The Blissful Sacred Body
"Don't you know that the Kingdom of Heaven is within you?"
As you begin reading this blog, pause for a moment to see if you are truly present in your body. Can you feel the unbroken field of your Awareness in the entire field of your body - in your feet, your hands, your solar plexus - or are you present only in the space of your head, lost in the torrent of thoughts arising there?
We hear a lot these days about living in the present moment; that the focus of our lives should be awakening to the eternal Now, which never comes or goes. We try and we effort - mostly in vain - to get back to the here and now, all the while growing more tense and frustrated by our efforts. Yet, the truth that is pointed to by all sages and enlightened Masters and Mistresses of all traditions is simply this; you cannot possibly be 'here' if you are not present in your body. If you doubt this, notice that, when you are lost in your thoughts, you are completely unaware of your body below your neck. In other words, when you are obsessing about some future problem or ruminating about something that happened yesterday, you are completely unaware of your arms, your legs, and for that matter, any area of your body except your head. This can be quite a revelation.
Is it any wonder that we feel cut off from our bodies, and lost in a sea of thinking that is usually negative and counter-productive? Is it a surprise then, that our bodies are so susceptible to illness and disease, given that the Light of our Awareness is so rarely present in our bodies? If being present in our lives, not to mention having a healthy body, is what we truly wish for, then all we have to do is relax into the body temple we inhabit, and actually feel it from within! This inner body awareness, called the subtle body of Light in yoga, and the Energetic Body in Taoism, is not some hypothetical new-age theory, but is the living 'God-Field' (or Tao-field, or Divine Love Field if you prefer) that animates and fills the space of our bodies. It is who we are. We are told by all sages that when we actually occupy our bodies as this field of alive awareness, we feel blissful, awake and aware of every cell in our bodies, not to mention present here and now.
Though this might sound like something that is foreign to you, especially if you spend most of your time running around in your head, you can practice bringing more awareness into your body, and thus spend more and more time actually present in the here and now. Begin right where you are: close your eyes and breathe down into the space of your left hand, becoming completely present there for a minute or so. What you will begin to feel is an alive presence arise in your hand, perhaps even a tingling, as you flood this area of your body with Awareness. As you grow in this practice, you can start to use the Four Fold Breath (see last weeks blog for instructions in this technique), and breath into the entire field of your body. As you grow in the ability to stay present in your body as this field of Awareness, you will also notice that you start to become more and more centered in the Here and Now. If being truly Alive, not to mention feeling joyful and radiantly healthy is what you want, then practice coming home to the sacred body that you inhabit. You'll be delightfully surprised at what you find.