Body Awareness

Overcoming Overwhelm — the spiritual way :)

From October 2015 through December 2016, I felt overwhelmed, energetically compressed, and in need of help. My spiritual life continued to be a beacon of light throughout this time, but I still needed some practical, yet spiritual, guidance … and the Holy Spirit always comes through (even if it seems to take longer than we would like!).  Listen to the interview below, to hear the guidance that helped me, and is sure to be useful to you, too.

Are You Sponge-able? Spiritually sponge-able, that is.

Spiritually sponge-able is a whole new way of using your body.

Stay with me: sponges are porous and absorbent.  The spiritual law “giving is receiving” only works if you are also able to receive.

You must be able to sponge in God’s Love if you want a loving life.  Ask yourself:

  • Is your heart porous, in the sense that you’re able to receive and accept love?
  • Are your lungs porous? Are you able to inhale and exhale fully, enjoying the sensuality of your breath?
  • Are your muscles and interconnective tissue porous?  Can you feel energy humming and tingling through your torso?
  • Is your brain porous?  Is possible for you to allow your eyes to soften and melt back into your head, releasing your brain to float softly within your skull?

A Course in Miracles tells us, “…all sickness is mental illness….”*  So it is the mind which must be healed.  However, while you believe you are the body, Jesus advises that you ask the Holy Spirit to use the body for Her** divine purpose. This choice is crucial to your happiness, peace of mind, and ongoing sense of well being.

Up until now, you have probably been experiencing your body as flesh and blood — dense, contracted, possibly pain-riddled, and almost always not looking as good as you would like. You physically experience guilty feelings, heartache and body tension (often in the form of headaches and upper body pain such as TMJ, neck and shoulder tension, etc).

Probably no one has told you what the body feels like when it is free of excess tension, and is a free-flowing extension of God’s Will.  What does this mean?  When you allow the Holy Spirit to use the body for Her purpose you become a conduit for miracles. In other words, your body is experienced as an energetic transmitter of Loving Light.  God’s wisdom (you could say “good vibrations” or “energy”) runs through your body using it like a clear instrument. Your body becomes a hollow flute for God to play with His Fingers.

If you are sponge-able, you allow yourself to receive God’s formless, timeless Love, and then you effortlessly give that Love through your natural radiance.

If you are not sponge-able, you can give, give, give to the people around you and it’s still ego-driven. Giving without sponge-ability (the ability to receive) is just another form of ego control.

Sponge-ability connects your will with God’s Will.  You are illuminated with His Great Light, absorbing and squeezing out (to stick with our sponge metaphor) the radiant Great Rays that Great Light creates.

 

*ACIM supplement: Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practice.

**I’m using the Divine Feminine to refer to the Holy Spirit, as modeled in the Hebrew version of ACIM (read Shekinah, Divine Feminine and the Holy Spirit).

Check out my series: How to Use the Body While You Think It’s You and http://facebook.com/acimbodyimage

An Undivided Wholeness of Flowing Movement

My dear friend and mentor, Will Johnson, has just written this:

flowing-movementAn undivided wholeness of flowing movement. What a delicious phrase! And it neatly encapsulates much of what I teach in the long sitting retreats I lead. Most of the time we experience ourselves as irrevocably separate from everything we can perceive to exist outside of ourselves, but when we truly awaken the body and start surrendering to a breath that can indeed “breathe through the whole body,” we gain access to an alternative dimension of consciousness in which our conventional sense of separation gives way to a ground state of union and undivided wholeness. And the way to this awakening of body—and the doorway into this entrancing dimension of undivided wholeness—is through relaxing so deeply that the body stays in a condition of constant, subtle, flowing, amoeba-like movement in resilient response to the breath. When the physical body stays moving in this way, the current of the life force can be felt to flow freely through as well.

An undivided wholeness of flowing movement. I wish I had come up with that phrase myself, but it comes from a far superior source. It’s the shorthand phrase that the quantum physicist David Bohm came up with to describe how he believes the universe is constructed. Bohm was one of the most respected quantum physicists of the last century, and toward the end of his life he began to intuit that our understanding of how reality is constructed needed a rather complete overhaul. For Bohm, there are two fundamental dimensions of reality, what he called the implicate and explicate orders. The implicate order (which he felt had been completely overlooked by science) was like a unified ground state or source out of which the entire explicate order—with its gajillion of stars and universes and atoms and subatomic particles, all of them constantly moving, twinkling, and shimmering—was projected, somewhat like how a complex holographic image is projected from a single light source. For Bohm, everything is constantly moving back and forth between both these dimensions, but at such a rapid rate that the world of appearances still manages to look solid and stable.

