Mind-Body Detoxification: Zen teaches us that, “Body,” “Mind,” “Not Two.” They are interconnected.
Jul 03, 2017 08:33PM
By Seijaku Roshi
We live in a society obsessed with the body, how it feels and especially how it looks. Usually when we talk about “detoxing,” the focus is on the body and not necessarily for all the right reasons. Zen teaches us that, “Body,” “Mind,” “Not Two.” They are interconnected. Any effort to detox the body may make the body feel better, until the next time and have some effect on the mind, but is like taking a bath with half of the body outside the tub.
The Webster dictionary defines “detoxing” as: a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances; detoxification from an intoxicating or addictive substance. The Buddha taught, “We can rid the body of toxic and unhealthy substance,” but if our thoughts are unhealthy and toxic, any effort to detox the body is merely treating the symptoms. If we never get to the root causes of our behavior, we find ourselves on a never-ending, spinning wheel of treating symptoms, but never really achieving wholeness or total well-being.
Detoxing the mind involves, “Abstaining from intoxicating and/or addictive behaviors.” This includes ridding the mind of its attachments to unhealthy and delusional narratives. Whether we are detoxifying the body or the mind, both take on a serious commitment not to return toxic behaviors and ways-of thinking, which only return the mind-body to an unhealthy state of existence.
It is our behavior which creates either a healthy mind and body or not. Therefore we must correct our behavior to produce the results we want. This applies to what we put in our bodies and what we expose our minds to.
Begin with this simple understanding. When my daughter was born, someone told me, “Children have minds like sponges.” That fact is not exclusive to children. Whatever you expose yourself to, you also expose to your mind. Every thought you think about yourself and the world; every person you listen to; every environment you expose yourself to, the mind records, archives and files that experience, to reference unconsciously and sometimes consciously at another time.
Ever wonder why the same problems keep showing up or why you feel stuck? Each time we expose our minds to unhealthy experiences these moments are reinforced again and again.
Choose your friends, thoughts and words wisely; choose your actions just as wisely. Be the “master” of your domain. Being “mindful” is about being aware of when we are sabotaging our lives, intoxicating our experience and poisoning the moment. The more awareness you develop (through meditation and mindfulness training), the mind begins to detox, the body becomes stronger, your life begins to feel real.
More than a beautiful body is a beautiful mind! I’ve never found anyone sexier.
I love you; love yourself.
Seijaku Roshi is the founder and spiritual director of The Zen Society, Pine Wind Zen Community at 863 McKendimen Rd., in Shamong, NJ. He is a Zen-Buddhist Monk, parent, author, Zen-Life Coach and abbot. For more information, visit PineWind.org.