Consciousness,  Ego,  Embodiment,  Practice

What is embodiment?

Everytime I hear the term embodiment it rings in me like something I long to realize.  I have an intuitive notion of what embodiment means and the string of this knowing is plucked each time I read or hear about it – leaving a vibratory ache for greater understanding that is ineffable.  I believe that my understanding of embodiment will continue to evolve for the rest of my life.  For now, all I know is that there are times when I feel more filled out, like more of me is permitted to live.   There are times when my attention is not captivated by my ego and it holds the tender elements of my being like a cat held, and warmed by sunlight.  Often, when a sensation, thought or feeling arises the micromanaging ego becomes uncomfortable, feeling out of control amidst a sea of experience.  It locks down, in protection, against the very force that birthed it and we experience the hardening of the body, heart and mind.  The body hardens in tensions, the heart locks into moodiness and defensive modes, and the mind rigidifies around narrow stories that emprisons our vision of life’s goodness and beauty.   In yoga, psychotherapy and spiritual practices we are attempting to massage the ego into letting go.   When that happens when the ego relaxes?  We are allowed to be as we are.  And, we are free to experience the natural flow of thought, emotion and sensation as it permeates us every moment of every day.  Imagine, walking into a strange social situation, where it is natural to feel some discomfort and instead of becoming overcome with anxiety and negative self-thoughts you are free to feel the subtle vibratory quality of discomfort, as a sensation in the body.  And, then you are free to watch it change, transform and dissipate in the next moment.  No reaction, just a beholding of the tender discomfort showing you your beautiful vulnerability.  In this there is a willingness to channel awareness into that experience and live it, rather than repress or exaggerate it.  To me, this is embodiment.  Here, there is no turning away from the reality of one’s experience and beingness.  In fact, becoming more whole means turning away from less and less of ourselves over time. I turn the eye of my consciousness more completely toward weakness or strength, love or hate, goodness or evil.  When I am embodied, I am all these things, knowingly.  I see it, I make space for it, and I get to know the darkness that the ego has so vehemently been protecting itself against.
Yoga, is the practice of not turning away –  of settling, moment by moment, into our skin and all the muck and wonder contained within it.