Becoming Fully Incarnated
Meditation and Coffee Time – Wednesday
What first arose in my meditation time was my intention that my Life be defined by what I am longing for, not by what I am running from. And what am I longing for? This morning what arises is that I am longing to be fully incarnated in my body – to sense all my sensations and to feel all my feelings and emotions.
This intention to define my life by what I am longing for seems to be a breaking away from my Lutheran roots where I was defining myself as a “poor miserable sinner” “saved” by “Jesus’ bitter suffering and death on the cross” by which act of love “Jesus paid the debt owed God” for “my many sins” and “bore the punishment owed me for these sins” so that when I die I shall go to “heaven,” rather than to “hell” to endure the “eternal gnashing of teeth” I “deserve;” this being the “Gospel” and “testifying to God’s simultaneous love for me” balanced by “God’s righteousness as a judge.” In the new model I am intending to define myself by “God within,” infused into my very Essence by having been created “in the image of God,” and while from my “free will,” a necessary attribute of my God-nature, I distorted my divine nature and thereby brought “sin” into the world, my life on this earth is intended to be a time of “purification” and, by God’s grace, “transformation” of my distorted nature with its negative intentionality, all of which was, it seems to me, at least another version of the core teaching and modeling of Jesus, the fully incarnated Christ, during his ministry on this earth.
This identifying with my divine nature rather than with “my poor sinful being” nature changes everything. This new concept is unlike, say, Alcoholic Anonymous, where, as I understand it, one begins each meeting by saying, “I am an alcoholic,” thereby identifying with one’s distorted nature. No. This new stance is identifying with my True Nature, my Divine Nature, my Higher Self – and this Higher Self is my potential self that will manifest as my purification and transformation proceed, all by the Grace of God and the glorious nature of God’s Love represented in God’s Plan of Salvation by which the fallen Cosmos is returned to its original purity.
In my session yesterday (Tuesday) with Ed Gutfreund I was feeling what I say I am longing for: this incarnation, this filling up of my Essence with my physical body, complete with its sensations and feelings. In my session with Ed I was allowing my incarnation rather than fleeing from it in a schizoid kind of way that is so much a part of my patterned defensive behavior. Ed was inviting me to trust my body’s wisdom, letting my body inform me about my life. For example, when I said I was feeling depressed, Ed would ask, “What in your body is informing you about your feeling depressed?” or “Where in your body does this depression manifest in you?” Here he was carefully linking physicality with my feeling and emotional worlds.
Yes, my mind gets involved, but only after I feel my feelings deeply. After fully feeling my feelings, then my mind can begin its rightful work of inquiring about the possible causes and origins of my feeling of depression. And again my mind is informing me about my depression, not defining me by my depression. Yes the sequence is FULLY FEEL, then INQUIRE and EXPLORE possible ORIGINS and CAUSES of what I am FEELING. First, perhaps I could say, EMBODY the FEELING of depression, then inquire and explore possible origins and causes of depression in me.
At this Pat joined me for coffee. I shared what had arisen in me. Pat: How would it be if only we were not in opposition to our body, if we could just allow that our true longing from our Essence is for fully experiencing our incarnation, not running away from our incarnation in fear. How would it be if I would inhabit my body in awareness and gratitude – experiencing the deliciousness of myself, of others, of our entire incarnated world? If could just come to appreciate how great it is that this functioning mind can work with this body of mine and with my feelings, bringing them all into deeper awareness. It is through our bodies that we live this life. This would be a “higher way” of living – a way that is, at the same time, “merely and utterly human,” and truly a new way of living.
Pat: As you speak of Ed this morning, I can feel within my own being the lusciousness and thrill of being embodied at an earlier time in this lifetime of mine or perhaps in previous lifetimes. And then this morning, as I walk around getting coffee, opening the curtains, etc., I can feel my body moving. I have appreciation for such awareness in my body. But so often my mind can be “on task” of, say the task of getting coffee, rather than awareness of my body in the process of fulfilling its function of getting coffee.
