Tooth wisdom

by Joseph Barker, Web designer, writer and doodler, Melbourne, Australia

As I lay back in the seat, a nurse placed a cover over me. I took one last look at the picturesque scene of the sun setting out the window before a great big screen was moved in front of my face. “I don’t want to disturb you, but what you see next may make you upset” said Doctor Max. Then he switched on the screen to display the full uncensored, gruesome scene. What was in front of me was a close up of my teeth. Bacteria and build up was everywhere, all over the inside of my mouth, in between the gums bubbling away like some Icelandic water spa.

This made me sit up a little stiff in my seat. How had this happened? After all they looked good to me, and hey, don’t you know, I don’t even eat sweets! But as Doctor Max asked me a few further questions, it became clear my teeth regime was not quite as squeaky clean as it seemed. “Do you brush inside and out every tooth?” “Do you methodically floss in between?” “Do you spend an equal time in every spot?” “Do you you always brush with care?” Well…no. I had to admit, that I did not, more often settling for a quick scrub around whilst thinking of something that happened to me that day.

Isn’t it odd that we can be consistently told the best thing to take care of our body, but then go right out and do the opposite thing? How many times have you been to the Dentist and been guided how to take care of your teeth, only to forget these words as soon as you walk out? And let’s be honest, do you actually bring your whole attention to this task every night? When you stand in front of the mirror, do you stay aware and enjoy being there with you? Do you feel each brush, each move? It’s such a simple task to do, for a species as intelligent as us shouldn’t it be easy?

Yet, in my experience it is not. When I start to brush, a few seconds later I often find my mind elsewhere. Perhaps it’s a thought about what happened at dinner, what is scheduled tomorrow at work, or even a ‘good deed’ that has occurred to me. Ultimately the effect is the same – I am off in a day-dream. In recent times I have attended presentations by philosopher Serge Benhayon. Here what he offers is the simple fact that we are naturally designed to be present in everything we do, and that living ‘absent mindedly’ is a large part of what is causing us to be so unwell. This made immediate sense to me. You don’t see a dog considering what happened last week and what it fancies for tea tonight – it is right there with you, completely in the moment. So why is it we behave in different way?

Inspired by Serge’s words and Doctor Max’s TV show, I turned over a new leaf with brushing my teeth. I chose to stay present and to keep coming back to my body when I brushed. This needed to happen a lot! Like a wayward dog on a leash I found I often needed to call my mind back. But over time I have developed a rhythm where it stands out if I’m not there doing the action with all of me. Recently I have started to ensure I spend a lot longer on each section,  consistently brushing with a quality of care for me. Also I’ve begun brushing after lunch as well as breakfast and dinner.

Recently I went back to see Doctor Max, and we were both blown away by the changes in my toothy hygiene. And thanks to his impressive big screen, we could compare before and after. To his amazement and to mine, he could tell me that not only had the excess bacteria disappeared but the gums which were receding before had begun to regrow. If he had gold stars I think Doctor Max would have given one to me. And of course, I felt pretty pleased too.

This experience got me to thinking that if being present and aware with my tooth brushing was this powerful, how could this apply to the rest of life? After all, if I find that I escape into mental thoughts so often when brushing my teeth, is it only happening here? Or is it happening all of the time? When I walk along thinking of that email, when I listen to others while thinking of the argument I had earlier on, or even conjuring up something smart to say? Wow what if the reality is that I am not truly present in much of the day?

If you consider the beautiful quality you can feel when you move in harmony and in tune with you, where you feel every cell and every molecule as you move, with your mind marveling at it all, it starts to make incredible sense that we ache and experience pain when we ‘do life’ distracted, half-hearted and on auto pilot.

And consider for a moment the yucky bacteria I saw on the big screen – the ‘hidden consequence’ to my absent mindedness forming there behind my smile. Well what if there are similar unpleasant and unhealthy consequences happening everywhere in our lives? What if they are all there but we are just choosing to be unaware? In my experience, whilst we may settle for looking at the surface, in the end life has a way of showing us always the truth underneath.

After attending another workshop by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine the other day, a friend shared something with me that stopped me in my tracks. She mentioned how Serge had described how his daughter Natalie brushed her teeth ‘for humanity’. At first this conjured up pictures for me of a superhero with a cape and an unlimited supply of floss and dental tape, whose superpower was brushing her teeth. But as I considered it, the more I could see that this was not just a funny throw-away phrase. For if you understand that everything we do has consequences that either harm or support ourselves, and if we are all connected to everyone else, then surely what we choose affects everyone and will help them to support themselves too?

If you stop for a minute and start to consider the actual effect we all have in this world – wow – it is so powerful. The quality we act in is directly and absolutely linked to the life we get to live. This way of seeing us all as deeply interlinked gives a wider much greater understanding of our true effects, and to subjects like global warming. For after all how can our effect in this world be only limited to climate? What about our own internal eco-system for a start?

So what would our day be like if we brought awareness of our super power ‘presence’ to each and every act? It may sound crazy but what if we wash our hands, sit down in our seat, drive our car and have something to eat, all understanding that our every choice is transforming the world?

So many of us will walk the streets with placards, sign petitions and donate. But what would life be like if we simply dedicated ourselves to being present during the day?

And if we find this is hard, isn’t that interesting and something to investigate?

For what if the beauty, the jewels, the joy, the gold, lives not over any steep incline or hill but right here, right now in the richness of our presence?

And so as I type these words, I do it with all of me, to my bones. And can feel this is the love we all deserve. That the key to life lives in every small thing. For me this started off with a simple tale of a tooth. But my question to you is: Just how much wisdom does every part of us have to bring if we but choose to be present and appreciate our power?

With appreciation for the dedication, care and quality Serge Benhayon, Natalie Benhayon and all Esoteric Practitioners bring.

Read more:

  1. My teeth and what they have taught me
  2. Responsibility and dental health 

717 thoughts on “Tooth wisdom

  1. We are responsible of the quality we bring to the simple activities we do during the day and this is our offering to ourselves and humanity. This is something worth to consider, as we are all together in this field of life where everything has an impact in everything.

  2. Being present with ourselves is so simple and yet can appear to be one of the hardest things to do. Appreciation for what we bring just by being can help. The how we do what we do when not trying and being ourselves.

  3. Climate change is a huge topic and a political football. We have Airlines boasting of how they have reduced their carbon foot print, Countries wheeling and dealing with each other financially trying to offset their Carbon Emissions or selling their quota to the highest bidder. There is even a theory that if we killed all the cows in the world that would greatly reduce Carbon Dioxide because their ‘flatulence’ produces so much of it. But what if the way we are in connection with ourselves or not is the biggest cause of Global Warming? What if the energy we are giving off as we go about our daily business is actually the major factor?

  4. There’s beautiful wisdom here: ‘the key to life lives in every small thing’ We brush our teeth everyday, for most of us morning and before going to bed, as a minimum. With awareness, this activity has the potential to be so much more as it reflects the quality we’re in and how aligned we are when we wake up. Most dentists give us a method to brush our teeth, for example pay equal attention to each tooth as you go. Joseph’s article brings attention to not just method, but quality and purpose. We’re shown how every activity is an opportunity to advance ourselves and humanity.

  5. Joesph, I’ve learnt something from reading this blog. We take many things in our day to day life for granted. And brushing our teeth is one of the activities we often perform with other thoughts going on in the background.

    I saw a dentist who suggested I brushed my teeth for at least four minutes, brushing every tooth with attention, and I must admit, since incorporating this in my rhythm, my teeth feel different. I don’t always get it perfect, but it has been something I used to see as a chore.

    Brushing our teeth for humanity is a biggie and why not? Why aren’t we considering that the things we carry out from the time we wake up, to the time we take our bodies to bed, is for the rest of humanity and not just for us only – it is a chain reaction after all.

  6. Beginning to understand that when we have an intention to do something, say to brush our teeth and stay present, then a few seconds down the line, we’ve abandoned it, it has not yet become a standard lived from our body. Only when it becomes a consistent practice and lived, does it become a new standard.

  7. Each time I read a blog, I’m offered something I need to feel, see or hear. and often again. This morning I’m shown how the quality we’re in when we brush our teeth, can reflect how present we are in other areas of our lives. A powerful reminder there’s gold to be had when we stay present with ourselves, whatever we’re doing, where-ever we are. Thank you Joseph.

    1. Kehinde, I loved what you have shared, we are ‘offered something’ and every blog is another ha ha moment, and often an offering to assist us with an issue we are experiencing. These blogs/sharing’s have pearls of wisdom for the many, if we are open to it.

      1. And considering we don’t have any ‘issues’, these blogs invite us to look again and honestly at how we’re living.

  8. That last question has really stuck with me today. I can’t say I have fully felt what my presence and power brings to appreciate it. But sitting here now it feels very settling. In a world so revved up, this is gold.

  9. Eventually self-care will turn to self-honouring for us all and it is at this point that we will all get to feel that what we are in fact honouring is God. We will all come to remember that there is no such thing as Him and us as we are Him and He is us. Same, same and no difference.

  10. This is really interesting ‘Here what he offers is the simple fact that we are naturally designed to be present in everything we do’. And I can really relate with what you have shared as I am not always present when I brush my teeth or don’t allow myself to properly take time with this so as you say if I am doing this (not being present or taking time) in one part of my life where else am I doing this? 😶

    1. I have noticed in the last week or two how I have allowed my mind to wander when I have been brushing my teeth. A lovely reminder here to stay present and to get to grips with what I am trying to avoid and to do this is simple, simply take care over each tooth and feel the quality I am brushing it in!

  11. Oh wow. Whether we like it or not, everything we do, every tiny detail and quality of our movement is for everyone, no exception. There’s responsibility we say we are not aware of therefore entitled to ignore, but it’s still there, it does not go away. And when we look at those who have embraced this responsibility and live with such integrity, it’s so easy to feel the power they joyfully live with, whilst we avoid responsibility and keep coming up with excuses and making our life a struggle.

  12. Well said. It starts with small moments of committing to stay present and each moment, once moved and lived, this way of moving and being present then becomes our normal till we are present for 2-3-4 minutes. It takes a little while to unravel the patterns of distraction.

  13. I agree, it cannot just stay with brushing your teeth, the opportunity is just too great to see where else this pattern of behaviour may be playing out. Being present in the moment and realising that the way we move has an impact on others offers an opportunity for every moment to be meaning-full.

  14. Sometimes we need a TV screen to show us up close and in bold technicolour the horrors of the consequences of our distraction on our bodies! There really is nothing like seeing it for yourself, but how amazing that it had such a profound effect on you.

  15. Always a beautiful read, thank you Joseph. Today I realised I don’t love and appreciate my teeth and all they do for me, assisting me to nourish my body, giving structure to my face, helping me express words, and they are a beautiful part of my smile. My care for my teeth has really changed over the past few months with the support of a very caring dentist, but I can feel there is more love and appreciation to have for this body and for my teeth, and in that deepen the value I hold my body with and the care I give myself.

    1. I hadn’t clocked the importance of teeth you share here Melinda, but of course so obvious when you point it out. I have only seen them as simple tools to support with eating, tools that I must care for of course, but not tools that support to hold my delicate face together or show the love and the joy I am feeling through my smile or tools that support me to articulate how I am feeling and what I am thinking through the words that I wouldn’t be able to utter without them. Seeing the words delicate and teeth juxtaposed just now I can see how I have never equated my teeth with delicacy – but what if I were to embrace all of me as delicate and my teeth as part of that delicate expression? I feel you have opened me up to pondering on my teeth more and how much more in just thinking these thoughts my upper and lower jaws have let go a little and how when eating I can do this so much more gently and with so much more presence by simply appreciating that my teeth can be delicate too! Thank you – this feels like an awesome opportunity to travel some unchartered waters and to experiment..

  16. Great to re-read this Joseph, especially after a deep gum infection that led to a painful tooth extraction ever etched in my memory. Time to reflect on my daily dates with my teeth as they always show me the true state of my current relationship with the them and myself. Am I hurried or do I stay present with each tooth brushed? I usually begin with an intent to stay present, then whoops I’m off! Every activity is an opportunity to stay present with ourselves and this brings more love into our lives.

    1. Kehinde – I can so relate to what you are sharing. So often I lose myself in thought when I am cleaning my teeth rather than using it as on opportunity to really connect and be present! When I do pay attention to each movement the resultant feeling in my body is so much steadier. Thanks for the reminder to check in.

  17. Brilliant blog Jospeh, I really appreciate reading this again. You have shared some amazing gems and wisdom, not only about our teeth but about how we are with ourselves when we move throughout our day.

  18. “This experience got me to thinking that if being present and aware with my tooth brushing was this powerful, how could this apply to the rest of life?”

    A fantastic reminder to be present in what ever it is we do.

    1. When we are present with whatever it is that we are engaged in then the potential portal for God that we are becomes much clearer, as opposed to being locked in our thoughts, which has the effect of muddying our portal and rendering it less effective or even worse, totally redundant as a portal for the Consciousness of God to come through.

  19. “the key to life lives in every small thing” and if we do not take responsibility for our presence in every moment the metaphorical bacteria creeps in between the gaps.

    1. I agree entirely that “the key to life lives in every small thing”, which is why constantly having our eyes on the horizon or on the next perceived ‘big thing’ actually prevents us from accessing the gold that is right there under our noses.

  20. I like this sentence: “the ‘hidden consequence’ to my absent mindedness forming there behind my smile. Well what if there are similar unpleasant and unhealthy consequences happening everywhere in our lives?” What if a low period or depression or feeling tired or exhausted is not just happening but the result of how we have been living, not taking note of how we move, think, what we eat and so forth?

  21. Not wanting to see the details of our past choices can lead to alarming consequences as the body reveals the detail of the disregard we have overlooked.

  22. “We are naturally designed to be present in everything we do” – I feel the truth in that, but this is not how I experience my life most of time. And I can feel there being an on/off switch to be present, or not – as if to say some activities deserve my full presence and some don’t. How I pull off this complex maneuvering with such consistency and intensity against my natural design is a dedication in itself. It really makes me wonder what I am so desperately avoiding.

