Tara Talks: Guided Reflection on Inhabiting this Body

Tara Talks: Guided Reflection on Inhabiting this Body

[music] But our reflex to leave our body is that
we start living in a very small identity of a self that owns a body but it’s living in the mind and is not really experiencing full aliveness; we don’t get
to see those beautiful flowers and feel or sense tenderly our hearts with others and to be really able to sense the reality of the moment in a direct way – we’re just not here. So learning to
inhabit is the way back and, as we inhabit, we begin to sense what we’ve
been missing, this open-heartedness; as Hafez says, he
says: “Please stay near to me and Hafez will spin you into love”… Stay near. Often when I teach about working with pain and unpleasantness, I talk about a
kind of 8-year period where I was chronically ill and it was a spiraling
down – I have loose connective tissue, it’s a disease or a genetic disorder – and so it leads to easily injuring myself and for about eight years it was just getting worse and worse and I was losing mobility and it was very challenging… And it was out of that period of working with the pain and the illness that I wrote the book True Refuge, which really was what I was
discovering about how to be in the midst of that kind of discomfort emotionally and physically and find some real peace and freedom. And one of my main discoveries, which I’ve shared and which was really important to me
was similar to the women I described – the dancers – I’d go through these bouts where
I’d be in a lot of structural pain and I’d have a lot of fear about what I
was not going to be able to do and I’d get caught in a very small sense of a fearful self and a trying to fix it tightening against what was in the
future – just a very small, not-okay self… And the practice became: “Okay how much can I really open in this moment and let what’s here be here? How much
can I say ‘this belongs’? ” Just like any wave in the ocean, it’s part of the ocean. And what I found was the more I could say ‘this belongs’, the more I was occupying the space of the ocean. Every time there was a wave of fear, “this
belongs” – okay, there’s a little more space. I wasn’t the fearful self, I was occupying a much more open space of tenderness relating to the fear. It’s not
whether or not pain arises; it’s how we relate. Loving presence arises when we
can say “this belongs”. This is Anne Morrow Lindbergh, she says: “Go with the pain, let it take you, open your palms and your body to the pain. It comes in waves like a tide and you must be open as a vessel lying on the beach letting it fill you
up and then retreating, leaving you empty and clear with a deep breath – it has to
be as deep as the pain – one reaches a kind of inner freedom from the pain as if as though the pain were not yours but your body’s; the spirit lays the body on
the altar.” “With a deep breath – that has to be as deep as the pain – one reaches a kind of inner freedom from pain as though the pain were not yours but your body’s, the spirit lays the body on the altar.” So this is one of the gifts; I’m gonna name two gifts
of embodiment, and one of them is that through opening to the waves and saying
“this belongs”, we sense that ocean-ness we sense that spirit, that loving presence that is vast. But I wanna name one more gift, as part of closing, which is one of the
sufferings of leaving our bodies is we lose communication, we can’t really
listen to the wisdom of our body… So we really don’t know how to take care of ourselves and we’re not so attuned energetically to others and can’t
respond as well to our world. And so, one of the gifts of coming back to the garden, sensing ourselves as the garden, sensing all of us as the garden, is that we come into a very living, energetic and intelligent relationship with this world. And I think you can hear that in this poem you can hear how this comes alive
in us when we start coming into awareness of our body and you might
close your eyes and just listen it’s called: “A felt sense prayer”. “I am the pain
in your head, the knot in your stomach, the unspoken grief in your smile. I am
your high blood sugar, your elevated blood pressure your fear of challenge,
your lack of trust. I’m your hot flashes, your fragile low
back, your agitation and your fatigue. You tend to disown me, suppress me, ignore me, inflate me, coddle me, condemn me. You usually want me to go away immediately, to disappear – just slip back into obscurity. More times than not I am only
the most recent notes of a long symphony, the most evident branches of roots that
have been challenged for seasons. So I implore you: I am a messenger with good
news, as disturbing as I can be at times. I’m wanting to guide you back to those
tender places in yourself, the place where you can hold yourself with
compassion and honesty. I may ask you to alter your diet, get more sleep, exercise regularly, breathe more consciously; I might encourage you to see a vaster
reality and worry less about the day-to-day fluctuations of life. I may ask you to explore the bounds and wounds of your relationships I am your friend,
not your enemy. I have no desire to bring pain and suffering into your life I’m simply tugging at your sleeve, too long immune to gentle nudges. I desire
for you to allow me to speak to you in a way that enlivens your higher instincts
for self-care. You are a being so vast, so complex with amazing capacities for
self-regulation and healing; let me be one of the harbingers that leads you to
the mysterious core of your being where insight and wisdom are naturally
available when called upon with a sincere heart. Let me be one of the harbingers that leads you to the mysterious core of your being where
insight and wisdom are naturally available when called upon with a
sincere heart.” You might keep your eyes closed as we end together. Really we’re exploring how to decondition this habit of leaving, how to
learn to stay. How to return to the garden by inhabiting our body. How to become the whole garden, really this whole-beingness and to know it requires
a flexibility and approach that there are times that out of compassion when
pain is strong we redirect our attention and many other times that we choose, we
invite ourselves right back here. It’s as author or poet Jane Hooper says: “Please come home. Please come home. Find the place where your feet know
where to walk and follow your own trail home. Please come home. Please come home
into your own body, your own vessel, your own earth, please come home into each and
every cell and fully into the space that surrounds you.” And so for these last few moments, to
invite yourself home, fully with interest, with care you might let your awareness pour into your hands and just fill your hands with aliveness feel the tingling
and vibrating there relaxing the arms, letting the awareness spread through the arms so you feel the volume and the length of your arms feel your feet filled with awareness,
tingling and vibrating feel the length and volume of your legs fill them with awareness and softening the belly, let the awareness spread so you inhabit your torso feel the face
tingling, the eyes soft inhabiting this whole body and if there’s somewhere in
your body that is asking for attention whether it’s unpleasantness see if you can
breathe with it and just feel it as a constellation of sensations perhaps soften around it feel the space
around it and feel right to the center of it noticing what changes still breathing still aware of this
whole body as a field of sensation you might sense the space around you, the space in the room and sense how the aliveness and space inside the body and outside the body are like continuous space filled with aliveness how porous
the boundaries of the body sensing this dynamic presence the space of aliveness
that’s your home please come home please come home into your own body, your own
vessel, your own earth please come home into each and every cell and fully into the space that surrounds you.” [music]

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  1. Yes please! Let's credit the author. Lots of people posting this online from this video but no one mentions the writer's name. So fantastic. Thank you Tara.

  2. The first quote is from Anne Morrow Lindbergh. We haven't found a source for the "Felt Sense Prayer." If you turn on the captions in YouTube, you can see the spellings of names. So glad you are watching and listening in.

  3. Good morning Tara,
    listening to your teachings heals my heart, it reminds me of the truth that I once forgot.
    Please continue your vidéos, they are really gifts.
    Thank you Tara.
    All the Best for you Tara

  4. THANK YOU Tara. More than words can say. You are One of the best spiritual teachers in the world today. Your warm presence can be felt through listening to your talks. This is such a precious gift of hope and a way to practise for those of us that are isolated.

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