Home The Ultimate RelationshipHumanity Upgrade Taking the Body for a Walk

Taking the Body for a Walk

The Neurology of Awareness and Self: Part Three

written by Rick Hanson December 30, 2019
Taking the Body for a Walk

Part Three: Taking the Body for a Walk

Indeed, the sage who’s fully quenched

Rests at ease in every way;

No sense desire adheres to him or her
Whose fires have cooled, deprived of fuel.

All attachments have been severed,

The heart’s been led away from pain;

Tranquil, he or she rests with utmost ease.

The mind has found its way to peace.

–The Buddha


That was all pretty intellectual, so let’s shift gears a bit to explore an exercise about the experience of the self, and the experience of releasing it to some extent. Then, in Part Four, we will explore the evolution and the neurology of the apparent self.

While the development of self-identity – and the individual personality that goes with it, linked to a unique personal history – is natural and innate in the normal brain, it also makes us suffer and causes harm to others when we set our own self against theirs.

The problem is not so much that there is a patterning of self in the mind and thus the brain – but that we identify with that patterning, grow attached to it, and cling to desires in terms of it.

In this exercise, we suggest that you start with a fairly brief meditation, and then get up and walk around some. But here’s the emphasis: try to do the meditation and the walking with as little sense of personal “I” as possible.

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