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Because, Mind, you are Body

Imagine eating and eating and never digesting. Imagine being full, packed to the gills and never being able to assimilate, starving for nutrition, wallowing in gluttony run amok.  Now imagine that this is not about food but about body taking in information and never having a chance to integrate this information. This not so hard to imagine because it is how we live. Mind tells my body what to do. All typical exercise system as well as most of daily life is mind telling body what to do. If we do only this, body is ingesting and ingesting. When does she digest? Body rebels when force fed by mind. The result is rage, illness, self-destruction. The body says ‘No!’

I’ve been thinking about the Dancemeditation principal ‘Ingest, Digest’ in relation to our mind/body split. I, and we, over-appreciate mind, under-appreciate body, and believe that it is fine, even noble to criticize, repress, correct, and demean the body. (This goes on consciously or unconsciously. Mind’s hegemony is always humanity’s issue.) In Dancemeditation, this all comes to light quickly and we are changed fundamentally, irrevocably by this awareness. A new interior script allows us to heal imbalance. How?

We go to Dancemeditation session and follow a teacher or a fellow participant. Body follows body without words. Follow. Follow. Following someone else’s movement is my body ingesting the ways of another body; it takes the place of my mind telling my body being told what to do. Mind gets into the swing of this.

We toodle along. Mind relaxes a bit. Body expands a bit. As following another body continues, Mind relaxes its leadership grip. Then the instruction comes, words for the body: “Close your eyes and move how you feel.” Move how you feel, Body. Body is allowed to move as she feels, and the mind, lulled by 20 minutes of following, sinks back, goes along for the ride. Mind keeps track without trying to take over. It is hypnotized by Body’s doings. As Body wakes, moving her own way, Mind is fascinated. Mind was considering abandonment—going out the window for a bit, going down to the Thought Bar for a drink of the same old same old, but Body is so luscious now, doing something Mind hadn’t thought of. Mind stays in the room. Watches. Mind comes beside, alongside, with. I am with you.

Mind gets a new feeling here, beginning to see that every day Body does a great deal, handles a great deal. Heat, cold, food, gravity, dirt, light, darkness. A miracle. A lot of energy there. True “I”-ness begins to take shape. Mind sees something about itself. Just this: Take away those whips. No Whip. No roar. Whips make an enemy. Listening makes a friend.

Mind now sees the situation. Mind sees that we are mostly body. Mind see that we are our bodies. Every breath is the body in motion. Every blink and wink and nod and trot is the body. Every laugh and cry is the diaphragm and the throat, body. Every bend and twist is the body. Every kiss and hug is the body. Every tongue and lip, keyboard finger tick and ear prick is the body. Every heart beat is the body.

Mind learning to observe Body is our world changing completely.

Letter to Mind:
Dear Mind, become reverent. Take your whispery place in the Appreciation Choir. How lucky you are, Dear Mind, to have such a home. Now, Dear mind, let Body move as she loves. That is all you need to suggest. Watch as she finds her way, her pleasure and play and anguish, uncoiling the many packets of concern that she has carried these past days and weeks.

Mind, be soft. Become Body. Because, Mind, you are Body.

Let Body know that all the things you think about are not so important. Let her know that you aren’t as big as you’ve been making out. Okay, let her know you are just a piece of it all. Let her know that you know this. Now let her swallow you, absorb you…

Mind replies:
Dear Body, I have always known that you are Thought. You are Intelligence.

Mind becoming Body is our world changing completely.


How about your mind? Your body? Their relationship? Let your body write a letter to your mind…



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    1. Wonderfully said and so evocative… in mind as a writer, DM has been such a release for me/Me…….I shall write a letter and send it to you…..

      February 3, 2012
    2. Yes, lovely!!!!

      February 3, 2012
    3. Madaza Adele #

      Thank you Dunya, for your explanation, which so precisely cuts to an essential understanding of my personal Sufi and other meditational experiences, that took me a long time to arrive at. Being an intellectually oriented individual, I longed for a conscious, complete analysis of what I had experienced. Only when I realized that my experiences needed no such explanation did I transcend to better understandings.

      February 3, 2012
      • Adele, these do take along time to arrive at.

        February 4, 2012
    4. Karuna #

      This is exquisite, Dunya. Thank you for your spot-on articulation of this process. It’s interesting – even though I’m reading them from a computer screen with words entering through my mind, my body is receiving deeply. An exhale of deep relief. Finally these realms being brought together. Unifying. Al-Hamdullillah. Thank you.

      February 6, 2012
    5. Yes, we know this process well.
      Your body is so finely tuned, Karuna. I miss you. I miss our wordless conversations, as well as the ones with words…

      February 7, 2012
    6. Anastasia Blaisdell #

      Wow, so sublimely, potently written, Dunya…words only you could write. It makes me….feel good, and feel understanding recognition of something I know, but couldn’t find quite the creative “spot-on” way of describing it; this river of conversation… AAhhh! I love what you do, and what we do, and oh, how reading this makes me yearn and miss it amid my all too consuming responsibilities in life at the moment…Oh dear, may I return to it swiftly and with ever more dedication than before! I love you.

      February 8, 2012
    7. Anastasia, it is always there, but I am glad you miss it. Me too, when I go away. It is Home.

      February 8, 2012
    8. David Hammond #

      disturbed sleep. body awakes in the middle of the night having having succumbed to cravings of too much salt and sugar and caffeine . . . heart pounding, panting, ill-at-ease. mind helps out — suggesting a cup of freshly boiled water. calm begins to return. I can write this. I feel I will be able to return to sleep — deep satisfying rest, grateful for body mind learning to work together. learning to listen to each other’s wisdom.

      April 7, 2012
    9. David, what good teamwork ~

      April 9, 2012

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