This time on the BHHN Guest Podcast, Spring Washam shares some of her insights about awakening and the mind-body connection.
Join Spring and a collection of dharma teachers in exploring the intersection of Buddhism & Bhakti at the inaugural Love Serve Remember Summer Mountain Retreat August 25th – 29th in Boone, NC!
The Body As A Fiesta
Spring opens this talk by reciting a poem by Eduardo Galeano about the body. The poem references all of the ways a body is exploited; by the church, by science, by consumerism. In the end, the poem empowers the body and defines the body as a fiesta. Navigating what to do with the mind-body connection can be a confusing and complicated process. Spring hopes to offer us ways to improve the relationship between the mind and body through mindfulness practices and awakening.
The Buddha’s Body (11:05)
Even the Buddha may have struggled with his mind-body relationship after spending years living in sensory indulgence before he renounced his old life. He went from living as a prince and enjoying women, riches, and food to living with nothing and completely starving himself. It is said that during his renunciation period he did not eat besides one grain of rice and did not bathe; he spent all of his time practicing. It is as if to practice in his spiritual body he had to remove all care for his physical body. Eventually, he realized the middle way of caring for both the body and mind. Spring tells us that there should not be an epic battle of mind and body. There should be a beautiful conjoining.
“This body has to help me. This body has to serve me in some way. We have to work together.” – Spring Washam
Moving Into the Somatic (20:58)
As of recently, more emphasis has been placed on somatic healing work. In therapy, practitioners are recognizing the way the body stores trauma and the way physical sensations like EMDR or tapping can help us cope with mental pain. The mind-body connection is finally being noted as important for corporeal and mental wellness. If you have experienced trauma in your life, consider looking into ways to physcially release the pent-up pain. Things like yoga and other types of mindful movement can be helpful in letting go of pain as well as in restoring balance to the mind and body.
“There’s this constant telenovela playing full of knots and dramas, intrigue and suffering, and romance and suspicion – all of it in a big knot. As we sit here it starts to arise out of the mind. We have to somehow make friends with this, somehow we have to let it go.” – Spring Washam
To hear more about getting into the groove of your body, listen to Ep. 71 of Healing at the Edge: Inhabiting the Body as a Path to Awakening w/ Chris Britt
We Are Miracles (35:22)
Have you ever felt like your body was against you in some way? Sometimes we fall into traps of comparison and wish our body was more able, more pale, more thin, less old, etc. Witnessing the miracle of our body in the everyday can help overcome this. Spring tells us that every movement our body makes is amazing; we do not often think of all the labor our brain and body do together just to be able to bend our fingers. Having gratitude for all our bodies do for us is an important step in healing the mind-body connection. In the end, it is always going to just be you alone with your body. Spring says we need to learn to love our body and we need to learn how to welcome our body home.
“This body in itself is finite, it’s impermanent, it’s a vehicle that we use for liberation. We can use this magical body, it’s working with us, it’s trying.” – Spring Washam