What Does Anatomy Have to Do with Yoga? — Part 1

Tantra and Hatha Yoga recognize the universe to be a single unified field of vibrating and undulating intelligent-life-force. The Unity philosophy says that all of nature’s manifestation – from the tiniest to the unimaginably large – is an expression of vibrating energy, and that vibrating energy is inherently conscious, intelligent, and aware.

 

The field of form and relativity, according to Tantra, is nothing more or less than this vast sea of creative intelligence manifesting into nature, under its own motivation, through itself and its elements — earth, water, fire, air, and space; one seamless undulating sea of undifferentiated and differentiated awareness, vibrating at varying densities, with changing, rising, and falling characteristics and traits, giving rise to a nearly unimaginable variety of creative expression.
Might this be so?  If this idea resonates with your intuition continue to inquire. If at every level of our being, including all the densest layers of our structure, we are aware and intelligent-vibrating-energy why don’t we notice this? And also, what would it be like if we did notice this? And even more interestingly how can we do it?

Great teachers from many traditions have told us that the reason we don’t notice this overwhelming reality of life is that we are constantly being distracted  by the functioning of our individual mind and our egoic-self-involvment. In other words – we are not paying attention! We are usually just preoccupied with something else.

This is where the study of embodied anatomy™ comes in.  Since the human body-mind is such a perfect manifestation of creative intelligence – all we have to do is attend to it. We embrace our bodies as the objects of meditation. We inquire – with keen attention and refined, inwardly directed senses – into our structure. Clear and persistent inquiry always reveals insight into the qualities and the functions of the structures, and the intelligence that is their very nature.

Read: “What Does Anatomy Have to Do with Yoga — Part 2

 

4 thoughts on “What Does Anatomy Have to Do with Yoga? — Part 1

  1. If what we are is “one seamless undulating sea of undifferentiated and differentiated awareness, vibrating at varying densities, with changing, rising, and falling characteristics and traits, giving rise to a nearly unimaginable variety of creative expression…,” and, “If every level of our being, including all the densest layers of our structure, we are aware and intelligent-vibrating-energy… why don’t we notice this?…And also, what would it be like if we did notice this?…And even more interestingly how can we do it?”I’ve enjoyed contemplation of these questions. It has been my experience that we “notice this” all the time, but that the noticing is like a fish noticing water so the implications of what has been noticed remain assimilated. The phala (the fruit of this noticing), I have found, is in the assimilation of the implications. If one is only continuously unconsciously noticing this undifferentiated consciousness, then the fact of it remains uncognized knowledge. So there may be direct perception and no understanding of what is being perceived. “Why do we not notice this?” Working with myself and with others, I have found that, basically, people are naturally, largely preoccupied with solving the problem of unhappiness, the problem of suffering, and many people have not done a whole lot of inquiry in to the fundamental nature of their unhappiness. To what are we attributing our unhappiness? I like to refer to the basic cause as the feeling of (and corresponding belief in) being incomplete, not whole, and therefore not secure. So the samsaric orientation to this problem is an orientation toward becoming. Only a person who feels that “I am a small, limited being, separate from all other beings in the creation” is oriented toward the incessant toll of becoming something other than what one already seems to be. An assimilation of one’s being as a unified field (a non-dual/undivided reality) would mean what? It would mean that I am ever secure. It would mean freedom from fear—fear of that which is not me, fear of an “other,” because unified, undivided, means not two! If unified means not-two, then doesn’t it mean that I AM the whole? Because there is only one, I am already whole and complete. The assimilated implications of this knowledge are not merely cognitive but experiential, they are embodied facts; they are the conscious, embodied fact of my freedom and, at the same time, of my infinitely differentiated glory.There are so many confused, scared, and hurt parts on the subtle and gross levels of the body-mind-sense complex, and they must be intelligently attended to, witnessed and related to in the light of assimilated understanding of the unified, abundant field of one’s being. It’s been my experience that a practice of hatha yoga held by a non-dualistic vision is wonderful for the assimilation of this understanding—for containing, guiding, nourishing and deepening the process of “owning up” my direct apprehensions of both relative and ultimate reality, differentiation and non-differentiation. This “owning up” I understand, in part, as a process of displacement—displacing false conclusions (in the form of holding patterns, contractions, in the body-mind), of re/desolving adhesions, and of dis-identification with limitation, all of which can happen in an instant, but, most often, most of this only becomes a steady, experiential recognition in time, with dedication to assimilation of what is recognized at the time of practice/teaching. A practice of inquiry that I have found to be very effective is an inquiry into the non-divisibility of knower, knowledge/knowing, and known or, alternatively, the perceiver, perception, and the perceived. The perpetuation of the division (between these three standpoints enjoyed by the One) at the level of understanding keeps us preoccupied with “egoic self-involvement” because we are ever concerned with protecting the limited (in every respect) individual—separate from the rest of creation—that we take ourselves to be. An individual must continuously struggle to make its way in the world, to protect itself from everything that it is not “me.” That is the samsaric plight of individuality; that is the glamour of individualism that so many people are competitively clamoring for, because that is what people have been socialized to invest in. The buddhi has to be able, and inclined to, negate the false conclusions of the misinformed ego, and it can only do that when it knows the true fullness of itself. One of my teachers has written, “Generally behind every [divisive] action is a person who is frightened or greedy. He is greedy because he feels small, and frightened because he feels overwhelmed by the world….” Our egoic self-involvement cannot just be glossed over, bypassed. It has to be investigated and healed. Its false demons need to be “exorcised” by repeated—“clear and persistent”—recognition of what is. Thank you, Patty. I love your offering.

