A Meditation Awareness While Drinking Water


 

I had a lot of private feedback about the last blog post on Diet As Spiritual Practice in addition to the marvelous comments posted here. It seems like that post hit a chord. Some of you were asking about how I learned to become so in tune with my body. You said that you don’t pick up the signals of the body the way I talked about in that post.

One thing to keep in mind is that I have developed a close relationship with my body over time. This closeness didn’t just happen, it has deepened over the years. I really believe in investing in a relationship, because one of the great values that I hold strongly to, is that I can make a difference in my life.

 

When I was very young I couldn’t stand pain in the body. Someone said to me, “Get used to it. That’s how life is.” I just couldn’t accept this statement, that life would throw pain to me at random and there was nothing I could do about it. It was pain avoidance that got me started in observing how my actions affected my experience of my body. I feel like my body speaks to me all the time, the thing is that I have to learn to listen to the body. This practice of listening and adjusting my behavior based on the feedback I am getting, also translates to every other area of my life, including my sitting meditation. It is a life skill!

 

So lets talk about how to start listening to the body’s signals. Today notice when you feel thirsty. What does thirsty feel like? I notice the dryness in my lips, mouth and throat. There is discomfort in my skin and internal organs but that is harder to describe and a much more subtle signal to pick up.

glass-water-32Then as I take a little sip of water at a time, I see the changes start to happen immediately as the dryness gets washed away. It’s like I can almost feel the cells in my body becoming more turgid as the water gets absorbed in the body because I feel more alert, refreshed.

Notice the feeling in the body that tells you how much to drink, that you have had enough.  As the water works its way through the body you might not notice it, but when it is time to eliminate the waste, notice what that feels like.

Now look back from the times you drank  water during the day, even if you can only remember one time when you consciously did it, to now that it has been eliminated.

What impact did this water have on you? What adjustments need to be made for a better experience? Even if I don’t feel I have the answers clearly, I might experiment by changing the temperature of the water, the quantity I drink, the quality of the water, my mood when I was drinking and any other factors I can think of that might affect the experience.

Do you see how the practice of observing the body signals can translate to other areas? Don’t you feel more aware of the power of choice, not just in drinking water but in so many other moments in life? Do you see the same conscious way of observing ourselves as we drink water, is the same way that we observe ourselves in sitting meditation? Training yourself to consciously engage is a marvelous life skill. Consciously drinking water is a fairly safe practice ground. What do you think? Have I given you a good starting point?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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