Monday, April 12, 2010
HEALING THE BODY
HEALING THE BODY
James Joyce wrote of one character, "Mr. Duffy lived a short distance from his body."
A B C's of "Spiritual" healing
a) Meditation practice and its progressive tendency begins with techniques for bringing us to an awareness of our bodies.
b) This is especially important in a culture such as ours, which has neglected physical and instinctual life.
c) In meditation, we can slow down and sit quietly, truly staying with whatever arises.
d) With awareness, we can cultivate a will¬ingness to open to physical experiences without struggling against them, to actually live in our bodies.
e) As we do so, we feel more clearly its pleasures and its pains.
f) Because our acculturation teaches us to avoid or run from pain, we do not know much about it.
g) To heal the body we must study pain.
h) When we bring close attention to our physical pains, we will notice several kinds.
i) We see that sometimes pain arises as we adjust to an unaccustomed sitting posture.
j) Other times, pains arise as signals that we're sick or have a genuine physical problem.
k) These pains call for a direct response and healing action from us.
Now the complicated Stuff
However, most often the kinds of pains we encounter in meditative attention are not indications of physical problems. They are the painful, physical manifestations of our emotional, psychological, and spiritual holdings and contractions. Reich called these pains our muscular armor, the areas of our body that we have tightened over and over in painful situations as a way to protect ourselves from life's inevitable difficulties. Even a healthy person who sits somewhat comfortably to meditate will probably become aware of pains in his or her body. As we sit still, our shoulders, our backs, our jaws, or our necks may hurt. Accumulated knots in the fabric of our body, previously undetected, begin to reveal themselves as we open. As we become conscious of the pain they have held, we may also notice feelings, memories, or images connected spe-cifically to each area of tension.
As we gradually include in our awareness all that we have previously shut out and neglected, our body heals. Learning to work with this opening is part of the art of meditation.
Spiritual Principles for Recovery
Initially, we have to focus on honesty, open-mindedness, willingness, humility, and acceptance.
The practice of the Principle Of Honesty starts with admitting the truth about our life and continues with the practice of honesty on a daily, moment to moment, basis.
When we say, "I'm in recovery" it may be the first truly honest thing we've said in a long, long time.
We begin to be able to be honest with ourselves and, consequently with other people eventually.
Change and recovery doesn’t happen overnight.
If I've been thinking about acting out on my stuff I need to ask myself; have I shared it with my sponsor, my therapist or my group; have I told anyone else or am I still keeping secrets?
To practice the Principle Of Acceptance we must do more than merely admit that we have problems.
When we accept our problems for what they are, we accept that they are not the working definition of self.
When we accept our problems for what they are, we feel a profound inner change that is underscored by a rising sense of hope.
We also begin to feel a sense of peace.
We come to terms with our obsessions, compulsions and addictions in our recovery processes, and with this we come to appreciate the meaning and comprehend the realities these eccentricities have in our lives.
We don't dread a future of recovery practices, of attending meetings, of interpersonal contact, of doing step work; instead, we begin to see recovery as a precious gift, and the work connected with it as no more trouble than other routines of life.
NDT The young man in the picture is from Vissershok School in the Western Cape of South Africa