The Body as A Gateway To Liberation


Strictly nondual beliefs such as “The body is an illusion,” “Only consciousness is real,” and “I am not my body,” are very often a convenient excuse for avoiding an awkward and poten- tially painful inquiry that challenges the much-cherished notion of awakening as a transcendent state without the messiness of the human experience.

If this becomes a spiritually rigid perspective, the full maturation of awakening cannot take place. I have met many spiritual seekers who have undeniably experienced the truth of nondual awareness and yet clearly exhibit signs of dissociation.

An inability to maintain eye contact, sit still for long periods of time, being out of touch with feelings, difficulty in experiencing intimacy, a sense of viewing life from a distance, and a tendency to experience panic attacks are all common and indicate that the light of awakeness has not yet descended from mind to heart and belly. It’s in the tender recesses of the heart and in the cellular memory of the body that unwelcome energies from the past coalesce into the intensity of dark emotions and unresolved trauma.

Most often this manifests as a physical armoring (experienced as tension, tightness, and tiredness) and a physiological overreactivity (experienced as emotional numbness combined with emotional outbursts). If awakeness is to flow into our everyday lives, all these contractions must be fully opened to as a feeling-sense.

However much the body is seen to be an illusion, the very real suffering of pain and loss on a human level is unavoidable. If addictions and unwholesome lifestyle behaviors are not examined, they are likely to lead to a decline in physical activ- ity and the manifestation of unremitting pain and disease. Even if there is no obvious physical disease, the natural course of aging and eventually death will have to be faced. The body may well be an inconvenience, but it’s a persistent inconvenience!

Are you willing to meet the inconvenient truth of your body?

Perhaps there is a fear in the back of your mind that if you fully embrace the reality of your physical experience, the rarified stillness of nondual awareness will be tainted, you’ll fall from the giddy heights of transcendence into the density of the human experience, and you’ll forget who you really are as consciousness and descend into egoic suffering.

Or maybe you are willing to see that you are already suffering if you remain attached to a transcendent viewpoint.

Are you willing to examine the fear of facing the agony of what has been locked into your body for a lifetime?

Are you willing to face the horror of loss as the body disintegrates when pain, illness, and eventually death arrive on your doorstep?

And are you willing to surrender all your notions of what it looks like and feels like to be awakened?

If your answer is a resounding yes, then the possibility of discovering what is truly alive and free inside every manifestation, however agonizing or terrifying, is very close.

By being unafraid to get up close and intimate with the earthly reality of your body and with every part of your earthly life, an awakened awareness gets polished into the jewel of awakened living.

Excerpt from the bookEmbodied Enlightenment’–

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on Live a Holistic Life and commented:

    Some thoughts about the Body from Amoda.


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