"On Embodiment & Evolution"
The way he treats his body, you'd think he was renting.
- Robert Brault
Back in the 70's I went for my first Rolfing session (a deep tissue form of massage - or body torture depending on your perspective - created by Ida Rolf). After several sessions my Rolfer said to me, "Michael, you're the only person I've ever worked on who doesn't realize he has a body." Those were the days of non-stop coffee, cigarettes and frenetic activity (well, stopping 1 out of 3 is not bad). Now, almost 4 decades later I realize how accurate his assessment was. My mind had bypassed my body, which had simply become a means of transportation for my head. While I have slowed down, I still have those days.
Like today, which started out all wrong! Noisy people, irritating events, feeling angry and anxious -- nothing seemed to be working and I kept getting more and more grouchy. I wanted to complain, blame or bite someone's head off, but knew that would only make things worse. I noticed that my body was tense and my breathing shallow. Perhaps, I could find some relief by going to the body. What would happen if I turned my attention to my breath, body awareness and movement?
Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness,
which unites your body to your thoughts.
- Thich Nhat Hanh
I take a deep breath and feel an immediate calming affect, especially when I bring attention to the pause at the top and bottom of the breath. Try it! I feel my shoulders drop, become aware of the pulse of my heartbeat in the palms of my hands. Each breath is like a warm soothing wave of kindness washing over me. Just seconds ago everyone and everything was annoying to me and with these few breaths I have found a sanctuary of peace and spacious awareness. I have a profound sense of aliveness as every cell tingles like high Sierra stars suddenly blinking on in the evening sky.
Conscious in-breath becomes my salvation, my life force - Spiritus - the Latin word for both breath and spirit fills me and heightens all my senses. On the out-breath I release everything that is not of this moment - Ahh, what sweetness - to empty and let go of all that seemed so important just moments ago. I fall into the natural rhythm of my own being. Peace in mind, peace in body - I am alive and connected to all life!
Anatomy is Destiny.
- Sigmund Freud
As I increase my physical awareness by reaching, stretching, and bending, I isolate different parts of my body, directing the breath to any place I feel tension, pain or a holding of energy. Again the sense of aliveness pervades my body and my mind becomes still. Something opens beyond my 5 senses; instinct and intuition become more readily available. I know that I am a part of something much bigger than I have ever before imagined.
Awareness of my physical anatomy brings curiosity: Is our destiny predetermined or is there free will? The question seems juvenile as I realize that we are part of a great evolutionary wave of change that is crashing against our common reality. We are part of a great awakening. The universe is going somewhere in the form of consciousness and we are involved in the outcome. I see clearly that this transition calls for us to be more present, in our bodies, our breath and with the recognition of our interconnectedness with all life. Our destiny is movement. The direction depends on our awaking.
Movement never lies. It is a barometer telling the
state of the soul's weather to all who can read it.
- Martha Graham
To go deeper I add movement to my meditation. What a delight to just breathe and move. As I move I begin Vinn Marti's dual practice of one eye in (inner awareness) and one eye out (what's happening around me) I breathe in with all my senses; sight, sound and sensation open to deep inner awareness. I take in the world around me and know it as if for the first time, discovering everything newly with a deep sense of wonder and gratitude. How precious this life we've been given and how enormous the coming changes. This is at the heart of our souls' journey, to usher in the next stage of evolution!
How would the world occur if I continued to move through life with this expanded awareness? Who would I be and how would I relate to life? When I move, I live into questions rather than closing doors by having to have answers. Conscious movement offers life as a mystery to be explored rather than a question to be answered. It leads me to and clarifies my soul's purpose.
Good for the body is the work of the body, good for the soul the work of the soul,
and good for either the work of the other.
- Henry David Thoreau
By becoming conscious of the body I set my soul free to explore its unique purpose at this time, in this place. As my soul emerges from the fog of an over-stimulated life, I understand how important it is to take care of my vessel. We are entering a critical time in our evolution. This is not a time to go shopping. Rather it is a time to breathe, move and wake up to the potential we hold for future generations and for all life on this planet.
I hope you will join me in the practice of becoming more aware through moving meditation and conscious breath. This may well be the most important thing we have to do at this time. Thank you for your partnership in co-creating a world that is earth friendly and honors all life.
Great Love and Blessings,
The human body is the best picture of the human soul.
- Ludwig Wittgenstein