The Body in Presence

Many of us are in the habit of using the body to help us become more present. This is excellent and to be encouraged.

But the opposite question is also extremely valuable: when you are in a deep state of presence, how is the body experienced? How does presence affect your sense of what the body is?

These inquiries lead to one of the strangest paradoxes of embodiment work. The more relaxed, at-home and embodied we become, the more the body (as discreet, separate, rigid form) disappears.

We are left with the sense of a field. The sense of softer boundaries. The sense of spaciousness extending in all directions. The well-being present in this state is enormously potent and restful.

It also helps clarify how contracted we often are in everyday life. How compressed awareness becomes. How jagged and short our breathing is. The low-grade stress response we often find ourselves in becomes a real priority to work on when we see just how far from the natural state it is. "Normal" does not mean healthy.

It’s important to allow the body the space and time to unwind. Natural, authentic movement, soaking in hot water, etc.

But then, rather than jerking yourself onward to the next task, schedule in some stillness time. Take corpse pose. Wrap yourself in blankets and wear loose fitting clothes. Let the body let go on its own clock, in its own rhythmic way. Be the silent witness. The guardian that gives it the compassionate space to unwind. To become itself again. To heal.