Saturday, April 16, 2011

Descend into Your Body and Wake Up

Cross-posted today at the ID Project.

Lately I've been seeing more and more meditators and teachers talking about Mindfulness of Body -- which makes me very happy. Last month, Kate Johnson published a thoughtful piece at the ID Project blog called "Mindfulness of Bodies." Will Johnson had a fantastic article, "Full Body, Empty Mind," at Tricycle. A little further back, in November, I published (also at the ID Project blog) "You Are Not a Brain on a Stick (Or Are You?)".

In that piece, I wrote:

"...We modern people have become tragically disembodied, alienated from the most basic level of our own experience as human beings.... Most of us have lost the felt sense of what it is to be embodied, to experience the world in and through the medium of this material and energetic body into which we have been born.

"We think about the body a great deal, sometimes obsessively, but this is not the same as being in and with the body on its own terms. Our allegiance to thinking about everything -- mediating and managing our experience and our lives through the conceptual thought function -- is the very root of our disembodiment in the first place. For the most part, we think of our bodies as mere tools (and sometimes obstacles) to serve our ambitions and our ego's goals of attaining happiness and comfort; we rarely descend into the darkness of the body itself and witness, without an agenda, the naked experience that arises there."

As Reggie Ray says in his book Touching Enlightenment, it's not simply that we can find realization and awakening in the body -- there is actually no other place to find it.

But it would be just like us (wouldn't it?) to sit here in cyberspace and chit-chat and theorize about Mindfulness of Body, without actually doing it. So -- enough talk. Embedded below is a simple, 20-minute guided meditation on Mindfulness of Body that I led about a year ago at Nalandabodhi New York. You can download the MP3, or listen in streaming audio online. Close your Facebook and Twitter windows, silence your mobile phone, sit down in a comfortable meditation posture, click "Play," and explore the mystery of being alive in a human body. There is a world of somatic experience unfolding in your being at this very moment -- just waiting for you to notice it.

Note: Email subscribers may need to click through to One Human Journey's web page in order to see the embedded audio controls.


jgroove said...

Hi Dennis.
Any chance you could post a link that would let users right-click and download the talk? I'd like to load it up on my iPod. Thanks!

Dennis Hunter said...

Hi J...sorry for the slow response. The embedded player gives the option to download if you click on "Share" but that's not very intuitive UI design, is it? :-) Here's a direct link:

jgroove said...

Thanks, Dennis!

Michael Opperman said...
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