Purpose: How to listen to your body.
In this section, you will practice listening and recording what your body is telling you. It is your constant companion. Obvious, but for much of life we take it for granted or force it to conform to our idea of what it should be. When we get sick and as we age, we begin to understand that our thoughts and our actions are not ultimately in control of the bodily process. What if we stop right now and listen to what it has to say? The body doesn’t lie. The body also knows how much we can handle.
The body, in its own wisdom and with its own impeccable timing, gives rise to some manifestation of unresolved karma in the form of a physical sensation, a release of energy, an injury, an illness, a dream, the powerful upsurge of emotion, a charged though or memory, or perhaps surprisingly, an event apparently from the “outside” world, such as a chance human encounter or a “natural” event.”
Touching Enlightenment, Finding Realization in the Body, Reginald A. Ray, Sounds True, Inc., 2008, page 133.
Have your writing material handy. You’ll be alternating between meditating and writing. Close your eyes. Focus on your breath. Follow your inhale and follow your exhale. At the end of each exhale, intentionally relax. Start at the top of your head. Then move down your body. Relax your eyebrows, mouth, jaw, your neck, shoulders, arms, hands. Every part of your body. Chest, belly, legs, feet. Don’t rush. Inhale. Exhale. Relax. Take your time.
When ready, open your eyes. Pick up your journal. Write down what your body feels like right now. List all the sensations. Where are they? In your back? Write it down. Leg? Arm? How does your stomach feel? Describe it. If thoughts arise connected to how you feel, write them down too. Some parts of your body will be louder than others. Start with the loud ones, get them out of the way. Then listen to the subtler spots. Whatever comes up, write it down.
This is the section to record your dreams. Write them down first thing after waking, before the data they provide recedes back into your unconscious.
Where does this lead?
These sensations are the language of your body trying to communicate with you. What are they saying to you? Ask yourself, what would your body like you to do to take care of it? Is there an action you can take on its behalf? A nap? A walk? A snack? A break? A conversation?