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 

746 thoughts on “Tooth wisdom

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. It is amazing how staying present and in connection with our body opens up our awareness to understand and appreciate how much our body is constantly communicating and when we listen we are able to bring a true quality and foundation to our whole way of living.

  11. 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..

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. “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.

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