    Like

  2. nice thread above. i like "he is greedy because he feels small, and frightened because he feels overwhelmed by the world." my grandfather taught all actions are either an act of love or of fear, and ultimately fear is an act of love gone wrong. the work is in seeing this truth in our differentiated awareness, where as you said "An individual must continuously struggle to make its way in the world, to protect itself from everything that it is not ‘me.” where there are threats and challenges of our idea of self and security. as we inquire into our own bodymind experience and become familiar with that underlying expansiveness and play of creative intelligence down to the tiniest particles and sensations or thought waves we begin to trust the promise of yoga, Om tat sat, and hopefully layer by layer the fear and feelings of smallness, isolation and vulnerability begin to melt away. and we begin to live our practices, seeing everyone as a potential student, potential teacher or a reflection of what’s both great and cowardly in ourselves. perhaps then in one lifetime we may be able to hold our drishti for long enough, to recognize…

    Like

  3. Thank you Lakota and Kristin for your lively comments. I think you are so right, Kristin about people being preoccupied with "solving the problem of unhappiness". What a sad trap we all fall into — craving happiness! I feel that looking for happiness is a journey of the mind: thinking, negotiating, measuring, deciding, directing, pursuing a goal. It would be fine if it worked, but it doesn’t. Mind is usually barking up the wrong tree.By directing our inquiry to the body we are letting the thinking mind off the hook for a time. Thinking is a useful function of the mind and is no more an obstacle to recognizing Unity than beating your heart or breathing. It is just a function. But since we are so attached to it’s perceived self-importance it is useful to unhook the thinking mind from the process of our inquiry by beginning with the body. This helps place the function of thinking into its proper perspective with the Vastness – it is just a function. Egoic self-involvement can relax in the realization that it is not actually the center of the universe after all!The thing about the body is that it doesn’t think in the same way as mind. Every cell is awake, intelligent, and self-aware – but not involved in discursive thought. Perfect for meditating on! The nature of the body is the same “stuff” as mind, it just doesn’t have the same problem of thinking itself into circles all the time. Recognizing life force as the source of every physical structure we explore, we are invited into the realization that all of this – every aspect of body and mind – is this field of Creative Intelligence functioning. It’s overwhelming! Jai!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s