Inner  Frontier
Cultivating Spiritual Presence

 

Inner Work


For the week of May 27, 2019

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Walking In Wholeness

(Spiritual Walking: 2)

The experience of wholeness carries its own inner strength and integrity, while bestowing a feeling of completeness. The most accessible way into wholeness consists of sensing our whole body, being in our whole body. There is an organic, inner quality of wholeness that comes with being in our whole body, because our body is a whole. Walking offers a natural arena for the practice of wholeness because our entire body is engaged. At an obvious and fundamental level, in walking our whole body moves through space. With each step, with each swing of our arms, muscles and joints throughout our body spring into action. Our mind and senses note our surroundings and guide our steps. The whole of us can be engaged.

The phrase "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts" holds true for walking in wholeness, which is qualitatively different than sensing or being in a part of our body. We do not arrive at whole body sensation by building up piecemeal, by sensing our arms and legs, torso and head. That fragmented approach serves as a necessary step in our training to be in contact with our body, but proves insufficient for wholeness.

Whole body sensation requires more than that: our attention, our will must embrace our whole body, all at once. Thus it is not just the sensitive energy being spread throughout our body that gives wholeness. It is more the immediate attitude, the will to be whole in this moment that actually renders us whole. The sensitive energy follows our will, filling our wholeness.

It is like pushing the button on a spring-loaded umbrella: it just pops right open. The moment arrives and we choose to be whole. We suffuse our attention into our body, holding our entire body in the embrace of our will. Our attention entrains the conscious energy, which itself has the quality of wholeness. We include ourselves in that. The wholeness of consciousness and the wholeness of our body combine. Then here we are in our body, one seamless whole. And in that way, we walk in wholeness.

We can further work to maintain that wholeness moment-to-moment; after opening the umbrella of whole body will, we keep it in place. Fortunately, our body helps us in this. It feels entirely natural to be fully in our whole body. Indeed, it feels much more natural than our usual state of only sporadically and partially being aware of our body. We can relax into our body, into our whole body. Then it becomes a matter of not getting drawn away.

We can learn to let our thoughts flow on, and even to think intentionally, while still inhabiting our whole body. We can learn to see what our eyes bring us and hear what our ears bring us, while still inhabiting our whole body. We can learn to carry on a conversation, while still inhabiting our whole body. And we can learn to walk, while still inhabiting our whole body. Wholeness need not interfere with our normal activities. On the contrary, wholeness can enhance whatever we do.

The repetitive nature of walking helps. Each step becomes a reaffirmation that we are inhabiting our whole body. Each step reminds us what we are about and renews our intention. Each step reopens the world of wholeness, until we no longer wobble, until we emerge stable in our whole body.

For this week, please practice walking in wholeness.


        

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