My daily walks are a combination of meditation and exercise. I practice the Alexander Technique, meaning I am acutely aware of how I use my Self. The Self includes the body and mind, the whole package.
As I walk, I keep my neck free and flowing up. I remind myself that the neck is a continuation of the spine, not separate from it. I am aware of my 3 dimensionality. I feel my “thickness” and my “width”.
After a few minutes of this awareness and loosening up, I think about my day, or whatever comes to mind. Occasionally a negative thought will arise, or I will dwell on an unresolved issue in my life.
If I am careful to keep my body free and balanced during these thoughts, I have noticed how much freer my mind is in dealing with them. I prevent my Self from disappearing into the abstraction of thought, where the world becomes something other than where you are now.
Thoughts can be insidious in this way. Thinking can go on automatically and habitually in the back of the mind. Many of us live with thoughts constantly churning and unbalancing our bodies. Emotions are reactions to thought. Thought always affect the body. It emanates from the body and involves it.
You cannot raise your hand without the whole Self being involved; your entire body and mind are involved. This is not to say that you must focus your entire being on raising your hand. No, but your whole being is a participant. It is the same with thinking.
We also tend to treat thoughts as “real”, as if they are actual events occurring to us at the moment. They feel that way to me if I am not careful. If I think of a dog attacking me, my pulse will quicken with adrenaline. If I think of my debt, my body feels heavy. Those are reactions to thoughts, not the thoughts themselves. If you maintain a balanced, free Self during thought, you can prevent those reactions from occurring without your consent.
So what do I mean by the “porous nature of thought”? If we are aware of staying balanced and 3 dimensionally free throughout the process of thinking, the feeling of thought seems less “heavy” and “solid”. The presence of bodily awareness helps us keep perspective of what thought is: an abstraction of possibility or emotion. Priority is given to the physical self, and a thought is just a passing concept.
Then, thought can pass through us like water through coral, or air through a fan.