Pacing the mind with the body

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Pacing the mind with the body

Postby Individual » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:51 pm

In my experience, it is possible for the mind to not keep pace with the body. For the average person, the mind is not as strong as the body. The body can do so much, but concentration is lacking, so there is laziness and other fetters.

But in very peculiar cases, there is also the opposite: with powerful concentration, the body is just a puppet to be tossed around. Without being careful, you can abuse it. There are those people out there who practice ascetic stuff that really isn't Buddhism (at least not early Buddhism which I like most).

I read once in a Zen text (Precious Lessons of the Zen schools?) about how having one's energy and will be in tandem is what it means to be a Buddha, whereas all other people are imbalanced.

How does one balance the mind with the body, so that the mind doesn't abuse the body and the body doesn't abuse the mind?

How is it that Gautama was sometimes able to teleport and perform miracles, but other times, he was sick and had headaches? I understand the headaches and the sickness -- I don't care about that. What I'm getting at is the contradiction. You could say it's the gods' involvement that made it so inconsistent. They don't always seem to care. I wish they would.
Individual
 
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Re: Pacing the mind with the body

Postby Individual » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:11 pm

As practical examples, by the way... There's a Theravadin monk named Dhammanando who used to post at our sister-site, Dhammawheel. He was extraordinary -- he only slept a few hours a night, then it was just constant work. He got malaria several times. I worry that one day a great man like him will die early of a heart attack or stroke because he pushes himself too hard.

Because I can give you another example... I had a co-worker at Wal-Mart who also only slept a few hours. Instead of being a monk, this guy went to parties. He didn't use drugs or alcohol, though -- just talked and had sex. Well, I was amazed at how he was able to stand up all the time, looking as if he was about to pass out but he was fine. After working with him for a while, though, he eventually started falling asleep in the break room. It was only a few times, so he didn't get in too much trouble, but it did happen and in the long-term, it would definitely cause him trouble.

Another example... Another woman I knew at Wal-mart was the same way. Except instead of teaching dhamma or partying, her burden was even greater... She had kids and had to support herself with two jobs. On certain nights of the week, she got no sleep at all -- every week. That day of the week, she simply didn't sleep. On other nights, it was just a few hours here and there. I never saw her slip up, but I wonder if she managed to get through it.
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Re: Pacing the mind with the body

Postby Individual » Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:55 pm

Just like the people above... Today, I abused the body for the sake of the mind. Not with knives and fire -- but with work and dharma.

But it was only one day.

I have to be careful. If I keep this up, I'll die earlier than I need to. Guess I just need to be mindful.
Individual
 
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