FAST WISDOM™ NEWSLETTER
BY Lonner Holden
Recovery: Being the Enlightened Balloon
The highest standard of “recovery” in its most developed form, is experiencing an inner state of rest or peace while under exertion or while being outwardly active.
Trail Running I was until recently a devoted distance trail runner for ten years. After my first year I learned that the benefits of exercise do not happen during exercise, but during recovery, when the body cleans and repairs itself. So I changed up my running practice and put more time and energy into what I ate, drank and how I stretched and rested during my recovery periods between workouts. In a short time I was faster, stronger and could go further while running less frequently. After a few years, my recovery awareness and practice became so refined, I could be in recovery while running - even uphill. I could run for hours and not be sore or often even tired - usually more energized.
The "Middle Way" When Siddhartha Gautama under the Bodhi Tree finally achieved a state of mind free of the subtlest sense of either attraction or aversion, he achieved enlightenment, becoming Buddha. He called this state of awareness the “Middle Way,” free of all striving to achieve or aversion to deny any strength or ability of the body or mind; free of any attachment to any state of being or possession. What naturally rose up within him from his mind achieving a deep state of rest was profound gratitude and compassion for all beings. A great sense of Oneness with all things washed through him.
Homeostasis The prime directive of any living organism is to move towards homeostasis or rest. In biology, this is all to the end of conservation of energy - for both the individual organism and its species, and the conservation of resources in the system it survives in and relies on.
The Breath Pause The impulse to move towards homeostasis manifests itself most accessibly in awareness of our breath. As you breathe, observe the pause at the end of an inhale. What do you notice? Observe the pause at the end of the next exhale. What do you notice?
Within the pauses between inhale and exhale, and exhale and inhale recovery is quietly happening. When you take in a breath, you are taking in air. During the following pause - in the stillness - oxygen is assimilated into the blood. When you release a breath, you exhale carbon dioxide, other toxins and moisture. During the post-exhale pause, your lungs prepare to receive air.
Assimilation & Elimination Require Rest Receive nutrients, assimilate nutrients; release waste, prepare to receive nutrients. The cycle is successful physiologically in sustaining life because it has built into it rest periods between larger actions where subtler, necessary life-sustaining functions can occur that could not occur if there were no rest periods. If there are not periods of quality rest between the assimilation of food, water and air and their elimination, waste builds up in tissue and nutrients cannot be received - we become ill.
The "Middle Way" Balloon Our lifestyles follow the same principle. When we strive without enough rest or are indolent without enough productivity, we become imbalanced. Our bodies accumulate stress from excess activity or lose vitality from excess indolence. A balloon too inflated can easily pop; too little air and it has no ‘life’. The “Middle Way” Balloon is the most enlightened, traveling lightly - easily tossed about while bouncing without worry.
Being Nurtured If we are nurtured in the pauses between active assimilation and active elimination, then to live in recovery simply means to bring at least as much attention to restful states as to active ones.
Trauma, Toxins & Self-Care After a surgery, chemotherapy or an accident the body needs assistance moving into deeper states of rest to heal. Physical and psychological trauma and toxic exposure and their effects can be mitigated by increased quality rest and appropriate fluids and exercise. Jin Shin Jyutsu primarily helps to instill deep rest for the body and mind to recover from the negative effects of these influences of disharmony. Self-care in a variety of forms becomes more valuable.
Deep breathing is the most powerful of all recovery tools because it is the most accessible to practice and it affects everything, including one’s attitude. (Walburg received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 for demonstrating that cancer cells thrived in an anaerobic environment and struggled in an oxygen-rich environment.)
Living nurtured is living aware of emptiness, for in the emptiness nutrients and vital energy come into one’s body and one’s total being.
- Where in your life can you practice the “Middle Way” where deeper cleaning and repair of the body can occur and deeper spiritual connection to your life, gratitude and compassion can naturally rise up from within you?
- Do I have enough solitude?
- Where are the empty places in my life that I habitually feel compelled to fill up with activity, commitments, convenient snacks?
- Bring awareness to the pauses between exhales and inhales.
- Notice my inclination to "do" something when I actually could be still.
- Notice my inclination to resist moving when I feel the urge to move/act.
- See the empty spaces between objects in my environment. See the space between the legs of the chair; the spaces between the letters of the license plate of the car in front of me.
- Practice abstention from electronics, eating junk food, TV, saying “yes.” Apply a structure like "no texting after 8:00 pm" everyday."
- Respond with "no" to a request for a commitment from someone to do something that I do not enjoy; how does that feel?
- Respond with "yes" to something that enlivens me that I usually say "no" to.
JIN SHIN JYUTSU® HEALING HANDS SELF-CARE:
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- Hold the outer top of the forearm (on the thumb side) just below the elbow with the opposite hand/fingers (right fingers on left arm, left fingers on right arm).
- Hold each ring finger separately.
- Hold the tops of the hip bone on the back (right fingers on right hip bone & left fingers on left hip bone).
RESTORATIVE NATURE PRACTICE™:
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- Bring your attention to the empty spaces between trees/branches.
- When it is breezy, where are the edges of the wind where the plants move and at the same time a few feet away, they do not?
- Observe a cycle of activity/rest of an animal in your environment - maybe a nesting songbird, a gopher, your pet dog or cat.
NEXT MONTH: Summer Solstice: The Light in the Stone
PICK OF THE MONTH: Bull Session in the Barn: "Nature Connection, Bird Language and Cultural Celebration" with Jon Young, Tuesday, June 16th Tara Firma Farm, 3796 "I" Street, Petaluma, CA
- Go without one meal a week.
- Discern one non-nourishing processed food/snack/soda-type drink you can eliminate at least one day/per week.
See events on calendar »
- Restorative Nature Practice™, Marin County: June 20, July 18
- Marin County Tracking Club, Point Reyes: May 31, June 28, July 26
- Jin Shin Jyutsu Intensive Marin County: June 5-8
- Marin Poerty Center Summer Traveling Show Reading: "Wildfire Poetry Gathering" Falkirk Mansion 1401 Mission street (at "E" Street)
* October Backcountry Retreat: "Into the Wild Journey: Grand Canyon" view video at: (http://intothewildjourneys.com)
November, 2014 Thanksgiving
December, 2014 Winter Solstice
January, 2015 Life Letters
February, 2015 The Heart
March, 2015 Spring Equinox
April, 2015 Prevention
Fast Wisdom™ is the newsletter of my Holden Healing Studio practice. Each issue explores a theme of living approached in the context of healing. Included is a simple Jin Shin Juytsu® Healing Hands Self-Care exercise, as well as a Restorative Nature Practice™ activity to practice which relate to the newsletter theme of the month. Nutrition and health tips too, so you can live a happier and more vital life infused with well-being, improved health and more effective and empowered recovery.
© 2015 Lonner Holden