Embodied awakening

It’s really about bringing awareness to the body’s capacity to relax when it is able to perceive that invitation from the earth. To this willingness to open to both those parts that are relaxing as well as those parts that are holding tension with equal generosity.

Guided meditation by Caroline from 3-day Silent Retreat, August 2023

(transcript)

So just letting your system feel settled on the earth, or as settled as possible, or even maybe just registering that the buttocks and the thighs and the feet are resting on solid ground.

This isn’t a thought. I want you to actually experience it for yourself. Go down to your body, take your attention way down, almost like you’re taking an elevator down, to your buttocks, to whatever part of your body is touching the ground.

It could be through the furniture and floor and whatever. But just that feeling of the weight of the body settling in, and feeling that sensation, that familiar sensation, where the weight of the body meets the ground. And there’s a pressure in certain parts of the body.

And so you just let your attention rest there at that meeting point. See, because when we acknowledge, again, as a felt experience, not as a thought, of course, we all know that we walk and we sit and we lie upon the earth. We all know that as an idea.

But I’m not talking about an idea here. I’m talking about a felt experience of your body resting on the earth. So in order to get that felt experience, you must bring your attention down to the place where you’re actually feeling the sensation.

And right there, in that meeting place between body and earth, there is an energetic transmission from the earth. Essentially saying, relax, sweetheart, I’ve got you. Or whatever words or sentiment that comes forward. And also through the earth, there’s this transmission of deep, deep, deep, deep holding.

She could literally hold every last bit of you, the parts that you love, the parts that you’re ashamed of. There’s something here that just holds it all with love. And give your body time. It’s not like it’s going to just hear this invitation and then completely let go of all tension.

That doesn’t generally happen. One, it probably would be too much because the light that would pour through would literally blow your circuits, which happens sometimes to people. Where they have these sudden awakenings and then they’re dysfunctional for quite a while because they just don’t know how to operate with all this light pouring through their system.

So for most of us, how this happens is this is a gradual melting of the tensions that we hold in our ego structure and therefore in our bodies. A gradual melting so that the light of our being can increase gradually as well and pour through not only our bodies to create greater health and vitality but also pour through our hearts, pour through our personalities, pour through our whole energy being so that we are able to access a deeper understanding, deeper wisdom, deeper knowing, deeper creativity, deeper love. So allowing the body to melt in its own time and in its own way.

There’s no demands here, there’s no agenda. So if you’re noticing within your system that some parts are starting to soften a little bit, and simultaneously that kind of makes the parts that are a little bit more tense stand out because of the contrast.

And that’s okay because this deep holding has space for both the parts that are relaxing relatively easily, as well as the parts that are resisting it. It’s all held in love. And when the body starts relaxing, the energy body starts relaxing, you may begin to feel a few things.

One is that you feel more grounded, you feel more ‘on the earth’, you feel more settled. You also might notice that there’s a sense of flow or vibration in your body. Sometimes you might even get tingling in your fingers and your hands and your face as the energy starts flowing.

Because of course when the tension lets go, the energy that runs through our circuitry, our meridians and chakras and nadi, is going to increase. And that may be felt for a while as vibration or shakti as it’s called sometimes in yoga. And so you can just notice that and enjoy. This is a process that we’re just simply observing.

There’s nothing we need to do. It’s really about bringing awareness, one to the body’s capacity to relax when it is able to perceive that invitation from the earth. To this willingness to open to both those parts that are relaxing as well as those parts that are holding tension with equal generosity.

So I invite you to bring your awareness to a part of your body that feels like it’s melting quite nicely right now. You might feel some heat, some warmth, some softening, kind of a pleasurable movement. So just bring your awareness there and allow yourself to enjoy and open to the sensations related to this softening.

So essentially we are just spectators to this ongoing dissolving and relaxation that happens naturally in the body. There’s nothing we need to do. If anything, I’m inviting you to get out of the way and then the relaxation happens all by itself. So noticing the places that seem to be most able to let go and enjoying that.

One of the key things that we can do to help the more tense parts relax is really enjoying when the body does soften. Sort of like when you go to a party and people are dancing, right? If you feel nervous about dancing, you know, you might kind of stand back and feel a little awkward. But if somebody is on the dance floor and they’re so enjoying themselves in a non -self -conscious way, it’s enticing to go and join them.

So it’s like that with the body. If you can really enjoy those parts that are softening, enjoy the sensations, the pleasure of the flow of life moving through places where it maybe hasn’t moved in a while.

The fullness of it. The feeling at home quality of it. And then as you do feel the being relaxing, you can also broaden the lens of your awareness to include those places which are holding that are perhaps resisting or where there’s kind of like an obvious tension or contraction or density even.

So maybe just go to one place that feels particularly protective.

We’re not dragging anything onto the dance floor. We’re just turning our awareness. We’re including it. And we’re letting it take its time. So the gratitude comes from simply being aware. The capacity to notice and to be fully present in your moment.

So it’s an attitude of gratitude. It’s not gratitude because my body is soft. So there’s a sense of gratitude to be able to be really present with ourselves with both the relaxation as well as the tension.

We simply listen. We listen. Because the path to awakening and liberation, to untethering our souls is actually written in the cells of our being. And reading these messages is really akin to taking time.

To come into the body, to open to it, to feel, to be humble, so we’re not imposing preconceived ideas on what it needs, but really listening with freshness. A beginner’s mind, as the Buddhists say. So what is it to be in the various territories of your body in this way?

And has the sense of relaxation, relaxation shifted since we first began? The sense of at ease-ness in your being? The truth is that many of our beings are a battlefield. Lots of little battles going on. And yet when we enter in this way, the arms can be put down.

And there’s a sense of respect and openness and availability to innovative ways of seeing that feel authentic. Our bodies, our emotional bodies, our minds, our energy bodies are all meant to be allies on this journey. And when we really sincerely take that on, there’s a great deal of relaxation that can happen.

And then the intuitive voice, the voice of the soul, can be heard much more clearly as it ceases to be overpowered by the voice of the ego. And we can just notice for ourselves that it feels better to be listening from this place. It feels more peaceful, more full of possibility.