Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mind-Body separation for dummies

In this tutorial we will cover -
1. Why mind-body separation ?
2. How mind-body separation ?
3. How to enjoy mind-body separation state ?

Why mind-body separation ?
Your mind is a wondrous thing. It is the seat of consciousness. It is so abstract and so completely integrated with our concept of self that we take it for granted. Wouldn't it be a wonderful experience to step back and perceive your mind as a separate entity ? One that is disjoint from your body ? If life is about seeking interesting experiences then this is one of the gems.

How mind-body separation ?
There are a variety of methods. Meditation, psychotropic drugs and alcohol are popular choices. There are a variety of meditation styles and techniques. None of which I am qualified to talk about, hence I will safely skip meditation as a mind-body separating instrument. Mind altering drugs are certainly effective but are limited by accessibility and may have undesirable side-effects. Alcohol is probably the best bet in achieving some form of mind-body separation. It is also the method that most audiences can relate to. That heady feeling, the numbness in your limbs all go into pointing you in the right direction. But it also makes some people rather boisterous and annoying. Which takes the focus away from the goal of enjoying the state of mind-body separation.

Instead, I will elaborate upon the method that I do have some experience with - Running. I have replicated some of the same results with swimming and biking as well. I believe that they translate across most categories of endurance sports.

In your first few attempts it might be better to try this indoors on a treadmill as there tend to be lesser distractions. Work up a sweat with a comfortable running pace. Hold this pace for a while till your body begins to feel fatigued. Your legs will begin to feel heavy and your breathing will become labored. Something around 20-30 mins ballpark. If you have a heart-rate monitor it should be around 150 bpm. Now pick up the pace such that you are huffing and puffing. Your heart rate monitor should now show something around 165 bpm. This is tough, hang in there. Bust out another 10 mins. Overcome the urge to stop or slow down. Now, summon your strong. Pick up the pace another notch and hang in there for the next 15 mins. Your heart rate will climb further probably crossing the 170 mark. Your body will now beg to stop. It will scream and shout at you for mercy. But your mind will not allow it. In fact your mind and your body are now at odds with each other. Your body will do what your mind tells it. You have now achieved mind-body separation.

How to enjoy and explore this feeling ?
It's an amazing feeling. Focus on how tenuous the thread connecting your mind and body is. All that you had taken for granted as your notion of self, is actually not. Ponder the following questions - Are you your body ? Are you your mind ? Who are you ?


Frustrations Amalgamated said...

In India those days, sages used to meditate for days together without consuming food or water.

It always fatigue that helps one separate themselves from their body alongside a strong sub conscious state. May be that's what is called Enlightenment.

Kolor said...

@priya; That's a great point - "Fatigue separating people from self". Thanks for pointing it out.