The answers to life’s problems are not found in the head—they are found in the body.
When Eckhart Tolle was asked to describe the human condition, his response was on point; he simply said, “Lost in thought.”
We think too much. Most of what floats around in our heads, disguised as truth, is nothing more than fragments of the past—stale memories, old pain, and unresolved conflict. Our thoughts try to convince us that they’re worth our attention, but most often, they’re not worth anyone’s attention. It’s like a broken record that keeps repeating the same sh*tty song, and nobody in the room is present enough to shut the damn thing off.
If we are stuck in the past or completely lost in our own thoughts, we can never meet the present moment fully. Our thoughts live in the past—and if we take our thoughts too seriously, then we create a barricade between ourselves and our “real life” experience. Our lives unfold in the here and now, so the more we are trapped in the workings of our crazy monkey minds, the less we’ll be able to embody our actual experience and feel the fullness of life.
Try a little practice and see if you can notice how useless most of our thoughts really are. I’m talking about the voice in our head that calls itself “me.” Notice what it’s actually doing. Is it heroically digging to the core of the truth, or is it just creating problems to reinforce an identity that doesn’t actually exist? “I’m better than that…I’m worse than him…I want that…I need this…“
You be the judge—the real you, not the ego.
The mind has a place in life, don’t get me wrong—but it’s a relatively small place in comparison to the “felt presence of our immediate experience.” Our thoughts can only really be helpful when we are already grounded in our experience, and we become grounded by listening to the music of the body.
Our body is the vehicle in which we experience the world—our meat wagon that we take through life. When our attention is focused on our body, rather than our thoughts, we feel more alive. In fact, it is only when our awareness is on the body that we can even know that we are truly alive—otherwise, our own aliveness is just a hypothetical reality instead of a living, breathing experience. We have no connection to being, unless we feel the energy of the body.
What I mean by “listening to the music of the body” is simply paying attention to the rhythm that our body is expressing.
What are we feeling?
What is our energy like?
How fast is our heart beating?
How are we breathing?
We are living, breathing, changing creatures—and all of this is manifested through the music of the body. We are not this static “thing” or some kind of idea—we are trillions of particles thrown together in a chaotic dance of electricity and fluid vibrance, combusting into an awakened and alive energy force. It is something worth paying attention to.
The mind thinks. The body knows. The mind thinks that the body knows. The body knows that the mind just thinks. Delve into the infinite intelligence of the body and see what you discover.
Here’s a trick: close your eyes and make yourself aware of your body. Just relax, and feel what you’re feeling. Rest in the gap between breaths. Notice what’s happening. Notice what you’re feeling. Is there tenseness? Is there heat? Are there tingles? Simply acknowledge whatever is sensed in the body, and breathe deeply into it.
Any feeling that comes up, bring all of your attention to it—feel the sh*t out of it. Keep breathing. Keep scanning the body. The vibe. The energy. The inner movement and the inner stillness. See it. Be it. Know it. Move through the body as though it were an undiscovered land—that’s listening to the music of the body.
In my experience, when I simply recognize the fact that I exist—that I’m alive, that I am being—I move into the realm of pure experience, the inner space of the body. What I’ve been noticing lately is that so much of my energy is consumed by my thoughts—and when I’m always thinking, I can’t really sense my own aliveness or be grounded in my immediate experience. It’s amazing how we unconsciously identify with our thoughts, deriving a sense of “me” from old patterns and past experiences.
What I’ve been trying to do, through meditation and self-inquiry, is identify with the fundamental life force that I am—my consciousness. That’s what I truly am, and when I give credence to the energy field of my own awareness, the challenges I face in my life become very small in the face of the true depths of my being. There is joy. There is love. There is beauty. When we are in alignment with our true nature, nothing can stop us.
Author: Samuel Kronen
Image: Unsplash/Jake Davies
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman