contemplative-girl_1024x7685This past week I was at Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires. What a beautiful, gentle place, there in those motherly mountains of Massachusetts … I went for a walk yesterday on the grounds and found myself at a crossroads in front of a babbling brook. I was suddenly overcome with emotion, and the only way I can describe the feeling is by describing what happened in my stomach … I felt it rise and expand in an instant– it swelled with a kind of mini-explosion of joy that flooded my entire system, and then washed over me the way the water in the stream below me was washing over the river rocks. I was immersed in a sensory bath– the sun on my skin, and sparkling through the trees, dappling the forest floor, the pungent smell of winter becoming spring mud, coming alive again, birthing … the gorgeous, calming sound of the brook, playing its way down over the rocks into a larger source, its destiny someplace far away and of course, the breeze blowing through my hair and cooling the tears on my cheeks that were streaming down into my mouth– and then the taste of those salty tears. All such a cycle, all so connected, no separation between my tears and the water flowing through that brook. No separation between my skin and the air around me, the sun on my body, the rich smell of the earth I was standing on.

And my thoughts now go back to what happened inside me when I came to that place — that clearing where I was overwhelmed by the simple, powerful, healing beauty I was a part of … what flipped over in my stomach– what the ancients called “True Mind.”
Never mind what we know as “the mind.” I am smiling as I write this … your true, thinking self is your feeling self, your intuitive self and it resides in your stomach, in your very center.

I attended a talk on “Clearing Energy Blocks,” given by a Doctor of Chinese Medicine, and most of what he discussed was how much of our body systems are controlled by the stomach, or our “second brain.” Whatever we think and feel, manifests in our bodies, and very often, more specifically in our stomachs, of course showing up as digestive disorders of all manner and variety– so many of which would be easily healed alternatively– with mind-body practices, such as yoga, Pilates and my favorites: Yin yoga and Waking Energy.  What most of us don’t realize is that we are our thoughts and our feelings. We ARE physical manifestation of the energy of what we focus on, and very simply, when something hurts us in our bodies, when something causes us DIS-ease, it is our body’s way of communicating that it needs attention. And usually, the antidote to the pain or disease is so very, very simple and obvious: movement!


Thoughtful, conscious, dedicated movement that helps us to move the negativity and stress that becomes stagnant energy OUT of our bodies to make way for new, LIVE energy. Most ailments and physical affliction is easily counteracted and radically altered just by moving, just by breathing consciously, by tuning in and taking care of ourselves in a loving, nurturing way.

Everything I did this past week came circling back to this idea– the notion of the True Mind, the place within us that always knows the truth and has its own timing and wisdom; the true nerve center of the self, where, if one listens, one can never go wrong.
We all know that feeling only too well– the feeling of “If I had ONLY listened to my instincts, I would have saved myself so much grief, but I allowed my mind to override my gut!”

Our true mind, is where our inner compass resides, and it is only when we slow down and tune in, when we listen to the rumblings and whisperings inside that we can truly step onto the path of self-knowledge, evolution and transformation. Sometimes, when we override our gut and make the choice dictated by the mind, we learn an important lesson— (sure, we can say that we invite a challenge that helps us to grow … but the challenge, the lesson always leads us back to the same place) and that is to always listen to the True Mind the first time around!
What do I do to slow down and listen? I do Yin Yoga and then I meditate … and that’s just what I did when I went for this beautiful walk in the woods; I climbed right down into the brook and perched myself on a rock in the middle of the action, and I heard the birds singing and the water gurgling and flowing and then I listened to the voice inside.

3 Responses to “True Mind”

Your entry has touched me deeply. I walked my dog through a remote nature preserve yesterday, feeling guilty for abandoning my daily chores, etc. I smelled the mud , felt the sun, looked at the bottom of the crystal clear, cod stream and marveled at how I have misplaced priorities when something as ordinary as piles of laundry could take precedence over the miraculous transformations of spring in northern Michigan. I love how small I feel when in the natural world, free of modern innovation, I laughed at myself as I took a picture of a trillium bud, I usually don’t see them until they blossom….I miss so many marvelous transformations. Jennifer, thank you for your words, wisdom, beauty, inspiration, and guidance.

Charisse Tietjen
April 21st, 2010

Jennifer, beautiful and inspiring words. We all seem to be able to find that quiet place in nature at just the right time. Mine was last spring while walking a trail and coming upon a small stream in an open meadow. In that quiet moment of serenity, I stared upon the sun lit stream for several moments until I calmly entered an expanded state of consciousness where everything around me appeared within the embrace of glittering lights moving in a gentle rhythmic pattern. Subtle energies filled my mind as a perfect peace and oneness was now upon me. My senses began to expand into a gentle sensibility filled joy and the peaceful presence of my surroundings. Today, that experience is still fresh in my mind.

I wish you well.


April 27th, 2010

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