  23. A great reminder of the responsibility we hold towards our teeth, and the difference it makes in being present with every stroke of the brush, if we clean our teeth allowing our mind to wander, we are brushing our teeth in the energy of something that we have allowed in that affects what we are doing.

  24. Absolutely love the wisdom you share in your very inspiring tale Joseph. I love the many and varied places the the inspiration for change can originate from, in your case from a tooth. The messenger may be small but the message is huge.

  25. A great reminder that everything matters, from how we brush our teeth, to how we walk, to how we are in our relationships and at work: there’s no thing that we do in isolation, everything affects everything else. When we’re present with our bodies, amazing transformations can happen within, through and around us – simply because we’re awake and aware of what we’re doing, and so able to respond to whatever is needed.

  26. Thanks Joseph, I’m on a journey with my own teeth at the moment and have found consistency to go to the new level of care challenging to stick to – which actually doesn’t make sense because it feels great when I take care of my gums and teeth. There is so much on offer from your blog about conscious presence and the very real impact on our health and lives, “For what if the beauty, the jewels, the joy, the gold, lives not over any steep incline or hill but right here, right now in the richness of our presence?” This was very powerful to read also ” Just how much wisdom does every part of us have to bring if we but choose to be present and appreciate our power?”.

  27. To me you are also expressing how everything is everything, how every aspect of our life has to be treated the same. How I cannot consider the job interview more important than brushing my teeth for every detail influences the whole with either more love or harms with energy that separates us.

  28. When we focus on being in a certain way such as being present with one activity in life, like brushing our teeth, over time that quality of presence bleeds into other areas of life without even trying.

    1. Yes it is important that when we set a new standard in one area of our life, that we consciously carry it over to all other areas as well.

  29. We seem to think we are invincible until we get faced with a brutal reality. Often it’s only then we start to care for ourselves and do all the things we’d always been told to and knew we should have. Invisibility is a form of arrogance the body has to cop the consequences of.

  30. We all feel the effects when someone around us does something without being present…like slamming a door closed instead of closing it gently. It not only reverberates through our bodies but also their own most the time without awareness that they have just done that to themselves. Being present is medicine and not being present is dis-ease to the body.

    1. Anything we do without being in connection to ourselves and from there in absolute honor of the body is damaging for us and actually to everyone else. We first learn this in sisterhood with one other person and from there we learn how big this impacts the world.

  31. “Isn’t it odd that we can be consistently told the best thing to take care of our body, but then go right out and do the opposite thing?” – A great question and one I’m sure many can relate to, and it makes me further contemplate how much we value our body if we know what is needed to support it but don’t actually implement it…?

    1. It’s one of those confounding things that human beings do, the opposite of what is truly beneficial, caring and loving for ourselves. It wasn’t until I heard Serge Benhayon talk about the difference between spirit and soul that I began to understand what was playing out.

  32. “That the key to life lives in every small thing.” Right down to our particles that are a part of the Universe.

  33. What is so lovely about the human body is how responsive it is, as this article shows that with just a few moments of dedicated care, something which can seem overwhelmingly disastrous is turned around to actually be very confirming.

  34. It’s interesting that a few times recently I have started walking around as I brush my teeth and what is coming to me now is that I am running away from something I need to deal with.

  35. This is absolutely beautiful. Thank you, Joseph. What I am feeling right now is how much I actually do know, yet not choose to live that truth at all times. Simply move it feels like the way to go.

    1. What’s truly crazy is that we all know everything because in truth we are the living consciousness of God. But we are accomplished masters at feigning ignorance, so much so that we are seemingly content to live in a world that has daily conflict, suffering and anguish on a mass scale and yet throw our hands up in the air in apparent ignorance as to why it’s happening and how we can stop it. We know the solution to every conundrum and predicament known to man but we’re just too stubborn to admit it because it is all down to us and we’re just not prepared to change our ways.

  36. A great reminder that if we check out while we are doing something there are always consequences, and when we pay attention in full presence while brushing our teeth we are actually doing more than just brushing our teeth we are building a foundation of quality.

  37. A truly powerful message here Joseph, one that I feel is needed. A wakeup call to be fully present in all of our day.

  38. ” For what if the beauty, the jewels, the joy, the gold, lives not over any steep incline or hill but right here, right now in the richness of our presence? ”
    Interesting, so interesting its worth investigating, for the pay off is huge, if what is said is true.

    1. I had my wisdom teeth removed early – when I was in my late teens. But my wisdom has not suffered. 🙂

  39. ‘This experience got me to thinking that if being present and aware with my tooth brushing was this powerful, how could this apply to the rest of life?’ This is something definitely worth pondering on and something for me to look at in my own life.

    1. I agree Rachel, I liked the analogy too that like the bacteria hidden in Joseph’s mouth, what may be hidden in other areas of our lives that conscious presence could bring to the surface so we can lovingly deal with it?

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