Waiting for the upcoming book “The Book of Little Things”, I would like to write a post related to one practice which will be presented in that text.
It happens sometimes during an apprenticeship, that we are forced by the situations caused by our guide, to discover a new practice. Otherwise, we would never put our attention on it. If a guide (a teacher, a mentor) is smart enough and good in what he does, his aims are successful.
I remember a particular situation which happened in the summer of 1999, when I asked my mentor for the thousandth time in eight years of work with him, how to attain a better will. A stupid question, someone will rightly say. Indeed, there is no recipe to attain anything in the field of inner development – only regular and diligent practice to develop something, and this was just what I missed at that time: a real diligence.
Now, I won’t enter into the discussion I had with my mentor, but the core of his speech was that I still knew what I had to do because all that I needed, I had obtained from him. Also, he said that, if I hadn’t understood this, then working with me was a loss of time and unless I perform these practices from “A to Z”, we wouldn’t meet again. A blackmail with good and useful purposes. He created a condition to make me move from a situation in standstill.
But telling this story is not the aim of this post. The aim lies even beyond the effects that this situation produced in me.
Indeed, after this reprimand and three days of typical depression caused by my mechanical behaviours, I decided to perform a practice in which I would remain motionless for long periods of time. Of course, I didn’t invent this practice, it had been shown and proposed to me several times before, but at that time, I didn’t want to perform it though it would be useful to fight my mechanical attitude to seek some comfortable practice.
The practice consisted in remaining in a motionless sitting position for two to three hours, and it is not possible to understand what one could experience from inside, minute by minute, when subjected to such a “test of resistance”, if not experiencing it by ourselves, especially the first time. After a while, the whole body would react – the fingers, hands and legs begin to shake, the pain in the knees, buttocks, back… and all the emotional and intellectual reactions to such a situation we imposed on ourselves…. after a hour, our psychophysical field would begin to refuse this situation.
To move some part of the body would mean a defeat. The only possible solution was either to renounce or resist at any cost.
Every minute of such resistance meant a success for me, to achieve a glimpse of effective will, of my effective capacity to resist, to understand in depth, the motivation that led me to follow such a teaching… and many other things.
Once I passed a determined “pain threshold”, unexpectedly, all was changing and the psychophysical field was transformed into a huge space of peace and beatitude – states that I didn’t know was possible to achieve through such an “invasive” practice.
Anyway, what I wanted to point was not the pain I bore or the efficiency of such a practice (which is more than efficient), but the strange feeling of entering into the body, to be able to explore its deeper fields.
I was able to achieve a state of presence in such a way that I remembered asking myself, more than once, “but where am I during my ordinary life?”
Ok, now you will say that the same results can be obtained with the practice of the “inner body” as presented by Eckart Tolle. No, the results of such a practice are actually a shadow of what one could experience and achieve through a practice in being really motionless.
After these practices, instead of being exhausted, I was totally toned and renewed, able to feel my body from my hair to the toes.
This became at that time, part of my daily practice: a fantastic voyage in the energetic field called physical body – feeling and perceiving it through the skill to put our awareness inwards (truly inwards). I tried dozens of other practices that claimed to give such results, but not one was close to the feeling that was a result of a real and aimed intentional effort.
Usually, we focus our senses outwards – to what we perceive from the external environment, and when we would like to know something about how we really function, we address the mirror, to radiography, magnetic resonance, psychologists, or psychoanalysts without knowing or without the wish to accept that it is possible to extend our awareness inwards through specific practices of breath and mental focus.
Feeling our body from the inside is not only a beautiful experience, but extremely useful, and the utility of such a practice is more than obvious.
And, at one moment of the practice, something interesting could also happen; it could arise a question that could lead us to answers we sought for all our life: “Who is this who is able to explore this body from the inside?”