Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For the weeks of March 6 & 13, 2017

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Sensory Wholeness

(Opening to Oneness 5)

We have a largely unrecognized propensity to live in our mind, in our thoughts and emotional reactions. This mind constantly spins the story of our unfolding life, a story so personally fascinating that we can hardly remove our gaze from it. Thought patterns, emotion patterns, and memory combine to make a convincing and dramatic tale of who we are, with all the attendant hopes, fears, and desires. Adding to all that the face that gazes back at us out of the mirror, leaves us utterly certain that we are the amalgam of our body and mind that calls itself "I."

Our thoughts roll on like advertisements, sponsored by our ego and selling the notion "this is I." And we keep buying it.

To move toward oneness, we need to step out of the thrall of thought and emotion, out of the pseudo-separateness of "I." We do not need to live in our mind. We can live more in our senses. We open our awareness to all of our senses simultaneously. We let go of our blinders to let in sight, sound, touch, smell, taste, and yes, also thought and emotion. We open to all of it, all together. We open to the unfiltered and singular experience that embraces all of our senses.

Sometimes we need to focus, intentionally narrowing our awareness to one sense. Sometimes we focus unintentionally, drawn by a strong impression. But even in those cases, we remain in the context of the wider field of our senses. So depending on the sharpness of focus that our immediate task requires, we may be able to stay in touch with the wholeness of our sensory experience. The more we practice being open to that wide field, the more we can stay with it, even as we focus.

Here we are in the midst of our life. What is around us? What do we see? What do we hear? Are we in touch with the organic experience of being in our body? Can we open the lens of our awareness to the wide-angle setting, to let it all in, all together, moment to moment? In so doing, we come out of our cave into a larger and vivid world, and we become that. In the boundless immensity revealed by our senses, we transcend our mind, that comparatively small circuit of thought, emotion, and memory that we believed ourselves to be.

This unfiltered world of our senses proves seamless at its core. We may see and touch what appear to be separate objects, but by opening to all of it equally, we can recognize our experience of the world as one stream, as the unbroken flow of our senses. When we take it as a whole, we touch its inherent unity. We realize ourselves as of a piece with all we see and hear and touch. We realize our non-separateness, that we are in this vast world, that it is in us. In this oneness, everything belongs; nothing gets in the way. Even our thoughts and emotions belong, though they no longer cause us to collapse into them. Effortlessly, we stay open to the all-encompassing and magnificent view. We come into our true home.

For this week, please practice living in the whole of your senses.


     

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