Listening to Your Body with Meditation
- Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Healing the body requires the need to recognize the importance of creating an intimate relationship with the body. The foundation of all good relationships is listening, and the way the body communicates with us is through sensation. One of the ways to create a healthy, deep, real and ultimately more fulfilling relationship with the body is simply by listening to it.
Meditation is an opportunity to listen to the body in order to understand its needs and to develop the trust needed to deepen the sacred relationship between body and soul.
Soften your belly
As you soften, notice how the breath automatically wants to flow into that soft place... Notice the sensations in your abdomen as your breath deepens… Feel the pressure building in your abdominal cavity around your organs, like a hug from the inside... Feel the floor of the pelvis reaching up to meet the breath… And as the breath touches the floor of the pelvis it gently rebounds off and rises up toward the low ribs... Feel the ribs expanding front and back and side to side… Feel the breath meeting the kidneys and adrenals at the level of the lower back ribs… Allow the breath to naturally flow up from the bottom ribs to the top ribs, from the bottom of the lungs to the top of the lungs, brushing by the heart, gently lifting the collar bones up and down like two little boats on still water…The jaw is parallel to the ground… allow the tongue to rest on the floor of the mouth like a content sleeping puppy in a basket. Nothing to do…nothing to say… the ears are over the shoulders, the eyes are floating in their sockets.
Notice any sensation in the face and in the noticing, see how it naturally begins to unwind itself.
Now set awareness free within the body, moment by moment. The mind will clamour for attention. Just allow the mind to be as it is, as always not trying to stop it or manipulate it in anyway, not judging it; choosing instead to turn the antennae of your attention toward the physical body through moment –by- moment awareness.
We are all aware of pleasant sensations as well as sensations that feel like tension, sensations that we might label as unpleasant. All sensations have the right to exist, yet because we’ve been conditioned to seek pleasure exclusively we reject certain sensations and messages which of course only adds more tension to the system. What would it be like to be with sensation and to listen with equal acceptance to all sensation? Notice a shift towards spaciousness and freedom in your inner experience.
The longer you rest in stillness, the deeper you sink into the world of sensation; you may encounter new sensations or sensations that have been buried for quire awhile. Remind yourself to just listen and feel, to trust that whatever sensation is arising is simply the way that the body and the energy body communicates and expresses from its truth in this moment even though that doesn’t match our idealized version of it.
Learn to Listen
Simply listen without needing to explain any of the sensations, without needing to fix them, without creating a story. Listening does not involve any type of mental activity. On a subtle level, when it comes to the body and its communication with us through sensation, we are constantly categorizing sensations as desirable /undesirable, comfortable / uncomfortable. Listen to what is in fact here right now, rather than through the lens of what you want to hear. Let yourself open to the whole gamut of sensations in the body.
Also notice that if I ask you to bring your awareness to your right hand, you become aware of certain sensations in your hand. And if I ask you to bring your awareness to your left foot, you can turn your attention there and you become aware of various sensations there. Sensations are constantly changing depending on where you are focused. But what is the one thing that isn’t changing? Notice that what noticed your right hand has the same presence that noticed your left foot. This presence is not a thing; it’s more akin to spaciousness. Anchor yourself in awareness itself as you allow the physical body to be as it is. Listening can only happen in the present moment.
If the mind becomes particularly active you can be one hundred percent sure that it’s avoiding a sensation that has been blocked for awhile. See if you can trust enough to notice that thinking is happening and then gently turn your awareness back to the body, giving whatever arises the space to exist as long as it needs.
If we are to create a healthy relationship with our bodies, it will start with listening, just as any good relationship does. Listening is pure openness, very simple.