body work

Meditation and the relationship to the body

I've been doing a lot of research and practical applications of meditation from various spiritual systems, and the one thing I find consistent is that for meditation to really work, there must be some interaction with the body. The body is the gateway to experiencing meditation, which makes sense as a meditation is really an altered state of physiological consciousness. I put it that way, because it seems to me that there is a tendency to discuss and conceptualize meditation as a state of mind or consciousness that is separate from the experience of the body. But you really can't separate the body from meditation, because you are rooting yourself in the experience of changing your physiology to accomplish an altered state of consciousness. This is why breath plays such a role in meditation. Breath is the key to accessing the body and bringing it into a state of physiological receptivity for an altered state of consciousness. By focusing awareness on the breath a person becomes aware of the body and can slow it down enough to enter into an altered state. Or alternately a person can do some kind of excitatory activity to achieve the same level of awareness. In either case, the body is the foundational core by which meditation is achieved. It's worth remembering that if you want to make meditation a part of your tool set.

Update on Laban work

I've been doing the first set of dance stretches in the Laban book for a little while now and discovered in the process an awareness of my body and its muscles I previously lacked. It's quite an intriguing feeling and it's translated out into the dance floor in terms of some moves I've been doing that previously I wouldn't have thought of. I also have used it as part of my paratheatrical work and one of my next paratheatrical works is going to involve using excitatory work to get in touch with my body consciousness, per the suggestion of a reader of this blog. I find that Laban combines very nicely with paratheatrical work in terms of getting the body revved up, but this will a further experiment of actually using Laban to work with my body consciousness directly.

On a different note, I did take a different tact with the body work, in terms of inhibitory meditation and found that focusing just on one cell led to better results in terms of working with the consciousness of the cell and getting another possible direction I can take my time work as a result.