Thursday, April 2, 2009

Body Wisdom

Body Wisdom

The morning began with a vague awareness of having lumbered through a night of convoluted dreams, the kind that involve ceaseless heavy lifting, trying to do things that won’t get done, which ultimately don’t make sense anyway. “Sisyphus” comes to mind – that unfortunate figure of Greek mythology condemned to repeat forever the same meaningless task of pushing a rock up a mountain, only to see it roll down again.

I woke up with a sigh, wondering what all that dreaming “meant,” if I needed to try to sort it out now , etc. But then the body made its presence felt, a stabilizing and coherent influence. The breath took over and the inconsistent dream world flitted away. What a relief!

The wisdom of the body is amazing. The mind gets confused; the body does not. The mind can plunge into uncertainty, doubt, fear, anguish, etc. The body’s experience of all this is both visceral and vicarious, so far as I can tell. In other words, it doesn’t go through any of that directly, but becomes the memory bank for containing those un-integrated mental/emotional states of disturbance.

Such unresolved energies get lodged in the flesh and are later perceived as tight, sore muscles, aches and pains, and in severe cases probably disease.

The body holds and keeps them until the being who is supposed to be in charge of things surrenders to the process of integrating and resolving all those ancient traumas. It is patient and longsuffering . . . to a point.

Body wisdom is comforting as well. One evening I was engaged in a salt bath, soaking in hot, highly saline water for hours. Eventually I turned over and submerged my head to make sure all the chakra’s were included in the treatment.

Underwater all kinds of stomach noises were suddenly audible (from having eaten at 10 PM four or five corn tortillas with peanut butter and jelly on them).

To the mind this racket was disturbing because it sounded like crowds of people bursting into the bathroom with knives to stick in my back.

To the body, on the other hand, it was like, “Yawn. Give it a rest.” The body did NOT want to be bothered with all that silly hysteria over life and death.

The body can handle uncertainty very well. It doesn't even know what uncertainty is.

So here’s to body wisdom. Peace and quiet on the home front.


  1. I absolutely Love warm salt baths. Had one last night before my pipe full of inner bark of the red willow. the body is where it ALL at! How paradoxical and refreshing huh?
    Love your writing!

  2. Looks like the purple passion flower. Now thats a special flower. Makes GREAT tea! And tells some really good stories! And It on a vine how perfect!!!

  3. Can I borrow your crayons?

  4. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!!! I'm headed for a tepid tubby...that electric bill can wait, candles are finer anyway huh?:)

  5. Yes that is 'seemingly' paradoxical and oh so refreshing...I layed on my side and heard what I thought was a jackhammer ripping up the concrete street out front, I lifted my head, it stopped, under the water I heard it again...up again, was the sound of my heart pounding!
    WOW!!!!!! Quite Required! I am sore-ly lacking in body wisdom... Thanks again!