Bringing the Body Online
One of the unexpected outcomes of the digital age has been the outbreak of a plague of disembodiment.
This plague traces its roots back to the explosive awakening of the Western Enlightenment, where rationally empowered individuals began to break from a long history of groupthink and religious ideology. This rational revolution enabled unprecedented breakthroughs in science, technology, self-governance, & human rights. But it also cast a deep and long shadow — one that we’re now struggling to understand and rectify.
Since the time of the Western Enlightenment we have valued mental education over physical embodiment. We’ve valued the growth of our economic and political systems over sustaining the physical ecologies that enable this growth. We have brought our minds online, while leaving our bodies behind.
This plague of disembodiment has left us alienated from the ground of our own lives. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
One of the amazing things found in the Eastern versions of Enlightenment is a profound freedom that is grounded in the body. A recognition that, in fact, the mind & body are not two separate things, but one interconnected living form.
When we find our seat we are practicing a form of embodied meditation. And embodied meditation is an act of social awakening. We can’t heal the collective rift between mind & body, without feeling our own first. Put another way: It’s only when we bring all of ourselves online that we awaken to the full potential of our connected humanity.
The Six Points of Posture
At first flush these ideas can sound idealistic, perhaps even ungrounded! For that reason we have to root this vision in practical terms.
The practice offered here involves working with the six points of posture:
- Seat — Explore the different options you have for selecting a seat and the basic mechanics associated with each.
- Hands — Look at the options for where you can sustainably place your hands while sitting.
- Eyes — Do you close your eyes or keep them open while meditating? We’ll look at both options and the strengths and downsides of each.
- Balance — Find an optimal balance in relative space, from left-to-right, front-to-back, upward & downward.
- Alignment — Learn how to align the core of your body with the force of gravity.
- Attitude — Have your mental attitude reflect the relaxed and energized physical posture of meditation.
These pointers will give you specific ways to find your seat — and reconnect with your body — while in the sitting posture. Finding your seat means bringing the body online.