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  • Max, I too, believe the Wim Hof method is an wonderful discipline. I started it during the beginning of the pandemic. I’m still amazed at the incredible calm that comes over me after the cold shower. I hope the readers try it for a week and see for themselves. The breathing technique has absolutely contributed to my health.

  • This week Richard Rohr’s meditation has been all about the body and how the early church made a wrong turn in dismissing it in favor of the spirit instead of integrating them. And now Max is at it. My universe is definitely telling me something here.

    • I feel the same way!! I’ve loved this week’s meditations by Father Rohr and now this, definitely a sign! – I’m dealing with ANOTHER cancer diagnosis- and definitely need some way to handle it all. I find Max’s writing so helpful and of course, MDK! BTW, God willing, I should be OK, but really, enough is enough!

  • I, too, developed an interest in getting grounded in physical awareness with Reggie Ray, at a retreat in Red Feather Lakes north of Boulder. In the context of these meditation retreats, he was teaching getting grounded via body awareness and breathing, Soon after, I moved to Boulder, where, at the time (early aughts), Richard Freeman’s Yoga Works was revered in the Buddhist community.

    Yoga practice (including breath regulation) became, and remains, one of my two essentials for feeling happy and appreciative in an aging body. The other is distance running. I now live in Madison, Wisconsin, which has many running trails, often very lovely; some are cleared of snow during our long midwestern winters. These are things I prioritized in choosing where to retire.

    Since this is MDK, I’ll also mention that Madison has a large knitter’s guild, and a nearby wool and sheep festival each fall.

    • Lovely!

  • I don’t know if it is exactly getting into the body but I find both long distance running and swimming make me very aware of my body and it’s capabilities and limitations. Both are quite meditative.

    • And running without earbuds/headphones. Just you and yourself. I love it.

    • I totally agree.

    • This! Exercise can be so wonderfully meditative if you allow it. One of the reasons I’ve always liked swimming is that it’s just you and your thoughts.

  • I immediately thought, swimming laps. Hitting the place where you could just go on and on and on.

  • This is superinteresting, Max. I don’t know if it’s because of pandemic or the times or a need for lighter mood, but I’ve been in motion a lot more in the past three months. I started doing interval workouts from the internet and am (for the first time ever!) thinking about it not as “I need to get into shape/lose weight/wear old pants” but rather “How’s my mood now?” after I do my moving around. Just paying attention to the way I feel is incredibly motivating. I never regret the effort, ever. I’m totally smug about it! Walking the neighborhood is a part of this Get Moving thing on days when I’m not flailing around on the floor. It is such a help, all this motion.

  • Great, thought provoking article. Appreciated.

  • I love cold water. I love being in my body in lots of ways, here’s one: attention to flow/dance. I can exercise but if I can bring a little attention to dance/grace into it, it makes the joy so much more.

  • I have been swimming in Lake Superior in August. In the body is all you can be is right. I will have to check out Wim Hof’s book. I read James Nestor’s Breath which was really enlightening, and he discussed Wim Hof. Can I do the cold shower??

  • Tai chi is another powerful way to get into the body.

  • I like Bar Method (barre workouts) because they are so challenging to me, I have to concentrate very hard and that leaves no room for any distracted thinking.

  • In response to Max’s question as to how I get into the body. I practice the Feldenkrais method where focus is on the feeling the movements done from inside – for example, when I lift my arm what details are involved- arms, shoulder, shoulder blade, ribs etc. – can apply to knitting and actually have taught a class multiple times around this.

  • I put “Yoga for Seniors” by Shelley Nicole (YouTube) on my Smart TV. It is 28 minutes long, gets you in touch with your body and ends with Savasana, the Corpse Pose. Your body is completely relaxed. Stress is released.

  • I tend to use Deirdre Fay’s work on Becoming Safely Embodied. Bringing kindness plus awareness to bodily sensations, plus clarifying my reactivity, really helps me stay in my body when emotions get too much. Then I can use lots of techniques: yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, road biking, and life, to stay present in my body.

  • Earlier this year I was in a functional restoration program for chronic pain from autoimmune disease. My OT taught me about feldenkrais, and it changed how I live in my body. I was very suspicious about it—it seemed too good to be true.

  • I find my calm in just being mindful while swimming. No cold water needed. Just by focusing on the sensation and movement helps me recharge.

  • I too spent part of my youth in the Boulder Buddhist community (But in the early ’70s). Some of the group eventually moved to Halifax, but I was mesmerized by the suit-wearing, attitude laden men. The women who cleaned and cooked for Rinpoche (the beloved one) made my teenage mind totally crazy. Hey, wake up!
    Now I follow a teacher who has a great sense of humor, is kind and reasonable.
    Knitting can truly be part of a mindful practice.

  • My father taught me as a child to float on my back in the water–it must have been at a lake. I don’t remember my dad ever being in a swimming pool. I love to just float and be. Let the water be the only sound in my ears, close my eyes and drift. Sooo meditative. I’ve done this in lakes, pools and oceans. Bliss

  • Thank you for this reflection. I use guided meditations and look forward to checking out those mentioned here. Always good to take a break and check into your body.

  • Interesting, the Sounds True podcast this week is with Wim Hof. Meanwhile, how do I get into my body? A three-minute dance party with Nikka Costa singing Everybody Got Their Something always, always works. Try it!

  • Well, first boyfriend lived in Boulder, and his father was a bodybuilding lawyer, terrifying in aviator sunglasses.

    I recently had different into the body – I had covid, and I remembered a story my mother told me.

    My mother had a friend who had survived a camp in WWII. She was not Jewish – she had been taken and was being kept as a prime example of the “good aryan german” but that didn’t mean she was safe. She came to understand that anyone who showed the slightest sign of illness would disappear. An older person there taught her to keep in touch with the “robot” that controlled her body and to make sure to focus on it and keep it well. She could tell all her troubles to it and it would know what to take care of.

    During my quarantine, when I wasn’t really awake and also not really sleepy and just in nowheresville, I focused my breathing. In was the immune cells gathering strength, out was them battling the virus cells, the pause between breaths was the rest before they started gathering strength for the next offensive.