Catching a handy ride to England on a private jet just now as you do, sitting with some friends – young, rich, successful ones, the conversation has veered surprisingly from high-finance, hot girls and upcoming destinations, onto longevity and the latest discoveries using stem cell and peptide treatment – that way people will be able to live longer and stronger. But until someone invents a pill that makes you feel and stay feeling consistently satisfied, because dissatisfied it doesn’t matter how much luxury you cosset yourself in, I fear they’ll just keep chasing a hollow prize.
Not that it matters that much – all of us are subject to the universal law of transience so whether you achieve what you feel you ought to have achieved, and even whether you’re fed by it deep in your soul, you’ll die anyway.
But it seems to me that even a single moment of true satisfaction, in the simple yet ineffable miracle of being alive in a human body, with a human mind, on a planet that still just about supports human life, at least for a brief while longer, just a single moment is enough to transform your entire relationship with reality for the better.
But that’s part of the point, the precarious position of humanity on this planet – this drive for improving every aspect of daily existence that has produced demand and hence supply of such luxuries as this very jet subtending my person at 40,000 feet above the ground even as we speak – and it’s all this heavily mechanized shit filling our lives, the cars, phones, flat-screen TV’s, jets, boats, stem-cell therapy and all the rest, and the extreme pull on the resources supporting it that’s rapidly denigrating the very support structure we depend on to survive.
But aside from the obvious – exercising awareness so you don’t squander water, electricity or anything else – developing satisfaction from within regardless of external factors, which after all is the only true satisfaction, if it catches on as a social trend, will induce a major reduction of the pull on resources.
How do you increase levels of satisfaction from within?
1 – strengthen your spleen chi – this provides the ‘earth energy’ whence derives the sensation of being fed by each moment just being alive. There are many ways and obviously it’s relatively complex but a dab of wasabi or horseradish on the tip of the tongue mid-morning each day helps enormously, as that’s the taste that stimulates spleen chi.
2 – learn to tilt backwards inside – this is the gist of my whole angle on Taoist practice and is without doubt the most important – this isn’t the time to discuss its full significance, suffice it to say though that all states of mind and being that are anything less than pleasing are sorted by practicing it.
And it’s the key to attaining to and maintaining a state of satisfaction. Basically the way to feel it is to remember you’re mostly comprised of water, hence your body is a vessel, Tip it forwards and the fluid gathers in the front – tip it backwards and it gathers in the back. Tilt slightly forwards from the hips and feel it gather in the front, then tilt slightly backwards and feel it gather in the back, just to differentiate. Then remain back.
This means you are now experiencing life from the back of you, and are able to bear witness both to life unfolding and to your reaction to your perception of it doing so from the back of you, which is where you get the best view. The back aspect of consciousness – the rear brain is where you access the power of the subconscious, which is omniscient – it’s only the stories you tell yourself in the forebrain that limit the otherwise limitless throughput of knowledge in order for you to keep making sense of it all.
Remain in the back sector of brain and body and your consciousness is unfettered – and one of the first chunks of relevant data coming through will be the knowledge that just being here alive, in a body on a planet in the company of many others similarly blessed is the be all and end all – it’s the gift of all gifts regardless of how high you reckon you score on the achievement, status, wealth and worldly-success chart in any given moment – feeling existence from the back it’s evident you already have everything you need and nothing is lacking – and you’re satisfied in the moment, free of the need to search in vain for satisfaction in externals.
This tends to set your energy field straight and makes you operate more effectively in the world anyway.
3 – keep breathing slowly and let each in-breath feed you with fresh life.
4 – desist from comparing yourself and your lot, as you perceive it, with others because no one has an ideal situation however much it looks like they do, plus you don’t have all requisite information by which to make an informed judgment anyway. You’ll find it far easier spotting when you’re comparing and then choosing not to, when you operate from the back.
5 – spend a few minutes each morning and night sitting or standing in silent contemplation purely to experience yourself in the back, as this will set you up for the day so you can continue this mindful mode throughout the day.
This in a nutshell is the mechanism of true mindfulness as opposed to the more fashionable cerebral version so contemplate it in depth.
It all comes back to the back.
Take a bit of time to consider all this dear reader, and it will serve you well.
With love, that Barefoot Doctor guy