- Nancy Ogilvie
Body AND Mind
Principle: Fully inhabiting our bodies as home to the Divine and us opens up new possibilities to explore.
Practice: Listen to the Divine Wisdom expressing through your body in sensations and use what you hear as guidance.
I had a really peculiar experience in meditation during morning prayer today: seeing my body as my home, when before I’ve seen it as who I am, as “me.” I felt a separation between “me” and “my body” that I haven’t felt in quite that way before, like I was clear that I am spiritual essence, not my physical body temple. And I wasn’t at all sure I wanted to be in my body. It was almost like finding myself in an unfamiliar place; I didn’t recognize my body as home.
I deliberately shifted into a curious, appreciative exploration of what it’s like to live here in my body temple. It feels like a fruitful frame - holding a curiosity about what I appreciate about my body, as well as what else I could appreciate. What does having a body to live in make possible that wouldn’t be without it? I get to walk on the Earth and see all the glorious fall colors. I can taste and see and hear and touch and smell. I know pleasure that’s unique to my physical body, like hugs! I began to see the gifts of living in a physical home, knowing that I will leave it someday.
And is there more You’d have me write, Mamas? It feels like maybe so, and I’m not clear on what… Ah… I’m noticing physical sensations in my body home, and my mind and my body label them differently. My mind labels the sensations low-level discontent, a little resistance, low-level anxiety and wants to tell them "no." My body calls the same sensations longing or desire and wants to say "yes!" Longing is present in my body temple, and my mind responds with “oh-oh, that’s not safe, better tamp that down!” So it resists.
And I’ve listened to my mind alone for so long that I’ve automatically been treating my body like an unnecessary, unwanted appendage to my spiritual self. I have been hauling it around like extra baggage - because its Truth – my longing and desire – terrify my mind. It’s painful to see just how completely my thinking has ostracized my body.
And now having seen this, I get to choose! I can choose to perpetuate the old thinking or to shift into that appreciative, curious stance I used earlier. “What gifts does my body offer? What’s it like to live here as a home?”
And what comes up in response to that question is “My body is sacred; it is my home, and it’s also the home of the Divine!” So what becomes possible if I say “yes” to the sacred Wisdom and Presence that lives in my body? What if I open to appreciating the longing and desire that my body temple experiences as Divine Guidance, and begin to rely on that wisdom?
It certainly gives me a very different perspective on life. It means I can trust the wisdom of my body because it’s Divine Wisdom. I begin to treat my body as the sacred space it is, as my home and home of the Divine Mother. I’m no longer a physical human being OR a spiritual being; I’m the union of human and Divine, the union of Heaven and Earth. Now that’s a paradigm shift; I wonder where it will lead?