This Entity We Call the Body
A description of body and mind as co-partners in our spiritual awakening.
..."Once again then, we find that even with such subtle techniques as “listening to the body,” or “following the breath,” or coming to a more “global sensation” of the body, that the implementation of these techniques is undertaken by permission of the mind. And oddly enough, this continues to escape our notice. It is the mind that still holds the baton.
Very rarely do we come upon a truly reciprocal relation, in which there is a sharing of awareness between body and mind—as co-partners. Yet it is precisely this state of rapport with our earthly companion, that provides an indispensable foundation for the real work of self-study and self-awakening. And as we become more practiced in this way of relating to the body, something interesting occurs. We find that the living presence of this being begins to make itself known to us through its emanations—which we experience as sensation or sensory awareness—and that this enables us to partake of the body’s own field of awareness. Not as object to the mind, but as subject within its own sphere of influence and awareness.
We realize then that we are no longer associated with a “body.” Rather, that we are in the presence of a living being, a being with whom we share the journey towards spiritual awakening.
What is extraordinary about this way of approaching the body is that the experience of it seems so natural. It is also pragmatic in that it has the effect of freeing the attention from its usual deep identification with the tensions (and thus from the physical, mental and emotional habits that are supported by these tensions).
We discover then that this dynamic state of rapport with our living partner grounds us; it grounds our work. Instead of dreaming of the work of spiritual transformation, we live the work. And because we are thus grounded, we become thereby more receptive to the help from above that is always available to transform us—whenever the inner conditions allow this lawfully to take place."
—Don Hoyt, Views from the Real World: Early Talks of Gurdjieff
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Adventurer, Researcher, Writer, Dreamer, Buddhist, Feminist, Therapist, Tour leader, Folklorist, Dancer in liminal spaces, Leopard lover.