The Dance of Body and Mind

Sunday 14 December 2008

I'm telling ya, there is something to this chakra business. Not of course that it could be scientifically proven or deduced, in the way that we often expect truth to be available to us. Some describe it by saying that chakras exist on the spiritual plane of our bodies. I wouldn't know. I'm not all that interested in being able to scientifically test whether these chakras exist so as to prove them to other people and validate my own experiences. All I know is that when I meditate upon these balls of energy in my body, I begin to inhabit my own body again. It is sometimes distressing to realise how much of my life has been spent removed from my own body, in a sense. I have intellectualised, or fantasised, when I could have been dancing too.

It is a funny thing, but I never really felt like I could dance. All clunkiness, you know? I didn't understand how other people could do it. And so in my late teens and early twenties, when my friends and I were regularly getting together on a weekend and drinking and dancing at the pub, I would sit out on the sidelines. I felt too unbalanced to dance.

The whole idea of the chakras is that loosely there are three that are related to your body, three related more to the mind and the spirit, and the one in the middle, the heart chakra, that binds them all. It is a nice thought, isn't it? It is also interesting to note that, regardless of whether these things actually 'exist' or not, I consistently notice that those chakras related to mind and spirit are very strong in me - I have a strongly developed sixth sense - and the ones that are related to my body are often undefined and difficult for me to tap into unless I work to strengthen them. This is certainly my weakness. It is becoming so apparent to me I wonder how it is that I could have missed it for so long. But then, it always feels like that, doesn't it? We see what we see and wonder how it was that we couldn't.

Last night I did some chakra meditation, and I could feel the effects of this uncomfortable period I have been going through in the last couple of months. All of a sudden I have felt back at the beginning again, before I started all of this creative and bodily exploration. Almost without realising it, I have become way more ungrounded and fearful, feeling a certain disconnection from myself. Thing is, I spent so many years feeling that sort of disconnection that I suppose in times of stress I slot back into it, unless I am aware. I suppose that it is no coincidence that this period of unsafety of the past few months has dislocated me out of my own body.

It is no coincidence that most people I know seem dislocated from their own bodies. It's a product of living in a Western society. We lose our heart because we lose our feet, and so we lose our heads. I can only pray that the Body does not forget what it is joined to. Sometimes I think we are living in the converse of the Renaissance. At that time, people were supremely confident about the ability of humans to rise up to greatness. There was a flourishing of creativity in that period, of discovery, of realising how much people had been held back in the past. Where is our vision, these days? Where is the vision of the Body? Oh, I see smidgeons of it here and there. I see it is returning. I see that one of the greatest things we seem to be grasping hold of is the untenableness of grasping hold of anything else except God. Perhaps this is all we need.

Of course, that idea that we can do nothing of ourselves, that we are the branches - well, it doesn't sit well, does it? I think it's something we all need to learn for ourselves, what that looks like, feels like, plays out in reality. We think that acknowledging that we are just the branches is taking something away from us, making us smaller. I suppose much of life involves God showing us what it looks like when the focus is instead not on what we lose but in what we gain. Life giving water instead of broken cisterns of our own hewing. This takes so long for us to learn, does it not, this overcoming the horror that we are not the Great Originators? But over that hump is the vista that we don't end up losing anything at all that is not worth chucking in the first place, and we gain everything we could desire. This is our giant collective blind spot.

The Body has sat outside of itself too much in the past. It has allowed itself to be violated by the culture. It has sat outside of itself so much that I think it is just beginning to get in touch with the levels of its own self-hatred. This is scary work. You need to be safely connected to the heart to begin to acknowledge and recognise the disconnection. Perhaps this is where we are at? I don't know.

I am seriously tempted to start up some yoga again. The lovely discovery of yoga was that it was like a form of dancing to me that I could do. How wonderful to discover that I could do these movements, these postures, with something like grace. And afterwards, the most wonderful thing of all, the settling of my fears and insecurities in some strange way. It was like tapping into my body, actually moving in it, twisting it (sometimes into such forms I never would have thought I could twist it into) settled and calmed the fears. In writing this post I am understanding over again how it is that I don't need to have all of my fears removed, as if they are a cancer within my body that I must have surgically extracted. It is enough instead to be held, and have them quelled.

I have had a deep loathing of my own body for many years. It is way too hairy, lumpy, wobbly. I believe I have still not quite come to terms with it. I also believe this is like a manifestation of some things I have going on inside of me. I am not willing to share my body with anybody else until I have come to some sort of healing, to some extent. Doing yoga, I felt that I was entering into my own body in a way that made me realise how hollow I often felt within it, how not at home I was within my own body. Like us. We're often not at home in our own Body either.

But we're becoming more so, I believe we are. I have no evidence to back up that claim except what I feel in my own heart. Do you feel that too? I think it is about acceptance, of ourselves with all of our hairiness, lumps and wobbly bits. But even more than that, it is something overarching that we need to realise. I think it has something to do with vision, with seeing, more than it is to do with getting rid of all of our many and horrible sins. I think that is a byproduct of the seeing way more than anything else. I don't quite know what it all looks like yet. I know that it is the same sort of vision and scale removal and grabbing hold of something that is not from ourselves that enabled those first century Christians to chuck all they had in common with each other. We haven't experienced anything like that yet, not really. I think maybe we've all had glimpses of it. We haven't even begun to dance yet. I don't think we believe yet that we are able to. I think maybe we are just starting to hear the music.


  1. hmm
    there's quite a bit to digest in this one post
    thoughts worth pondering
    dance moves worth breaking

  2. I don't know anything about chakras...but what you are talking about makes sense to me. Maybe I've just never found out the names for what I sense inside me, and around me.
    Cool, learning something new to ponder on...

  3. Kel - dance moves worth breaking? That sounds ... dangerous :)

    Che - people poo poo them, I think because they come out of Hinduism (as if all truth is in Christianity and there could not possibly be any truth learnt through any other cultures or religions - bah. Crap idea)

    Like I said, I really don't know how "real" these are (not that anyone actually thinks they are physical things in our body) but if we are electric beings, which we certainly are, then why wouldn't they concentrate themselves in different parts of our bodies? Still, definitely heretical stuff :)


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