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Thursday September 13, 2018
Attending to the Subtle Body.
I walk through my days relating to the world through my physical body (sthula sarira); experiencing life through my senses and all of the ways they connect me to the outer world. Often I get stuck there—in this purely gross, physical, tangible sense of “self,” formed by my relationship with the world around me.
Am I more?
What else is there?
Why is it that I feel a stream of awareness behind these base connections to reality?
On my journey through decades of practice I’ve brought more and more attention to the subtle body (suksma sarira). This aspect of self that carries and holds something deeper, older, and wiser than these transient experiences of the material body. This has meant going quiet, paying attention to what’s beneath the conspicuous, leaning into the unknown. It’s had me diving into the five prana vayus (movements, winds) as a way of clarifying the actions of this physical body, and allowing an awareness beyond it to govern my movements.
It’s also asked me to visualize the aspects of my experience that I can’t necessarily see. In that sense, it’s a practice of trust—that I can gather myself, ground myself, and light my own center up through a series of practices that demand my imagination… but that have palpable effects in my lived life.
These subtle practices support me by balancing my imbalances. When I’m too firey or airy or moving in a million different directions at once, they serve to ground, awaken, and allow me a deeper connection to myself and the world around me. In other words, once I’ve tapped into the more subtle aspects of this experience, my experience of the physical body becomes all the more powerful. Even better? They’re available to me—in this very body—at any time.