Much of mindfulness focuses on  the link between the mind and the body  and for those with spiritual beliefs this is a three way link of MIND / BODY / SP{IRIT


We , in the west, see the body as a bio mechanical machine that breaks down or deteriorates over time. The impression is that servicing and replacing parts will keep it functioning until it reaches a point at which further repair is impractical.


This however, is only part of the story and in fact a clue as to why some of those breakdowns occur.  If the mind is the software that runs the brain which in turn runs the body  you have a complete system, unless you wish to include the spirit element which might be seen as the motivator that designs the software.


Accepting that  state of being  adds potential to understand why the body breaks down. We know that stress causes many illnesses  that damage the functionality of the body—headaches, digestive problems, heart disease, diabetes and so the list goes on. So it would seem that managing stress would help prevent the onset of some conditions. We could go further and presume that by removing stress we remove the cause of the illness and thus enable the body to cure itself or at least to get itself back into a normal state of being.


Recovery from illness is not just a physiological process, it is governed by the state of mind of the patient—someone who feels there is no hope of recovery will take longer to heal than someone who has a reason to survive. This is  simple demonstration of the mind/ body link. Investigating  and dealing with  why such a person should feel that way would itself be a therapeutic  intervention.

Sometimes the mind creates a belief in a person that they do not deserve to recover, it is working on systems of belief installed  when the patient was young that may overtime have been corrupted in some way—just like a computer programme. Correcting that thought process has a very substantial effect on the patients feelings and motivation. 

There is also another aspect to this in that if a patient does not appear to want to get well those around them may feel that their efforts are  less worthwhile, creating a general air of negativity which develops into a downward spiral.


Knowing that you as an individual are valuable is important. Relating to family, friends, social groups, community and wider institutions  gives a sense of place and belonging, creates a system within which to function and sets standards to be met.  This can be a great comfort or a great cause of  stress depending on how you as an individual relate to each layer of this system.


Mindfulness seeks to give you ways of observing, as well as acting; new ways of  acting that keep your world balanced and helpful to you. At this point you may be thinking “What does “Your world” mean—surely there is only one world”. Whilst we live on the same planet  our  view of the world and the way we interpret that in our actions is the sum total of our experiences. They shape our beliefs, morals, prejudices, likes and all of that then impacts on how we view everything around us. The term your world  is therefore very accurate, you may share some views with others,  your beliefs may concur with still others but it is unlikely that you will ever meet anyone who has exactly the same feelings about everything so in that state your world is unique: your reactions are particular to you, your motivations  will be a combination of factors that dictate how you will respond.


Stress comes about when you feel at odds with your environment—it is to fast / too slow/ too progressive / too conservative/ too challenging/ not stimulating enough. When we are  having mental stress  that shows in our body. Some things—like those listed above, we recognise but others are more subtle, less directly  recognisable and so we look for other explanations of why those symptoms exist.


 In a busy world  there is a temptation to “Treat” a symptom, often with drugs, this stops the symptom but does not address the cause so it will seek expression in another way. If the cause is not identified it will continue to cause problems . The fact of taking medication may cause further side effect  symptoms making it harder to find the root cause as time goes by.  If you have a burst pipe constantly mopping up the water will not repair the break in the pipe and doing so will just allow water to seep into yet more places causing even more damage over time.


Finding space to look for causes sounds like a big ask for many today , we mistakenly believe we don’t have the time to stop and look--- but if we do we get to see what is wrong, we have the chance to fix things so that we will have more time to live.


1234© Martin Williams 2015