Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of May 29, 2017

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Whole Body

(Levels of Oneness 1)

Oneness begins at home, in our body. While our body has parts, many parts, it is unmistakably an integrated whole, much greater than the sum of those parts. This fact in itself gives us a visceral intuition of oneness, if we are in our body. The innumerable parts of our body support each other, working together in an intricate dance to produce the singular experience of having and using our body. For example, with most actions we do not need to direct our body piecemeal, one step at time; we just choose to do something and our body does it.

The challenge for us, with this level of oneness, is to actually live it. In our ordinary way of living, we are not in touch with our body, not in our body, much less in its wholeness. To remedy that, we work at sensing our body, at being viscerally, directly in contact with our body. This begins with bringing our attention and awareness to our body and holding it there. In doing so, our body comes alive under the light of attention, alive and vibrating with an energy we call the sensitive energy, or simply sensation. At first, we practice this with parts of our body: a hand or a foot, though not focusing on particular inner organs so as not to interfere with their normal functioning. We grow this sensing practice to an entire arm, a leg, and eventually to include our whole body.

When we become able to sense our entire body, the practice goes through a qualitative transition. We sense the wholeness of our body. In that body of sensation, we find our natural home. We can be in, live in and from our whole body of sensation. No longer is it a matter of focusing attention on a part and forgoing a wider awareness. When we are in our sensation body, we look out from it; we live in and through it.

This is like climbing a mountain. On the way up, we focus on the next step, the path right in front of us. At the top, however, we can see beyond the path, beyond our mountain. From our whole sensation body, we can see beyond our self. We feel whole and present. We know the unity of our body, of our inner body of sensation. In that unity, we know this level of oneness.

This oneness is not an amorphous mass. We still know the parts. We have our cells, our fingers, our eyes. Only now, we participate at the level at which all the parts integrate into a seamless and indivisible unity. Further, that unity emerges because of our presence in and as the whole. We are the unifying factor. When we die and leave our body, it falls apart. When we live in its wholeness, our body is complete.

Before coming into the whole of our body, we have the parts, a coordinated, aggregate of parts. We may consider the various parts of our body to be problems to fix or opportunities to exploit. Now though, in its wholeness, our body is our singular, integrated instrument for this life. Unifying our body, we unify its appetites, desires, and needs. In our all-embracing gaze, these often-conflicting urges begin to coalesce toward a healthy way of life. We no longer have such a battle with our body, or among its parts. In this way, we see that oneness is love, even at the level of our one body.

Wholeness of body, of our inner sensation body, is a gateway to Oneness, not only in its wholeness, but also in its timelessness. Oneness transcends time. Every path to transcending time goes into and through the present moment. Our body is always in this present moment. Being in our body keeps us in the present. When our mind and attention passively fall into memories of the past or images of the future, we lose contact, not only with the present, but also with our body. Wholeness of body anchors us in the timeless now.

For this week, please practice oneness by staying in contact with your body, staying in your whole body.


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