Imagine not being able to find your way home to your loved ones, to your friends and family. Imagine how traumatic this would be. This is the same trauma we experience when we have split from our body and cannot find our way back into the body. We have to find our way back home to our body if we want freedom from the prison of our minds.
The Buddha was teaching us to breathe through the body, feelings, mental formations and all mind objects with calm. The anapanasati meditation, the mindfulness of breathing, is teaching us to come back to the body.
The journey of wisdom is learning to find our way back to the body. But some of us have lost our way home because our bodies were violated in childhood. To protect ourselves we made sure nobody was at home in our body. We switched all feeling off.
If we are able to find our way back home, and turn all the feelings back on in the body, we will learn to turn towards our direct experience unfolding in every moment.
In Vipassana meditation we are saying: come back to the body, come back to the breathing, inhabit your body, and be in direct experience with whatever is arising in the now.
The body is the home for all of us. It’s where we live all our lives, and if we are not at peace in our body, we will not be at peace in any other areas of our lives. We have to learn to befriend our body, and not treat it like an enemy. And know it is safe to have our feelings now.
We come home to the body with breath.
Vimalasara’s three tips for practice
- Do nothing when discomfort, comfort or neutral sensations arise in the body or mind.
- Be kind and compassionate to yourself by remembering to pause.