Today, I invite you to perform your yoga postures (or any other exercise) with the intention of experientially understanding the nature of body. While exercising, feel weight-ness, heaviness, and rigidity of the body. Observe body’s resistance to movements. Perceive this feeling of body’s weightiness, heaviness, rigidity, and resistance as the "earth element." Why call it “earth element”? Weightness, rigidity, and support are recognizable qualities of the soil mass.
Similarly, as you are standing in a particular posture, scan the body with your awareness from top to bottom feeling each part and becoming aware of pain and body heat. Perceive the feeling of body pain and heat as the "fire element."
Become aware of the breath movement by feeling the touch of the breath in the nostrils. Feel the movement of chest by feeling the contraction and expansion of the chest region. Feel the movement of limbs, and so on. Perceive these feelings of movements as the "air element."
Become aware of how body flows into different postures; become aware of body’s cohesivity and interconnectivity of tissues, cartilages, muscles and limbs by subtly feeling it. Perceive this feeling as the "water element."
In this way, based on feeling (experience), perceive the body simply as a bundle of four elements of earth, water, fire, and air. Developing such a perception has profound implications. Perceiving pain simply as the fire element and not as "my pain" or as something "happening to you" can significantly reduce the reaction to pain. Try it. You will be pleasantly surprised.
Practice following meditations /contemplations to modify your perception of the body as well as mind. Perceiving the body as a bundle of various material elements such as earth, water, fire, and air, and perceiving the mind as a bundle of various mental elements such as feeling, perception, attention, volition, can help you dis-identify with body and mind. It can help you become less body-centered and more body-aware.
SOUL RESEARCH INSTITUTE NEWSLETTER, MARCH 19, 10
EVENTS AT S.R.I.
Also, contemplate on the aging and decaying nature of the body: “This body decays and eventually dies because whatever takes birth must die. This is the supreme law. I cannot do anything about body’s aging or decay. I cannot do anything about the certainty of its death. There is no way to change it. There is no control over it. It happens on its own accord.”
“I should call something as mine only if I have unchallenged and unchallengable control over it. If I can not change the certainty of aging, decay, and death, how can I call this body mine? This body, this materiality, is thus utterly devoid of any owner or any fixed-being. I am now convinced that I am neither just this body, nor the body is just me. There is really just this phenomenon of body and there is just this awareness of it. That’s all there is.”
“I now see ‘body as body,’ the way it really is.”
Establish yourself in such perception (which is rooted in experiential understanding) and free yourself from bodily attachements- its boundaries- so you can abide in the universal.
Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD.org) is now carrying
From yoga teacher Mary Jo Cleaveland, Vice President, SRI Board: Every Wednesday, 10.45am-Noon. Only one more students can be accomodated. Please contact Mary at 719 282 9343. Heartfelt offerings made to SRI are gladly accepted.
(Women's Group Invitation)
Topic: Ayurveda - Science of Life
From Patricia Carle, Community Outreach Director, SRI: This month, Mary Jo Cleaveland will do a presentation on Ayurveda... Science of Life. This will be an overview of understanding the natural elements that are essence of our body-mind and nature. How these elements manifest when in balance and in imbalance.
When: Saturday, 03/20/10, 2-4PM
Where: 8635 Gatewick Dr in Briargate, Colorado Springs, 80921