"It will not come by waiting for it. It will not be a matter of saying 'here it is' or 'there it is'. Rather, the kingdom is spread out upon the Earth and men do not see it." Jesus Christ (Gnostic Gospel of St Thomas)
When was the last time you woke up and thought to yourself 'how wonderful - my head feels totally healthy and free from pain'? When was the last time a friend, colleague or loved one asked you how you are and you answered something along the lines of 'my respiratory system is totally free from any congestion and functioning perfectly, thanks for asking'? When was the last time you were asked how your day was and you answered 'I had a number of unremarkable but nevertheless very pleasant encounters with several fellow human beings'?
We don't do that much do we? What we tend to do is use the stock answer 'fine' which has long since become altogether meaningless and is just a cover up for the fact that you haven't really been paying any attention.
Contrast that to waking up with a headache. That grabs your attention straight away, right? 'Ooooh, I've got a shocking headache,' you are thinking. Or you go to work with a cold or some other relatively minor ailment and someone asks you how you are. Now you are ready for them! Now you have some juicy description prepared, because you have been paying attention to that ailment ever since it arose.
Now, I am not saying there is anything wrong with paying attention to illness or pain. On the contrary, attention should be given to them. Pain and discomfort are the body's warning signals that something is amiss. Their very purpose is to grab your attention.
My point is that there is no sharp signal to tell you that you are perfectly healthy. There is no fanfare from the body each day to announce your remarkable fitness to you. Rather there is simply a lack of signals. The body is silent on the matter. If you want to pay attention to or become aware of your state of health, you have to develop that awareness yourself. There will be no sharp reminders. You have to decide to focus awareness there. But most people do not do that. They focus on warning signals and are totally unaware of periods of good health, completely absent, not paying any attention.
This kind of selective focus can make life seem very miserable indeed. It creates the illusion that life is just one long string of problems and ailments, when in reality probably the opposite is true. Most of the time you are healthy, with occasional illness. Most of the time life is smooth running and effortless, with occasional obstacles.
Try it for a couple of days just with your body. OK, you may feel a little foolish telling others, so just try it with yourself first. When you have no ailments whatsoever just focus on various parts of your body and feel the effortless relaxation that is present. Just for once, pay attention!! Feel what your wonderful vibrant health feels like. Say to yourself 'Hey! Head totally healthy! Lungs totally healthy! Arms and legs totally healthy!' Maybe you suffer from a chronic illness. Even then, you should be able to find some parts of your body which are illness free. There will be no sharp signals to get your attention, but you can deliberately focus your attention anyway. This is something we rarely do, but just try it right now. Find a part of your body that is totally free from any pain or tension and focus your awareness there. Feels wonderful, doesn't it?
How much we are missing! It is just a matter of shifting perspective.
Now, I don't want you to take this article as a form of 'positive thinking'. Pain and illness are a natural part of life and without their contrast we would not be able to discern how wonderful vibrant health feels. You would also not have any warning signals that change is needed. So keep on listening to pain and when it comes try to address its cause. When you realise it is a helpful warning, it is possible to even welcome pain. It is there to help you.
But try to remember also to turn your awareness towards health and effortless living whenever and wherever they are present. It will require you to be alert and aware, not sleep walking and paying attention only when pain, problems or discomfort jolt you awake.
Once you have tried it just a little, you will want to stay awake and aware more and more.
"Nature doesn't bang any drums when it bursts forth into flower, nor play any dirges when the trees let go of their leaves in the fall. But when we approach her in the right spirit, she has many secrets to share. If you haven't heard nature whispering to you lately, now is a good time to give her the opportunity." Osho
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