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 throughout your entire body - in your feet, your hands, your chest - or are you present only in the space of your head, lost in the stream of thoughts arising there?
We hear a lot these days about living in the present moment; that the focus of our lives should be in the eternal Now, which never comes or goes. We try and we effort - mostly in vain - to stay present in the here and now, only to find ourselves lost again and again in the thoughts running through our mind. Yet, as all sages and enlightened masters of all spiritual traditions remind us; 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 in the past, you are completely unaware of your arms, your legs, and for that matter, any area of your body except your head. Noticing this can be quite a revelation, as we realize how rarely we are actually present.
Is it any wonder that we feel cut off from our bodies, when we spend most of our time lost in a sea of thinking that is usually negative and depressing? 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 here and now, 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 in yoga, and the Energetic Body in taoism, is not some hypothetical new-age theory, but is the radiant 'God-Field' (or Tao-field, or Buddha-Field if you prefer) that animates and fills the space of our physical form. Though we may identify as being the 'voice in our head', this feeling-Awareness is actually who we are. We are told by all sages that when we actually occupy our bodies as this field of alive Presence; we feel blissful, awake and aware of every cell in our bodies, not to mention present in the here and now.
Though this might sound like something that is foreign to you, especially if you spend most of your time lost in your thinking, you can practice bringing more awareness into your body right now. Begin right where you are: close your eyes and allow your breath to scan from the crown of your head, all the way down through your torso and legs to the tips of your toes. Do this for at least a few minutes, making sure to breathe down through your arms and into your hands and fingers as well. BE AWARE of your body as you breathe down. What you will begin to feel is an alive presence, perhaps even a tingling, as you flood your body with Awareness. 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.