Inner relaxation and outer perception

From an inner work practice suggested by Cynthia in a recent Wisdom School:

“See what you can discover for yourself about the relationship between inner relaxation and outer perception. As you move through your day, whenever you notice yourself tightening inside (either from a situation that causes you specific distress or simply from a mounting daily pressure of stress and irritation), make a conscious effort to stop and physically un-constrict. One way to do this is by drawing several conscious breaths. Another way is simply to be bring your attention to that part of you that feels most in a knot and simply be present to it without any mental commentary (the attention itself will do the trick.) Notice whether anything happens to your emotional state when your physical body relaxes.”

Cynthia goes on to write about “Jesus’ implacable opposition to any form of clinging” and the internal damage that it does in making us spiritually blind and unable to participate in “the dance of giving-is-receiving.”

She also writes about how this is being confirmed in contemporary neurobiology and the findings of the Institute of HeartMath:

“With the help of MRI imaging, it is now possible to document that the areas of the brain involved in the perception of any stimulus in the outer world are to a significant degree a function of our inner state at the moment of impact. If we respond to a stimulus in the outer world with an initial negativity or inner constriction, the stimulus will be processed through the amygdala, the evolutionary bedrock of the human brain, governing our most primitive fight and flight responses. “Danger, danger, danger!” its alarm bells warn; the adrenaline flows, and we prepare to defend ourselves.”

“If we respond with an initial relaxation and can maintain an interior spaciousness, the stimulus is processed through the more evolutionarily advanced parts of the human forebrain—neo-cortex and prefrontal lobes—and amazingly, the rhythms of brain and heart come into entrainment. We move into an inner coherence which makes possible an outer coherence: a response marked by intelligence, creativity, and compassion.”

“Jesus may not have known this scientifically, but he was certainly profoundly aware of it at an intuitive level. The problem with hoarding—or clinging, or urgency, or any other form of interior emotional constriction—is that it clouds the field of vision and catapults us back into our small self with its insatiable sense of anxiety and threat.”

“To perceive the abundance that actually is there, and then to live the life of compassion that flows from it—requires that we first step out and do something about that field of perception. Then the rest will follow.”

Posted by Bob Sabath into the Wisdom School Facebook Page on November 16, 2018 for Inner Task Friday.