Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For the week of May 24, 2021


Sensation Body

(Creating Our Soul: 1)

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Perhaps you are sitting as you read these words. Or more accurately, perhaps your physical body is sitting. But how do you know your physical body is sitting? You can look down at it and see it from the outside, the outer visible surface of your body and its clothing, sitting here. You also have an inner sense, proprioception and interoception combined, of what your body feels like, of what it feels like to be in your body.

Ordinarily, we are barely in touch with our body. We know it is here, we know the posture it is in, we know about any aches or pains or other strong signals, like heat or cold or wet or hunger. But for the most part, we are only partially and rather weakly in contact with our body. This presents an opportunity.

The inner sense of our body can be enhanced, dramatically. And that enhanced sense of our body has many benefits. Most obviously, it enables us to be aware of the state of our body and its needs in a more detailed and nuanced way than otherwise possible. Furthermore, an enhanced sense of our body gives us an enhanced sense of our life, of being alive, with everything more vivid. For example, being in contact with our body as we eat opens us to the colors, aromas, textures, and tastes of our food, giving us greater satisfaction and perhaps diminishing our propensity to overeat.

Less obviously, an enhanced sense of our body affects our mind and emotions in a very positive way, by spilling over to give us an enhanced sense of our thoughts and feelings. This greater awareness of our mind tends to bring more clarity to our thinking and less being lost in the associative stream of thoughts. Greater awareness in our emotional center helps us recognize what we feel and why, which in turn supports our quest to be less reactive and more at peace.

All of that provides ample justification for the practice of living in contact with our body. Yet a deeper reason for doing so, is the effect on our soul. There is a substance, a subtle substance, which is part of a class of spiritual energies. This substance mediates our contact with our body, our inner sense. We call it the sensitive energy. The more sensitive energy we have, the more direct and vivid our contact with our body. Crucially, the sensitive energy is the primary substance of our lower soul or second body, that is if we develop one. For that we need to accumulate a great deal of the sensitive energy within us and blend it with higher energies, so that it crystallizes into a second body.

For now, we will focus on accumulating the sensitive energy. Elsewhere, for example in the Ladder of Being series #3: Sensitive Energy Practice, we have described in some detail how to recognize the sensitive energy, how to be in contact with it, and how to work on sensing our body, our whole body. That sensing practice is fundamental to the work of the soul. We aim to practice sensing our body to the point where the sensing is strong and continuous throughout our day.

That practice can be greatly enhanced by energy breathing. When we first work at this, it should be in a quiet, meditative posture and situation, so that we can relax and focus. Later, after we gain familiarity with it, we can practice energy breathing anywhere, any time. To clarify, energy breathing does not entail intentionally altering the physical pattern of our breathing. For example, we are not trying to make our breathing deeper or slower. The physical pattern of our breathing may change slightly, if at all, but only as a byproduct of the energy breathing practice. To clarify further, energy breathing is not the same as conscious breathing, where we take the breath as our primary object in meditation. Energy breathing is not primarily about being aware of our breath; it is about drawing energy from the air, in this case sensitive energy, with the help our breath.

Sitting quietly, relax your body and then practice sensing your whole body. Put your attention on the air coming in through your nostrils, for a few minutes. The air all around you is filled with shimmering particles of energy. Using your will, your intention, and your attention, cast a net of attention out into the air. As you inhale, draw that net, filled with particles of energy, back into you with your breath. As you exhale, allow those particles of energy to spread throughout your body. Continue this cycle with each breath, as you sit quietly and sense your whole body.

This practice of energy breathing will make that sensation of your body stronger, until it is filled to saturation with the sensitive energy. At that point, it begins to feel like you have another body, a sensation body or body of sensitive energy, coexisting with your physical body.

Then rest in presence for ten minutes to allow the energies to settle in you.

As you go about your day, come back to being in your sensation body, frequently. Start to live in both your physical body and your sensation body. This is a precursor to the development of your lower soul or second body. For that, we aim to make our sensation body more substantial than our physical body.

For this week, please work on building up and living in your sensation body.

See Also: Energy Breathing and Energy Body


     

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