In my last blog post Embodying the Dharma – Yoga Practice for Buddhist Teachings, I talked about the Four Noble Truths in Buddha’s teachings and how we can embody those truths in our being and integrate them into our lives.These universal truths describe the fundamental essence of spiritual psychology and the reality of the human condition. Without an acceptance of that reality, the transformational process is blocked.
There are some other truths (noble or otherwise) in our lives that are not so self-evident or universal. These are the truths that apply to us as unique beings. We have unique gifts, we inherit unique tendencies and competencies, and we have learned things that no one else has learned in the same way. All of this makes us one of a kind. So do we know these truths about ourselves? And how do we accommodate and utilize them in order to bring our best foot forward in life?
Our body can be a wonderful source of information and support around them. We can learn to engage embodied mindfulness practices to discern our truth and begin to answer some important questions like: What is true for me in life? What are my gifts? How am I drawn to use these gifts in my world to support both myself and others in my life?
In contemplating these questions, we often engage our mind, to think out these answers. There is nothing wrong with that, but we can open ourselves up to a possibly deeper and broader perspective by bringing our body wisdom into the enquiry.
Here’s a simple step by step process on how we do this using our Phoenix Rising approach to embodied mindfulness.
- Engage – To get in touch with body wisdom we first need to engage our body with minimal static from other sources (our mind, I-phone, spouse, children, environment, etc…). We need to find engagementin a way that brings us toa place ofbody centered presence moment to moment. There are many ways to do this: The simplest is to just jump around for a few minutes while being present to your body in the process, or do an hour of our embodied mindfulness yoga practice. You could go for a walk or a run. Perform any of these actions minus any distractions and with a focus on your body moment to moment. The important thing here is to connect with your body with focused present moment awareness.
- Ask and Listen – Come to stillness, place one hand on your heart, and ask your body your questions one at a time. Allow plenty of time for the response to emerge. Let your body (rather than your mind) give you the answers. This takes a little practice. And it helps to register the first thing that pops up into your mind. It might sound a little weird but if you try it on before judging it, there may be something to it.
- Integrate – Once you getyour answers, check them out. Imagine how they apply to your life. Perform this reality check with an open mind. Don’t discount what might seem impossible at first glance until you’ve had a chance to try it on.
You can use this process both to enquire and to use your body as a partner in implementation of your awareness.
I have found from experience that it helps to share my truth(s) with others. If you would like, please share your answer(s) below: What is true for you in your life and what are your unique gifts?