Life is . . .

In Buddhism the first noble truth is that life is ‘dukkah’ which they commonly translate as suffering. IMHO that misses the intent. Dukkah describes the squeak of the wheel of the cart. I preferred to translate it as pressure, that life is one pressure after another.

When we are under pressure an autonomic response causes a tensing of the muscles. We may feel it as a pain in the neck, tight shoulders or in the other extremities of the body, but it emanates from the spine or, in finer dimensions of sensing, the central core of the being.

This tension in the muscles around the spine forces the cerebral spinal fluid up into the cranium putting pressure on the physical brain, impeding the synaptic process, thought and creativity. In common parlance you might hear people under pressure say, “Just give me a minute I need some space.”

It is an effect of the pressure in the brain from the fluid being forced into the cranial cavity.

As you relax the muscles closer and closer to the spine, if you’re sensitive to it, you can feel, or begin to imagine that you can, the cerebrospinal fluid draining from the cranium back into the spine. It not only lubricates and protects the vertebrae and ‘floats’ the disks increasing flexibility, comfort and vitality, it literally gives the brain room to think. And it’s easy.

Take a deep breath. Briefly, intentionally, tighten the muscles around the spine. Doing this helps locate the attention. Then use the ‘exhale’ to help relax the muscles closer and closer the spine. If you pay attention see if you don’t notice a draining of the pressure on the brain on the mind and on the being

The exercise is simple. Anyone can do it. But relaxation is like breathing, once in the morning is not enough!

4 thoughts on “Life is . . .

  1. David Brown

    “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
    ~ T.S. Elliot

    As we might intone from our Aikido, “Kihon, Kihon, Kihon”. Fundamentals. Basics. Beginnings.

    The idea of ‘Center’.
    The desire to ‘Become Centered’.
    The practice of ‘Centering’.
    The space of ‘Centeredness’.

    Thank you Richard for your insightfulness into the …


    … of a way to travel the Way.

    Peace out.


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