Tuesday, June 17, 2008

14: Internal Self

"If you are not familiar with 'inner body' awareness, close your eyes for a moment and find out if there is life inside your hands. Don't ask your mind. It will say, 'I can't feel anything.' Probably it will also say, 'Give me something more interesting to think about.' So instead of asking your mind, go to the hands directly. By this I mean become aware of the subtle feeling of energy or aliveness. If you hold your attention in your hands for a while, the sense of aliveness will intensify. Some people won't even have to close their eyes. They will be able to feel their 'inner hands' at the same time as they read this. Then go to your feet, keep your attention there for a minute or so, and begin to feel your hands and feet at the same time. Then incorporate other parts of the body--legs, arms, abdomen, chest, and so on--into that feeling until you are aware of the inner body as a global sense of aliveness."
-- Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

I've often wondered where people start in meditation. How do you think of nothing? What about the laundry, the grocery list, the bathroom you promised to clean before he comes home?

Even in the summer, when the calendar often has an expanse of big blankness, I still find myself thinking of ten things at once: must finish that book that's due at the library tomorrow, must email mentee to see if we'll ever meet, must knit myself into a frenzy before Iago is born.

I think of Chris's post, as she works on her Master's thesis (and as I neglect my own) and the tip she gives: to keep a notebook at your side, write down everything that comes to your mind, all those ADD ping pong balls, get them to stop on the page right there and turn back to your work.

I don't think this would work in the quiet of meditation, the jarring stop-start and scratch of pencil on page, but feeling each bit of me, that might.

And at some point, maybe, just maybe, I'll come here to announce I've gotten my first draft of my first Master's thesis done. I am not 100% positive, but I'm fairly certain I am not permitted to start my MFA with an M.Ed hanging over my head.

Until then, I will continue to be more mindful of my self, my choices, my open days of summer.


Julia said...

i know what you mean about how to think of nothing. i'm able to do that during yoga- somehow, i don't know. but in general, it's quite hard. the list helps (you know this), and i do always have mine close at hand, especially by my bed-isn't that when we all think of the to do items?-so that i can get it out of my head and onto the paper and not worry about forgetting what i'm supposed to do.

Alice said...

i managed to feel the aliveness in wy whole body as i was reading the quote :D haha

Love Squalor said...

i'm in the middle of the tolle book and in the middle of my masters thesis right now. hmmm. middle of the road. just take it day by day, at least that is what i tell myself. feeling each bit of it - yes, that is the way isn't it.