Inner  Frontier
Cultivating Spiritual Presence

 

Inner Work


For the weeks of February 12 & 19, 2018

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Living in the Sensitive Energy

(Climbing Jacob's Ladder: 3)

To live in the sensitive energy is to step onto the next rung of Jacob's Ladder. Life is different there: more vivid, more contact with all that goes on, inwardly and outwardly. Dullness departs. We are less prone to descending into destructive emotional states, less likely to cede control of our actions to reactive whims. We are more able to initiate what we do, more able to be responsible. The sensitive energy gives us a place to stand in the stream of time, namely here and now.

Our growing ability to live in the sensitive energy depends on the development of our inner body, which is made primarily of the sensitive energy. In this process, we come into our body more fully. Instead of living at some distance from our body, we befriend it; we relax into being at home in it, more intimate with it, one with it.

All of that can result from the practice of inhabiting our whole body, in particular inhabiting our sensation, our nascent inner body. For that, we begin by establishing sensation throughout our body and staying in contact with the whole of it. This already moves us significantly forward.

But to inhabit our sensation also requires another significant step. Being in contact with our sensation implies a separation: there is me and there is my sensation, with which I am in contact. In contrast, inhabiting our sensation body means entering it, becoming one with it. No longer am I somewhere, perhaps in my head, being aware of my sensation. Now we are fully here in our sensation body. Our attention, our will expands to be the whole. The sensation becomes, at least for a brief moment, our inner body.

This action of inhabiting our body sensation brings other energies to bear. The other two forms of sensitive energy, thought and emotion, come with it. The act of inhabiting our whole body engages our mind. Together, our body and mind awaken our heart. Furthermore, the action of our attention, our will, carries the conscious energy into the mix. Within that energy, we transcend our parts. No longer do we consist of body, heart, and mind. Rather, it all merges into one being, one whole. With all these ingredients, with sensation, feeling, thought, and consciousness, we create our being, transforming ourselves to inhabit not just our whole body, but a whole new life, standing on the next rung of Jacob's Ladder.

To move toward that new reality, we pursue two classes of inner work. First, we engage in daily sitting practice. In this meditative inner exercise period, we let our mind and heart calm down, relax our body, and then build up to sensing our whole body. We stay with this whole body sensing, aiming to stabilize our sensation for those moments. If we are able to, we also engage in inner body breathing, to draw sensitive energy from the air, filling ourselves with even more of this energy. Doing this sitting each morning sets up our day.

The second type of inner work fills the rest of our day. As we go about doing what we do, we ease into our body, into our sensation, into our wholeness. Whenever we notice that we are not in our sensation body, we come back to it. If we do this in a relaxed way, it need not interfere with our various activities, but instead enhances what we do. Gradually, we accustom ourselves to living in the sensitive energy. Gradually, we stabilize the sensitive energy and our place in it. This becomes our home, our body of sensation.

For this week, please practice living in the sensitive energy.


        

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