Why are we so disconnected from our bodies?

We are living in a world where we are constantly trying to multitask and balance multiple aspects of our lives. We often forget the importance of taking care of ourselves along the way. It is easy to disconnect from our mind and body, leading us to feel disconnected, stressed and overwhelmed. The mind-body disconnection is a common problem that many people face. It can be caused by various factors, such as stress, anxiety, depression, or trauma. This disconnection can lead to physical symptoms, such as pain, fatigue, or digestive problems. It can also cause emotional symptoms, such as feeling disconnected from your body, feeling numb or empty, or having difficulty being present in the moment. Mind-body disconnection can also make it difficult to connect with others or to find meaning in life.When we are disconnected from our bodies we tend to spend too much time in the analytical right side of the brain. It is here that we create overthinking, false beliefs, and obsessive self-talk. It is here we become victim to the drama of our thoughts and listen to thoughts like: I’m not good enough or I can’t do it or I should be better?

What causes us to hold onto negative thoughts like that and keep thinking them over and over again? What’s the point? It’s as if someone else is in charge of what we think. That ‘someone else’ is what we call the Ego-Mind – a hodgepodge of ideas, impressions and beliefs that sashayed into our lives when we were young children. This ego-mind is what you learned about yourself from others, from experiences, and from the society you grew up in. Crucially, however, it’s important to understand that this is not actually YOU. It’s only who you think you are – and there’s a world of difference between that and your true self.

We need to be courageous if we want to allow our authentic self to shine through. We need to allow ourselves to question what we believe about our deeper sense of self. When you allow this to happen you gradually begin to trust that there’s something incredibly loving and intelligent behind everything. This knowing is way beyond the capacity of your mind to embrace.

The body is the most direct and perfect path to profound spiritual transformation. It is through our body that we can connect with the inherent, self-existing wakefulness already present within. The body, is always in a profound state of being — all we need to do is access what already exists and abides. We all have the power to do this, it is so simple, but needs us to be courageous and committed to the path of growth. This growth starts with the commitment to turn inward and to reconnect with the innate knowledge of the body through meditation.

Meditation is the simple yet profound practice of awakening to our most fundamental self. At this very moment, we have within us a fundamental state of being that is empty, open, and free. And yet, at present we cannot see it because it is covered over by all kinds of habitual tendencies and obscurations. Through the practice of meditation, we are gradually able to let go of these — burning away the extraneous and leaving exposed the brilliant, awakened state, which is what we really are. Opened by this process, we are able to engage our lives with tremendous clarity and warmth, so that we see and appreciate this sacred world and are able to love others in a way that is truly selfless. The process of meditation initially gives us back our lives and our deepest selves, and ultimately opens our hearts to the entire universe.

Mindfulness of the body is the foundation of the meditative journey. It puts us in direct touch with who we actually are and the actual person, ourselves, who is going to make the spiritual journey. By bringing our awareness into the body and using the breath as a vehicle for exploration, we begin to awaken to our immediate, naked, non-conceptual human experience. We find ourselves discovering the amazing colour and dynamism of our own inner life, our constantly flowing thoughts, the endless world of our sensations, our feelings and emotions that rise and fall like great ground swells in the ocean, and the infinite space and peace of our own fundamental awareness. As we become more familiar with ourselves in this way, we can begin to relax into this natural process and develop a deep and abiding appreciation for all the aspects of ourselves, others, and the world.

When we drop beneath our thinking mind into a direct experience of our body, we find ourselves in a field of direct experience, awakened intuition, and unconditional awareness.

Somatic meditation takes our body as the fundamental arena of meditation practice. Rather than trying to develop meditation through our left-brain, thinking mind in a top-down process, as is the case with most contemporary approaches, somatic meditation involves a bottom-up process, wherein we connect with the inherent, self-existing wakefulness that is already present within the body itself.  In contrast to conventional approaches that emphasize entry through the intentional thinking of the conscious mind and following conceptual instructional templates, somatic meditation develops a meditative consciousness that is accessed through the feelings, sensations, somatic intuition, and felt sense of the body itself. The body has an immediate, intuitive awareness of the totality; in fact, it is the seat of our human intuition. We are simply trying to tune into that basic, intuitive awareness of the body. Put in Buddhist terms, the human body, as such, is already and always abiding in the meditative state, the domain of awakening.  It is possible for us to step into that.

This bottom-up somatic approach to the meditative process throws into bold relief the way in which conventional, top-down approaches are too often little more than mental projections—like mental gymnastics. In the direct, non-conceptual, intuitive approach of Somatic Meditation, the practitioner is able to meet his or her own experience in a direct, naked, and totally accessible way. Importantly, it is only this kind of unmediated experience that brings about lasting transformation. In Somatic Meditation, then, we realize that the ultimate meditative state is not found outside, above, or in some other place; it is discovered as the most essential and profound reality of this very human body of ours, just waiting for us to awaken to it.

In our yoga and meditative practice we always work from this intuitive approach to tap into our bodies’ innate intuition. It is here that deep healing and personal and spiritual growth happens.