are a single person.

Can a mind control a body? Can a spirit?

What good would that be?

I've opted not to annoy the scientists with my unprovable theories. I'm ok with being a body -- but only because I think a body implies a spirit -- a mind -- as much as it implies protons and neutrons, and all the rest.

We are open systems, not only with regard to breath and food.

Mind and body and spirit as one.

This Mormon's trinity.

Monday, August 09, 2004


In my religious tradition, meditation is encouraged, but I often get the sense that, like Inigio Montoya says in The Princess Bride: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

When I read of meditation in my religious tradition, it typically means to ponder, reflect, consider, usually in conjunction with prayer.

But I was introduced to meditation through yoga and Buddhists, and when I meditate, I tend to follow vipassana traditions, watching my mind.

There may be a link between the two traditions, but it's a more subtle one than I originally expected. Yoga and meditation feel, to me at least, like prayer -- a prayer in motion, in stillness. I've read materials on contemplative prayer by Fr. Thomas Keating. He seems to get closer to the idea of what I experience, but his, too, seems more culturally directional than the simple mind-watching I engage in.

What are the fruits of such a practice? I'm not really in a position to say yet. I have noticed that I tend to notice more than I used to. I wish that meant I were more compassionate and dispassionate, but I don't really know how to measure such things.

Still, I think I will continue.