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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Question on Instinctual gut feelings and indigenous peoples

Does anyone know of any particular indigenous peoples who lived by their awareness of instinctual gut feelings and had a cultural container for its people to do so? We were wondering this while pondering on the question of "How do we know that the consciousness of one's gut responses might actually be healthy as an evolutionary step for our species?" We know it is healthy in our lives and for the hundreds of people we have had the opportunity of coaching. But we really are not sure there is an example to point to in our far human history of an entire community who has gut feeling awareness and a healthy connection of the two brains—head and gut. Perhaps some of you have an idea on this? We suspect that cultures that have had more emphasis on feeling awareness may not have also had both gut and head brains consciously connected and communicating for maximum healthy living. Still, it is surely true that some cultures, as the Navajo, have been much closer than others to achieving a balance of human needs due to feeling awareness, and it would be interesting to know if any cultures had any indication of awareness of the gut instinct, through their art, rituals etc.




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3 comments:

  1. Try reading Geshe Tashe Tsering's book, Buddhist Psychology, for another viewpoint on what buddhists refer to as "mind". Interestingly, the chakra associated with mind is at the navel.

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  2. Oops, mind chakra is at the heart, not the navel. Senior moment!

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  3. Thank you, Charlotte, for joining us with your post and thanks for the reminder about Geshe Tashi Tsering. I loved his “The Four Noble Truths” and had his “Buddhist Psychology” book in my library before relocating to Hawaii. Will have to get it again, upon your suggestion to refresh.

    From what we can gleam from our readings and group studies, most Buddhist do, as your recent post suggests, locate the Mind chakra above the navel rather than the navel itself, but this is not really in conflict with our work with the navel area because the compassion of the heart (or any other higher chakra) can only be opened after the hara—gut, navel chakra is clearly conscious so the body-mind connection is in sync and the body-mind split is healed. So, perhaps in more ways than not, we are on the same tract as Buddhist Psychology. Perhaps our difference, if it really is one and not just a difference in semantics, is that we suggest that the body "Is a part of Mind", at least while we are in it in this physical existence. And that our lifetime purpose of bringing spirit into matter requires consciously feeling into the here and now through gut instinctual reflections and listening to the gut voice, which is perhaps a Western version of chakra meditation.

    You are bringing up some very important points and I think your so called “senior moment” is really part of your intuition toying with the confusion we humans all seem to have over the spiritual and psychological functions of the gut and heart centers. Thanks for talking about this as it is something we discuss in our book “What’s Behind Your Belly Button” at length because it is a confusion and stumbling block, we feel, for most of us and humanity at large. We have felt that the heart has been given the credit for the intelligence of the consciousness of gut and this intelligence truly needs to be understood for the human species to evolve into its highest potential, both culturally and individually.

    Except from "What’s Behind Your Belly Button”:
    "The third chakra of the body is located in the solar plexus starting just below the navel. It is considered the place where the essence of life and energy circulates in the body. According to Dr. John Conger as long as our energy is blocked in the solar plexus, we are forever stuck in our emotions, with our feelings and thinking split off from each other. He further posits that with this split of body and mind, we can never find the vitality of our own center, nor can we fully experience the love and compassion for others of the heart center. This explains the importance of centering on the feelings in our solar plexus to unblock its energy flow.
    With a profound new awareness of the essence of their inner being and human nature that was experienced in the Somatic Reflection Process, people expressed a feeling of compassion for themselves and others. This was followed by a release of tension in the body and a return of vital energy. With a greater feeling of self-acceptance, people indicated that they felt free again to be themselves and to make decisions about their lives. It was at this point that we found people began to experience a lack of confusion and a union of their thinking and feeling functions, consistently reported that they felt calm and centered with body and mind as one, and experienced a greater feeling of caring for themselves and others. People then expressed a feeling of a flow of creative energy and intuitive thought concerning what they wanted to do with their lives, and they were able to make career decisions and other personal choices that lead them toward healthy growth and development.“

    We are very interested in further study in cultural anthropology relating to this topic of how specific cultures have lived honoring the instinctual needs of the human being and the gut as a center of life energy and essence. We welcome all suggestions for reading and any idea and certainly feelings on the subject

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