Inner Work Friday: Week Three of Eight Week Series by Jonathan Steele

This week we’re going to work with a different kind of breathing as we begin to consciously sync up the emotional center with a poised moving center grounded in sensation.

Remember, we are working to wean ourselves off of the energy of urgency in moving towards learning to stand in and work from the energy of immediacy. We will begin to use the breath to bring presence and spaciousness to our mostly reactive emotional center.

As we do this, one of the first things we may begin to notice is grief, followed shortly thereafter by relief-for how much time we spend away from this native biological rhythm of breath and how good it feels to know the moment and the body as trusted ground. As we stew in that knowing, we begin to notice the deeper dimensions of the higher emotional center (out of the safety of the grounding of the body). This is often experienced as an enduring and magnetic sensation in the belly and solar plexus.

I invite you to listen to this piece composed by G.I. Gurdjieff to set the tone for this week’s task…

…and when ready to read this week’s invitation below…

Find a time during the day to stop activity and find the breath consciously. Then let yourself sit with that for several moments. Try and find the rhythm of immediacy. This. Breath. Now. Enjoy the decadence of this. Recognize the state of the breath, both in its rhythm, as well as its location in the body. Compare this to its usual state.

Having entrained the breath with the wakefulness of the moment, expand the attention to find sensation in the lower half of the body (we’ve been practicing this). With breath and sensation connected, lower the shoulders and begin to find the sensation of “I” in the solar plexus.

Begin to sense “I” in the solar plexus carried on the breath of the inhalation and bring online the sensation of “Am” running down the spine carried on the exhaled breath. Do this for several breaths. Notice the strengthening of the sensation of “I” in the solar plexus along with the subtle suppling of the sensation running down the spine through the sensation of “Am.” When ready, slowly re-enter your daily activities from this spaciousness.

Note any observations. What do you see for yourself as sensation and feeling come together?

Keep watch here, friends.

The Opening of Eyes
By David Whyte

That day I saw beneath dark clouds
the passing of light over the water
and I heard the voice of the world speak out.

I knew then as I had before
life is no passing memory of what has been,
nor the remaining pages in a great book waiting
to be read. It is the opening of eyes long closed.

It is the vision of far off things
seen for the silence they hold.

It is the heart after years
of secret conversing
speaking out loud in the clear air.

It is Moses in the desert
fallen to his knees before the lit bush.

It is the man throwing away his shoes
as if to enter heaven
and finding himself astonished,
opened at last,
fallen in love with solid ground.

Inner Task Series by Jonathan Steele

Jonathan Steele posted this Inner Task Series to the Wisdom School Community on Facebook from July 2 – August 21, 2021