Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For the week of December 27, 2010

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Inhabiting

(Inner Body Development: Aspect 6 of 7)

Once we make contact with our inner energies and nourish our inner body by drawing and absorbing more energy into us, we face the challenge of entropy: left to themselves, those energies will surely dissipate. In response, we engage a power outside the realm of energies, our will. We inhabit our body by inhabiting our energy body. In so doing, our will extends into the energies and stabilizes them by its presence, by our presence.

Presence depends on energies, but its core feature, its core, is us, our I, our will-to-be and to-do. Perhaps the simplest approach to presence consists in putting and holding our attention into our body, our whole body, and in particular into the inner energies, the sensitive energies, in our body, mind, and heart. But even this act of attention does not fully capture what is meant by inhabiting, which calls for more than attention.

When we give attention to something, we may have the feeling or attitude that I am here and I send my attention out from me to that something, and thereby my attention connects me with that something. By contrast, inhabiting means expanding my I, my Self, to include all of what I am inhabiting. In the present case, this means extending my I into my entire inner body so that I live in the whole of it, I participate in my energy body. Rather than just send my attention out into my body, while I remain in my head, I expand to be in my whole body. My will-to-be fills my whole body and finds an affinity with the sensitive energy in my body. They mutually stabilize each other. The will and the energy make a whole.

Tension can arise in the act of holding of our attention fixed on something. With inhabiting, however, we relax that tension and let ourselves move from the constricted inner space we usually occupy into the whole of our inner body, into the whole of our physical body, mind, and heart.

To keep this up for more than a fleeting moment, we evoke a continuous intention to inhabit our whole inner body and act from that intention. We stay here in our inner body, relaxed and present. And we maintain enough inner force to be here. We sustain our will-to-be, which flows like a constant breeze throughout our inner domain.

Rather than just being in a random part of my body, usually my head, by inhabiting my entire body, my inner body, I am here and whole in the fullness of presence. And slowly, slowly, but very significantly, this stabilizing of my inner energies by being in them turns them into the spiritual flesh of my nascent inner body. This is partially due to the fact that the act of inhabiting brings a higher energy, the conscious energy, into the mix with the sensitive energies of our inner body. Presence serves as a container for our inner energies, so that they can settle, blend with each other, and transform.

The practice of inhabiting our inner body need not be separate from our life. It gives us an inner life, paralleling and eventually merging with our outer life. So if we are awake to our inner energies, even to a small degree, we can practice maintaining that, while at the same time giving attention to our usual life interests, demands, and attractions. Indeed, we bring our full presence into whatever we do in life. And this presence is concrete, not just a passing idea or whim, not just being in consciousness, which evaporates so quickly unless rooted in our body, in the readily perceptible and sustainable sensitive energy in our body, in our energy body.

Be here in your physical body and also in your sensitive energy inner body, which enhances your perception of your physical body. We occupy both our bodies, which are co-located, one inside the other, one a refined version of the other.


     

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