Friday, November 19, 2010

Nourishing Your Inner Being

"Nourishing Your Inner Being" is the title of Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche's latest webcast which you can watch here. I love that he even asks this question, "how do you nourish your inner being?" There are a lot of similarities in the various traditions of spiritual practice and some differences.

These days I find myself gravitating to the positive, nourishing aspects of practice. Probably for a couple of reasons. I am familiar with suffering and have a personal tendency to be a bit of a glass half empty type. So to bring this body mind into balance it is helpful to pull a little in the direction of the sunny side. Breaking my habitual patterns means focusing on the positive. And I want to be clear that this does not mean putting on a pair of rose coloured classes and a flowered mu-mu and stumbling around giddy with crazy joy.

But nourishing my inner being is something that appeals in the form of building my own strength (physically, mentally and spiritually). In his webcast Rinpoche talks about the 4 qualities of a nourished inner being: peace, creativity and expansiveness, power, strength and confidence and fearlessness. He asks "what quality do you especially need in your life right now?" If perhaps we are feeling stuck or frustrated then maybe we need creativity to approach this. How can I be of help to any other beings if I am not nourished myself? If I am depleted and crabby? Perhaps as an example of what not to emulate??

And in true Bon spirit Tenzin Wangyal describes how we are nourished by the elements of water, fire, earth and air. If we feel suffocated in our lives, maybe we need more air? Try it. Deep nourishing breaths? Time in the great outdoors? Are you someone who loves to swim? Perhaps you find your nourishment in water. Fire is the element that brings creativity and love, warmth and enthusiasm. You probably know some firey folks or maybe you are one?

Rinpoche always goes back to the source of nourishment as stillness of the body, silence of speech and mind and spaciousness of our minds and hearts. We connect with these he tells us through our awareness. The old simple but not always easy.

I always find that the great outdoors is a nourishing place for me. Lately a wander around my pond, a trek in the bush can lift both my spirit, improve how I feel physically and bring a delicous sense of peace to my day. A little hanging out with some tall, straight fir trees is truly nourishing for me (something I learned to pay attention from my wise qi gong teacher). And how do you nourish your inner being these days?


  1. thanks for sharing this. i love when the person includes creativity amongst peace and so on.

  2. Beautiful, beautiful teaching and meditation by Wangyal Rinpoche! Exactly what I needed to hear, so thank you for sharing that link. It was a wonderful reminder that it is the awareness of the spaciousness of inner Stillness that truly nourishes. So now to "The Cave" for some deep rest in Stillness.... Christine

  3. How timely! Living out of hotels and eating horrid food over the last week made me so aware of the connection between meals and mood! That made me look more closely at the importance of mindful consumption if I want to "fire" up my energies for the coming months. As I write this, the fresh-baked bread is cooling on th erack and the roasted squash soup is simmering for the all-day meditation event tomorrow which will include outdoor walking meditation!

  4. I nourish my inner being through the systematic cultivation of wholesome thoughts, attention to body sensations and breath, slowing down, eating mindfully and well, getting enough rest, and serving others.

    I nourish my inner being by staying away from mind and body poisons.

    I nourish my inner being by being mindful, as much as possible.

  5. hello Monica - it does seem important to include creativity in our the attributes of a healthy human being. It seems to me all these qualities play back and forth.

    MeANderi - I always think of you when I listen to Tenzin Wangyal. The way you talk about awareness is so very much the same as he expresses it.

    108 - That sounds like a nourishing all day meditation! It's interesting isn't it about the connection of healthy, nourishing food and the mental, physical and spiritual connection? Sometimes I think it shouldn't matter or I'm too lazy to practice restraint or awareness but even just those components of eating turn it into a spiritual experience. And as you mention, how much it supports our energies.

    mindeep - I am always humbled by the intensity of your practice! It is inspiring!