Embodied Wisdom: Meeting Experience Through the Body
Awareness travels on the breath, as do sensation and emotion. Breath, awareness, sensations, and feelings are all motions of life. To engage them is to engage with life and to meet experience as it is. It is not coincidence that these same principles form the foundation of all yogic disciplines, meditative approaches, and bodywork practices. By consciously opening to what is happening in the present through the body, we become more aware. This awareness is an act of freedom from the illusion of separateness. As we reconnect body and mind, we reconnect to ourselves, to others, and to the world in which we live. We witness the rise and fall of sensations and emotions, without trying to cling to the “good” and avoid the “bad,” or perhaps collapsing down our attention solely onto our pain or tension and missing the small moments of release, relaxation, or realization that do occur. We perceive the moment as it is and open to people as they are, without focusing on how they—or we—“should” be. We simply open to what is happening, and to whatever and whomever presents before us; we touch life and are touched by it. This is compassion in action. Moreover, it is an act of grace, a reminder that every part of who we are and what we feel is acceptable. The experiences recounted in this chapter serve as reminders of this innate potential and capacity to continually open to experience as it is, to allow ourselves to wake up a bit more, and to see into and through the stories of people’s lives as they touch our own.