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 

748 thoughts on “Tooth wisdom

  1. “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.

  2. “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.

  3. “We ache and experience pain when we ‘do life’ distracted, half-hearted and on auto pilot.” This is so true Joseph, when we disconnect from ourselves we become lost and push our body through life which hardens in reaction. Committing to staying present I found very challenging at first as I was so used to living from my mind, but the more I took care to build a quality of presence with the small details the more this expanded to make a big difference in many other areas and to how long I could stay present for which supported my body to stay steady.

    1. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. “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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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?”.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. “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.

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

  22. ” 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. 🙂

  23. ‘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?

  24. What a powerful experience Joseph as a result of the extra care you now take with your teeth to find that your gums are now growing back. This definitely makes me ponder on what else could happen with the rest of our body if we dedicated as much care to other areas.

    1. Yes, I love this reminder too Meg. The more we take care of our body the better we feel and our body will let us know how great it feels. It is always so worthwhile to love our body to the max, listen to its wisdom and honour the messages we receive and I am sure our health will reflect this too.

  25. It is hugely significant that we can reflect and realise that every single choice and movement actually has a large impact on and is able to transform the world. On one level this is a level of responsibility that not many of us are willing to fully accept, because that brings attention to every single choice we make in our daily lives. If we have an impact on everyone and everything, then we are actually accountable to everyone and everything all of the time! On the other hand it is showing that we are not an isolated unit, helpless and insignificant in the face of huge issues in life. Immensely empowering.

  26. “Do you you always brush with care?” what a great question, for me I grew up thinking some things were a nuisance, took up time and were not needed. What I love here is that equally everything is not only important but equal therefore the care I take with my teeth brushing routine supports the care I take in every other part of my life.

  27. So we can do the action, perfunctorily and without presence, which will suffice on one level. But if we bring the quality of love and care to the movements we make, whether consciously or unconsciously, we move for humanity. The next step would then be to appreciate this and bring it in as a conscious choice.

  28. “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.” Loving ourselves to the bone – there’s a beautiful sense of stillness in this for me. Timeless and deep.

  29. Brushing your teeth for humanity – that’s a new one on me. But makes so much sense. If we do every little thing with a sense of purpose – and not just for ourselves – we support evolution for all.

  30. This blog brings to light the reality of ‘hidden consequences’ in every area of our lives. The consequences of being ‘absent minded’. It’s such a great reminder. Thanks Joseph.

  31. I have over the last 6 months been far more aware as I clean my teeth, taking particular care to be present and concentrating on the brushing and cleaning between my teeth too, basically concentrating on the detail, and as a result I am able to concentrate more on the detail with other things I do too, all from paying attention to my teeth first.

  32. I loved what you shared about how we may tend to settle for looking at the surface, but in the end life has a way of showing us always the truth underneath. It is rare that we can get away with unloving and uncaring acts for long as both life and our bodies tend to expose our ill choices as they move to re-harmonise and expose the truth beneath… a blessing for us all to learn to move with nothing but love.

  33. One of my son’s inspires me everyday with how he brushes his teeth. He sits down and takes his time covering every surface, he never rushes it, no matter what he has on, he factored it into his morning routine, flossing every tooth with equal care. Although I am deeply inspired by this blog and my son, I find the challenge lays in having presence whilst completing this task. I can tick the box and brush and floss most days but the love and care is often missing and I am multitasking, showering whilst brushing, finding my clothes for the day whilst brushing etc.. This blog is a wake up call, I am ready to change the world, one tooth at a time!

  34. Very very inspiring Joseph. Looking after ourselves serves the whole of humanity whilst disregarding ourselves harms not only ourselves but everyone. If we all wake up to this truth the world can and will be a very different place.

  35. The tooth simply reflects what happens in our whole body and even every space that is not lived in our presence… it ends up occupied by others.

  36. So what is it that overrides the simplicity of looking after our body and/or following some simple steps from a medical professional. For me its when the outside world crowds in around me, making me think too much, being too ‘busy’ in my head, and losing that simple connection to myself.

  37. Super power presence – just one of the many super powers we can access when we accept that we are so much more than what the eyes see.

  38. Do I actually bring my whole attention to every thing I do, in every moment? Definitely work in progress but always great to be reminded Joseph. Lately a practitioner said to me how all this, not being present and thus thinking, is poisoning myself. The example of your teeth and gums is exactly that, imagine what it does to our whole body.

    1. The poisoning of oneself is the marker of the level of responsibility that goes with looking after ourselves. A topic that is down played in our current world and our levels of illness and disease speak volumes in this department.

    2. That would be a great question to focus on today – do I actually bring my whole focus and whole attention to every little task I do today – no matter how small or big it is?

  39. Staying present in every moment: something I am so aware I do not do. But starting somewhere small, like with brushing teeth, that takes all of five minutes (times two or three) out of my day, can set a precedent that can be built on.

  40. It reminds me of the many moments in the day when I check out, not paying attention to the minutiae of my daily life, allowing a bit of plaque to build up here and there almost unnoticed.

  41. “Do you spend an equal time in every spot?” This stopped me in my tracks as I read it as I realised I have a picture in my head of which teeth need more attention. I am now feeling to do a little tooth study today to feel how much I am taking care of each and every tooth as I brush.

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