It has warmed a lot in the last two days in London. People are sitting around on the grass and even this rougher section of London feels lighter.
I’ve taken things very slowly since the news of my brother’s death. I needed that slow time. Today was the first day where I got some speed. But I continued to practice mindfulness in my teaching, walking, sitting.
I am not always at peace. I am watching my mind. My mind has taken drastic measures in dreams. My dreams are often of decapitation. This is one of my stress dreams. Usually a sword or an axe and headless bodies.
I am always waiting for my turn.
Sometimes my turn is delayed. There is a sense of reprieve. I never want to die in my dreams.
I also get these dreams when I lose communication with my body.
For example, I had a string of decapitation dreams when I was in grad school studying Derrida and deconstruction. I had to touch the trees in Bellingham, Washington and repeat a mantra. The mantra was: “This is NOT a text.”
I also get daydreams of decapitation. This is when I feel alienated or disconnected from my surroundings. But unlike my night dreams it is more like a head functioning without the rest of the body. I find myself asking WHAT IS THAT BRAIN. AND THAT ONE. AND THAT ONE.
In other words I see a bunch of brains walking around. I do not see the rest of the body.
Some of this comes about when I hear stories of brain injuries or brain impairments and how it changes the person completely (what we think of as personality and so on).
I guess it scares me to think: I am my brain.
I want to be more than my brain or my head.
When I am more than my brain (which is another of saying balanced) I am erotic, sensual, reflecting, calm etc. etc.
I like sex.
The brain gives me all the good signals to tell me I like sex. But it needs the rest of my body too.
This is all to say I was born with a mind/body split. Maybe you have one too?
It is in a lot of western culture. Maybe other cultures too. A part of the fear of death.
I was taught I have a spirit. I imagined when I did something wrong my translucent spirit gets black dots. Kind of like a diseased lung.
So we have a spirit that is not our body. But maybe looks like our body. I am not sure if the spirit changes like our body to look like our body and when we die we inherit how we looked when we died and become that look as a spirit forever and ever.
If that were the case we might think it best to die young. At our peak. Whatever that may be.
That stopped making sense to me in my early 20’s.
Or there is the idea of energy. This comes from the east and is the only thing that makes sense to me now.
The idea that when we die we are like a drop of water returning to the sea.
In other words you lose your individuality. You become part of the whole. Whatever that whole may be.
There are speculations upon speculations about death. Metaphysics.
I have no idea.
I do know I want to experience peace and joy while I am here. And my mind and body are best served when I see them clearly as one.
In order to see and experience them as one I need mindfulness practice.
And it is just as it sounds. A practice. Always a practice.