The Heart Sutra, one of Buddhism’s most revered texts, in an almost exact reflection of Bohm’s dual vision of an explicate and implicate order, tells us that everything that exists partakes of two dimensions—one of conventional physical form, the other of a deep underlying emptiness—and for me, one of the goals of spiritual practice is to have a direct experience of the simultaneous existence of these two dimensions. The easiest way to grasp this mind boggling understanding is to remember that, even though we look at people and recognize them by their very solid looking face and body, we don’t experience ourselves as particularly solid. Rather, we feel like some kind of openness or space that somehow pervades and permeates our very solid looking head and body. And if this dual condition of an apparent solidity permeated by an underlying intangible openness is true of you and me, why shouldn’t it be true of every other physical object as well? The ground dimension of undivided wholeness is very real, but the only way we can directly access this dimension is to make sure that our entire body remains in a condition of constant, flowing motion. If we remain stiff and frozen in our bodies, this extraordinary dimension will never appear to us, and we will completely miss the joy of wakening to its presence. So . . . flow on, and remember two things: 1) that constant flowing motion is what connects you to the source of all things, and 2) combining a simultaneous awareness of both—the dimension of undivided wholeness and the condition of flowing movement—takes you directly into your natural state.

I love Will Johnson — he embodies his work, and his work helps us experience the body the way the Holy Spirit in A Course in Miracles does — just in different language. I find different points of view and the fresh use of language are potent mind-openings. Hope you feel the immediate benefits of this wisdom. For more of Will’s work, visit embodiment.net

How to Use the Body While You Think It’s You

How to Use the Body While You Think It’s You was originally a workshop which I gave at  the “Who Are You Really?” Course in Miracles conference in Cleveland, Ohio in 2012. Little by little, it has grown into a library of articles, essays, video, a Facebook page and other stuff (as it keeps growing).

The topics (see list below) include how to use the body to practice forgiveness, facing fears about death, not having to have perfect body health to spiritually awaken, how falling apart can be the best thing you can do, and more.

Here are some tantalizing quotes about the body from A Course in Miracles:

“And you have done a stranger thing than you yet realize.  You have displaced your guilt to your body from your mind.”  ~T-18.VI.2:5-6

But luckily, ” … the body is a learning device for the mind.”  ~T-2.IV.3:1

So, “The body is beautiful or ugly, peaceful or savage, helpful or harmful, according to the use to which it is put.”  ~T-8.VII.4:3

Reassuringly, “Health is the result of relinquishing all attempts to use the body lovelessly.”  ~T-8.VIII.9:8

Last but not least, “The body is the means by which God’s Son returns to sanity.”  ~W-5. What Is the Body?

Topic List:

Are You Sponge-able?

Take Yourself Less Personally

The Purpose of the Body (essay) and The Purpose of the Body (video)

Death Is Just A Belief (essay) and A Happy Conversation About Death – Interview with Jon Mundy (video)

Coming Apart at the “Seems”

Body Health Is Not a Measurement of Unfolding

The Spark Is Still As Pure As the Great Light

Flossing and Feldenkrais

A Course in Miracles and Body Image (Facebook page)

God Is In Your Smile

A Better Way to Say, “I Miss You”

This Is the Best Moment Of Your Life

Ask Amy: Forgiveness – Am I Doing It Right?

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ACIMBodyImage/

Living the Language of Love, Harmony & Beauty (work-in-progress)

ACIM teaches us that the Holy Spirit’s purpose for the body is to use it as a vehicle for learning, as a communication device.  After many years of working with the Course, the body feels less like “me” and more like a beloved car–a great vehicle in which to get around; a “thing” that I do my best to treat well and maintenance regularly.

In my personal curriculum, yoga has been one way the Holy Spirit has reached my mind through the classroom of my body.  Through my personal trials and tribulations with the body, I have tried all kinds of alternative healing.

On the physical side, there’s been cranio-sacral therapy, myofascial release, visceral manipulation, Feldenkrais, every kind of massage you can name (yes, I’m a massage junkie).  Body-oriented psychotherapy has included what I call expressive-release work (see bioenergetics based on Wilhelm Reich’s work, emotional somatic healing, and EMDR (uses eye movement).

Spiritually there’s been qi gong, tai chi, Afro-Cuban motion, belly dance, Indonesian latihan, EFT and much more.

How to Use the Body While You Think It’s You is a fascinating subject, especially since the Course tells us the body isn’t even real.  But while we identify with the body, happily there is a way to use it for true healing, miracles, and the Holy Spirit’s pure loving purpose. I call this practical mysticism and embodied spirituality.