What we focus on grows…maybe our day would be better couched in a more open-hearted point of view….which is even beyond the concept of “positive” or “negative”. What would happen, if for today, I practiced simply BEING with whatever life presented to me…instead of judging it as good or bad?
I am reading Zen Mind, Beginner’s mind for the seminar training I am in with the Diamond Approach, Ridhwan School (www.Ridhwan.org). Today I was reading about the waterfall of life, and that each of us is a drop in the totality of the waterfall, always one with the water, even when we often feel like just a separate drop. Here’s my simple reflection:
Reading this settles my soul somehow. I feel a quiet calm, emanating from the truth that my soul is held in the great waterfall of life. I am a particular in the totality of life. I am held in the universal oneness within a unity that prospers by me being “ordinarily me”.
What is this expression of “Sheila”? Who is this woman now, in this moment? What does it mean to live and express the totality of reality through this particular vessel? What is my contribution to humanity? My service in life? My calling? Not in a grandiose or proving my worth way; but in the simple act of giving and receiving, like breathing, in and out, continuously…until there’s no more breath.
What does it mean to inhabit our body? To live like an animal, whose presence is in the tissue of our physical experience? To know ourselves as embodied creatures?
This morning I had a glimpse of this. In my morning meditation practice, I began to land in my pelvis in a way that sitting became completely effortless. Something aligned in my spinal column, and I was simply upright. I felt my pelvis plug in, or I felt myself plugged into my pelvis, in a way that settled my physical presence into a natural uprightness. I know that years of yoga, meditatoin and belly dancing have helped me to develop muscular holding for this alignment to happen. It was as if everything came together and clicked somehow in my body. I “got” something on a physical level. I could feel a deep support of my body to just be. It was like a sandbag in my pelvis supported the rest of my body to just relax and let go. Sort of like one of those blow up, punching clowns that we had when I was a kid. Continue Reading
What would it mean if I really understood (in my bones as they say) that my body is supporting me? If I really got that my body is here in exactly the way it is meant to be? This it is reflecting to me the support that I need by showing me the support that it needs? What if I really treated my body as the vessel of my soul, the house of my spirit; and followed its lead when it is communicating to me?
I have a place in the back of my spine, mid back, that, in yoga, screams out when I push it too hard in plough pose. This morning I could feel an empty space in that part of my back. After sitting 30 minutes in meditation I could feel the way that it felt like there was no support at that part of my back. Continue Reading
There is a deep yearning in our nature, to return home to the truth of who we are. We yearn to lose the external pomp and circumstance, the pretense we hide behind; and meet the deeper, inner reservoir of our souls. The vessel of our body holds a secret passageway back to ourselves. But these trails are unmarked with the usual road signs we tend to follow. There comes a crossroad, for each of us, a place where we choose between remaining as and reacting from who we “think” we are or as we have always been, and trekking into territory uncharted by conscious understanding. Continue Reading
I wrote this poem over a year ago, after a 10-retreat with Hameed Ali, my spiritual teacher (http://www.ahalmaas.com/). I was reminded of it today, as I was sitting with an emerging layer of imprint in my body, a layer deeply embedded in my nervous system, repeatedly uncovered after weeks of meditation and inquiry and penetrated today after an hour of somatic inquiry with a close friend. It seems to be an impression from a precognitive period of my life, perhaps when I was an infant, or even earlier. It brings me in touch with a terror that takes my breath away, a fear for my very survival, and the front of my body contracts as it tries to contain this feeling by controlling the shape of my physical form. I understand that I am working with a level of trauma that Peter Levine’s work addresses (http://www.traumahealing.com/somatic-experiencing/peter-levine.html). Continue Reading
Now that I have designed and led 8 Belly Intelligence workshops, I can see that much of the impact of the introductory level material for participants is about changing one’s relationship with our body. The most compelling outcome is a change of perspective: one from seeing and treating the body as an object, to moving and relating with one’s body as a resource. What does this really mean? And why is it important?
In the western world view, which is steeped in the Newtonian perspective of mind over matter, the intellect is seen as FAR superior to the body in terms of perceiving, understanding, and knowing about the world. For most people, the body is not even on the radar when it comes to reflecting on one’s experience. Most of us simply see and treat the body like a tool. Continue Reading
“Presence of Mind grows out of Presence in the BODY.”
That’s my quote. One day it literally grew out of my tissue and into my conceptual mind. Simple and profound, easy to intellectualize and hard to live. Every day I wonder why it’s so damn easy to forget it. Why I seem to let the chatter of my thinking mind be the foreground of my experience. Why I runaway into the past or future, but have a hard time staying in the NOW. Continue Reading