Meditation, Mindfulness and How Change Stimulates Being Now
Mindfulness on touch and body sense are good for relaxation and a solid feeling of being, or self-identity and confirmation. They are basic to all life, but they are not optimal or even appropriate for developing broadband awareness or being now. Broadband sensing evolved to be receptive to changes outside our body.
I could be wrong but i think, animals don't require a sustained conscious awareness of their own internal body sense. I imagine it's there constantly in the background, and any changes would be registered, but usually these would be so slow that they do not require sustained attentive nowness.
Tastes and smells are a more subtle level of self awareness, We are so used to the taste of ourselves inside our own body, and the smell of our own out-breath, that we take them for granted. These are constants, and they are very interesting areas to explore and develop a deeper sense of self-identity - but mindfulness on these is not especially stimulating to awareness in the present moment.
I'm sure animals are intensly aware of the tastes and smells inside their own bodies, and they would notice all the subtle changes. And when eating walnuts, they would expect and recognise a different feeling inside to when eating worms. But this change would be common sense for them, because they cause it by eating something specific. It is not comparable with unexpected external stimuli.
Breathing is generally a constant repetitious movement, slow and steady particularly if you are consciously relaxing, like the heart beat, but far more obvious. Watching the breathing can be very good for relaxation. There are elements of being now and integration when following the breathing.
There are times when i let go of the breathing, and it becomes irregular as the lower brain takes over and adjusts my needs. These are the times when the changes are unexpected, -
at these times i find it easy and good to focus on the breathing and be now.
It's this unexpectedness which stimulates the simple nowness seen in animals.
I find it hard to just watch the breathing these days. For me breathing is intrinsically connected with smelling and the exchange of smells between the in and out breath. My sense of smell is not yet developed enough, this will take time, but already i feel a good sense of being connected with and even absorbed in the environment, when smelling ... and this feels very different, more alive and interesting than just breathing.
Animals would hardly be consciously aware of this exchange of smells. They would ignore their own out-smell. Animals would only be interested in the incoming smell. They ingest the scent, with every change of wind, searching for food or danger. Animals savour the incoming smell, and they search out all the different meanings behind the smells.
In the outside world smells can change quickly, especially if there's a wind. Trees, clouds, and other animals are seldom still - cats eyes and night lights are often only a flash. And if you aren't aware the split second the dog barks or a door slams, you'll have missed it forever.
Change stimuates our attention in a way constant or rhythmic stimuli don't. Humans habitually focus on anything which changes, and this typically stimulates learning and thought. Animals must 'focus' on everything and anything, in order to be ready to react spontaneously. And broadband sensing evolved in order to do this, to be receptive to and aware of movements and changes outside our body, with smells, sounds and sights in the immediate environment.
The easiest and most enduring, (and when you think about it, most obvious and logical) self perpetuating, self supporting method of being now, is with broadband sensing, or broadbanding, because it has to be done now. You can't think when you are mindful in the broadband way.