Your Guru The Body – Part Seven

First there is our personality or awareness. This offers itself and is acted upon – and there is that which acts upon it which men have given uncountable names. These two are really one, but are seen as such only later. Sri Aurobindo says: ‘One commences in a method, but the work is taken up by a Grace from above, from that to which one aspires. It was in this last way that I myself came by the mind’s absolute silence, unimaginable to me before I had its actual experience’.

After his initial years of meditation, Gopi Krishna came to see that ‘Contrary to the belief which attributes spiritual growth to purely psychic causes, to extreme self denial and renunciation or to an extraordinary degree of religious fervour, I found that a man can rise from the normal to a higher level or consciousness by a continuous biological process as regular as any other activity of the body.’

The energies of this higher consciousness in man and woman are a natural process. It is as natural as the arrival of teeth in the child, or sexuality in adolescence. In fact it is a continuation of the same process. But it seems as if this process of growth which extrudes the body, brings about human consciousness and personality, washes us up onto a seashore from the ocean of Life processes. To grow beyond the point of ordinary everyday awareness, it appears that we must agree to go along with life – must consciously decide that this is what we want – we must co-operate with the process or else be stranded on the shore.

How do we do this? First you have to recognise clearly that some process, some force, causes you to exist. You can call this what you wish, it doesn’t matter. It remains what it is. Next recognise that this process that you are, causes changes in your life, and is apparent as growth and maturing. It does this by integrating your life and everyday experience. Next, decide to go along with this process. Offer yourself as you are to it. Let things happen – allow changes to take place. You will be shown the way.

This path does not attempt to crush the ego, the appetites, or the instincts. Rather, it hands them over living so that they can be transformed to higher levels of expression, and reach towards fuller self-realisation in everyday life. So this opening, this ability to allow things to happen, just during the time of the exercise, is what we are aiming for.

Now you are ready to use one of the most productive of the approaches – the Growing Seed approach.

  • Repeat the step of finding a position and feeling of a dried seed. When you find a position and inner feeling that suit you, take the next step by letting yourself explore, with body movements, postures, and awareness of your feelings, what might happen when you as the seed are planted in warm moist soil and begin to grow. Continue your feeling exploration to find what will occur when you as the seed grow, put out leaves, blossoms and fulfil your cycle. Explore the whole cycle of the seed’s expression. Don’t think about what the growth of the seed means. What you are looking for is that you explore your own feeling sense in regard to the seed’s growth.
  • What this means is that as the dried seed you wait with the open, keyboard feeling that you have been practising. Don’t make things happen. Surrender your effort. It doesn’t matter if no movements occur. The waiting and openness are the important things.
  • It might be that as the seed you feel very strongly you do not want to grow. In which case remain in the form of the seed until you feel a change and an urge to grow, or until your session time is finished.
  • When you sense the experience has finished, rest quietly for about five minutes and end the session.

The following quote from a letter I received gives an idea of the wide range of experience that can arise from this approach. Judith describes her use of this ‘seed’ approach to inner-directed movement as follows:

I am a trainee yoga teacher and have been teaching for three years. I have a small class of fourteen students who are keen and attend regularly. I decided to have my students try the seed approach to see how they would react. I explained it as well as I could, and the feedback I got was as follows – A man in his thirties said, ‘I felt I was in a womb. It was very comfortable, cosy and dark. I wanted to stay there. I didn’t want to come away – it was so peaceful. I have never experienced anything like it before’. He was very impressed.

A woman in her thirties felt like throwing her arms around and kicking her legs. ‘I felt I wanted to give birth and was about to deliver’. She didn’t fling herself about, but held back. I think it was a pity she didn’t let go. Perhaps I didn’t explain the whole procedure clearly enough for them to understand that it was entirely free movements. The majority acted out being flowers. Only one in the class thought it was a lot of ‘bloody rubbish’, her words. She didn’t even try. She thought she would feel stupid acting out a seed.

I was surprised at the outcome, that so much should happen first time. I personally felt as if I became the bud of a crocus. I seemed to be slowly unfolding with difficulty. Not until I fully opened did I feel a great relief. The results of this have made me feel very positive in my outlook, and far happier.

Experiencing your growth as the seed is enjoyable without any concern about what it might do or be beneficial for. Its possibilities are worth understanding though. Judith’s experience of feeling difficulty in opening, and great relief when opened, typifies its action.

What this means is made clear by the experience of a man, Graham, whom I worked with personally. He found that while being the seed he had no urge whatsoever to grow. He lay on the ground for the whole period and felt how wonderful it was that he didn’t have to actively express himself.

When we talked this over Graham told me he could easily see the connection this had with his life. He said that although he was energetic, and as a male nurse had to deal actively with people all day, he never felt he was really present as himself. As a person he hid behind his role as a nurse and seldom exposed his real feelings to other people. In fact he wondered if he had ever really expressed actively what he felt or believed.

Graham then used the seed approach again. This time he felt the urge to grow and emerge from his non-expression. He gradually opened out from a curled up position and slowly moved, with hesitations, to a kneeling position. At that point he stopped. He explained that standing up – being present with his own feelings and potential with other people – was so new to him, that the half way position was as far as he could grow at that time. Nevertheless, it gave him an exultant feeling to be at last, for what he felt as the first time in his life, daring to go into the world as a real human being. He felt sure that in following sessions of the seed approach he would progressively emerge more fully.

The seed approach deals specifically with your growth as a person. It helps you work out, through creative movement, any restriction in expressing your potential and your physical energy. People who have not lived out their own inner needs, or are inexpressive physically, will find this helpful. But the seed approach goes far beyond that. It is a meditation in growing toward your own potential, and in doing so growing beyond any darkness and pain within you.

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