Sentient Body

"Our deepest sense of life is a movement tendency..."

Photo by Chip Marks

“Our sense of well being depends on unfolding subtle body sensations that reflect the underlying dreaming or essence level of reality... I have found that all body movements and symptoms can be traced back to these tiniest, most subtle, 'imaginary' experiences that precede their 'real' everyday appearances."
                                                                                   Arnold Mindell~Quantum Mind and Healing

What is the “Sentient Body”? The Sentient Body is the deep and subtle experience of our physical body, the physical body connected with the Earth through sensory perception. Defined as “endowed with feeling and unstructured consciousness", sentience is a direct path to our personal divine nature, which is not separate from the divine nature of the Earth and the cosmos. The gift of the body is its extraordinary capacity to connect with and process the mass of wiggling, jiggling electrons, the spiritual backdrop to our world of density and matter.  Bodies are exquisitely attuned to the vibrations, frequencies and cycles of the intelligence of the cosmos and the Earth.

'Sentient' is another important word.  It refers to the continuous and automatic awareness of subtle, normally marginalized experiences and sensations.
                                                                                           Arnold Mindell~ Dreaming while Awake

Sentience is the body’s language, how it communicates with awareness and the conscious mind. Connecting with the Sentient Body means inviting in subtle feelings and sensations. Focusing on their presence, we develop a familiarity and language of relationship with the body’s experience. We access the transpersonal consciousness that is sentient awareness; a finely-tuned altered state  that picks up slight somatic sensations usually unfolding below the threshold of consciousness.

As we make a practice of recognizing underlying tendencies, they become more prevalent and responsive to awareness, engaging with us. They no longer need to be strong to catch our attention; we attune to subtle, vague sensations, and catch them at early, emerging levels. With our awareness, we reinforce and direct sentient reality, becoming co-creators with the underlying matrix of wholeness. Bringing our experience in bodies into relationship with the mind, we encounter a sacred relationship; the body and mind as equal partners are ingredients for an amazing experience of embodiment. Together, they slip into the crack that accesses the underlying Dreaming .

Interacting with essence level energies, the world of undifferentiated awareness and the unconscious, energies do not need to amplify to emerge into the human world of parts and polarities to get our attention. The body’s subtle information is essential to our life path; important information that we miss in our bodies appears later in our dreams, relationships, body symptoms and in the world around us.

“The body is a tremendous source of information and wisdom.  If we center our awareness there, the body actually informs the mind.  For most people, information goes only one way, from the head to the body, and the body does its best to keep up with the dictates and beliefs of the mind.”                                                        
                                                                                                       Gay and Kathlyn Hendrick~1994

 Artwork © 2008 Nöle Giulini

Artwork © 2008 Nöle Giulini

Animal Body

the animal body,
bored with this world.
Wanting the mind to sink deeply,
into flesh and tendon, blood and gristle,
and from there view what holds us.

Heat burns away
mind’s connection to details and control.
Seeing rises from belly and heart,
no longer actor and acted.
Body sees wholeness,
moving through space,
connected intimately
with landscape and animal.

Without eyes, it knows,
there is no other.
No you nor me, or us and them.
There is just this.
Intimate, fragile, tender,
the connection of spirit and flesh

flowing between all things.

This body an invitation,
awaiting my commitment
to this animal body seeing,
to this animal body loving.

Lisa Marks~copyright 2002

Sentient Body
© 2009