The Seeker: Mindfulness Living – Chapter 1: My Journey with Dr. Buathon Thienarrom

The body is the home of the mind, and once the mind is restless, the physical body is under tension. The body and mind are interconnected, and tuning through the body awareness is the tool for mind transformation.”

Dr. Buathon is the Wellness Practitioner and the founder of Sukkasart Institute of Healing Arts from Thailand. Dr. Buathon has the extensive background in Nursing, Psychology, and Health Sociology. Her approach to health and well-being is based on the holistic practice with her boundless effort in delivering an integration of body, mind and spirit. She has undergone extensive training and draws upon her expertise in Taoism, Sound Healing, Tibetan Medicine, and Mind Training. 

Luxury Society Asia has chances to work with Dr. Buathon in the past years and we would like to share about here series of experiences to our members!

Chapter 1: My Journey

I began with a passion for a happy and healthy life, and to find the connection between body and mind to become “one.

My journey went from the studies of nursing, mental health and psychology and thereafter to Taoism, Buddhism, health sociology, and Tibetan medicine. I gradually discovered what holistic health and healing truly entailed and eventually created ZenNaTai, a unique approach to holistic healing that means ‘the state of freedom and emptiness’. This approach focuses on the three minds of head-thinking (cognition), heart-feeling (affection) and gut- awareness (intuition)

“The concept of healing is based on the dynamic relationship between the body and mind, and that “the mind plays an essential role in physical health.” I was trained in various practices of alternative therapies, such as therapeutic touch, Reiki, crystal healing, singing bowl therapy and Pranayama breathing. These techniques provided me with strength and clear understanding through my path of personal development and healing practice”.

My journey as a seeker started when I was a little girl growing up in the country-side. Each week I followed my grandmother to the temple on Buddhist day to practice meditation from the Thai Buddhist monks and to get their blessings. During one of these visits, I recalled a memorable conversation with the senior monk:

  • Venerable: Do you wish to see the exam paper?
  • Me: Yes, of course…
  • Venerable: Every night before going to bed, sit and breathe in and out very slowly and just follow your breath till you can see the exam paper
  • After one month of practicing,
  • Me: Venerable, I still cannot see any exams.
  • Venerable: (with his smile and humble reply)You should keep the practice till you gain the insight for an exam.

From there, I kept my regime on this breathing practice from time to time, till I discovered  that I have acquired great concentration when I studied for my master’s degree, that I able to have a deep sense of understanding toward my studies and I can “capture” the exam.

I also find that I can better understand people’s thoughts when they try to express themselves, indeed this is a great gift for me. I realize that I have developed these abilities from my daily practice of simply concentrating on the breathing and using the mind to follow the flow of the breath into the body; it may seem easy but it takes some time to practice connecting the physical and mental state as “one”.

Since then, I have searched for various masters to understand the deep meaning of life and to connect with higher sources of energy. While I retain the same practice and regime, each day has different sensations. Some days, I felt so great and full of energy and other days, I felt very tired.

  • It is like tasting food; with your tongue sensing all the varied tastes from the food and the nose absorbing the scent of the food.
  • With all the five senses mindfully involved in the eating practice, we shall enjoy the food more than just eating while looking at our phone or with our mind preoccupied with other thoughts.
  • Thus, this practice can be a simple mindfulness practice in one’s daily life.

Thus, I began to investigate the reasons for the different sensations or moods I feel each day. As a Buddhist, I use prayers and chanting often to be able to achieve the experience of the happiness or mindful state (heart opening sensation) and I try to formulate my practice to attain this sensation daily. However the mind conditions vary day to day; it takes me awhile to understand that once the mind is full of “stuff”, it is hard to allow the mind to relax. Thus, even with the same practice each day, the mind will still not attain the same mental state.

From my understanding of psychology, I understand that the mind accumulates “unfinished business”, which is the key to how our mind is conditioned to any stimulants or outside situations.

That is, the mind interacts according to the repeated patterns or conditions that we have accumulated; alternatively, we can call this as attachment or conditioned-mind. Each day, the mind interacts according to our past attachments or conditions unless each of us is able to overcome or detach the previous patterns with the awareness mind.

Certainly, each of us takes some time on the journey to understand and realize the awareness mind. Once you are able to experience the awareness mind, it means you attain the mindfulness.

