Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For the weeks of October 30 & November 6, 2017

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Inner Body

(Personal Unity: 3)

Cakes have layers, and so does a complete person. We have our body with its senses, we have our emotions, and we have our mind: different layers of our being. In between these layers, with affinities to each so that it can connect them, we have, or could have, our sensation, our sensitive energy, a major ingredient of our inner body. If we have not worked to develop this inner body, we may have little contact among our body, our emotions, and our mind. We may live at times in an abstract world of thoughts that are responding and reacting to our senses that show what is and to our emotions that tell what matters. In such cases, our contact with our body and emotions is secondhand, mediated by our thoughts. At other times, our emotions captivate and capture us, standing between us and our body and mind. And at still other times, our body and senses dominate our inner stage.

This situation transforms, however, if we work to bring and keep ourselves in contact with the sensitive energy, which in turn stays in touch with our body, emotions, and mind. To strengthen that connection we practice sensing, a method of building up the inner energy that enables body awareness, which then spreads to include our emotions and mind.

The layers of a cake are layers in space. The layers of our being, however, are not spatial, but rather layers of spiritual depth. For example, the sensitive energy can penetrate and permeate our entire body, even though it is a deeper layer of our being than is our body.

When we work to be in contact with the sensitive energy, its quantity increases. As it does so, it spreads throughout our body. Persisting in this practice, the sensitive energy grows in strength and abides longer before dissipating. As it abides, it begins to feel a like a new layer infusing our body, an inner layer. The energy takes the shape of and pervades our physical body. Eventually it becomes robust enough to be like an inner body, always there.

This inner body makes us whole. It integrates our physical body, our emotions, and our mind. We feel complete and at home in ourselves: grounded in the present, grounded in presence, fully aware and at peace.

Now all this may sound very nice, but how can we transition our inner body from a nice idea to a reality? That takes effort, long and persistent effort. Primarily, this means keeping attention in our body, staying in contact with our body. When we are in sitting meditation, we can put all our attention into body awareness. When we are walking or otherwise engaged, we aim to keep some of our attention in body awareness. We work to stay in contact with our body, to be in our body. Because the sensitive energy mediates our contact with our body, this work of body awareness builds up the sensitive energy in us. That process also occurs in Qi Gong and Tai Chi, as those practices build up the same energy, which they call chi. With steady practice, sensing quickly goes from an idea to the directly experienced, unmistakable reality of this fluid energy vividly filling our body.

For this week, please practice body awareness. Experience the sensitive energy that mediates your contact with your body. Then engage even more in this method of contact with your body that we call sensing. This leads toward inner wholeness, a gateway to oneness of spirit.


     

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