By Kevin A. Sensenig
The mind and body are inseparable. But so is the person and the tree outside the window.
They might be distinguished in terms of time: at this time, both mind and body are functioning
together, and the tree is not (now) visible. Yet, it is mind and body and tree that is functioning.
So what is relevant, at any given time? So long as the tree is (safely) outside – and not through – the
window (say from a strong wind), perhaps one’s contemplation is relevant, considering the room or a
book before one. Or perhaps one’s consciousness-and-action (one) are relevant, to an act. And is this
act one of not yet having gone, going, or having gone? Recall again that in an act, consciousness and
action are one.
Or perhaps the tree is firmly standing, and the sun is up, and there is the clear sky and a shadow on the
ground: and you can see the tree, and notice, and reflect.
Is a realization relevant? Do things seem the same, or similar? Do things seem different, or has there
been a change? Is there another person in the room and is there the relational, with or without that
person? These are all perceptions of the mind, and the mind is inseparable from the body.
These types of things serve to define or guide or raise awareness of where we find ourselves here in the
world, and what we ascertain or work with. Such reflection is, I feel, useful in determining deeper
truths and perceptions; and these in terms inform our further thoughts, and speech and action. How
This indicates ways we can work with what I call ‘all of the above’, and provides one potential
background for it. Mental states, emotive states, intentional states, and physical states. Thought space,
energy states, perception, speech and action, and patterns of speech and action. The relational and the
infinite-relational between things. The issues of the mental, existential, social, societal, experiential,
and physical. The grades of dilemma or centeredness or joy we might have for these; and including
significant dilemma, part dilemma, no dilemma, and no-dilemma.
The philosophical, the spiritual, the psychological, the speculative on how we think and why, the
narrative, open dialogues, the medicinal, and financial and social resources may in all or in part serve to
be part of this.
Your situation, or a situation you’ve found yourself in, may be relevant; and so might your own or
another’s contribution to your then-situation, or present-situation, or future-situation. Many things may
be involved, including you; and again if you can penetrate to the infinite-relational, you may see more
dynamic possibilities and realities emerge.
When we start to scrutinize these things, and our feelings and perceptions, and our thought, speech, and
action, as things to consider, and their results and outcomes, and what is really happening in the
relational, we may be able to help sort and straighten things out. Greater clarity and deeper insight
might be a goal and natural outcome.
We as individuals are involved. Others are involved. The mental and the physical worlds are involved.
We might seek to be participant in this world, and look for resource and reflection and engagement to
be able to do so. With just the right type of waiting, or action, or reflection, this type of thing may
happen, and you may find yourself participant in a new or different way. This type of reflection – and
stillness or latent activity or manifest action – may lead to joy and centeredness, out of dilemma and
sadness, or to help others, out of compassion or lovingkindness, or simply a desire to share an informal
I’ve been through the psych system. I’m still working with it. Meaning and orientation were key. I’d
suggest looking to those among your psych team and organizations and advocates, family and friends,
church and mosque and temple and sangha and secular group, and in society, who can provide these.
Along with ‘all of the above’.
All the best.
1. These comments on an act, consciousness, and action are from Nagarjuna, in his book
“Fundamental Wisdom Of The Middle Way”, translated by Nishijima. Nagarjuna was a ca. 250 CE
Indian Buddhist meditator and philosopher.