Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

 

Inner Work


For the week of: February 4, 2002


Inhabiting the Body

The most obvious characteristic of our life is that we have a body, on which we are wholly dependent. Our body conditions our entire experience to such an extent that we consider our body to be our self. Yet despite this overwhelming bodily nature of our life, we rarely inhabit our body. We typically live at some inner distance from our body, identifying instead with our thoughts and feelings.

To inhabit our body does not merely mean feeling “at home” or comfortable in our body, which happens for most of us shortly after adolescence. Inhabiting our body means being home, being here, being present in our body, being the core experiencer and actor of bodily life.

The possibility of inhabiting our body comes through contact with our energy body, with the energy of sensation that gives us our kinesthetic and proprioceptive bodily sense. The sensitive energy connects us, as the core experiencer, with our body. This contact can grow to include our entire body through the continuing practice of sensing, of perceiving the sensitive energy in the body. The aim of this practice is to have an ongoing in-the-body experience.

The importance of inhabiting our body, especially the whole of the energy body, consists of providing us with a solid base in the present moment, a home from which to pursue the spiritual path. Without this wholeness of bodily sensation we tend to flounder in and out of the present, we lack stability of awareness, stability of presence. Full-body sensation and attention to the entire body are mutually reinforcing. These, in turn, bring wholeness and stability to our presence, enabling us to be completely at home in our body, to truly inhabit our body, and thus to inhabit our life.

To be able to come to sensation of the whole body takes practice. If you have been working with sensing parts of your body, you may be prepared to work at whole body sensation. This ongoing practice of active and full presence in the entire energy body, if pursued diligently, proves enormously beneficial to our path.


     

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