The first foundation of mindfulness, the ground of our existence where we bring our attention, is the body. The Buddha wanted us to feel the body IN the body, to feel the breath IN the breath. What does this mean? It means getting to know the body from within the experience of being this body. Not as a concept or an object that we make “other” – but from within, from the inside.
Mindfulness is participatory observation – we are both subject and object of loving awareness at the same time. We both witness and experience the emotions and physical sensations that we’re having, simultaneously. The word for mindfulness is sati, and it means, remember, don’t forget! Don’t forget to relax and allow yourself to simply notice and be here, right where you are — present with what’s unfolding, willing to see life just as it is. Remember to notice and appreciate life happening, life in the form of this breath, this sensation, this perception, this moment!
Remember to connect with your body in walking, don’t forget to stay close to your own body as you sit still, and as you are standing, walking, living, moving around, being and doing what you do. You can sense the gathering wholeness, the healing and happiness that comes when we grow in confidence about our ability to stay with our body and learn, with loving awareness.
From the great Thai meditation master, Ajahn Mun: “In your investigation of the world, never allow the mind to desert the body. Examine its nature, see the elements that comprise it, kindly see the impermanence, the suffering, the selflessness of the body while sitting, standing, walking, or lying down. Then its true nature is seen fully and lucidly by the mind/heart, the wonders of the world will become clear. In this way the purity of the heart can shine forth, timeless and delivered.”