This Body

July 30, 2008

After a spectacular series of falls and collapses Brooks told me: “Open as who you are in your body. You have to be present in your body, if you are not – you are not really here. Not really present in this reality.” My first thought at hearing this piece of wisdom was “o f..k!” (it’s not polite to use swear words in blogs, I know, but no lesser word would quite express my reaction). I have done all I could to not be in my body for as long as I can remember. My body was slapped, molested and otherwise abused when I was a child, I tried to starve it when I grew up, and when I started on my “spiritual journey” I made sure to pick a practice that would leave a little loophole for me and allow me to ignore my body and have everything happen in my mind. I wanted nothing to do with my body, I avoided anything that would force me to be closer to it, a massage sounded really scary, the very idea of doing yoga or yoga-related activities was absolutely unacceptable – I tried once and after a couple of weeks I was crying from resentment and revulsion before the class. But, seeing no way out of it, I took the advice and opened as who I am in my body. It really hurt, and then my mind disappeared. I was more present than I’ve ever been before, present as who I am. Only and completely. I was only myself, absolutely autonomous and independent. The reality was me and I was reality. It wasn’t an experience of being who I am, it didn’t feel like being who I am – it WAS being who I am. As I opened more and more I realized that there is no difference between my body and “me”. There is no separation, there is no sense of me and not me, no feelings of me “having” the body, or “being in this body”. I realized that the sense of separation was always there, between the body and me, even though I understood that it is part of who I am, that how I relate determines my body’s well being, that how responsible I am determines my body’s health … but there was always my body AND me. No matter how well connected, they still were separate. As I opened inside and through my body, uniquely as who I am only, I realized that my perception of my body changed. It was no longer a separate entity that I related to, it was not solid and clearly defined, it was not dense – it felt exactly how I felt: boundless, open space. No boundaries, no beginning and no end. Just space, only being, only me. Simply another way for who I am to express itself in reality but so much more powerful, so much more … present. With a full presence in the body there is no place for mind, there is no place for thoughts, there is no place for ideas. There is only being oneself fully and completely. There is no observer, there is no one that could experience being oneself, there is only presence. All boundaries, all separations, all structures are gone. Then the difference between experiencing who I am outside and inside my body became apparent to me. I always had a sense of who I was, more or less. It was always easy for me to open to this awareness. Easy also to disconnect myself from the reality of mind, from being a human on earth. There was a split, a separation. I was who I was in relationship with my self but not in relationship with other people, in relationship with my job, my finances, my life. There I was still run by my mind. I realized that this split not only disappears instantly, but is impossible when I am me in my body. Then there is only me, there is nothing else, no room for anything else. Then I have no choice: I have to relate as me only, because there is me only.

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