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The body is intelligent.


Last week, still in the season of Epiphanytide and present with the mystery of the incarnation, we talked about befriending our bodies and deepening our capacity to listen to the wisdom carried within. There is so much that can be explored in relation to the body as a center of intelligence (also called the moving center) but I would like to focus on two things this week. First, it is good to remember that we can turn up the volume of the intelligence of the moving center throughout every moment. Rather than focusing on dividing up each moment into categories for different tasks—i.e. now I am using my intellectual center (mind), now I am using my emotional center, now I am using my moving center—we can expand our attention to include all three more and more. We can be aware of our body postures, gestures, and sensations when doing something on the computer, completing work tasks, watching the news, doing chores around the home, resting, and simply looking at the trees outside. By turning up the volume on this center, each moment can bring a fullness and add to the clarity of what is needed. Second, we can begin to listen to what the body is telling us about our state any given moment. You may have heard that the body doesn’t lie. This is true and nuanced. Yes, when we listen to the body we may discover in a moment that there is constriction in our belly or tension in our back or we may notice that we have a felt sense that something is off in a situation. The body is telling the truth of what your experience is at that time and yet the mind is quick to interpret what is happening in the body—i.e. I am tense because that person did something wrong. . . —and so we must hold the meaning we make of this truth with lightness and curiosity. Allowing this moving center intelligence and information to be part of the conversation amongst the centers until clarity emerges. Bless this body. Bless this mind. Bless this home of feelings. With Great Love, Heather

 

From this week's Pauses: Monday (with Joy): IN NEED OF THE BREATH My heart Is an unset jewel Upon the tender night Yearning for its dear old friend The Moon. When the Nameless One debuts again Ten thousand facets of my being unfurl wings And reveal such a radiance inside I enter a realm divine - I too begin so sweetly cast light, Like a lamp, Through the streets of this World. My heart is an unset jewel Upon existence Waiting for the Friend's touch Tonight My heart is an unset ruby Offered bowed and weeping to the Sky. I am dying in these cold hours For the resplendent glance of God. I am dying Because of a divine remembrance Of who - I really am. Hafiz, tonight, Your soul Is a brilliant reed instrument In need of the breath of the Christ. — Hafiz, as translated by Daniel Ladinsky in The Gift

Saturday: “Silence, by virtue of its enforced confrontation with personal awareness, serves as an emphatic reminder of mystery. Let those of us who are convinced that we can explain life or control our minds sit for but ten minutes in absolute stillness and all the myths will be destroyed. Thoughts and feelings rise and fall of their own accord. . . levels of attention range from alertness to lethargy all beyond one’s control, and qualities of perception wax and wane through a kaleidoscope of changes totally out of the range of one’s own willful influence. In these ways and many others, quiet time acts as a reminder of the mystery and the vastness that is our heritage, while simultaneously humbling us. . . The practice of quiet is an exercise in ‘not-doing’ (which, as Jung pointed out, is quite different from ‘doing nothing’), a study in surrender and willingness, a discipline of letting go. Each time we sit quietly, the silence takes us as far as we can go at that moment toward the loosening of our preconceived images of ourselves, and it teaches us as much as we can learn about the fallibilities of dualist thought. Thus, though the practice of quiet does not actually lead to unitive realization in an arbitrarily causal way, it does give us room to grow in our acceptance of unitive insight, and it nurtures our willingness to endure the threats that this may impose on our self-importance. Finally, it calls us onward; it nourishes our spirits and encourages our hearts for whatever may be the next step in our journey towards the Real.” — Gerald May, Will and Spirit, p. 315-316 Sunday: “This place where the two seas meet is the locus of the mystical journey, “where the dead fish becomes alive,” where spiritual teachings become a living substance that nourishes the wayfarer. When we meet the path, this happens: something becomes alive within our heart and soul. We become nourished not by spiritual texts or teachings, but by direct transmission. The spiritual journey is a way to live with this spiritual substance, to be burned by its fire, to be consumed by its love.” — Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

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