Insight #49 ~ ZEN Shredding…
June 9, 2009

new whistler blackcomb 046 

Be present in your body.


The easiest way to get out of your head and into your body is through your senses.  Nature’s intelligence speaks to you constantly through your senses.  The more attention you pay to your senses, the more you nurture your senses.  What you touch, taste, smell, see and hear can nurture your senses and allow you to become present to the moment as it is.


Extended commentary:

More often or not we have a tendency to judge or minimize our bodies and the experiences that can occur in those bodies such as feelings of stress and anxiety or emotions of anger, sadness and joy.  Many of us have lost touch with our natural ability of simply listening to our body and the many signals of comfort or discomfort that can readily be felt and accessed on a daily basis. One of the most common comments heard of a new meditator, is the amplified awareness they have of the amount of stress or emotions they have been “carrying” while in their body. 

The wisdom tradition of Yoga suggests that the body is a vehicle or instrument that can be used to navigate life not only with increasing levels of awareness, but also the bliss of simply being.  The five senses are a direct way in which we can not only receive relevant, timely information from the Universe, but also, express our uniqueness to/with THAT Universe.

Reducing the amount of stress that we accumulate in the body can allow “nature’s intelligence” to more easily operate as “our intelligence”; the vehicle of our senses can be utilized directly as a tool to reduce stress, which impedes the flow of information and energy to and from our own body and the body of the Universe.

The yoga of touch, is a valuable way to accelerate and elevate the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis or balance; for example in Ayurveda, there is a “Self” massage technique known as Abhyanga, whereby you give yourself a short oil based, daily massage, every morning after you wake up and before your shower.  I practiced this for many years and noticed an amazing improvement in my overall well being and ability to connect kinesthetically with all levels of body, mind and Spirit.  It was a simple way I could both appreciate my body with an expression of self love.

The yoga of taste is also an important way the body can communicate and regulate balance.  Do you notice that you enjoy certain foods taste different at times of the day and season?  Do you notice that you avoid certain tastes always, sometimes, or only occasionally?  The body has its own natural rhythm which coincides with the all other rhythms. 

When you listen to and allow your body to move to its own ebb and flow, you will find it will often calibrate itself, naturally, spontaneously and effortlessly when we honor its expression.  Food, spices and herbs, are delightful ways in which we can enhance, elevate and celebrate the gift of Being in a body, and taste is lateral way for us to digest the infinite, unbounded, information and energy that comes in the form of food, herbs and spices.

The yoga of Smell is considered to be the shortest and most immediate way of communicating via our nervous system/brain of all our senses (think of the short distance between your mind and nose).  Do you notice certain smells excite, relax or rejuvenate your body/mind?  Aromatherapy is only one tool we can use to improve the level of our personal well being and the “positive” neural association that smell has on the present moment.

Spending time in nature; listening to the sounds of nature, is an effortless, abundant way to entrain oneself to a symphony of resources.  The sound of birds at dawn, the waves on an ocean shore, the chatter of rain on a window sill or sound of wind in the trees, are a few numerous ways in which we can connect to the primordial sounds that occur naturally in nature; that will allow us to reduce the stress that may be occurring in our body/mind, while also nurture our body/mind/Soul at the deepest of levels.

The yoga of sight or seeing is an accessible way in which to synchronize the life throb that flows through all of creation.  Nature again can provide us with vistas beyond the normal day to day objects that appear and disappear in the world of form and phenomena.  A majestic mountain range, a single flower, watching children play, the beauty of witnessing a sunset, are simple ways in which we can access and engage through sight, an infinite number of scenes and images that quantify the ever present, underlying unity that can be found in our life experience.

I think it also important to mention that awareness “can be split”.  We can have our attention on our senses and their mindful use, AND, we can also be aware of the one who see’s, the one who is touching, the one who smells and the one who is tasting.  When we are conscious of both expressions, when we are aware of those perceived expressions; in that Self awareness, we have the ability to amplify and enhance our ability to be truly present to the moment…


        In what ways can you develop awareness around your body and senses?


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