Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of July 14, 2014

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Contact with Sensation

(Energy Practice: Part 1)

The sensitive energy, as its name implies, mediates our contact with our senses, with sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste, thoughts, and emotions. One way to work with the sensitive energy is indirectly, by focusing on awareness of sensory impressions. This, for example, is part of mindfulness practice, to be aware of the content of our senses. Our way, however, goes a significant step further by working on contacting and accumulating the sensitive energy itself. We do that primarily by engaging our body as the vessel for that work.

We begin with our proprioceptive sense, our perception of the inner state of our body, our perception of having a body, of having a right hand for example. If you like, try this. Focus your attention on your right hand. Be aware of the hand, of the inside of the hand, of the sensation of having a right hand, of the aliveness of your hand. Looking at, visualizing, or thinking about your right hand does not help in this. Go for a direct perception of the hand. Hold your attention in your hand for a minute or two. When you notice that your attention has wandered off, simply bring it back into the hand.

You may notice a certain something gradually accumulating in the hand. It has a slight vibration, warmth, or tingling. It brightens your awareness of your hand and makes it feel more substantial. It provides a place for your attention to occupy. Now notice the difference between your awareness of your right hand and your left hand. This difference shows the presence of more sensitive energy in your right hand than in your left at this moment.

Next you can repeat the exercise with your right foot, just putting and keeping your attention there and allowing the sensitive energy to awaken and accumulate. Next the left foot, then the left hand. Then the entire right arm, then right leg, then left leg, and finally your left arm.

This practice can open your perceptions to the sensitive energy, to the energy of sensation in your body. And in doing so, it opens you to what may be a new world for you, the world of inner energies. As such, it is a major step on the spiritual path, for it shows us that inward actions matter, literally. We begin our journey into the world of energies with sensation for two reasons: it is the easiest of the energies to perceive and it is the energy most responsive to our intention and inward action.

And we not only start this way, but we keep working with sensation in our body throughout our path, because the sensitive energies form the vessel of our soul. We may come to deeper levels of spiritual practice, but we continue working on all the inner levels to which we gain access, including the level of the sensitive energy. One way to look at this is that our soul encompasses several levels, all of which need care and feeding. Another way is that we need balance in our practice, balance among the levels: we keep our feet on the ground while our soul reaches toward heaven. Presence is always now. Our body is always now. So sensation is always now. The upshot is that work on sensation is important, is fundamental, and by itself takes us well down the road of our transformation toward a freer, richer life.

In future weeks, we will both broaden and deepen our work with sensation and with higher energies. For this week, we practice opening to the perception of the sensitive energy and sensing parts of our body.


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