Inner Work Friday: Week Seven of Eight Week Series by Thomas Telhiard

October 8: INNER TASK Week Seven – SEEING AS FEELING (From the Whole)

In continuing with our series of inner tasks involving inner seeing, last week we focused on sensation. It was recommended in that task to not only focus on sensation in a part of the body (the foot), but to also, be mindful – in a non-impositional manner – of your breathing. Curiously, the distinction of the centers from each other can sometimes arise simultaneously with the very balancing of the centers and their connections with one another. Indeed, you may have found that the addition of attention on the breathing in conjunction with the sensation in the foot, made the sensation more vivid. Perhaps through these tasks you are experiencing both the imbalance and balancing, disconnection and connection of the centers (mind, feeling, body, or respectively, intellectual, emotional and moving) as well as the unique distinctions between each of them. This is something only you alone can see for yourself and verify.

If we pick up with the breathing piece that has played a part in many if not all of the inner tasks we have been performing, we cannot get away from the absolutely important, yet subtle and often elusive role that FEELING plays in all of this. Feeling’s home base within the body, or at least a place where we can sense its immediacy, lies within the chest and the celiac or solar plexus area. This is why breathing can be such a great doorway into Feeling.

We also know from the work that feeling is not emotion. Feeling has a subtle quality or impulse that arises instantaneously and of its own accord, again, sharing this quality with our breathing. We cannot make ourselves feel, but we can make efforts through practices and tasks that can allow more favorable states of being that will allow us to sense Feeling. Placing our attention on our breathing can be a starting place. One thing that breathing does, though we are not consciously aware of it many times, is that it actually creates space. Joseph Azize in speaking about feeling describes it as ‘making room.”

“…it is possible to come to a stable feeling of myself, if I make room for this impulse which arises from within me when parts of my being are connected.”

(Joseph Azize, George Adie: A Gurdjieff Pupil in Australia)

But the breath is only the magnificent doorway into feeling, which ultimately contributes greatly to the sense of the WHOLE of oneself. When we are working with and from the whole, we are consciously engaging all three centers, and feeling affirms that subtle, fine, and many times vivid sense of the whole. This overall feeling of oneself can be stabilized when it is reverberates the muscial concert of all of the centers connected through feeling, sensation and directive thought. One of the primary ways that we can engage with this Whole as a stable feeling of oneself is through the breath focused first on the solar plexus and then simultaneously throughout the whole body. The inward and sometimes out loud articulation of “I AM” is the living fulcrum of being that accompanies this wholeness.

This is the task for the week.

  1. Set appointments during the day to do the following while continuing whatever you are doing.
  2. Bring conscious attention to your breathing immediately (do not alter the rhythm or depth of your breathing and continue what you are doing, whatever it is, if possible).
  3. Allow the breathing to assist in the arising of feeling in the chest and solar plexus area. You may be aware of sensation first. Stay with the breathing in the solar plexus area awaiting the feeling to arise. (If you are experiencing a particular emotion in the daily event you are engaged, don’t deny this, but focus on feeling arising in the solar plexus region)
  4. Inwardly say on the inhalation of your breath “I” with your attention on the solar plexus, and on the exhale inwardly say “AM” with your attention radiating outwardly from the solar plexus throughout the body (upper torso, shoulders arms and hands, neck, head and face and simultaneously, waist area, pelvic area, through the legs to the feet). (repeat twice for a total of 3 times)
  5. Follow the arising of feeling as it fills your whole body with each breath.
  6. Notice if anything changes in the daily life event you are engaged. How does it change?
  7. If possible, receive this whole feeling of oneself as an impression so that it may become a ‘trace’ within you of being.

There is an undeniable elusiveness to feeling, but strangely, this very subtle and ineffable quality establishes its reality in the experience. We are attempting to see as Feeling.