In a previous article we explored observation without judgement. Over several articles we also practiced ways to integrate observation, values and do-able requests to simplify, support and empower the gross (physical) body and the subtle (emotional, intangible) body.
However, you aren't just your gross and subtle body. Humans also have access to a causal body.
Here's a simple practice to support you exploring (or returning to) the causal aspect of yourself:
1. Sit upright in a chair, with both feet flat on the floor, about shoulder-width apart, and your spine straight as if you were sitting with your back to a wall. Place your left palm on your left leg, and your right palm on your right leg. Relax your shoulders.
2. Notice your breath. Most of us breathe shallowly. On each inhale, try to extend the number of seconds your inhale requires. Breathe deep into your lower belly, let the inhale expand your belly and gut. On each exhale, try to extend the number of seconds each exhale requires. Exhale deeply, first from the belly, then even more out of the lungs. Let the exhale compress your belly and lungs.
3. Repeat this deep-body-breath at least 5 times, until your mind begins quietly focus on the breath and your body.
4. Now notice the felt-sense of the seat underneath you. Notice that you can feel the chair, so obviously you are not the chair. Take another 5 deep-body-breaths. Even more deeply, notice that you are not the chair.
5. Now notice sounds in the environment around you. Notice that you hear those sounds, so obviously you are not the sounds. Take another 5 deep-body-breaths. Even more deeply, notice that you are not the sounds around you.
6. Now notice your thoughts. Notice that you can witness your thoughts, so obviously you are not your thoughts. Take another 5 deep-body-breaths, noticing even more deeply how you observe your thoughts, so obviously you are not your thoughts.
7. Notice yourself observing your thoughts. Who is the You that can witness you observing your thoughts? Stay here another 5 deep-body-breaths. Who are You, who watches you watching your own thoughts?
8. Do you notice a shift in your body, emotions and state right now? Do you notice more calm, more quiet? Do you notice tingling in your palms or other parts of your body? Do you feel better or worse than you felt when you started this practice? How might it serve you to do this practice once-a-week, or once each evening?
9. Who are You, most deeply? Take another several deep-body-breaths, just quietly listening, watching, feeling, observing. What shows up on the radar when you're not thinking about an answer? Again take several deep-body-breaths, repeating the question, "Who Am I, most deeply?"
10. Because of the still, calm, centered place that we find doing this practice, some people refer to this as a "peak state", a glimpse into a part of the Higher Self, a part that quietly waits in the background when "real life" has us pre-occupied, busy, upset or even happy. What signals do you notice in this moment that indicate to you that you are more connected right now to this Higher Aspect of yourself?
11. The more we practice a state shift like this peak state, the more accessible it becomes, and they more a part of our daily life it becomes.
Who am I observing my thoughts?
Who is the 'Self' that observes me having emotions?
Who am I most deeply?
"When am I not myself?"
- I Heart Huckabees