Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For the week of April 21, 2014

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Developing Our Sensation Body

(Deepening Our Inner Life: Part 3)

After practicing sensing our body piecemeal by sensing a hand or an arm or a leg, we can further deepen our inner life by turning toward the true power of the practice of sensing, which begins with whole-body sensing and moves toward a robust, fully-established, and persistent sensation body. The experience of whole-body sensing is qualitatively different than sensing a part of our body, because it brings wholeness and is complete. In its own way, whole-body sensing is perfect.

The quality of wholeness in whole-body sensing lends stability to our awareness by connecting with the quality of wholeness inherent in the next higher energy, the conscious energy. So when we sense our whole body, we feel complete, we can just be here and do what we do, without the nagging energy drains. A persistent body of sensitive energy not only helps us stay awake to the present moment, but raises us toward freedom from our neurotic tendencies, from our identification with our thoughts and emotions, from the story they continually tell us, a story we mistakenly take to be our very self.

When we are sensing our whole body, it seems filled with the sensitive energy. As we continue to work with this and strengthen it, it fills to such an extent that the sensitive energy takes the shape of our physical body and seems to form a body within our body: an inner body or sensation body. We can be in our sensation body. It feels comfortable and right. It feels like home, like we are at home in ourselves. We have a place, a special place. We have arrived.

To make this last, or at least to make it more frequent, takes persistent effort. But that effort does not need to be constant. We find moments where our sensation body is strong enough that we can just be in it for a time, without it dissipating.

What efforts are needed? First is sensing. We learn how to sense an arm or a leg by putting and holding our attention in it. Then we expand to sensing our whole body. We persist, coming back to having attention in our whole body, again and again.

With that, we intentionally move into our sensation body, we reside it. We shift from being nowhere or being in our physical body to being in our sensation body. We practice that again and again.

We notice that the amount and intensity of the sensitive energy in our sensation body is sometimes stronger and sometimes weaker. So we feed this growing sensation body. We feed it by energy breathing, by drawing from the air around us the sensitive energy, which is the primary substance of our sensation body. Indeed, being in our whole body facilitates energy breathing, because it gives us a platform, a place in a world that has an innate affinity with the energy in the air. Because we are now in our sensation body, we are no longer limited to breathing through our mouth or nose. We can breathe with our whole body, our whole sensation body. With our attention and intention, we draw the energy from the air through the entire surface of our sensation body. That energy fills us, strengthening this inner body. We put our attention out into the air, draw the energy in, and along with the movement of the energy we shift our attention inward to being in our sensation body and let the new energy settle there and be absorbed.

And so we continue to work. Stabilizing our sensation body takes persistent efforts, of attention, of intentionally residing in our sensation, of feeding it with the energy from the air. We return to it throughout our day, day after day. We make our sensation body our new inner home and we deepen our inner life thereby.

The development of the sensation body is not the whole of spirituality, but it is fundamental to our path and makes the deeper reaches of the spirit more accessible. Furthermore, our inner body also needs other forms of energy than what sensing and energy breathing can offer. For example, the energy of higher emotions feeds our soul in crucial ways. We will turn to that in the next part of this inner work series. But for this week, please work on developing your sensation body.


     

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