Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of April 17, 2006

Filling the Down-Time

Interludes of passivity punctuate our day. More often than not, our passive states do not arise from fatigue, but rather from the need to balance and not always be active, or from a situation like waiting that does not demand our full attention. This non-fatigue type of down-time presents a prime opportunity for certain kinds of inner work.

The physical ease of down-time naturally allows the sensitive energy to arise, especially if we give our attention to it by relaxing into the experience of being in our body, opening to its basic aliveness, to sensation. This kind of sensing practice blends well with down-time, co-opting it into our spiritual path. Through inhabiting our body, resting in sensation, we remain in the present, less prone to identification with the various wasteful, frustrating, and destructive habits of thought and emotion. On the contrary, simple presence in our body renders us open to natural joy and offers a foothold in a higher, freer mode of living.

Although our inner work may include practices aimed toward the spiritual heights, the simple practice of sensation always remains a fundamental gateway into the now. A foundation of robust sensation creates the platform from which all deeper spiritual work can be effective. Because the practice of sensing integrates easily with daily life, we can return to it again and again, until it becomes our second nature. The stronger our sensation, the stronger, clearer, and more joyful our inner life can be. The peace and stillness of consciousness rest on the ground of sensation.

For this week, notice situations that do not demand all your attention and fill those down-times with sensation, with presence in your body. Turn your attention to your body, to its aliveness, and be in it.


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