Image by by Larisa Koshkina on Pixabay
“The purpose of life is not to transcend the body,
but to embody the transcendent.”
~ The Dalai Lama
That’s not what I tried to do most of my life!
I tried to leave my imperfect-in-so-many-ways body to find a place in heaven, where things were perfect, I was told…
I tried born-again Christianity, anorexia, perfectionism, following the ideals of my family, my culture, my partners, and my EnneaType, to name a few big ones!
And none of it transcended me. I had my moments of feeling uplifted, transported, even angelic… but it wasn’t enough.
I still felt caught in a body. Caught in my moods. Caught in my habitual thoughts.
And my striving to always make myself and life better was hard on me and on those around me.
Being introduced to women’s work helped me to start filling out the picture a bit.
I came to realize that there are ideals up there and there is the reality right here. There is the way I want things to be and the way they are—physical, sensate, relational…
Getting into loving relationship with the inner Feminine helped me be here, in this body, in this life, in this relationship, in this Eairth.**
Not always striving for something that my mind had cooked up about the way things should be out there somewhere.
Meeting the Enneagram also helped because I got to see nine different ways of being in the world, and the myriad of individual expression within each. It broke open my idea that there was one perfect way (the ideal of my type, type One).
So, you might ask,
HOW do we embody the transcendent?
By doing our work to become a clear, open channel.
We can’t embody it if we are not living, sensing, feeling, touching, breathing, moving, resting, loving, … being in our bodies.
So, it starts with opening that channel—with releasing tension and habit that keeps us from sensing ourselves as human creatures, with learning to ground so we can feel our belonging in Eairth.
As continuum teacher Susan Harper offers,
“Gravity is a spiritual force of belonging that says
I have a place for you and it is right here!”
Our place is right here, in this body, in this Eairth. Embodied
Usually we have to work a lot with our constrictions of heart and mind, too, in order to become more embodied. We have habitual ways of feeling and thinking. Perhaps we worry or plan or emote or get frustrated or give up—these patterns block our ability to be present, to be an open channel.
As we become more embodied, we can offer a home to the transcendent, right here, in this beautiful bodysoul, expressing through us. It is here that heaven can find a place to live in us.
For as Clarissa Pinkola Estes tells us in Women Who Run with the Wolves, “Our work is to show we have been breathed upon—to show it, give it out, sing it out, to live out in the topside world what we have received through our sudden knowings, from body, from dreams and journeys of all sorts.” (p. 29)
The way I most experience embodying the transcendent is when I sing. I feel as if I am taking beauty and inspiration and giving it physical form through and in me.
Artists of all kinds do this most clearly, but so do animals and plants and everything that lives, to the extent that it is embodied.
For what better purpose for a life than to marry heaven and Eairth and so to live fully alive, fully inspired, fully present in this precious time we have here in Eairth?
What practices support you
in embodying the transcendent?
Join me in a few opportunities this weekend in Port Townsend!
** Eairth = Earth and Air