Gary: The Pathwork Lectures speak of our sexual experience with its Eros as a peak potential experience of being in our bodies. This is not “on task” sexuality but the full spontaneous experience of our sexuality – physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually – arising out of our incarnated state of embodiment. Pat: From early on as a little girl I had this longing to live fully and in truth. I remember early in my life the feeling of lusciousness of being embodied. In these early years I of course became conscious of sexual feelings, and I remember being so curious about what these were all about. But in my household my questions arising from my curiosity about my sexuality could not be openly discussed. My sex education from Mom seemed so clinical and was shrouded in a field of fear and guilt, not at all celebrating my sexuality as a positive peak experience available to humanity by the Grace of God. So what was coming to me from my family around sexuality was so much less than the energy arising in me regarding sexuality. So I yielded to my environment and shut down this sexual energy. Now I am discovering that I, not my family, was correct regarding sexuality as a force to be experienced and celebrated. In my family I experienced a chronic suppression of my sexual energy punctuated by a few powerful incidents that blocked all expression of my embodiment as a sexual being in a female body.
Gary: The suppression of my sexuality growing up was more chronic, and I do not remember specific incidents with Mom or Dad that suppressed my sexual feelings. What I learned from Mom and Dad is that sexuality, apart from the mechanics, is something that is never talked about. This silence in the home was coupled with a similar silence in my parochial Lutheran grade school and church and Sunday school. To the degree sex was “taught” it was taught as “evil” “of the flesh” and to be avoided until “it happened” in marriage. I, too, was most curious about sex and the male and female bodies. So I, too, had a longing to invite out the fullness of my embodiment, though what this embodiment in general and sexuality in particular were all about was deeply buried in my unconscious.
Pat: From what I see in you, I’d agree that this longing for embodiment exists in you – living from your naked Essence. Gary: Naked in all ways – physically, intellectually, embodied, and spiritually – and meeting the world from this naked place. Perhaps this is even what my blogs are about – wanting to share from what is really alive in me as a “merely and utterly human being.”
Pat: This is what true marriage is all about! How blessed and privileged you and I are in this relationship we have between us – opening to the possibilities that are here – what each of us is bringing to the mix of “US.” And the Mix of US is ten-fold more than one plus one equals two. We are experiencing the great advantage of being coupled. What we saw earlier and defined as “marriage” was so much narrower. Gary: We, that is, You and I, have been raised in this clinical way regarding our bodies in general and our sexuality in particular, AND we Knew and then, over time, Forgot, and now Know on a deeper level, that there is so much more than we could even imagine to this uniting of man and woman in marriage.
Pat: This “More” was always my Knowing and longing. I was so shocked to discover that whatever I Knew and longed for was not coming forth from my earlier relationships. I Knew these relationships were not “it” – and that they did not offer the preciousness of what being coupled had the potential of offering. Gary: And ditto for me, though in one case I thought it was possible only to discover my own distortions of projection. Perhaps now you and I have the opportunity to press the RESTART button on our relationship. Pat: No, not the restart of “what was” but rather the DOWNLOAD of an entirely NEW OPERATING SYSTEM – offering a new realm of experience, a new dimension to our relational life together. Where do I get such a vision for us? Let me read to you something I was reading last night…
Pat got the book she has been reading, Spiritual Growth with Entheogens – Psychoactive Sacramentals and Human Transformation. This is a collection of essays edited by Thomas B. Roberts. Pat read out loud nearly all of Chapter 19 The Strengthening Aspects of Zen and Contemporary Meditation Practices by Kathleen O’Shaughnessy. This was an amazing essay by an amazing woman. Other authors in this work with whom I am familiar include Brother David Steindl-Rast, Huston Smith, Stanislav Grof, Albert Hofmann (author of LSD: My Problem Child), and Francis Vaughn. I resonated very deeply with O’Shaughnessy’s essay (open copy).
We agreed that this 2-hour coffee time was quite precious to both of us. Later that evening we listened to the recording of our most recent session with Sage and Anthony. Anthony closed the session saying that he felt privileged watching our work together and saw our work together as beautiful. What blessings we experience in our life together.
After our coffee time I, as usual, went to the gym. To expand on these thoughts I listened to Pathwork Lecture 251: The Evolution and Spiritual Meaning of Marriage — New Age Marriage. It beautifully harmonized with our morning coffee time.
Shared with love, Gary