Mini Lesson – Practicing Presence and Pooping

In this mini lesson I will give you a very simple practice that anyone, and I mean anyone, can do. It does not matter how busy you are, at least once a day you will have to go to the bathroom, you will have to sit down and go number 2, as my parents call it.

The next time you have to go to the bathroom, instead of taking a magazine or the newspaper with you, instead of sitting there thinking about what you will do or where you will go next, just sit there and practice awareness of your physical body as it expels waste.

I have started doing this myself recently. Normally I want to think about anything else, or daydream. It is resistance to being present minded, to a practice of awareness and presence. Now I see this for what it is, and without criticizing myself, condemning myself, judging myself, feeling ashamed or guilty, I just gently, but persistently, bring my attention back to my physical body and what’s going on during this process.

I usually have the window open if I want to practice breathing, but if the smells of the process become overwhelming, I can just bring my awareness into my body. Everything my physical body feels as it pushes this waste out. There are so many sensations, focusing on them can keep my mind occupied for a long time, and in the meantime I am being fully present and living in the present moment.

An additional benefit is that there is no strain. I am not rushing off somewhere else. I am fully with my body’s process of expelling waste, fully aware and present. So I will never again get a hemorrhoid because I was pushing and straining out of a desire to be somewhere else.

Instead I right there, allowing my body to do its thing, in its own natural time, according to its own natural processes, and I am just being aware of this, just observing it. I know exactly when my body is finished because I am so tuned in, and for 5-20 minutes I have not only meditated, but practiced awareness. I am following the instructions of Ram Dass to, “Be Here Now.”

So the next time you need to go to the bathroom, leave all the distractions behind. Go in there, focus completely on what you body is doing, and just observe. Just be with the process. Just be aware of it, and, if conditions allow, practice your breathing. Take a moment to breathe deeply in and out.

This is a way for those who say they have no time for mediation, no time to practice awareness, to do so, at least once a day, and maybe several times a day. It is a beneficial, healthy practice, both physically and spiritually. It is also a process of loving and accepting yourself as you are, as your physical form, instead of feeling ashamed of your body, causing you to rush through its functions.


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