For today’s book club meeting about Eckhart Tolle’s The Power Of Now I wanted to focus on one of the most important parts of chapter 6. This chapter discusses the importance of connecting with the inner body as a means of moving past the mind and being present. Tolle states that one way of doing this is to connect with the inner body. So how exactly do you connect with your inner body?
Connecting with your inner body is one of the most important aspects of meditation, and it makes sense that it is incredibly important to being present as well…after all, they are pretty much one in the same. As a challenge, Tolle asks readers to stop what they’re doing for a moment and pay attention to the sensations in your body. I did this earlier today and one of the things I noticed was that I had a slightly uncomfortable, but not very painful, feeling in my stomach. Once I stopped to acknowledge it, I thought about why my body was feeling that way. The reason was that I was anxious about something that had just happened, and my body was reacting subconsciously. How do I know this is what that feeling was? Once I stopped and thought about it, and acknowledged why I was anxious, I dismissed it and the feeling went away. Granted, it isn’t always that simple. But this is why it is so important to really pay attention to the feelings inside your body.
Tolle also makes an interesting point – our body is the closest connection we have to animal life. Our need to see ourselves as different than animals is referred to as “body denial.” I’ve always wondered what animals are thinking…and this made me realize, that they must be completely present. Take my cats for example. Their emotions are simple: hungry, tired, thirsty, cold, etc. They don’t have the same anxiety that humans do over past experiences or future anxiety (or do they? I guess we’ll never know…). Tolle also provides these four poignant reasons for why connecting to your body is important.
* The inner body does not age.
Aging is only physical. You, your inner being, does not age. You’ve probably all heard the phrase “young at heart.” We need to connect to that eternally young, inner being and embrace it! Our connection to the inner body will slow down the physical aging process.
* The benefits of conscious breathing.
Again, this ties in with the bases of meditation and yoga. Conscious breathing helps channel your energy inwards onto the body. It makes you more aware of your inner feelings and thoughts and clears the mind.
* Enhanced creativity.
Your connection with your inner being will enhance your creativity. Have you ever had one of those moments where you are incredibly inspired and full of ideas? Looking back now I realize that those moments occur most often for me when I am fully being. You can’t force creativity, especially at a time when your mind is full of noise… you have to let it come to you.
* Ability to listen to others.
Practicing the art of listening to the body will also help you listen better to others. One thing about myself that bothers me, is that I have an incredibly short attention span. When I am introduced to someone, often times when they tell me their name it goes in one ear and out the other. It’s not disinterest, it’s just that I’m already thinking about the next think I’m going to say to them. Focusing more attention on the present, on your body and the actions you are taking, will improve your ability to listen.
As always, please share your thoughts in the comments!