Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of September 18, 2006

Dropping into the Body

Our body gives us not only our physical life but also a venue for our inner life, such as it is. So often we collapse into our heads, following some chain of thoughts, daydreaming, scheming, rehearsing, complaining, whining, worrying, mulling over, remembering, or ruminating. Just as often we fall into destructive emotions, into anger, fear, greed, jealousy, envy, lust, grasping, disgust, disdain, contempt, superiority, inferiority, indifference and the rest of the emotional spectrum. When we abandon ourselves to such thoughts and emotions, we lose our center and let chaos rule our inner life.

The simplest remedy consists of dropping into our body, enabling our center to reemerge by locating ourselves in our physical presence. We “come to” in our body, awakening from the thrall of the thoughts and emotions that had so thoroughly mesmerized us.

By what mechanism can this radical, in-the-moment change come about? First an impulse arises from a deep place in us, a part of us uncomfortable with being lost, with having vanished into thoughts or emotions. That impulse reminds us of a better way to live, a way accessible now. If the impulse comes strongly enough and if our commitment to living in presence has taken root, we respond. From the wilderness of self-propagating thoughts and emotions we collect our self and enter our physical home. Dropping our center of attention into our body, into the sensory experience of being in our body, if well-practiced, is a natural, immediate, and effective first response in our transition from dispersion to presence in this moment.

For this week, practice dropping into your body whenever you notice yourself lost in thoughts or emotions, whenever you feel discomfort with your dispersed state. Drop out of the world of distraction and into the world of collected cognizance.


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