Roll over, Descartes

#reverb10 prompt: Body integration. This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?

Panda rolling forward

A somnambulistic forward roll. Very organic. Click for source.

I’ve been thinking about this recently. Can I distinguish between mind and body? Does the mind live in the body or isn’t it rather an expression of the body? The mind is relatively useless without the body, after all.

I often feel that if I just manage to take care of the body, the mind follows suit. If I start my day with a few stretches, or a run, somehow thinking becomes easier – and even if it doesn’t, I’m less likely to be bothered about it. Similarly, if I have aches and pains, my mind loses its ability to function independently (that is, if it ever had such an ability). The body, the needs of the body, come first. And, at the risk of sounding very hippy-ish, which I don’t think I really am, the body knows what it needs. Where I sometimes (too often) go wrong is trying to conceptualise those needs when all I should do is just pay attention to them and do what needs to be done. Thinking sometimes gets in the way. Trying to find words for what I already know in my gut slows me down.

I realise that I’m speaking in very dualistic terms despite not feeling comfortable with the concept. But how could I not use those terms – the assumptions are everywhere. They’re deep in the language, and language is what I have to use to convey my feelings and thoughts to you, dear reader.

Back to the prompt. Let’s turn things around, shall we? Why not ask when I felt the most integrated with my mind? Either way, I have no real answer. The mind has dominated this year too much, methinks. I’ve had the occasional moment of clarity and unity, usually connected to a physical activity, but mainly I’ve been too busy trying to thinkthinkthink. Clearly this is something on which to focus in the year to come.

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Howl at the moon

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