In fact, our body is the tool of the mind to practice. This is because the body has sensations; it is able to feel hot, cold or pain and other sensations. In some mind training practice, the body is referred to as the container of the mind. I would like to share the symbolic thought for the body that if you refer your body as a company, and all the cells in the body as each individual staff of the company, do you have any chances to connect or greet each individual staff in the company (or to all the cells in your body) to ensure that each individual cell is happy and seamlessly working throughout the day with joy and happiness? In this gesture, any sensation from the mind is reflected on the body, which can produce happiness or suffering, and of course once the physical body is in pain, how will the mind retain its happiness?

Once the mind is not happy, most of us feel that the cells are deflating. This is manifested in our physical state of being, as feeling low in energy, exhaustion or tiredness.

Simply, it means that the physical body energy cannot encounter with the air pressure (or so call negative energy around us), which makes us feel drained and mentally exhausted. We also find that we cannot concentrate well, and we can feel some pressure in the chest area which will result in shallow breathing.

This is because the heart is closed to save energy (on the “save” mode). At this state, the body is under pressure or “stress”. In this state, we become deflated unless the body and mind are able to rest or cope with this situation, for example, by feeling the hope of moving on again. The pick-up from mental energy is then able to simulate the physical body to unwind the whole situation; this can easily be seen as the “fight or flight” response.

To this point of my understanding, training the mind is the key to overcome all the physical and emotional tension, and to achieve mental clarity and positive awareness, which appears to be a practical outcome in our journey to seek inner happiness.

My journey continues: by seeking for any practices that maintain the calmness of the mind as foreseen at the deeper level of intention. It thus allows me to experience the different states of mind from various social cultures regarding the effects of perception and expectations. It is not easy at all; however it is rather interesting to understand others from their point of view (or “lens”). To me, this is a very good form of practice of compassion toward others in trying to help people from the perspective of who they really are.

It also takes motivation to encourage this practice by letting go of self-ego and to have kindness toward one’s own self by not being disappointed or upset by others with our own expectations when we become kind to others, or simply, the trendy word of “ self-love”.

I maintain my journey on simple breathing practice and try to understand the wisdom from this practice by observing the change in me through my mental clarity. It seems to have a clear thought and be able to capture things through the real senses, and this amazes me to continue the practice.

For my professional practice as a trained nurse, it gives me better instinct how to look after my patients after their surgeries or to understand the real symptoms as some of their sufferings are manifested from their mental states rather than their physical infirmities. Thus I ensure that I motivate my patients to do their breathing exercises after their surgery. As it is quite common that everyone is afraid of pain, and if the patient is able to move on the first day, they will have less contra-indication after their surgery.

  • To me, this is an act of pure intention to encourage others to start their journey after their traumatized experience. Certainly as the person who have encouraged others to start their journey, I may sometimes have a tough time as my patients do not follow my advice, and that can lead to frustration instead. It is thus important for me to keep my intention pure and to let go of the ego and to accept the challenges that the patient is facing. It is also important that I do not feel as the loser, but rather keep my focus on how best to manage the situation.

Then I turn to the study of comparative study of Buddhist psychology and counseling psychology, to try to understand thought patterns and how to change one’s thought patterns. During that period of time, I only understand patterns of emotions and how people are stuck in their emotional cycle and cannot moving forward, due to the influence of thought patterns on their mind. If the mind does not let go, the pain in the heart remains and is manifested by tightness in the chest. This will result in shallow breathing thus repeated, it leads to a person having low physical energy, and they find that they do not have sufficient energy for transformation or change, or in Buddhism approach so call as “karma”. It took me many years of practice and finding my own self to able to connect all the pieces of this puzzle together.

To this point, please allow me to share with you my simple breathing technique to enhance your journey of reading this book.

Lie down and relax, imagine yourself as one piece (like a balloon), take a slow breath into your body and try to recognize that once the air flows into your body which part of the body starts to move or expand. Similarly, observe the sensation during your exhale, and keep repeating, observe your breathing rhythm within your body. It could consider as a small journey that you are witnessing the flow in with the air as a journey in your body, and starts to notice your feelings, sensations and thoughts that may occur during the practice.

However, the most important focus is to continue with the breathing, just follow the air to flow in and out of your body. Try to do it 10 minutes to be able to escape from your busy thought and recharge your mental energy.

I hope that everyone will do this practice and keep your diary to enjoy the progress.…stay tuned for our next Chapter story soon…

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