The body is an exquisite way to encounter the world around us. It takes us away from the pure field of energy which permeates the universe and allows us to receive different stimuli independently. This leads us to the senses, most being able to distinguish between what we see, what we hear, what we feel, and what we smell. The truth is, we cannot phantom existence without the senses we currently possess to translate all the informational input we gather from everything around us, and what’s more, we even use those senses to understand what is happening within us. More specifically, we feel what is happening within our bodies to various degrees, and by this I do not only refer to bodily reactions like our heart beat or cramps, but also our feelings, which are aptly named as such since they do have a tangible physical impact beyond their mental and psychological effects.
Before proceeding any further, I invite you to take a moment to close your eyes, briefly observe your breath, and do a complete body scan, being open to feeling what sensations happen where. Without judgement as to how you should feel, accepting both pleasant and unpleasant sensations, however they may arise. Once you’re done, deeply breath in and slowly breath out. You can repeat this exercise at will, wherever and whenever you so desire.
Observing the sensations that are constantly stimulating our bodies to various degrees allow us to be present to the changes which happen within us, whatever they may be. Having to urinate or being hungry are some of the most forceful sensations our bodies feel regularly, for they serve as warnings signs signaling us that there is some physical maintenance which is required to keep our biological envelop running comfortably. Beyond those, there is a plethora of more subtle sensations which cover a vast immensity of possibilities, from emotions, to energetic circulation, leading to tantrism and depth of conscious awareness. Those sensations can be vibratory feelings, pain, heat, tension, release, shortness of breath, heavy/light presence, and more. The more subtle our perception, the more when can expand that range to which we have access. The most flagrant example of this is food, specifically the refinement of taste that we can acquire, as in the case with wine. At first it might be unpleasant, then an appreciation is developed as we come to appreciate the intensity of taste it brings. Slowly, the tastes become more distinct, we become aware of the different tones present within this same initial intensity. Throughout that, some tastes and sensations we will prefer, some we will dislike, and that is our power of choice about the sensations we desire and those we feel averse to. I would rather buy a bottle of wine I really enjoy than one I didn’t really like.
To introduce one possibility of what an increase subtle awareness can bring us, I will share a piece of wisdom the Buddha taught through his Vipassana meditation. Everything that happens within our unconscious is perceptible by the body. Given that we are constantly taking in stimuli, or information, through our sensors, i.e. our senses, we have access to everything that happens in and around us. Everything that happens within us has a physical impact, and everything that happens around us has a physical impact on us as well. All our patterns are imprinted paths within our neural networks and muscles, all our emotions can be felt at certain physical spots, and all energetic transmissions can be receives through our own energetic field. To support that last point, in Matter to Mind to Consciousness, T. Lee Baumann, M.D. develops one the findings of electrical impulses coursing through our nervous system to communicate the stimuli they get. Our nervous system is composed of the nerves we possess, connected to our spinal cord, and thus our brain. The paths are neural networks of connectivity which are actually open to the outside. This means that we are not like computers, which only exchange information within themselves as a closed system (unless connected to the internet), but that in fact, we are more similar to antennas which constantly exchange electromagnetic vibrations with the world around them as open systems of communication.
Before we move into the implications of this idea, I want to offer another exercise to perceive our physical reactions in conjunction with our mental happenings. Take a moment to breath, come back into your physical awareness, how your body feels, and connect yourself to your inner world. Then think “No”, with all your will, and feel how your body feels to it. Once you have a clear (or as clear as you can get) sensation, then get out of it by breathing a bit, maybe opening your eyes, maybe moving a bit. Then go back in, and think “Yes” with all your will. Notice the differences in sensations that occur. Now, whenever you are unclear about if you want something or not, just tune into yourself and ask yourself the question. It is a constant process of increasing the subtlety of our awareness, and differentiating the various sensations which play simultaneously to decipher what is it is our body really tells us. So worry not if it takes some practice before the responses become crystal clear.
To come back to the idea of our nervous systems serving as antennas, the implications this piece of knowledge have are immense, especially for all that encompasses our conscious and spiritual aspects. One example of those implications is the possibility of telepathic communication. We emit sensations, and vibrations from our bodies towards the external world, and so another body in this external world can receive those same vibrations we emitted and interpret them in their own system. Which explains the contagious quality that our emotions possess. The truth is, we are always in a flow of telepathic exchange with our surroundings, but more often than not, these sensations are too subtle for us to constantly process, or we simply don’t pay attention. Nonetheless, they are received in our bodies, and compose our unconscious, subconscious, and conscious minds. The same is true from the sensations and feelings arising within us, generated by us, since we are an independent part of the larger system of informational exchange.
Being connected to this larger field of electro-magnetic information allows us to tune into it and receive information, while also being able to influence it through our own electro-magnetic fields. The individual direct effects may not be enormous, but through the butterfly effect, the possibilities can reach unfathomable heights. In other words; magic. It might not be as easy as chanting “one, two, three”, nor may the results be directly observable right after the fact, but what we emit resonates with our surrounding nonetheless. Tuning into this reality is both empowering and humbling, for we are but a small drop in an ocean of electro-magnetic information and movement, though a drop is all it takes to have a vase overflow and change the course of the currents.
Entering into this way of life requires a great deal of openness and vulnerability because it can only be done by accepting to feel all there is at the present moment, regardless of whether it’s considered as a “good” or “bad” sensation. It also takes courage, since the most efficient way to let the current course through us unhindered is by authentically expressing what is happening within us, thus releasing the blockages we may build to protect ourselves from our perceived fears of certain movements. Yet, just like any other ability, those are aspects we can work on and which get easier the more we practice them, leading to a wonderful outcome of liberation and connectedness within ourselves and with the universe at large. What comes next is still up to us to discover…