Monday, July 20, 2009

Ohm...The Zen of Ghost Hunting

I’ve always been absolutely fascinated with the mind/body connection and how it’s possible for one person to feel immense pain and another one a “nagging bother,” how one person can have an adrenalin rush on a rollercoaster and and feel like he's conquering something and scream with joy, and another can feel scared out of his wits and scream in terror.

Some people are very attuned to their body’s signals and notice being short of breath, feeling weak, and not themselves, and others are oblivious and only notice things are wrong when they have a heart attack. The former person is ideal for a ghost hunter; the latter is not.

Our relationship with our bodies starts at a young age and is promoted or disregarded depending upon our parents’ attitudes about their physical selves. You begin your trek into listening to body signals; drinking water or ignoring hydration, mindlessly eating in front of the TV or seeing food as a preparation and celebration of earth’s bounty in modest portions, by the example your upbringing has given you. People who are in the moment can realize when these habits are wrong and decide as an adult to do things differently or they can continue the family habits per routine and fall victim to the same health conditions.

How in touch or out of touch a person is with his body shows outwardly through his grooming, muscle tone, overall health, vigor, and aging. So, he may be pulling the wool over his own eyes by ignoring these things, but everyone else sees what’s going on because they’re not in the same state of “dis-ownership.” (Don’t you love when I make up words?)

There is a zen saying “the way you do anything is the way you do everything.” Someone who can ignore his own internal cues can also ignore his children’s cues, his partner’s cues, the economy’s cues, his boss’s cues, and other great hints that we’re given along the way to warn us. Some call it “signs” or “fate,” others call it “karma.”

If you ignore your “check engine” light on your life’s panel, then you’re doing so with the fate that you are simply driving faster and arriving sooner to your disaster. Paying attention to your body is paying attention to the other details of your life and results in a higher payoff in well-being, confidence, and self-sufficiency. The payments come back in how others regard you, how you regard yourself, the example that you set, and your overall health. It’s like the ripples in a pond, the reaction to one pebble being tossed, far reaching and stirring up the contents, changing the pond forever.

So, it’s by no stretch of the imagination that some folks are better adapted to being successful ghost hunters or psychics or healers depending upon how good they are at understanding and explaining their body’s reactions to stimuli, both external and internal. I am always suspicious of people who disregard their body’s signals and shovel down a couple Big Mac’s before a hunt and then wheeze and gasp around the hunt site. This is not a person who is “in” his body. To him, the body is just a place to house the brain and a general nuisance. The brain and body must be in an active relationship to be able to pick up external clues and act upon them, both in your personal life and in your ghost hunts.

Ask yourself how often in the day do you stop and look at the food you’re eating and not the television or some other diversion. How often do you drive to work and actually recall the entire drive without having a mind full of “when I get to the office, I need to do this and that?” Being present while in a haunted space and being present in your body and noting its cues from chills and goosebumps to hunger and fullness, are all one in the same.

Being able to be present and aware is a practice that can be advanced through regular meditation. To be in the moment is critical as a ghost hunter. There is nothing worse than someone who’s thinking of tomorrow and next week and missing important environmental clues, i.e. sounds, temperature changes, static electricity, etc., or people who sit like zombies through reviewing video. The more time you spend in the “now,” the more you notice the good stuff and the bad stuff. The good stuff you appreciate, i.e. your cat sleeping on a windowsill, the smell of fresh-baked bread. The bad stuff you decide to do something about like the numbness in your fingers when you’re sleeping or the ragged hem on your jacket.

We dream of tomorrow and reminisce about yesterday and that’s part of our day and shouldn’t be ignored, but many days we can start anticipating the work ahead of us and finish it reviewing all that went wrong with the day, and never really encountered one moment of presence. It’s a wonder we’re motivated to repeat it the next day.

Ask yourself how present you are in your day. Some people begin with listing the things they were thankful for that day. Those things they were thankful for were tiny moments of being present and recognizing the little things. It improves your relationship with yourself when you credit your day with having pleasant surprises. It works in relationships too. Children and companions like to be noted for the little things they do and that helps them to feel better about their selves and better about your presence, as well.

These principles of being alert and in the moment, which are required in ghost hunting are also meditative practices and good for your overall well being. If you can just be present when you eat each time you eat, you will discover weight loss without even trying by being attuned to hunger and fullness. You also learn to appreciate things like the pretty sunset on the way home from work and clues that your spouse might be having a bad day.

It pays off in more ways than just the hunt, it pays off in quality and quantity of life.


  1. I agree with you in so many ways! Being present in your life is indeed the celebration of it! Especially about the eating part. While i suffered from bulimia i could never stay aware of what i was eating(it was too painful) and even now after all that work and improvement(and medication!) i still feel more comfortable eating in front of a screen!
    And your response in my blog was so accurate! If we focus on the bad stuff, we miss all the good ones. It is as simple as that. If we focus on our failures we discredit all the steps forward we took!
    Meditation is definitely a powerful tool. And it can indeed strenthen the connection of our souls with our bodies! This way we can hear the "wake up calls" easier.
    Be well.

  2. Georgina;
    You seem to have a pretty good universal view of the world and your place in it. The super key to happiness is applying that to yourself, giving up perfectionistic expectations and being unaccepting of mistakes. I like to compare it to Martha Stewart. Women in general dislike her because she acts too perfect and never makes a mistake--she's not real. But, women love Julia Roberts who stumbles over herself, babbles, and laughs at the wrong times. It's our flaws that make us sexy. Good luck being present for your food. You're Greek so that should be a very cultural thing--that sort of focus on from earth to table and family surrounding. The Mediterranean diet is a great one too. Sometimes there's strengths in these things--just eating from your own lineage's diet will keep you healthy and happy. I've started reverting to more and more Scandinavian and Scottish ancient diet items myself because that's what nourishes my DNA's needs. We see that a lot in Native American Indians, if they eat their original diet, they become quite slender and healthy. Our bodies really haven't evolved for this crazy diet we've been eating. Our bodies are rejecting it and we're rejecting our bodies--bad cycle. Keep it up--I believe in you. You're one smart girl.