The ‘Mind Check’ is something you find in various traditions from around the world. In the way we are doing it we are taking our inspiration from European Schools of Fascination and Mesmerism. This is something that you want to get into the habit of doing throughout this course whether we mention it or not.
At the most basic level this is a self appraisal to see where we are at mentally, emotionally and physically. We take a moment from ‘doing’ to actually look at the thoughts that are flowing through our mind, to feel the emotions and acknowledge them and lastly to take notice of the sensations that our body is sending us.
We do not dwell on any of this (it should take no longer than a minute or two), we simply turn our attention to it and make this a habit before and after every practice session. Our practices are like laboratory experiments, we need to have data before and after, we need records (our journal) and we need to pay attention to recurring themes to see if these are positively or negatively influenced by the practices.
Every practice has this ‘Mind Check’, before and after, then we journal our discoveries.
The first area we will look at is the body to ensure that we have a good base to work from. With meditation practices we will of course be doing a lot of sitting and this can take its toll on practitioners. For every practitioner that says the holy energies of their guru protects them there are another 10 with knee and hip damage from prolonged periods of sitting and general inactivity. There is no need for this to happen when a simple routine is easy to implement. Additionally I feel that if balance is the central theme of the Bardon system then literally becoming a god on your cushion but walking around in a fragile untrained body certainly does not seem balanced to me. What follows is just a small sample of absolute basics to bring awareness and sensation to the body that then leads to strength which in turn leads to stability and mobility.
Basically we are building mobility, strength and stability additionally we want to build in the idea of this push and pull sensation. So on a simple exercise like a lunge we would not just be bending the leg to 90 degrees we would be pulling from the front foot and pushing from the rear foot into the lower position. To come back up the process reverses so if you think here in this example the feet are the endpoint that need to be actively pushing or pulling never just passively ‘sitting’ on the ground.
So in any exercise we do here, think about applying forces to what is full and what is empty as it all leads into electric and magnetic work through the soft tissue at a later stage.
A. Feel the Floor
Here we start with becoming aware of the floor beneath us as mentioned above, we need to feel how pushing into this floor has a corresponding impact on the legs in terms of where the pressure is going. As you press into the floor you want to feel the force in the groin area, if you feel it in the knees then keep experimenting until you can get it to the groin. This is important as walking can be an amazingly healing exercise or one of the causes of our injuries. If someone is walking on their heels with force going into knees, with tight ankles then something has to give. In this situation the knees will have to become super mobile which is not their role. There begins the path to future surgeries.
This simple beginning then focuses us upon being aware of our body in the space that it occupies and how it interacts with the things around us. Proprioception with a slightly different approach. This is something not obvious but worth investigating.
For example when we bend our arm does the elbow bend and the hand moves or does the hand move and the elbow facilitates its movement?
When we go upstairs does the foot lift to the next stair or does the hip/groin region pull the foot up? The difference is visible in how people walk and go up stairs one creates a bobbing up and down of the head and the other shows a head that stays even with no bobbing.
If these ideas sound strange then experiment, get up and push your feet to the floor, walk normally then walk with a force pushing into the ground. Feel the force come into the torso? Feel it propping up the torso? Play with it until your waist and solar plex are taut.