Embodiment is our capacity to be present for the fulness of our human experience, as it is communicated to us by our nervous system and reflected in our body.
Many of us are quite disconnected from our bodies: our culture encourages us to live in control towers up in our left brains, and to treat our bodies as objects we possess rather than the repositories and mirrors of the richness of our lives (which is, incidentally, how our right brains see them). We flaunt or mortify our bodies, we want to enlarge them or slim them down; yet we are rarely taught how to truly listen to them.
Once we do learn to be present in our bodies, a window into a world of wisdom and growth opens up. We realize that the truth of the embodied experience of our lives is often quite different from the stories in our heads. We then get to integrate this truth into our lives, and a beautiful process of personal growth and healing can emerge.
What's more, the body is a powerful gateway for spiritual development. It is no accident that awareness of the body is the first foundation of mindfulness in Buddhism. As we meditate, we learn to soften our resistance to what's unpleasant and our attachment to what feels good; we begin to accept impermanence; and we get a glimpse into the more subtle aspects of the nature of our bodies as fields of different kinds of energies.
Awareness of the body helps us better understand reality as it really is, rather than constantly run around spurred by attachment and aversion.
If you're ready to embark on a journey of physical, psychological and spiritual growth, I invite you to join the one-day online retreat titled "Re-Inhabiting Our Bodies" which I will host on Sunday, November 6th. Sign up here - I look forward to practicing with you!