July 24, 2009

Your Body is Telling You Something

If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life. — Wu-Men

What message is your body sending you today?

Mine tells me I must have encountered a little virus in the past couple of weeks. I’ll be listening for more cues… but…

Funny how the mind seeks to explain, to find reasons for why my neck has been achy the past week, why my stomach doesn’t feel quite right, and why my eyes seem hot.

The mind is wired to make connections, suppositions, and assumptions. It seems to want the world to be ordered and sensible, to make its own diagnoses, as though it cannot bear to have each sensation labeled, every act explained.

And, of course, that’s what our minds have been trained to do: Make sense of the senseless, explain the inexplicable, and create order out of chaos.

We experience a set of physical sensations and our minds almost automatically label them: I have a virus. I am anxious. I am sad. I am happy. I am depressed.

I’m glad that I am not my mind.

So today I can sit and observe the sensations in my body, letting them be what they are without wishing them to be any different. That’s a challenge to be sure, for I would rather my body not be feeling how it feels and doing what it’s doing today.

After all, there are Things to be Done, People to Meet, Articles to Write, and a Performance this weekend for which I Must Practice.

Yet as I decide to listen to the body’s language, I hear its message loud and clear: It calls for rest. It requires energy in order to recover from whatever malady has invaded it. All the “musts” turn to dust as I simplify and eliminate the nonessential thoughts.

All that remains is a sense of presence, and suddenly I am Here, simply writing about explanations without seeking to explain.

What is your body telling you right now?

Are you ignoring it?

This weekend — better yet, right now! — bring our attention to your physical sensations. Scan the whole body. Avoid explaining or labeling the sensations as a group. What’s the temperature of the ambient air? Where do you feel pressure? Tension? How do your eyes feel? What about the muscles in your head?

There is information in the senses, a message in the body waiting for your listening ear.

What does it say?

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