Following a trail of thought requires a mental focus. While using our senses opens our body’s overall sensitivity. When we intensify our hearing, for example, we not only open our ears but our whole body starts listening, trying to receive any sound, however subtle, that will present itself.
Switching to another frequency
When we meditate, we do the same. We practice relaxing the narrow focus of thought and widen our awareness. In fact we open to how life presents itself while we sit on our cushion, being present instead of being lost in a thought story.
Following a line of thought is tempting, not because we like so much what we think but because it is simply a habit. Thoughts seem to flow in effortlessly, perhaps because our focus is on them already, as if we are permanently tuned in on a radio frequency that offers mental chit-chat. Meditation is like changing the frequency and then perhaps even letting go of the radio itself, simply meeting the ungraspable openness that we are.
Meditation is like changing the frequency and then perhaps even letting go of the radio itself, simply meeting the ungraspable openness that we are.
A more peaceful and nourishing reality
Although this may seem unattractive to our mind that wants to continue its broadcast, we actually long for the silence and the liveliness of this very moment, without the endless commentary of our thoughts. How we would love to press the off button sometimes! By tuning in on the frequency of what is sensed in the body and what is around us (the room, the sounds we hear, etc) we experience a much more peaceful and nourishing reality. We are no longer lost in mental images, but experience a spaciousness, a connectedness to all that is. It is what I believe we long for deep down: to melt into something that is bigger than we are, giving up our solitary little island.
The frequency of the senses
Tuning into the frequency of the senses, is like going beyond the mental images of our body. No longer are we “too fat”, “too invisible” or “too tense”, we actually begin to experience our bodily sensations as a living, sparkling presence. This you need to discover for yourself. When we meet the sensation of a tense shoulder, and drop any mental stories about it, we connect to the energy of contraction instead of something that is wrong with us and needs to be cured. Approaching a sensation as energy is already helpful in letting go of our mental labeling, locking what we feel into a cage.
As soon as we label something as unwanted, chances are that we only contract the place even more in an attempt to get rid of it.
We can sense energy as a substance, a dancing presence, a flow, or as light. Perhaps this substance even manifests in different colors. How we perceive energy is very personal, so trust whatever comes up for you. Even noticing a faint, subtle sense is already fine. When we meet whatever we feel in our body as energy, and we open to its presence, somehow the energy is set in motion. It is like our awareness is inviting the energy to come alive, move, expand or deepen. All we need to do is stay with it and follow the unfolding. No need to understand it or analyze what is happening.
This surrendering is deeply relaxing in itself, giving the body the room to let go of tension.
You may think this all sounds a bit hocus-pocusy, this talk about energy and flowing substances… Don’t worry, it is not. I could ask you right now to close your eyes and describe the sensations in your left foot, and you will come up with similar descriptions. Warm, cold, dense, light, lifeless or tingling. It is what you feel all day, but perhaps never used these words for. But once you get familiar with this way of sensing, your awareness of what is going on in your body increases, and it gets so much easier to relax into it.
In connecting with energy flows or substance, sometimes we can get lost a bit in its spacious nature. We may feel too wide and open. This happens when we relax too much. Try to stay awake, alert and present in your meditation.
The same happens when we get lost in thought and become totally unaware of our surroundings. Like when we drive in our car and can’t recall parts of the trip because we were in deep thought. So whenever you feel you lose your groundedness, come back and feel your physical form. Open your eyes for a moment, realize you are simply connecting to sensations in the body.
Letting life flow through us
Touching into tension or any other sensation with an open, unbiased approach is like stepping into the unknown. You cannot know what it is. When we connect with energy, even when it feels painful, we connect with life itself. And when we admit we truly have no idea what life is, we free ourselves on the spot, letting go (even for just a moment) of all our labels and beliefs, allowing life to fill us up, flow through us without being held at bay. This can be a freeing, wonderful experience.
Energy Flow Meditation classes
If you would like to be guided in an exploration of the senses and energy, I have created some Energy Flow Meditation classes for EkhartYoga members. The meditations work with the breath, movement and touch to awaken an energy flow that we allow to expand through the body.
These meditations offer deep relaxation and insights for advanced practitioners as well as beginners. You can read more about these classes on the Energy Flow Meditation page.