Our ability to feel our way around our body and breath provide a doorway to presence. By swapping out thinking for feeling, we are actively choosing to engage with what’s real rather than the constructs of our minds.
For example, our minds may be biased towards filtering current experience through the lens of the past and then projecting out on to a supposed future. By turning our attention to feeling, we attend only to what is here, now.
As we engage this practise (such as a guided body sensing exercise – you can find one here, we inevitably drift back to the mind and thinking, but with guidance and by remaining alert, we can keep retuning our focus back to our felt sense.
As we develop this practise of ‘feeling into the body’, we begin to experience a shift: from something that feels solid, stable, and inert, to sensations that feel more dynamic, more alive, less substantial and more energetic.
We can dive deep into particular sensations and feelings in the body, and as we explore them, they become more subtle – less substantial. We begin to feel space between our cells and a ‘dancing aliveness’.
We can then make a choice to go inward or outward. The inward focus takes us ever deeper and, just like a scientific experiment, if we go deep enough we discover nothing underneath. Emptiness is really the nature of the body at its deepest level.
Or we can go outward, endlessly into the space surrounding us. As we explore with a refined felt-sense, we discover how the experience within of dancing aliveness is mirrored by the external. If we can give up the idea that the space around is dead and lifeless, we can begin to feel in our first-hand experience that it is quite the opposite: dynamically alive and vibratory.
Then, when we explore even further, we discover that behind this dynamic aliveness is a stillness. Just as our exploration into body sensation, we experience a stillness or emptiness behind the aliveness.
A final exploration we might make here is to go between the two: the body and the space around the body. Again, in our experience, before the mind and thinking makes a difference, we realise that the idea of separation is absurd. Impossible. That the body and everything that we perceive to be separate from us is inherently the same thing: born from emptiness, inherently alive as vibratory aliveness and then coming in to form and observed as objects at a more superficial level.
It’s deeply important to develop our felt sense experience. This may mean many hours of working on sensing the body, feeling our breath, and feeling our emotions and thoughts as a first hand sensory experience within the body. This sensing ultimately leads us in to the subtleties of meditation and opens the door for us going all the way in to our most subtle self and outwardly toward our interconnected wholeness.